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Topics - Barrington Boots

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Prog / Prog 2260 - Judge Klegg Superstar
« on: 29 November, 2021, 04:05:42 PM »
Did nobody get this over the weekend? Mine rocked up this morning.

AMAZING cover from Chris Weston.

Klegg still has no Dredd but who cares when it's this fun. This is fantastic. The art has dozens of nods to old Dredd stories, the conceit is superb and the final page reveal - with it's accompanying dialogue - is superb.
Speaking of dialogue, whilst ace throughout there is an especially great panel here with Walter on page 3. What a delight this tale is.

Diaboliks I know I don't like this strip, but this ending seemed a bit weak? Another cool character design this episode, but not enough to make me want to read another installment I'm afraid.

Dexter Looks fantastic, some brilliant dinosaurs - the last two pages are lush. As a standalone epsiode this is cool woith some dudes fighting dinosaurs, but having lost interest in the plot and characters ages ago that's it I'm afraid.

Scarlet Traces Difficult to discuss this episode outside of last weeks and whatever happens next week. Whilst at times this hasn't worked as a weekly installment strip, I'm really enjoying it and I'm glad it's moving towards resolution (take note Dexter). Lovely stuff.

The Out This is one of those episodes of The Out that wasn't so much for me as I found the back and forth between Cyd and the bag annoying: I don't really like the snarky bag and I think the story is usually better without it. Two very significant happenings this week however. Admist all the bonkers art, the old WWI style helmet on the Hurangi was a nice touch.

Despite any moans above, I enjoyed this Prog a lot. Every story had a different focus, a different pace and tone and the comic as a whole read beautifully. It helps that Dredd (and the cover) put the reader in a positive mood from the start. Overall, top notch Prog.

Other Reviews / Monster Fun Halloween Spooktacular
« on: 11 October, 2021, 10:38:29 AM »
I really enjoyed this. I have a real affection for stuff like Buster, Whizzer & Chips etc and this captures the feel, of those albeit with a modern twist, probably as well as could be done. There's enough strips inside (19 seperate stories) that even if one strip falls flat for you another will delight. There's such a variety of art throughout as well from some excellent artists and the quality is fantastic. There's a few nostalgic nods and some art cameos for older readers but everything can be read 'cold' with no previous knowledge needed, even Leopard which has a quick catch up.

Highlights for me were Grimly Feendish, WizWar, Hire a Horror, Creature Teacher & Jump Junior - my personal  favourite was Scare Salon, by a creative team I was totally unfamiliar with, that absolutely loads up on terrible puns.

The stories are slight and silly but that's kind of the point. I know I'm waaay too old to be the target audience, but I really hope this is a success and that the ongoing title launch is along the same lines, as it is absolutely great.

Books & Comics / Octobriana with Love
« on: 29 September, 2021, 09:51:51 AM »
The digital edition came through to me as a KS backer yesterday and it's totally insane and really great.
Simon Fraser's art here is a standout and skimming ahead there's some glorious double page spreads. Anyone else get this?

Other Reviews / Thirteenth Floor Vol. 3
« on: 13 September, 2021, 11:23:11 AM »
Pre-orderd the hardback and it arrived end of last week. No Prog Saturday (or today) so I've already read it.

In short it's great and better than the second volume with all the spy stuff, although still not a patch on volume 1: the horror elements are still mostly toned down, although there's a couple of excellent / monstrous sequences with snails and a witch trial. Max is more helpful than vengeful overall and there's a rather lovely story where Max helps an old woman live out one of her childhood dreams, which is shows how the strip's horror focus has shifted a bit!
Jose Ortiz's art is spectacular as ever and as a volume it looks absolutely awesome: beautiful reprint and having the complete run in hardback totally rules. Can't fault Rebellion on this one at all and I hope we can see a similar treatment for more classic old tales.

Off Topic / Back to the Office
« on: 22 July, 2021, 10:43:45 AM »
I'm back in today, doing 2 / 3 days a week in the office.

It seems a weird decision on the part of my boss: I'm now in here with just four other people, so there's not really the sort of jolly atmosphere that I think they want; I'm working in a less efficient way and I had to spend an hour getting here (I don't want to go into the various Covid risks that no longer seem to be being observed and threaten to derail things, but obviously that's a factor too). From those of us that are in there's a general feeling that it's a waste of time.

I know it varies from job to job but I can't see the benefits to the company of having this massive office sitting 90% empty when they could save money on rent etc and I'm wondering if 'the office' is going to get gradually phased out in favour of home working, regardless of pandemic. What do you guys reckon?

Prog / Prog 2239 - High-Speed Summary Justice!
« on: 06 July, 2021, 10:02:04 AM »
Saturday prog and a glorious wraparound cover from Stewart Moore. This cover is the sort of thing that pulled me into 2000ad in the first place: it's just mental.

Dredd wraps up a but quicker that I'd thought / hoped it would but I'm not going to criticise Wagner and MacNeil. Dredd here is brutally efficient and it's actually quite refreshing to see him / the Justice Department acting like the well oiled lawbringing machine they are supposed to be. Tonally this has been the perfect mix of humour and horrible murder. Bick himself is a character I'd like to see back, being both badass and mildly hapless, and I very much hope his story is not done. That last frame of him is great and definitely promises more.. doesn't it?

Aquila There's a lot happening in this! Barrels along at a pace with fighting, plot, cool concepts, a little visual joke all in five pages. Looks great as you'd expect from Patrick Goddard: a neat touch with Felix fighting dirty against the big axe-wielding dude (Thanatos? Already forgotten).
I know the name Ephialtes and as Scarabatus thinks it's a thing, I think I can guess what's coming there.

Department K - My favourite episode of the run this week. Much more interesting on the plot front, and as ever looks brilliant: Kirby-isms and great alien designs all over the shop. Interested to see what's next.

Skip Tracer I was a bit unkind about this last week: this episode is better, as Nolan needs a bit more about him than generic dude with a power, and it looks like we might get some here. As with the previous series I do think this would benefit from being told at a faster pace or with more of a definite tone: is it all action, is it detective noir? It's kind of none of these things and I think it's running out of time to 'click' which is a shame especially as Paul Marshall's art is all crisp and cool, his aliens are weird and his Hastings is lovely.

Chimpsky's Law The plot has gone a bit crackers: I must admit I was a bit thrown when the expected murder-mystery plot got subverted but this has been consistently engaging week on week and it's always left me wanting to see what comes next. The visual storytelling in it is great: this and Chimpksy's narration really win it for me. Next week, Chimsky kicks off?

Classifieds / Free stuff: TPBs etc.
« on: 28 June, 2021, 12:04:33 PM »
Any interest in any of the following?

2000ad TPB:
Indigo Prime: Anthropocalypse
Ten Seconders: The American Dream
Caballistics Inc- Going Undergound
Caballistics Inc - Creepshow

Non-200ad TPB:
Hack / Slash First Cut
Hack / Slash Death by Sequel
Die - Fantasy Heartbreaker
Die - Split the Party

Small Press / other stuff:
Tales of Westernoir Books 1 - 3
The 77 issues 1 - 3
Shift issues 1 - 3

These books have little resale value and I'd prefer to actively give these away to those who might enjoy them, so any / all of the above are free to fellow boardmembers if you want to collect them in person - I'm based between Worcester and Birmingham - or I can post them out to you at cost.

Possibly more to add to this list shortly.

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!

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