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Messages - norton canes

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1
General / Re: 10 Greatest Judge Dredd Comics Of All Time?
« on: 18 November, 2022, 03:24:49 PM »
Whatever the subjective shortcomings of that article, they need to sort out the creator credit

Quote
Everyone's favorite Mega City One street cop, Judge Dredd (created by John Wagner) has enjoyed almost 50 years in publication

2
Announcements / Re: Animated Absalom!
« on: 17 November, 2022, 06:34:06 PM »

3
Prog / Re: Prog 2308 - Knockout Blow!
« on: 17 November, 2022, 10:21:34 AM »
Another one of those progs which might best be described as 'pleasantly messy' (do the Germans have a word for that?)

Strong 'Judge Death Lives' vibes from 'Buratino Must Die' (the gang of supernatural foes, the psychic shield) but it's told with little of the clarity or economy of the Wagner classic. Actually, the blind Dredd with shattered visor reminds me it feels more like the rather meandering 'City of the Damned'. Maybe it needs a big centre-spread featuring its adversaries?

"This city is guilty!"
"The crime is harbouring a bizarrely large-headed Sov psychic"
"The sentence is..."
"Uh... not quite sure"

Problems with Hope... also, where the capricious narrative takes another slalom. I wonder - when a script droid is lucky enough to be given a 15-week (or similar length) run for their strip, is there an edict from Tharg that it has to be one long story? Seems to me that the problems with people having to re-read huge swathes of the earlier instalments would be alleviated if long runs were split into smaller, self-contained 3- or 4-part stories.

Fortunately the remaining three strips are a little more straightforward. Hershey continues to do the simple things well and that's a nice twist at the end of Chimpsky. I think though Enemy Earth might just sneak TOP THRILL this week for the severed arm coming completely out of the blue - though why something so gruesome should happen in a supposedly all-ages strip, I'm completely stumped.

4
Prog / Re: Prog 2307 - Grub's up!
« on: 15 November, 2022, 09:14:39 PM »
Just managed to sneak this in before new prog day tomorrow

Yeah, 'kinetic' is the word I'd use to describe not just Hershey but most of the stories this week, from the pursuit of the hapless Chimpsky through Ludi Wittgenstein to the psychic onslaught in 'Buratino Must Die' to... whatever's going on in Enemy Earth, must admit I didn't read it properly. Even a relatively lightweight instalment of Hope... ends with some persuasive kinetic energy. It's the breathless chase sequence of 'The Cold in the Bones' which nails it best though, snatching the accolade of TOP THRILL from Mega City One's altruistic ape.

Oh, and 'Brimful of Thrills' reaches prog 2011, my return to the fold after a 27 year prog-lapse

5
General / Re: Kevin O'Neill 1953 - 2022
« on: 07 November, 2022, 07:15:13 PM »
An extraordinary and unique talent - impeccable technical skills matched with an incredible imagination. His artwork for Nemesis book I, especially, was consummately good. RIP

6
Prog / Re: Prog 2305 - PSI of the Storm!
« on: 01 November, 2022, 08:53:16 PM »
Very much into the mid-run phase of most of all these stories, so, they great ones continue to be great (hi Chimpsky!), the not-so-great ones continue to be not-so-great (sorry, Enemy Earth) and the ones in the middle (i.e. the rest) continue to be a good read but not as good as Chimpsky. Suppose that's the thing with long-form stories - you don't get the same variety you get from shorter, punchier stories. 'Buratino Must Die' throws a few curveballs into the mix this week, I suppose.

A good prog but lacking much in the way of surprise value.

7
Prog / Re: Prog 2304 - At the End of the World
« on: 19 October, 2022, 04:53:10 PM »
Really nice prog from cover to cover. You can't beat an opening page where the only dialogue is "I am a horse". The figure in the globe on the second page of 'Buratino Must Die' is War from 'End of Days', yeah? On board with the new Glamderson a bit more now. The way she's drawn look a little like something from a John Burns strip. Enemy Earth needs, to reverse Elvis, a little less action, a little more conversation - or plot development, at least. I'd never really noticed but I do like the huge bags under Zoe's eyes, suggesting her predicament has been more gruelling than one might immediately think. Know what? If we hadn't had such an excellent Simon Fraser cover a better alternative might have been a close-up of the killer panel on the second page of Hope... with the tagline 'Truman kaput'. Sterling work once more from Williams and Fraser on Hershey, those colours are just phenomenal. And in the face of all that competition, Chimpsky once more comes out on top (doesn't he always..?)

'Helium'? This is one that's been on extended leave, isn't it?

8
Prog / Re: Prog 2303 - Swarn Enemy?
« on: 19 October, 2022, 03:31:28 PM »
On catch-up here, Smiths had this in stock so looks like the problem with prog 2302 was a one-off.

All good: Hope... remains wonderfully demented, Hershey seems to have found a direction and Chimpsky is of course peerless. Enemy Earth continues to inhabit a weird limbo between all-ages and old-ages. It would be nice to have Rob Williams cut loose on a story that wasn't beholden to his earlier works. Has Anderson undergone a complete rejuvenation after her 'rebirth' in End of Days?

9
Prog / Re: Prog 2302 - ....and Hell Followed with Her
« on: 11 October, 2022, 04:07:24 PM »
Last day before the new prog comes in (hopefully) and still no prog 2302 in Smiths, so to read it I've had to resort to illicit online means. Yes, I know! Don't worry, I'll be despatching an order to the Nerve Centre for a bona fide copy, don't want to be left with a prog 2302-shaped hole in my collection. I just hope (or should that be Hope...) that this was a one-off problem and everyone's favourite high street newsagent hasn't abandoned the GGC.

Anyway good stuff this time round, leading with an intriguing Dredd concept that'll be interesting to see unfold. Though I can't help thinking that for an idea which is so rooted in educating the cits, a year is going to be barely enough to do the execution of it justice. Is Maitland being sold short..?

Also, will a certain Mrs Marjorie Blackshack be keeping a close eye on developments?

Chimpsky's again the best thing on offer this week, a crisply told story with not a panel wasted. Hope... ploughs it macabre furrow to great effect, while Hershey remains resolutely bleak, teasing with a gruesome final couple of frames.

Enemy Earth I just can't get my head around. It's come from the Regened prog but this week the gore factor seems to have been upped considerably, with one character bitten in two in a graphical way that reminds me of that censored panel in Flesh book I where a train passenger is similarly dismembered by a Tyrannosaur. I do like this and wish more Regened stories could be as visceral but it does make me wonder if any of it will be reprinted in the Regened collections. I feel like there's a genuinely good Kingdom-style story struggling to get out here, but the strip is caught in an uncomfortable no-man's land between styles.

Excellent cover, Tazio Bettin is proving to be a droid of considerable talent and a prize capture by Tharg.

10
General / Re: Things that went over your head...
« on: 11 October, 2022, 02:34:10 PM »
Marjory Blackshack. Mary Whitehouse.

11
Prog / Re: Prog 2302 - ....and Hell Followed with Her
« on: 08 October, 2022, 02:42:32 PM »
Hadn't been delivered to Smiths today. Catastrophe!

Still no prog 2302 in Smiths. Time is running out...

12
Prog / Re: Prog 2302 - ....and Hell Followed with Her
« on: 05 October, 2022, 01:08:11 PM »
Hadn't been delivered to Smiths today. Catastrophe!

13
Jim Watson's gritty artwork really appealed to me. So for that reason at least: Colony Earth

14
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)

15
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.


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