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Topics - Colin YNWA

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Trailers / Any chance of any more?
« on: 03 March, 2010, 09:19:28 AM »
Well its a shame we haven't seen anymore of the trailers as they were absolutely great. I assume other priorities have taken over BUT is this a case of shelved for the time being or are they dead in water?

News / Interview with Rian Hughes
« on: 02 March, 2010, 01:04:50 PM »
Via a joke look at Grant Morrison's butt over at Bleeding Cool I stumbled across this interview Rian Hughes from FPI. I'm devastated to report he didn't enjoy drawing Robo Hunter... the dream dies.


Books & Comics / Coming Soon? Barry Windsor Smith's 'Monster'
« on: 26 February, 2010, 09:00:53 PM »
Thnaks to 'Comics should be good' over at CBR I've just heard about a project still in the making by Barry Windsor Smith called Monster which looks frankly wonderful. No idea when it will be finished and it what form it'll be released but I can't wait already.


How beautiful does that look!

Here's the story I first read about this in. Its a very interesting tale of the origins of this story as a 22 page Hulk story (its currently at 300 pages!)


News / Dredd by Davis and Williams featured over at CBR
« on: 25 February, 2010, 08:22:33 AM »
Not had the cahnce to read this yet as I'm off to a meeting but this will be of interest I hope. Good to see some comic mainstream coverage at the very least


Books & Comics / More Tank Girl
« on: 24 February, 2010, 12:52:15 PM »
Given the reception Tank Girl seems to get in the Megazine I'm not sure how much interest they'll be in this (I've not read it so I won't comment) but there's an interview over at CBR with Alan Martin and Rufus Dayglo about a new Tank Girl story from Image.


It also mentions what I assume is a new British comic called "Judd Dredd Megazine." which is apparently also serialising Tank Girl?

Film & TV / New Who trailer
« on: 22 February, 2010, 08:29:06 AM »
Errr not too impressed by this but hey hoo we'll see. Apparently you can see it in shiney 3D if you go see Alice in Wonderland at the cinema?


Prog / Prog 1673 - Crimes of Passion
« on: 20 February, 2010, 10:02:30 AM »
Well that covers... striking.

The rest of the Prog by comparison is a little subdued with one brillant exception but with a few nice touches to keep the standard up. Dredd is fun but the story is in the shadow of whats around the corner (err can shadows go around corners?). Mind I get me dinosaurs so shouldn't complain. I enjoyed Stickleback a little more than normal but this was really a set up for a grand finale to come and even ABC Warrior was strangely low key (sorry to go on about this but that picture of Juanita on page 4 is just a photofit from Crimewatch right?). The Future Shock was fun and nice reference to 'Valley of Gwangi' harking back to dinosaurs.

The exception being that its the only exceptional thrill in the Prog this week, the others being merely good, is once again Dante. Its once again in turn thrilling, chilling and brillant. Loving it.

Good Prog

The best thing in the Prog however is confirmation of a fifth and final Shakara
series. Jumps for joy.

Other Reviews / Sinister Dexter in 2002
« on: 19 February, 2010, 10:39:53 AM »
People have said that Sinister Dexter should have parted ways with the Prog long ago. I for one don’t agree with that as I really enjoy the current stories, all be it seemingly crammed into whatever space needs filling. Having read the Progs from 2002 I can however see where this feeling may stem from.

Sinister Dexter is a fantastic strip with legs, because just like Dredd and Dante it can accommodate all sorts of stories be it short light hearted flights of whimsy, dark biting stabs at suitable targets, or harder more emotional bigger tales. I have loved so many of the brilliant short done in one stories and have alluded to the fact in the section before. It does however need to get the balance right and left going too far down one root it limits its appeal.

During 2002 it does this for me and the numerous short witty little ditties dominate the strip. Sure they are fun and very well written but it reduces Sinister Dexter to a pleasant distraction and it can be so much more. I was really looking forward to the longer “The Off-Lode Experience” hoping it would give us back some of the depth the strip has shown. Alas it didn’t, the last two parts aside it’s more of the same, in space, thank you very much and this felt pretty disappointing.

I’m going to spin off a little and mention the art. I said elsewhere that it appeared that Sinister Dexter was getting used as a try-out strip for artists during 2002. Almost immediately after that I come across runs by Steve Parkhouse and Simon Davis to prove me wrong. Good to be proved wrong sometimes huh. I do need to make special mention of how indecently attractive Simon Davis makes Billi Octavia. Heavens to mergatrode the cover 1319.

Anyway straightening myself up again I’m looking forward to Sinister Dexter getting its balance right and hope it’s not too long in coming?

Other Reviews / Asylum
« on: 19 February, 2010, 10:39:17 AM »
I found Asylum a bit of a muddled strip. I never quite got to what it was aiming at in this first story. A couple of people have mentioned in this section that here is room in 2000ad for a romps that are there mainly to support a good old bit of action and fun all presented with glorious art. I’d certainly support that idea, and there’s countless stories to evidence this working brilliantly in the comic.

When this is used as the default setting, as I’ve speculated, not without evidence, partly resulted from the mandate Andy Diggle gave his creators, it can misfire as often as not. I think this could be the perfect example of that.

We’re well into Matt Smith’s reign as Tharg’s little helper at this point but it’s fair to say much of the ethos that his predecessor gave remains. Whether this is because stuff was in the pipe line already, or whether, as seems likely, at this point it’s just that Matt Smith agrees I can only guess at. There is clear evidence that he is trying to get more of a balance to things and stories that need space are getting it (see my review of Red Seas) but sometime it feels like strips are cramped into the 8 (or 9) part format that Andy Diggle liked.

Asylum for me is an example of this... maybe. It doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be and mixes many different things up. It has a real ‘tough cop’ vibe to it, it toys with being a Nemesis tribute strip it even plays with being a fun examination of alien cultures. Throwing it all together in such a small space means none of that really gels or works completely. Given more space could it have pulled off all it wanted to be? Not sure maybe it just lacked direction? It certainly had some fun bits to it and Boo Cook’s art is ok, if a bit cute for my palate, but bits of it don’t stick together.

The way the female led, whose name escapes me sorry, flips sides is utterly unconvincing and seems very heavy handed. With more space could this have been worked through, with the other issues I have? You know I’m just not sure.


Other Reviews / The Red Seas - Under the Banner of King Death
« on: 19 February, 2010, 09:52:46 AM »
First of all what a bloody great title that is!

Anyway I enjoy Red Seas in the current Progs its a fun distraction but I suspect if I'd have read this first I'd bloody loved it. It sets the world up I've been reading of over the last 3 1/2 years so wonderfully. Ok so they could have called it Sinbad and been done with it but it really is just a ripping yarn. When reading it I could almost imagine it being animated by Ray Harryhausen its so evocative of the films he made.

Which leads me nicely onto the art. I've mentioned here with the same boring frequency I express my love for John Smith that I like me a bit of Steve Yeowell and have to say that this is some of his best work. He seems to be having such a blast with it. Mind given what he has to draw you can understand why. I imagine as an artist as the scripts rolled in you'd be jigging with excitment. This week I have to draw pirate zombies, next week cerebus and the afterlife and after that a giant shark eatting a pirate ship! The fun everyone seems to be having simply exudes off the pages and enthused me as a reader no end.

That excitment seemed to get to Tharg as well giving it the extra space (the equivalent of 12 parts I think in total) it needed to breathe and have that seafaring epic quality. The early rein of Matt Smith seemed to very much continue were Andy Diggle left off which I'll muse upon elsewhere but he let Red Seas have the room it needed and deserved to boot. Everyone just seems to be behind this strip and it stands out to me as the best thing I've read by Edginton to date.

Yo Ho Ho

Other Reviews / New VCs and New old Rogue Trooper
« on: 16 February, 2010, 06:44:53 AM »
Sorry to lump these two together but it seems to me there's a great contrast between the two relaunches, one that is more to do with the original series rather than whats done with them now (well then).

Lets get the stuff thats the same out the way. They both look bloody great.I'm gone all gooey over Henry Flint before so I'm not embarrass myself again except to say he's bloody great again. Rogue as ever is served by a number of great artists. I make special mention of Staz Johnson and David Roach who somehow manage to make their art look like Colin Wilson, and Dave Gibbons AND on occasion even Brett Ewins. Its an incredible tribute that still retains its own style. Love their work here.

As for the stories, well Gerry Finley-Day  wrote both the original and I have to be fair and say I'm far from his biggest fan, so I was intrigued to see what new, better writers handled his ideas. For me one worked, one didn't and its largely to do with the concepts.

I really enjoyed the VCs its a straight forward war strip and Dan Adnett choose to take it away from the original story and thus liberate it from too many constraints. Much like he did with Durham Red he left enough of the original there to tie them together while leaving the new story room to go its own way and to tell his own story. And a damned fine story he tells.

Rogue Trooper going back to its roots goes back to the restricts it always has. The best thing about the strip is the world and its warring parties, their equipment and the fun concepts that Mr Finley-Day came up with. Its trouble is the main characters are very dull and the spectre of the hunt for the traitor General hangs around the strip like a bad smell. That leaves Gordon Rennie no where to go and stuck telling the same stories with no real progression, just like the original.

Strontium Dogs sits somewhere inbetween the two BUT is damned fine fun. Maybe Tharg needed to be a little more considered in his trip down memory lane. Or at least don't use Bison as the showcase for new strips. Christ that'd leave anybody with rose tinted glasses to these old stories... maybe the fella is a genius after all!!!???

Books & Comics / Comics about Romans?
« on: 15 February, 2010, 12:00:39 PM »

My collection has a gap, one I'm not sure can be filled but thought I might was well as the question. I have comics featuring Vikings, World Wars 1 and 2, swashbucklers, jungle men, cowboys, dinosaurs all this stuff but I don't have any comics featuring Roman's (Asterix aside I'm talking more action comics). The thing is I'm not sure there are any. Well I'm sure there are but not necessary in the English language.

Is anybody aware of any comics about Roman's apart from Blackhawk? I really can't think of any? Oh and I'm not counting Trigan Empire either. Anybody any ideas?

Other Reviews / 13
« on: 14 February, 2010, 08:15:30 PM »
In many ways ‘13’ defines what’s so great about 2000ad for me. It’s not that it’s the best strip ever; it ain't half good, but not the best ever. Its more what it represents and how it stands out from the crowd.

Let me try to make sense of this but I beg your patience. The story and plot seems to be concocted out of any number of sci-fi or action staples. Down and out loser discovers he's a pawn in a bigger game. He meets beautiful woman and together against incredible odds they battle to over throw world threatening plot. Twists and turns in keeping with so many such stories. They battle against fine, repellent aliens that can imitate the establishment, ending up captured to escape by incredible acts of daring and courage. All this in a base full of robots to blow away. I've picked a few there I'm sure so many more could be pulled out.

Yet for all that, like so many 2000ad strips it does enough, adds enough twists and knots to the clichés to make it feel genuinely original, fresh and compelling. It looks the tropes square in the eyes, gives it a cocky sneer, hugs them with genuine affection but then wonders off in a direction of its own.

Everything from the look of the strip, the design of the characters and the characters themselves is just off centre of the norm. As an example I'll use Joe Bulmer himself, he looks great, like the dodgy loser he's meant to be, he lacks the sheen Hollywood would add. I mean the fact that he's wearing a Dead Kennedy's tee-shirt says it all. He follows a typical path from low life to hero but perfectly for 2000ad his redemption isn't completed by the end as it would be in so many tales in other comics, film, whatever of this type. That parting shot Dakshaben nails it perfectly

"We both know who you'd really be thinking of"

(Well let’s be honest she did have magnificent breasts courtesy of Andy Clarkes' simply magnificent art)

That's it, that's it in a nutshell. 2000ad always takes the current trends, the ideas in the zeitgeist, the standards and colours them a shade darker, twists them so they’re a little uglier, even polishes them a little more so they give a clearer reflection, exactly as does Joe Bulmers 'character arc' I believe they're called in writing circles. Back to that Dead Kennedy’s tee-shirt again.

I bloody loved this.

Genre bending

Other Reviews / Thoughts of no consequence: 'Bec and Kawl' and some S&D
« on: 12 February, 2010, 03:53:23 PM »
Its not often that 2000ad makes you shrug you're shoulders and blandly go 'Mah, yeah, whatever' and frankly 'Bec and Kawl' is just that. I just checked on Barney and there's loads of this stuff to come later down the line (I've just read the first two, two part stories) so hopefully it goes places. When you've done the cute movie references that much it wears a bit thin and even after just four parts it was dragging. Given that (again with thanks to Barney) it doesn't return for 6 months its clear Tharg saw something more in it than I did to recomission it.
I'll wait to see but from what I've read I'm in no rush to see it again.

Another concern I've developed of late is the way Sinister Dexter is being handled. I've loved me some Sinister Dexter during my catch up but in the current Progs (1600s) I'm enjoying it but getting frustrated with how it appears, to me from the outside, that Tharg takes it for granted. Using it as filler before a relaunch Prog and not giving it a decent run, even though it has a nice ongoing story line try to develop.

Are the early signs of this appearing as early as the 1200's were my catch-up is? It dips in and out of the Progs here and there. Not a problem at this time as its going through a spell of 1 and 2 part stories which it handles so well. The concern I have is that any number of new artists are being thrown at Sinister Dexter to try-out on. Or so it seems, it's as though Tharg tosses new try-out artists a Sinister Dexter to have a go on. This doesn't always have bad results in and of itself but the strip deserves better as far as I'm concerned.

This came to a head with me in 1294 when David Bircham is given a virtually silent strip to draw as though to prove he has improved his storytelling after the debacle that was 'Secret Commonwealth'. Well its better but its still not great. There's one panel were Ramone seems to be hovering, for the life of me I can't work out why.

To rub salt in the wound I see next issue 'Tor Cyan' returns with Jock on art this time, following on Kev Walker and Colin Wilson. Now I don't hate 'Tor Cyan' but Tharg seems to be getting that all backwards!

Other Reviews / My Name is Death
« on: 12 February, 2010, 08:50:03 AM »
Well damnit, god damnit that was annoying.

No I'm not talking about Frazer Irving's round helmets the arts too good to get side tracked by trival design ideas like that. It's that I don't have the following Meg issues. 'My name is Death' is just the story that the character needed. It restored by faith that he could become a scary villian again rather than just a pantomine dame. Then just as soon as he appears he's gone.

Sure there is still some silly humour but there needs to be to prevent the switch becoming too jarring, but here's a Death with an agenda, with a plan and cunning. A menacing evil creeping spook worth his status as a serious villian.

Its annoying cos now I have to go and buy the trade to see where his goes, and damnit the cover of that (as listed on Amazon)

has always made me worry the the Cursed Earth segment returned him the silly character he'd become. Can you resure me people, can you tell me that the second half is as good and serves Judge Death well?

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