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Messages - Will Cooling

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Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 30 September, 2021, 04:54:44 PM »
It's like they're determined to ensure the Tories stay in power https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/sep/27/unions-vote-down-local-labour-parties-call-to-axe-first-past-the-post

I mean not to be pedantic but PR can't be the solution to getting the Tories out of power, but the Tories won't pass it themselves. You do need to win a FPTP election first

General / Re: Who Are The Creators?
« on: 22 September, 2021, 07:15:26 PM »
Honestly, I was asking myself why GFD hasn't developed more scripts. Or he was more known as "ideas man", than full scripter. Too bad we don't see him doing work today.

Short version: there's no shortage of people who want to write comics. Maybe, back in the days when there was an editor, an assistant editor, an editorial assistant, an art editor, an assistant art editor, publishers would indulge a writer whose scripts were, charitably, rough drafts. Now, if you're not going to turn in more-or-less copy-perfect scripts, no one has time to rewrite your shit. That's tough on people like GFD, but it's just how it is.

Well let's go further....it was actually in those people's interests to solicit rough round the edges work because it helped them demonstrate their value. If all they're doing is processing pristine scripts or artwork, then what are they there for?

General / Re: Who Are The Creators?
« on: 21 September, 2021, 01:20:16 PM »
I think this whole argument is a little silly.

You know who decided that John Wagner would be the only writer created as the co-creator of Judge Dredd? Pat Mills, when he was the editor of 2000AD. It's a shame he's walked back from the strong adherence to the belief that the writer and artist who create the concept are the creators. I'm sure he would freak if his successors in the editor's chair got listed as co-creators on A.B.C Warriors or Slaine.

On the surface Mills has a somewhat valid argument for a "further developed by..." given the key role he played as editor in nailing the wider of context of Dredd down. But I think in reality you see that these contributions are more him siding with Ezquerra; Yes he overruled Wagner's objections to Dredd's costume but he didn't come up with it. Yes he came up with the name Mega Ciy One and moved the date of the series further into the future, but that was simply him responding Ezquerra's city landsapes. These were great moves, but they're not really acts of creation as Mills was never the one pushing for the series to go in a more futuristic direction, just responding to what one of the co-creators wanted to do.

And I think that's the key argument against listing Mills as a co-creator. It doesn't take anything away from Wagner - nothing changes the fact that it was Wagner came up with the idea of a Dirty Harry satire where a super-cop had the power to unleash instant justice. What listing Mills as co-creator does is give him undue credit for what is actually the influence that Ezquerra had on the development of the character i.e. move it into the future, lean into fascist imagery.

Incidentally I do think the arguments over Rico are a bit misleading, as someone who fell for these myself when I first read the Mega-History. Rico really wasn't that major a character in the character's history, until Wagner really started emphasising the idea of a Dredd lineage with the stories that followed Blood Cadets. Even Kraken was more about his brainwashing by the Judda than the idea that the Fargo bloodline was corrupted. The key thing that the stories Wagner has gotten from Rico this century, is that the idea that only he can add useful things to the mythos is wrong. But that doesn't make Mills a co-creator of Dredd.

Books & Comics / Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« on: 03 September, 2021, 11:29:01 AM »
I don't really see the argument the image isn't anti-semitic, but it's especially laughable to say "the depicted enemies of a right-wing authotarian aren't actually Jewish so their portrayal can't be anti-semitic". I mean c'mon...this is such a common play by fascists to imply their opponents are secretly Jewish or Jewish controlled. The intent is clear.

Announcements / Re: Dave Evans, R.I.P.
« on: 10 May, 2021, 04:11:36 PM »
I've not been active in comics fandom for over a decade now but I always remember Bolt being a highlight when I went to cons. Not only were his publications of the highest quality, but he was such a friendly guy. I remember one DreddCon he lent me his original Crisis issues, so that I could read 3WW as we had been talking about it here. I don't think he had even met me beforehand, but he made such a generous offer, and trusted me to not take advantage of him. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Books & Comics / Re: SPACEWARP - New Venture from Pat Mills
« on: 25 November, 2020, 10:41:37 AM »

Will: that’s primarily down to parents. If children don’t know they can ask for something, they won’t.

Funt: doesn’t surprise me. I was temp-banned from one group for breaking the rules, which in reality meant having the audacity to say that someone wasn’t being accurate in their regular slagging off of Rebellion.

Yeah this really isn't true. Kids will ask for stuff all the time. Really random stuff, when you go "how do you even know about this?" before you realise they saw a YouTube advert or someone at School is talking about it. The problem is comics aren't the pop culture so there's no positive reinforcement - friends to talk about reading them, friends letting you know about the new ones, etc.

Books & Comics / Re: SPACEWARP - New Venture from Pat Mills
« on: 24 November, 2020, 11:04:38 PM »
The thing with comics is not whether a child will read them if they're stuck in their face by an eager dad, but whether they will actually ask for themselves. I got my stepson reading some collections - some 2000AD, some Marvel - and he genuinely loved reading. Gave him a load of my old Marvel comics, and he enjoys reading them to. But it's never something that he actually asks for a present. It just doesn't occur to him.

Off Topic / Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« on: 07 October, 2020, 07:44:48 PM »
Surprised no one's mentioned the interesting journey the phrase "woke" has taken

It began as an African-American term, meaning to be awake to the systematic injustices and dangers that a white dominated society posed to black people. It somehow got picked up by white liberals, and became a broader descriptor of being alert to discrimination and bigotry. In my experience, it feels its now became something that is almost only used to mock or insult people. It's basically "political correctness gone mad" for people who spend too much time on Twitter.

Can you query it? Depends what you mean by that. The impulse to breakdown discrimination and bigtory is good and important, but specific examples may take the principle beyond the point of common sense, especially when you're dealing with white-dominated institutions prone to overreact to what an atypical group of activists are saying. A good example is some Americans adopting the word "latinx" as gender neutral term for latino/latina people, something that has increasingly been proven to be incredibly unpopular within that community because it doesn't map onto Spanish. Likewise there's been a lot of backlash towards "defund the police" from African-Americans.

Likewise  there's often good arguments that politicians (more in the states) have become too quick to frame policies in ways that needlessly irritate poorer white voters, where a more traditional class frame would make the policy more popular (casting economic redistribution as a "reparations for slavery" was a good example of this).

And of course there's the argument that a lot of culture war issues are arguing about symbolism which might be interesting to people online, but doesn't actually do much for minorities. A lot of BAME people have expressed irritation that (as they saw it) white liberals steered the conversation on race equality towards statues, rather than actually dealing with the issues they faced.

And finally there is an issue in the UK with people conflating the issues that we face as a country with those that America, a very different country, face. There is obviously racism in Britain, but its not the same as Americas, and adopting the same frame doesn't work. For example, America is more racially segregated than Britain is, and so sometimes their framework doesn't allow for things like Adele donning a Notting Hill Carnival costume as an example of her celebrating the culture of where she grew up. 

So yeah, it would be silly to go along with every "woke" argument. But you can disagree about particulars without losing sight of the need to address the systematic issues that people face in the UK and other countries.

General / Re: Pat Mills moving onto new things it would seem
« on: 19 August, 2020, 11:07:39 AM »
I do wonder whether the recent spate of assigning new creators to legacy characters has undermined Pat's relationship with Rebellion. It's always been something he's been nervous about, back to the old days when he would be anti-fanzine because he thought it was a training ground for his replacement, and seeing how brutally John Smith was treated must have raised hackles.

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 23 July, 2020, 10:23:45 AM »
This is not a normal swing to the right. This is straight-up nationalism. The Tories threw Heseltine and Clarke out, for crying out loud. Thatcher would be too much of an EU-loving liberal for this party. The upshot is the Overton window is now so heavily skewed that even the likes of Dominic Grieve are seen as being worryingly left-leaning.

This would be the Thatcher that opposed the social chapter, opposed ERM let alone a Single Currency, opposed the Maastricht Treaty, and was calling for Britain to leave in the early noughties? I think you might be blinded by the early Thatcher's jumper.


The collection ends with the end of Book One in the comics.

General / Podcast w/ Pat Mills on Third World War
« on: 13 November, 2019, 08:21:18 PM »
I interviewed Pat Mills for my politics. We talk the upcoming release of his classic late 1980s series Third World War. We cover the importance of politics in pop culture, the launch of Crisis, multinationals and the exploration of food, why Finn could once again capture the zeitgest like he did in the 1990s, the decline of the Brithsh comics industry and much more!


General / Re: Do John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra own Judge Dredd?
« on: 20 May, 2019, 02:03:10 PM »
I think it would also be very difficult for John to prove actual ownership of Judge Dredd. After all Pat as 2000AD Editor overruled his objections to Ezquerra's depiction of the character. Then there was the significant work that Pat and other early writers did to bash it into shape, in terms of fleshing out Dredd and his world. That's before you consider how the IP has grown over the years with the contribution of other writers.

Also IIRC what was written in TPO, Robinson's claim for her characters was actually based on having used some of them in her novels beforehand.

Prog / Re: Prog 2116 - Freak Out
« on: 30 January, 2019, 01:50:57 PM »
Not so straight forwards review for me. I have been saying how great Brink is for weeks, and I read this first (which is unusual for me as I tend to read the Prog in order) but I don’t like it when things go all weird like this.

Dredd is great, but I’m not sure how much mileage is left in the Dredd objects to the robot Judges story line. I’m much more interested in the Hershey moving on aspect.

Lack of investment in the characters in a 3hriller seems to be par for the course. It matters less in a one shot Future Shock as the point is to get to the denouement; here we are meant to feel for Jon inadvertently making a deal with a demon, but that’s a plot I am sure we have all seen loads of times before.

Skip Tracer continues to do a job...albeit as a “c” list strip. I read a few comments saying that Nikolai Dante started out similarly underwhelming - not sure I agree with that. Skip Tracer seemingly has all the ingredients for a good strip and maybe that’s the problem - it feels like scripting by numbers but lacks soul. Coincidentally I read an article yesterday about film scripts being written by AI. IMO You can throw all the elements in but that doesn’t mean it will be engaging.

Wagner has been mining Dredd vs Intelligent Robots since he returned to the strip in 1977. I'm sure he'll keep finding ways to keep it going.

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