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Messages - norton canes

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I've only read the last two or three books of Scarlet Traces so it's always been the case that I've never really got my head around the characters. It also seems to be a strip that can be absolutely stunning one week then a bit so-so the next.

Cradlegrave is small but perfectly formed. Cradlegrave

A gut punch for the Intestinauts, but Skizz

Hunted was the one strip by the Rennie droid I couldn't get into. Which wasn't a question of quality, just that I didn't really know enough about his Rogue Trooper universe to get a handle on the characters and their motivations. Always had it down for a re-read, though.

Anderson, on the other hand... although she's unquestionably a 2000 AD icon and the strip has given us some phenomenal artwork I just don't think the stories have always been top-notch.

This seems like it shouldn't be close but it's turned out to be a tough decision. Perhaps if I'd have done that re-read by now it might have been a different outcome but for now it has to narrowly be: Anderson

I remember as a sensitive ten-year-old being quite distressed by the scene where Visible Man Frank gatecrashes a wedding and starts eating the cake. I feel Tyranny Rex deserves this for being more fleshed out but to be honest I don't remember much about it except it starts off with a Prince clone.

So for making an indelible impression: The Visible Man

Announcements / Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« on: 21 January, 2022, 11:42:34 AM »
So with the 'Brimful of Thrills...' feature apparently a fixture on the inside back page, is that it for readers' letters for the foreseeable?

I love Jaegir, so...

Oh, not that one.

M.A.C.H. Zero

Prog / Re: Prog 2264 - Rush Hour!
« on: 20 January, 2022, 03:13:07 PM »
This will cheer you up

That's just distressing!

I love Erasure but didn't realise they'd made videos for all the Abba-esque EP tracks, so ta for that.

Prog / Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
« on: 20 January, 2022, 03:10:43 PM »
The good news is I'm over my inexplicable thrill-slump of last week. The even better news is that 'Working Girl' continues to ramp up the tension and excitement to almost unbearable levels. This is genuinely a top-tier Dredd that I'd include in any single volume featuring the lawman's very best stories. That panel with the Lawmasters dropping out of the Manta tank is absolutely epic - must've stared in awe at it for at least five minutes.

Have to say I'm on board with the consensus that some of the ongoing strips are rumbling on with no signs of conclusion. If I were Tharg I'd strongly consider imposing a blanket five or six chapter limit on every thrill. A possible exception might be Brink, as it looks like we're going to have chapters told from the perspective of other characters, addng variety and extending its shelf life. I feel that the Kek-W strips Deadworld and The Order particuarly are starting to get a bit directionless - the former has at least gained a new lease of life (or death) with the 'Visions' one-shot format, but the latter doesn't look like it's building to anything and the roster of characters with whom we're expected to be familiar grows longer (and our familiarity lessens with their absence). The first three chapters were some of my favourite thrills ever so it would be nice to regain a sense of momentum. I understand of course that constantly demanding new thrills from the script droids puts them under pressure but surely, it also allows them to fire up their square-one creative curcuits more frequently.

So while The Order withers a little this prog (and that full-length panel of the Gideon golem is awful, sorry), Proteus Vex and Kingmaker hit a sweet spot in their third chapters (they are their third chapters, yes?). PV remains a particular delight, Jake Lynch's slyly humourous art complementing Mike Caroll's baroque script. An intriguing return for Saphir - it looks like this is one strip geared up to deliver its thrills in serial format.

Excellent cover from the Roach Droid. Along with Cliff Robinson he's one of the prog's longer-standing artists whose work I didn't click with for ages, but who've now evolved seriously impressive styles.

Blackhawk, all day long

Prog / Re: Prog 2264 - Rush Hour!
« on: 13 January, 2022, 11:11:57 AM »
'Working Girl' was comfortable the stand-out this week - tightly focussed, tense, funny, exciting, and with stunning art from the Goddard/Teague combo, including that amazing cover. I don't care what else ends up in the Mega-City One TV series as long as episode one has a huge scene where a Manta tank chases a sky-surfer.

Got to say I thought the rest of the stories rumbled on a bit this week without much reward. I won't single any of them out and it's probably just me. I'll come back to them after half a dozen plastic cups and a new thrill-filter.

General / Re: Sláine the role-playing game
« on: 12 January, 2022, 10:30:46 AM »
Pat Mills mentions this in 'Kiss My Axe'. Apparently the guy who put it together failed / chose not to credit Pat Mills anywhere

Ha! That's hilarious.

Never heard of The Scrap, which is a shame given the creative team involved.

Lenny Zero was ace. Lenny Zero

Prog / Re: Prog 2263 - The Galaxy's Gunning for Proteus Vex
« on: 07 January, 2022, 03:13:48 PM »
Just out of interest, what's "something like" The Alienist or Counterfeit Girl? They seem pretty radically different kinds of strip to me.

Prog / Re: Prog 2263 - The Galaxy's Gunning for Proteus Vex
« on: 06 January, 2022, 10:30:24 AM »
Got to start with Proteus Vex, because those clones are utter genius. They're like something out of a nightmare version of Wallace and Grommit! The whole scene with them and the little purple aliens is wonderful; in fact the entire episode is excellent, and if it continues in this vein then perhaps our newly-crowned third-best strip of 2021 (non-Dredd) could move further up the podium in 2022. 

And the cover's cool too! I love when the Robinson droid takes on characters from a strip where the artist has a completely different style.

Elsewhere 'Working Girl' is a definite win - I'm actually feeling for Mona as the supervisor droid metes out its feeble sanctions, and by the last panel I'm super pumped to see how the chase unfolds. Great to see more exploding head gore too. Read it and weep, Joko-Jargo!

(Did I just use the phrase 'super pumped'? Sorry.)

Kingmaker continues to impress - the silent moment is lovely and there are some fantastic panels from the Gallagher droid, particularly the gaping faces of the docking bays. The Order kind of treads (under) water with an all-action instalment, hopefully there'll be more substance next prog.

Finally The Out shows just why it's the board's current runaway favourite, with a horrendous twist and some absolutely berserk art from Mark Harrison.

They're totally going all-out on the anniversary stuff, aren't they. So much so in fact that it makes me wonder how they're going to top it for the really big one in five years' time.

General / Re: Tharg’s 2021 in Review - Best Regened Thrill
« on: 04 January, 2022, 11:03:59 AM »
1. Mayflies
2. Pandora Perfect
3. 'Splorers

PP really came into its own in the regular prog but in the Regeneds, Mayflies had the edge. Liked Enemy Earth too, hopefully after a few more instalments it'll be good for a vote.

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