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Messages - The Amstor Computer

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1
Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 25 June, 2022, 03:39:41 PM »
Stranger Things is enormously popular in our girls' primary school, to the point where P4-to-P6-age kids have been watching it, and our girls (soon to be starting secondary/P7) have been left out of the conversation because they haven't watched it yet. They've started watching it with us now, and most of the stuff in S1 is OK for them - we've been watching a film a week with them for 6 years, and they're pretty mature and assured with media a couple of years above their level. Every October we do a horror marathon with age-appropriate horror films and a couple that push the envelope a little (last year it was "Sweetheart", "Lake Placid", "Nightbooks" etc.) so they're also reasonably savvy about that type of film, though we draw the line at some of the stuff other kids have been watching.

That said, having watched on a bit ourselves I know that "Stranger Things" starts to push out from the level it's at in the first series, so moving on with them is going to be a bit of a challenge and might have to be staggered a little bit over the next 6 months or so, with a quick "refresher" watch for us beforehand.

I'd have said that most of the first series or two of "Stranger Things" is suitable for a near-teen/early teen audience (though the horror/sexual content is a coin toss for us in some parts) but it does start to ramp up to the point that I'm not sure how parents of 9- or 10-year-olds could be justifying letting their kids watch it. I suspect a lot of them are being given unfettered access to Netflix and watching it themselves in their own rooms - "Squid Game" has been similarly popular, and I'd be surprised if that was being wholeheartedly endorsed by parents at the school.

It's always a bit of a challenge setting boundaries for media - there's always the temptation to say "well, watching that did me no harm!" and conveniently forget the week of nightmares, or to assume that just because violent media drifted off you it won't affect anyone, but the flip is that there is a tendency to shield too much and isolate your kids from what everyone else in their age group is talking about, or to lose the chance to have conversations with them about what they're watching.

2
Announcements / Re: Pandora Perfect - coming March 2023
« on: 25 June, 2022, 03:19:00 PM »
Yes, the chunky collections of stuff like Bunny vs Monkey seem to be pretty popular - I suspect the tankĊbon format that a lot of young readers are familiar with from manga is a key here - but you're talking about a couple of hundred pages, which is a bit beyond what is available for collecting at the moment. If Rebellion can build up enough strip to reprint like this, there's nothing stopping them from repackaging it in other formats later, and it gets Regened stuff into book shops and Amazon etc. now to start building an audience outside the younger readers getting it in the prog format (either themselves, or passed on from older family).

3
The perfect timing was a bit of a nail-biter - we wrapped it all up and delivered to the printers, then kept fingers crossed it would arrive in time! Hope everyone enjoys it, and that it does both the work of both Davids justice - and I was chuffed to be able to include a small nod to the late, much-missed Ian Kennedy with the choice of back cover image...

4
Help! / Re: Inverness comic shop?
« on: 10 June, 2022, 06:56:26 PM »
Cheers Rich! Thought that might be the case.
Like most folk I'm avoiding Dingwall ;-p

But why, when you could thrill to:

-- the Ross County pitches!
-- Deas the baker!
-- the Mallard!

(...throwing stones from my glass house in Alness...)

5
This story also appeared in the 'Judge Death' volume published by Titan in 1983 - possibly this could be used as a future source for reprint.

If it was, then it would likely be the best source. Titan's albums were typically very well reproduced, on good stock, and they will have aged better than the original progs, and it's unlikely that there was any editing done. Curious enough about it now to see if I can track down a copy...

6
Thanks for the examples, Funt. Looks like both prog and annual reprint would be good sources, either for full page replacements or panel-by-panel (although there's a good bit of loss of detail around things like Dredd's badge in the CF reprint, you could improve the look of the page a lot with a panel replacement for the robots).

As David says, annual, yearbook etc. reprints were often edited by art staff to fit the new page dimensions, and it's a pity as they are often the best source for scans for reprint - better quality stock, more robust and longer-lasting vs the more ephemeral weekly comics etc. We reprinted "Dash Decent" in full in our Kevin O'Neill collection and when it came to finding source scans there was a fantastic reprint of it in one of the '90s yearbooks (really crisp, and it looked like it was taken from either original art or good film copies) but because of the change in format it had been edited - and in this case, not particularly well - to extend the page vertically. We ended up using it, but I rebuilt the strip page-by-page to "un-edit" it back to match the original in the prog, and used scanned elements from the prog pages where the editing for the yearbook had removed captions, shifted elements, removed letratone... It was a huge task, but I think it gave us the best version of the strip available. We did the same for the opening half-dozen pages of "Captain Condor", using a later reprint and "un-editing" it to match the original printing, so I clearly never learned my lesson  :)

It would certainly be possible to "un-edit" the annual version of "Father Earth" (again, looks like it's been edited to extend vertically based on the addition of the black areas above the panels) but it would likely be a fair investment in time for Rebellion's repro droids. The original prog looks decent though, and would probably be a quicker and easier fix for the poor pages, so hopefully it will be taken on for future reprints.

7
re: Father Earth.

I haven't ever looked into it, but are all the previous reprints of "Father Earth" (pre-dating Rebellion's collections) as bad as the versions in Case Files etc.? It was collected in the 1989 Annual, Complete Judge Dredd 12, a couple of Titan editions and there's always the original printing in progs 122-125. Is every version of it in reprint and the original printing as bad for loss of detail etc.?

Scanning from the comics isn't ideal, but for a Bolland Dredd that only runs to four episodes (20-ish pages?) I'm surprised that scanning and cleaning up from the progs hasn't been done by now.

8
Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 25 April, 2022, 04:44:36 PM »
Moire is a repro headache that isn't always fixable. Some of the methods for combating it lead to a loss of clarity in the art, and some border on superstition (rotate the material being scanned to x angle, then correct that in post etc.) I've tried a few, including scanning at super-high-res then reducing to print res, but it tends to be an exercise in minimisation rather than elimination, and with some original source printed pages you just aren't going to get a completely clean scan.



9
I rarely post, but just popping up to say that I hope everyone who picks up a copy of this enjoys it. It's been a real labour of love, and it wouldn't have been possible to get it over the line without David's patience, Rebellion's support and some great scans of missing issues from Steve Holland. It's our largest release so far in terms of page count IIRC, and while Condor has a bit of an unfair rep as a Dan Dare-a-like, the three stories collected here show why he was so successful for so long, as Frank Pepper scripts a tight, fun set of adventures and Brian Lewis's art lifts it to the next level.




10
Books & Comics / Re: SPACEWARP - New Venture from Pat Mills
« on: 04 November, 2021, 12:23:09 PM »
I think Spacewarp would have been more interesting if it had been Pat providing the shared universe concept, then letting creative teams do their thing, with perhaps a couple of key strips from him along with editorial input.

As it is, it's an anthology comic with none of the strengths of an anthology comic (different creative teams bringing different tones and approaches etc.) and all the weaknesses of Mills' modern work so you end up with a series of "and now for something *completely* different!" wee episodes of each story that all end up feeling very similar, and no realistic prospect of them going beyond this first issue. I wouldn't be surprised if one or two strips maybe got separate releases, or if we got at least another issue of Spacewarp at some point, but it's clearly not going to be hitting a regular release schedule anytime soon, and certainly not at the pace it would need to to sustain interest in bite-size episodes. 

11
Prog / Re: Prog 2252 - Depth Charge!
« on: 09 October, 2021, 09:54:54 PM »
Quote from: Dark Jimbo
Well, to paraphrase a bit - Matt Smith explains that the first script for A Dying Art was delivered in July 2014. The second in October 2015. Then complete radio silence, and no reply to emails. In 2016 MS learned that JS had suffered a personal tragedy and gave him some breathing space. Conscious that he was sitting on 'the best part of three grand's worth of unpublished material', (Lee Carter had already done the art) MS tried to contact JS again from late 2016 onward, resorting to texts and postal letters. Everything went unanswered, so MS told JS that he's welcome to submit stories again any time but he has to give Indigo Prime to someone else to finish, and Devlin Waugh too (as JS had been promising the next DW story since 2008). At the end MS reiterates that JS would be welcome back any time, but that as far as he knows JS hasn't written a comic script since 2015 (which seems to be true).

Late thank-you for this - sounds like a more detailed and clear laying out of the bits and pieces we'd picked up on here and elsewhere, and a door left open (even if it seems unlikely John will be stepping back through)

12
Prog / Re: Prog 2252 - Depth Charge!
« on: 06 October, 2021, 11:14:27 PM »
He's always been really clear about that whenever it comes up. The second Indigo Prime volume from the UC goes into a lot of detail about what happened with the Smiths (Matt and John) and where everybody stands.

Really? I haven't been picking up the UC so that's passed me by entirely - what was said?

13
General / Re: Who Are The Creators?
« on: 21 September, 2021, 08:41:52 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.

I think he had a reputation for being a great ideas man, and while his scripting fell out of favour, he still knew how to keep a weekly serial moving pretty effortlessly. Simon Geller's interview in the Meg touches on this - he talks about lobbying to take over Rogue, feeling he could do better, and coming to the fairly sharp realisation that what Finley-Day did wasn't quite as simple as it seemed.

GFD had a bit of a rep for being a wild ideas man with the photographers who worked on the New Eagle too - I've spoken to a couple, and they have some anecdotes about GFD turning out scripts for them that featured characters in an aeroplane, or an army tank, or both together (not an easy thing to source for shoots!) and having to meet with editorial to try and push back on that, only for subsequent scripts to call for the action to take place in a burning building!

14
Announcements / Re: Leading the Rebellion - coming August 2022
« on: 08 September, 2021, 01:10:12 PM »
Yeah, Wardog was in the Meg and I'm pretty sure I was one of quite a few here at the time who were groaning at it - it seemed to herald an era of game tie-ins and the slow decline of the prog and Meg, but instead it was at the beginning of a bit of a fresh golden era for both. IIRC, Wardog appeared around the time Alan Barnes was driving the Meg forward and during Diggle's tenure on the prog (or around the time Matt Smith took over?) and it now looks more like a tiny, quirky blip in an otherwise great run for the comics.

15
Really happy to hear good feedback. We're always aiming to get these reprints looking as good as possible, and David has a great eye for quirky hidden gems that might not otherwise ever see print again. This one was a particularly satisfying project, as making sure the art and text held up after shifting from Jag's original tabloid format was a bit of a challenge.

I think David posted a teaser of future FF releases on the Hibernia Facebook page, so there should hopefully be plenty more deep dives into the archives to look forward to!

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