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Messages - norton canes

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Megazine / Re: Meg 448: Graveyard Shift
« on: 29 September, 2022, 04:12:37 PM »
Controversially I'll say I slightly preferred the Prog to the Meg. The tongue in cheek, chaotic nature of the former suited the provided more scope for fun and invention, while the serial form of the latter meant at times it read like a Strontium Dog tale (which is no bad thing but perhaps not the order of the day). Not having read any Diamond Dogs it was nice to see James Peaty serving up something so much better than Skip Tracer.

Anyway, shocking as they were, the contents of the Meg pale into insignificance compared to those of the floppy. I still can't quite get my head around the idea that dozens (scores? Hundreds?) of the prog's most iconic layouts were originally sketched by Robin Smith in layout form. Mind blown.

(My cover was on the right way, BTW)

Prog / Re: Prog 2301: Primate Scream
« on: 29 September, 2022, 10:49:39 AM »
Can only agree with the sentiment that Chimpsky gets it spot on while the other strips all fall short in some respect. 'Half Smart' is based on a decent enough premise but the payoffs are a bit scattershot and I suspect the story will be best remembered for another Dave Taylor art masterclass (got strong Grey Area vibes from the first panel on the third page). Enemy Earth reads nicely but it's blatantly a Regened strip and feels completely out of place. Pandora Perfect worked in the prog because it could fall back on its sharp humour - so far, EE hasn't demonstrated a similarly compelling selling point. Still, it was more sophisticated than Skip Tracer </damnwithfaintpraise>. 'Echo' was centred around a nice idea but felt padded even at five pages, which is a shame because I think the notion of a controlling AI that requires constant positive validation from social media could, with the right embellishments, support a longer strip. Finally, Hershey was... actually Hershey was rather good, not sure why I said all the other strips fell short of Chimpsky.

Anyway Chimpsky, yes - exquisite, absolutely exquisite. The titular ape's previous solo outing was good but the extended character roster made it feel like a bit of a sprawl - this one's even better for being stripped back. Hope it stays at six pages, looks like it'll be the highlight of the prog for many weeks to come.

General / Re: Forthcoming Thrills - 2022
« on: 26 September, 2022, 09:51:15 AM »
They probably should've picked less revealing names for the teaser jpegs on the 2000ad.com homepage

Ha ha, that is hilarious

Prog / Re: Prog 2300: On the Day of Judgement...
« on: 22 September, 2022, 11:08:46 PM »
I heard there's even a multiverse where the Prime Minster is called Lynn Truss

Prog / Re: Prog 2300: On the Day of Judgement...
« on: 22 September, 2022, 05:58:06 PM »
Zombie Slaine? Zombie Ukko? Zombie Ro-jaws?

Bah, of course. Is that Dan Dare in front of Ro-Jaws? Think I can see a hint of curly eyebrow

Prog / Re: Prog 2300: On the Day of Judgement...
« on: 22 September, 2022, 04:12:46 PM »
I wonder if Kenneth Niemand asked Gordon Rennie and Dan Abnett for Harry Absalom and Finny's dialogue?

Also, I notice Henry Flint snuck in a zombie Torquemada. I think that's the first time since the Pat spat that a Millsverse character has been depicted in the prog (not counting generic things like dinosaurs). I wonder if Flint got the memo..?

Prog / Re: Prog 2300: On the Day of Judgement...
« on: 22 September, 2022, 01:21:56 PM »
Let me expound on my rather coarse endorsement (encoarsement?)

The Niemand droid opens up in imperious style with a spectacular opening salvo perfectly setting the apocalyptic tone, with Henry Flint's artwork as breath-taking as ever. That awesome final frame was reminiscent of the droids' first work together for Tharg, prog 2061's Starlord shocker 'Watch the Stars!'. In fact the only consistent let-down throughout the prog was the failure of some art droids to similarly bring out the grisly side of their zombie protagonists.

Peerless, top-of-their-game work from all droids concerned on the Rogue Trooper, Survival Geeks, Sin/Dex and Ampney Crucis segments. Particular congratulations have to go to Ian Edginton for this, and the rest of his flawless period dialogue:

"We seem to be on something of a sticky wicket!"
"The stickiest, sir!"

Yes, it might have been better had that makeshift spear been seen emerging in a spume of blood from Rogue's chest in the climactic scene.

It's probably fair to say that Meant Team and Robo-Hunter offered fewer opportunities for gruesome fun but still, sterling efforts from the droids concerned.

A slightly sombre and restrained (by the rest of the prog's standards) Strontium Dog interlude was nevertheless impressive (Staz Johnson comfortably proving himself Henry Flint's equal in his depiction of Johnny Alpha), before the Niemand droid's return for an absolute tour de force of a conclusion. "Zombie maniac with stone axe destroying Pat-Wagons", indeed.

Not going to claim that crossover zombie events are the most original thing ever but the 30th anniversary of Judgement Day deserves recognition and I can't think of a better way it could have been provided.

Prog / Re: Prog 2300: On the Day of Judgement...
« on: 21 September, 2022, 07:07:18 PM »
(excuse the language)

Prog / Re: Prog 2300: On the Day of Judgement...
« on: 21 September, 2022, 07:06:00 PM »
Abso. Lutely. Fucking. Glorious.

Prog / Re: Prog 2299 - Street Justice!
« on: 17 September, 2022, 11:44:55 AM »
Perhaps not absolutely the most thrill-ridden prog ever, but these pre-jumping on progs are sometimes on a hiding to nothing considering people are focussed on the upcoming thrills

Not a bad conclusion to 'The Crawly Man' but I'm not sure it's got the depth of characterisation to warrant a full run. Besides, even though it's tied to a single ongoing narrative, Thistlebone fulfils much of its function.

Somebody please recalibrate the Yeowell droid's background depiction subcircuits! I thought the featureless background of the bar room was a comment on the AGI's blocked sensory apparatus but I suspect I was  mistaken. I'm not sure (Sinister) Dexter will ever end, so I don't quite know how to assess it in terms of an arc conclusion, but if we accept SD is like the ongoing soap drama of 2000 AD (sounds like I'm damning it with faint praise there, I'm really not) then it's great.

Similarly with Jaegir, this is definitely how long-term serialised thrills should be done, but the flipside is some characters fade from memory... a quick Google reveals Raksha is the 'deranged torturer' who Atalia offered up herslef to to save her colleagues in 'Valkyries', if it helps.

'Sentientoid' has been excellent too, a nice story enhanced by Jake Lunch's exaggerated artwork.

Prog / Re: Prog 2298 - The Nightmare Man
« on: 09 September, 2022, 11:03:57 AM »
A fantastic cover - that hand really pops out, with its talons going off at crazy angles. But ultimately, what difference does it make? Is the prog actually displayed anywhere these days where the cover can be seen? In WH Smiths here it's on one of the lower shelves, stacked in the middle of a whole line of other magazines so that it's completely overlapped. It's difficult to find, let alone appreciate the cover (though I guess we should be grateful it's there at all). The only place I can think of which stocks 2000 AD in full, plain view is Forbidden Planet, and chances are that if you're buying it from FP you don't need to be persuaded.

(Given that Smiths stacks copies of the prog with only their very left (staple-side) edges showing, should Tharg consider the tactic of running the tag line vertically down there?)

Anyway the contents aren't too bad for a pre-pre-jumping on prog. 'Sentientoid's Big Idea' maybe over-eggs the narrative pudding a bit with some offbeat ideas but not to its detriment. Nice flashbacks to kick off Dexter and the Lilith revelation is good though it takes up most of the episode. This is shaping up to have the best end of the pier based denouement since Alpha Papa. Jaegir ends on quite a tease too.

Sorry, but The Crawly Man isn't really clicking for me - though I'll add my usual disclaimer that I've never had even as much as an idea that would be worthy of inclusion in the prog, let alone been able to write a whole script, so it's really not my place to be so dismissive.

Prog / Re: Prog 2297 - It Thinks......Therefore It Kills
« on: 02 September, 2022, 10:45:41 AM »
I was trying to work out what to say about the cover, which one minute I think its poor, the next great. Then I read Norton Canes take and that'll do me just fine AND for a bonus he perfectly summaries Dredd too

Thanks! (I only realised when reading your quote I'd used 'especially' three times in the same sentence, ouch)

Prog / Re: Prog 2297 - It Thinks......Therefore It Kills
« on: 01 September, 2022, 10:16:15 AM »
'Sentientoid's Big Idea' kicks off in fine fashion and is already a more rounded, fulfilling and let's face it more comprehensible story than 'Special Relationship'. The cover's great too but such is the shape of a Sentenoid that it doesn't present an especially well delineated outline, especially when it's hunched over; so although it facilitates a good tagline, the result isn't especially dynamic (am I overanalysing this..?)

'The Crawly Man' seems to be stepping all over the toes of Thistlebone to such an extent I'm kind of surprised Tharg gave it a green light. First impressions was it's solid enough but the dialogue's really lacking much spark. Also, was I supposed to chuckle when Elder Jones solemnly asked "Is the Mancunian in the vicinity?"

Apart from that, very much 'as you were' with the continuing strips - Jaegir and Dexter are perfect reads, and the Marshall/Teague combo still make Skip Tracer look absolutely fantastic. 

General / Re: FFT - Quarter Final 3 - Strontium Dog vs Halo Jones
« on: 31 August, 2022, 11:11:00 AM »
Strontium Dog

General / Re: FFT - Quarter Final 2 - Kingdom vs Nemesis the Warlock
« on: 30 August, 2022, 02:47:46 PM »

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