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Topics - Barrington Boots

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General / My First Prog
« on: 13 May, 2021, 05:15:13 PM »
Prog 628 from 1985. Long lost but now reacquired. For a while prior to this I was skim-reading another Squaxx's prog on my paper round, but this was the first one I actually bought.

Dredd, Horned God, Zenith phase 3 and Cinnabar - pretty good place to start!

What was yours?

Help! / Comission Artist Woes
« on: 11 May, 2021, 09:53:13 AM »
More one for those artists amongst us.

I comissioned some art for a D&D game earlier this year and the artist has stopped communicating with me. Their last update to me was almost 7 weeks ago - they've not responded to a couple of messages since then not have they updated their Instagram (their only active online prescence I'm aware of) and their Etsy store has either sold out or had all items removed.
I'd approved the art all the way up to base colours stage, all looked great, and had previously seen from their Instagram stories that the work now looks pretty much finished so it seems odd they'd go quiet at this point. I'm concerned then that something dreadful may have happened in their lives and I've mailed them saying if there's any issue they don't have to explain, just say so, but no response to that.

Unsure what to do - if something is wrong I don't want to pressure them further, but I also can't wait indefinitely. Suggestions anyone? 

Music / Villagers of Ioannina City Live
« on: 06 May, 2021, 04:26:56 PM »
For anyone that enjoyed this band off the albums of the year thread, likes a bit of folk/post rock, or just really misses live music, here's a video of their live show from early last year in Athens. Sound and video are perfect, the band and crowd are passionate and it's just brilliant stuff.
Can't wait for days like these again.


Off Topic / Activities of the Free
« on: 21 April, 2021, 04:09:08 PM »
With lockdown restrictions easing (possibly, but hopefully not temporarily) how are you guys feeling about returning to 'the old ways'? I've met up with a few friends in gardens and the like, and I'm waiting on the chance to see my family (they're all an overnight stay away) but I more mean other things we used to do in the old times.

I had a list of stuff I wanted to do but now I'm finding that now some of them are possible I'm slightly hesitant to get stuck into them. I've not yet been brave enough to visit a pub, although Mrs. Boots is talking about a Sunday dinner at one maybe... I've been planning on getting another tattoo for almost a year, but now I'm hesitant to book an appointment as I re-emerge, blinking into the light of society.

Other activities I  love, like live music, isn't back on yet but I'm feeling twitchy about them at the moment too. A festival I usually attend is selling tickets but my current feeling there is no way do I want to be around that many people. I was looking at the Thought Bubble website yesterday and feeling slightly the same.

I suspect right now the sheer company of other people is enough. But are you all out and about at oubs and the like, or still a bunch of shut-ins? What are you looking forward to doing?

Books & Comics / Small Press Suggestions
« on: 12 April, 2021, 09:56:40 AM »
Branching off the 'what are you reading' thread, fire away with your suggestions and I promise I'll check them out.
I've been picking up a few during lockdown and I've found the anthologies to be extremely hit and miss but I'm basically interested in anything that doesn't have a variant nude / tits out cover...

Film & TV / Kirkmans Invincible on Amazon Prime
« on: 01 April, 2021, 10:50:24 AM »
This being made slipped under my radar but I watched the first episode this morning. I found it quite slow, lacking in humour and wasn't a fan of the animation much (having just binged a load of old anime) but I've seen some good reviews for it so I'll giving the second episode a go. Anyone else seen it / worth sticking with?

It's been ages since I've read the source material - I  was really into it at one point, it felt breezy and fresh and interesting - but there was a point where it all started to feel very leaden and serious and I just gave up: I still haven't read the ending, which mirrors my experience with The Walking Dead really.

Books & Comics / Realm of the Damned Trilogy
« on: 29 January, 2021, 12:13:59 PM »
I hadn't realised this series had continued beyond the run in the Meg, but someone gave me the second book due to it's connection to heavy metal and I've since revisited book1 and am now reading book3.

I seem to remember it didn't go over too well in the Meg at the time.. I remembered it being a bit joyless and nasty but on a reread I've enjoyed it: although it certainly is a bit joyless and nasty, it's also got some really interesting / cool ideas and there's enough change in the concept from book to book, whilst retaining the overall narrative, to make it a compelling read. I'm a big fan of Pye Parr's artwork and his interpretation of both creatures classic and horribly messed up, and the use of colour to draw attention to various things is excellent. .

The problem though - I do think the use of intentionally highly vulgar language in the strip is a definite detriment. I don't care about the language itself per se but it just seems a bit - well - puerile, like a naff attempt to shock. It sticks out far more than the gore or nudity and I'm not sure why Alec Worley thought including it would be a good idea unless it's channelling the sort of heavy metal aesthetic of the goregrind bands I was in as a younger man where the intention was to be a bit puerile and shocking.

Related to that the bold claim of it being a horror-metal hybrid is really tenuous - aside from it being a BM band who kickstart the story off and some bands being drawn into the strip there's no real connection at all. That's not a criticism of the strip itself, just that I've see it marketed as being a really 'metal' comic.

Anyone else stuck with the series?

Prog / Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« on: 18 January, 2021, 11:37:34 AM »
After moaning about the last couple of Progs, I was keen to take this one in a more measured manner when it dropped through the letterbox bright and early this morning, and a (reasonably) quiet morning at work meant I've been able to read it. Here we go!

Dredd. Not enjoying this story at all I'm afraid. Everything seems tremendously contrived and it lacks any wackiness or any interesting hook to draw me in. Will Simpson's painted art isn't working for me either - at its best it can be tremendously atmospheric but here I find it awkward and messy and what's more I can't shake the negative connotations it brings back to me of reading terrible 90s comics. Nice bit of graffiti on the side of the shipping container thing Dredd and the others are sealed up in though.

Slaine Dragons attack and Slaines new magic Dad talks them into killing themselves. Try as I might to appreciate what might be our last take on the character, this is just dreadful. Looking for positives it's far from the worst Slaine story I've read and it still looks just amazing. The dragons themselves are a real highlight.

Durham Red More time for this now I'm understanding the story more as a Precinct-13 style siege. It's one of those episodes where a lot happens, but nothing also happens in terms of moving the plot forward, which is fine because the plot is 'fighting'. I do like Ben Willsher's designs.

Proteus Vex Top thrill again. Once again there is a lot of dialogue but unlike, say, Slaine it feels interesting and fully realised. I haven't got much of a clue what is happening but I assume this is intentional. Little weird touches in the art like the guys on the bridge of the ship are great, and Midnight is becoming the star of this strip: she's a good foil to the stoic Vex.

Hershey Why is anyone training Frank to be a boxer when he only has one eye? Minor niggle but when you're negatively disposed towards the strip anyway these things crop up. Digging a lot of the art, especially the facial expressions , but it all just still feels wrong.

Cool cover though!

Music / Albums of the Year 2020
« on: 19 November, 2020, 11:44:12 AM »
Despite almost everything else being awful 2020 has been a good year for music for me - one of the benefits of 8 months working at home is that I've had time to explore new releases and really get into a lot of new music whereas in previous years I've got a bit jaded and struggled to get into more than a couple of records.

I think my 2020 top ten in terms of pure enjoyment (in no order) would be:

Magic Sword - Endless
Temple of Void - The World That Was (topical title on this one!)
Wayfarer - A Romance with Violence
Eternal Champion - Ravening Iron
Just Before Dawn - An Army at Dawn
Black Royal - Firebride
Lord Vigo - Danse De Noir
Paradise Lost - Obsidian
Villagers of Ionna City - Age of Acquarius
The Wizar'd - Subterranean Exile

I've also enjoyed the new stuff by Ulver, Moscow Death Brigade, We are Magonia, Bergeton, Graceless, Ectoplague, Elay Arson..

With music being highly subjective and emotive I don't expect anyones choices to align with mine, but I'm interested to hear what fellow Squaxx's favourite records of 2020 were and I'll totally listen to them if I can.

Prog / Prog 2207: Welcome to the Clownshow
« on: 10 November, 2020, 01:04:38 PM »
Welcome to the awesome show more like. Saturday Prog for me again, some kind of 2020 record that.

Dredd - Back on track with another cool story from Kenneth Niemand who is knocking it out of the park this year. The Simp thing can sometimes feel a bit overdone but this is a good twist on it. Loved Daisy's petals refelecting her mood.

Stickleback - Completely mental. Really digging it.

Skip Tracer - Best Skip story so far. It's hard to review as it just sort of keeps rolling along at the same pace, but I'm finding it a very nostalgic in it's pacing like progs of old and that's a good thing. Those bad guys really need to stop falling for the same gate trick.

Fiends - Still gets better every week. It seems like there's a new idea every episode. I love the dialogue in this story especially. I really liked the difference between the three kisses...I've seen someone comparing it to Mignola and I think it does have some of that magic.

Hookjaw -I was wrong to be cynical over the reveal last episode, this is still great. Looks grotesque and beautiful. I think it's told in a very horror - cinematic way and I can imagine watching this on a VHS. Next week promises to be absolute carnage.
Also: I'd wear one of those derpy Hookjaw shirts we keep seeing.

Cool cover by Chris Robinson. This prog ruled.

Prog / Prog 2205: Hanging By Thread!
« on: 26 October, 2020, 11:11:17 AM »
Saturday Prog for me! Joyous.

Dredd - after a good start last week everything wraps up quickly in a trite and uninteresting fashion. Lovely art from Dan Cornwell, otherwise didn't enjoy this at all. Sorry. Also Dredd himself is totally useless in this story.

Stickleback - Mainly a talky setup episode. Looks great at ever. Having re-read all the previous story I'm really into this again now.

Skip Tracer - Still think this is the best Skip Tracer outing yet and I think the pacing is key here. It's starting to feel more like an old school thrill to me.

Fiends - Gets better every week. Best thing in the Prog atm for me, both for art and writing. I like the guy questioning the existence of trolls and dragons and talking wolves yet happily accepting vampires. More and more I am doubting the veracity of the narrator but this is terrific.

Hookjaw - Suitably gory but not sure how I feel about the reveal in this episode. Reserving judgement.

Great cover by Dylan Teague.

Off Topic / Working From Home
« on: 25 September, 2020, 10:54:06 AM »
Anyone else doing a lot more of this? How are you finding it?

I did it for almost 8 years in my job prior to the current one and I've got the mindset already, so it's been an easy transition for me: I'm not missing my commute and I can wear my own clothes, listen to my own music and I've grown my beard out like a wizard. A lot of my colleagues are struggling though, especially those with less home space and / or children, which has made me rethink if it's the holy grail of working practice that I thought it was for everyone...

Welcome to the board / Hello
« on: 08 September, 2020, 12:52:32 PM »

I've been lurking here since around about the time of Trifecta. I was a lapsed reader who chose exactly the right time to pick up a copy of the prog for a train journey... 8 years ago? Argh.

This is almost the only online forum I read nowdays, and the only one I felt happy signing up to. Although I was actually inspired to sign up to comment on a post about Napalm Death.

Hope to be a worthwhile contributor here!

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