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Topics - Funt Solo

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General / Catchphrases
« on: 01 November, 2022, 05:38:33 PM »
Prize for the most unwieldy catchphrase has to go to Sam Slade ("That's S-L-A-Y-E-D to you!"), because by the time he's finished saying it, whichever robo he's hunting will either have made good their escape or killed him around the "L".

Books & Comics / War Stories
« on: 16 August, 2022, 07:54:45 AM »
I was reading The Unwomanly Face of War (by Svetlana Alexievich), which is about the experiences of Russian women serving either in the armed forces or as partisans or in the equivalent of MASH units during WWII. It’s often difficult, bleak stuff, as perhaps you may imagine.

Some of the anecdotes made me think they’d be good in a Garth Ennis war comic. Then I read one bit that *was* in one of his comics and that I’d never quite believed could be true - about a combat medic chewing off the remaining tendons that were holding on an otherwise disembodied arm, in order that she could then take the wounded man off the field.

Maybe these are the statues of war we should be building instead of glorious soldiers fearlessly advancing.

Events / Frank Quitely at the Hunterian
« on: 13 August, 2022, 08:21:59 PM »
The Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow has an interesting wee exhibit by Frank Quitely, including a production video. It's about a whisky box he's illustrated. Worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood.

Off Topic / This is the News!
« on: 28 March, 2022, 05:16:33 AM »
Headlines I didn't think I'd be seeing tonight: Oscar winner Will Smith hits Chris Rock on stage

Prog / Prog 2270 - Who Should Be on the Cover?
« on: 25 February, 2022, 09:46:46 PM »
Which characters are iconic enough, and modern enough, to grace the cover of prog 2270 - in place of (wonderful) has-beens Nemesis, Slaine, Johnny Alpha, Nikolai Dante, Mean Machine and whoever that is under Tharg's left elbow?

Who *should* be on the cover?

General / 2000 AD's Thrills per Year 1977-2021
« on: 30 January, 2022, 03:44:30 AM »
Inspired by some discussion in another thread about it being difficult to track some of the long-running stories, and it perhaps also being difficult to define the comic (in terms of core thrills), I wanted to throw some data at the perception and see what happened.

So this chart is Thrills per Year (1977 to 2021):

(I also did one that adjusted for page count, but it doesn't change the overall picture, really. Small two-parters, such as Maze Dumoir, count as equally as a 26-part epic, and I didn't combine the analogy thrills such as Time Twisters and Future Shocks. So - lots of small, bitty thrills can throw things off a little.)

Off Topic / Power Dynamics
« on: 23 December, 2021, 04:07:01 PM »
James Franco admits sleeping with students from his acting school and has paid out $2.2m to settle a class action lawsuit.

I found this article interesting because clearly the dial has shifted in terms of what's considered acceptable, which I saw because when I taught at a higher education institution a couple of decades ago a senior member of staff told me it was perfectly okay to sleep with the students, as long as one recused oneself from making academic continuation decisions at board meetings.

This had come up because one of my colleagues had started a relationship with one of his students - was grading their work and they'd then moved in together. He'd pushed for leniency at a board meeting and was overruled.

My personal view at the time was that the conflict of interest engendered by such a relationship meant that I wouldn't start one. Not that I'm some kind of saint - it just seemed like a really stupid idea.

Given Franco's payout (and the seemingly shifting dial of power dynamic recognition), I assumed that higher education institutions would have clear rules in place by now, but apparently only a few do ...

'Abuse of power': should universities ban staff-student relationships?

Should they?

Prog / Subversive?
« on: 19 December, 2021, 01:49:49 AM »
one of the customers brought a couple of progs over to me recently, including a regened one, and muttered “see this”? - pointing to Prog 346 - “this was subversive when we were kids. It was OURS. This is just nothing”… (pointing to the last regened and 2257).

It's great that DrRocka runs a 2000 AD corner in his pub. I was thinking about what his customer (and fellow Squaxx) said about the comic having been more subversive in the past. DrRocka later expressed this same idea as "it’s lost it’s punk rock feel".

And I thought - well, so has punk rock. Prog 346 was published in 1983 (where, you could argue, punk was past the crest). Not perhaps surprisingly, Johnny Rotten smells a bit off now when you realize he's just an out-of-touch, quasi-racist narcissist.

But this only led me to: "well, what is subversion now?" Is it tearing down statues and throwing them in the harbor? Striking from school in an attempt to move the dial on climate change policy? England players taking the knee? A youth culture that in many ways has normalized gay and trans identity in a way that older generations struggle to comprehend? Furries?

But if that argument's too esoteric, you can also just make it a competition: does prog 346 differ in subversion in comparison to progs 2256 (Regened) or 2257?


Prog 346:
 Judge Dredd - Bob & Carol & Ted & Ringo (1)
 Rogue Trooper - The Gasbah (4)
 Nemesis the Warlock - Book III (12)
 Tharg's Time Twisters - Que Sera, Sera
 Slaine - Heroes' Blood (2)

Prog 2256 (Regened)
 Cadet Dredd - Full Throttle
 Scooter & Jinx
 Enemy Earth - The Bunker
 Tharg's Time Twisters - Temporal Tantrum
 Strontium Dug

Prog 2257
 Judge Dredd - Tread Softly (2)
 The Diaboliks - London Calling (1)
 Scarlet Traces - Storm Front (7)
 Future Shocks - Keyboard Warriors
 The Out - Book Two (7)

Megazine / Treasure Steel's Mind Bomb!
« on: 28 November, 2021, 06:31:13 PM »
In the Treasure Steel two-parter "Fast Forward" (megs 3.34 & 3.35 in 1997) a psi-perp plants a mind-bomb in Treasure's heid, foreshadowing something (a covert op?) named Janus.

Additionally, the (big bunches and goggles) assassin from the one-off Culling Crew (JD Mega-Special '94) is lurking in the background.

Query: did Armitage ever do a storyline surrounding a Janus-named plot, and did Treasure ever have her mind bomb triggered?

Games / Gamebooks
« on: 19 October, 2021, 02:40:32 AM »
I remember on my trip to Thailand, so many years ago now, I started noticing some place names rang a bell.  Chiang Mai. Fang.  It was Sukumvit that brought it back - Ian Livingstone had used them for Deathtrap Dungeon (the 80s role-playing book, like you didn't know).

It's just come back to me now after listening to the brilliant Hypnogoria podcast about said book.  And then I found this. http://officialfightingfantasy.blogspot.com/2017/05/who-wants-to-go-for-walk.html  He didn't even bother to change the names.  Still a great book though.

Deathtrap Dungeon - my first Fighting Fantasy book!  My fave is the Shamutanti Hills, closely followed by City of Thieves and a few of the other early books.

My first Fighting Fantasy book was The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - which I got from the school library. That being the first one, I started collecting, but never had Book 1 in my collection. Deathtrap Dungeon is a favorite, and when I ditched half my nerd clobber when emigrating, that was one of the few I had to keep.

There's a guy does brief video reviews of the books, and he's wonderfully dry-witted. At the beginning of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks Review Part 3 - Books 21 to 30, he says "I'm sorta stuck wiv this lot now, I've gotta do the lot!"

General / Who Are The Creators?
« on: 06 September, 2021, 05:46:51 PM »
Creator, co-creator, developer or mere peon? Sometimes, it's difficult to tell who's who, or what each appellation even means. In the creative industry of comics, isn't everyone a creator? (Obviously, not the letterers.*)

Do we need new words? Originator? Conceptor! And just because you came up with the idea, you might not write the script. And you almost certainly don't own the property. You might come up with the idea, then write the first script - and someone else gets paid to write all the others, but somehow never gets the "creator" title even though they beavered away creating the majority of the actual character arc, dialogue, plotting and adventure. Or a significant portion of it.

Is Ken Niemand** (for example) one of the creators of Judge Dredd? A co-creator? A developer? An employee? Just a ... writer? It seems odd that you could take someone who understands the intricate world of Mega-City One so intimately and just dismiss them as some kind of easily replaceable cookie-cutter professional. Sure, we should honour the originators, but as they hang up their spurs don't we want other creators to have their chance at fame and fortune (within a small, tight-knit industry on the verge of collapse - ha ha - nervous laughter).

Which brings up that other question: should there be no more Judge Dredd if Wagner retires? I don't think anyone imagines that reality. No more Sherlock? Of course not: demonstrably. No more Slaine? Ah...

*I'm joking. Although they never do get listed as creators in the Nerve Centre sense of the word. Like the lighting technicians of the movie industry - it's not *their* vision. Except, without them...

**I chose him because, as he's not real, it's impossible to offend.

General / The Wheel of Worlds
« on: 12 August, 2021, 06:28:59 AM »
So, there's a frame in Ampney Crucis Investigates... The List of Ten (episode six, prog 1719) that is showing characters from the "Wheel of Worlds" - Ian Edginton's linked universe of stories.

Obvious to me are the characters from Stickleback (right) and The Red Seas (center bottom). I don't know who the guy with the pistol is (bottom left) or the cyclops weirdo (top left) - can anyone help me out there? (I *think* they may be Leviathan but it's been a long time.)

General / Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order
« on: 31 July, 2021, 05:33:04 PM »
Do I know what character I'm looking at in each panel?
Do I know what their motivations are?
Do I know where they are?
Is there a plot and can I identify and follow it?
Do I require to do any research in a library?
Can I count how many Ritterstahls are currently extant?
Has a steam train just teleported into frame to save the day?

So, you see, I think we can all agree: Skip Tracer is strictly better than The Order.

There are various positions on this argument:

1. Ethnicity in historical fictions is not accurate - there's too much white-washing.
2. Ethnicity in historical fictions is not accurate - there are too many unrealistic insertions.
3. It's muddy - on the one hand, there is some white-washing, and on the other, there are some unrealistic insertions.


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