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Messages - norton canes

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1
Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« on: 07 August, 2020, 12:01:11 PM »
The Alienist: Inhuman Natures
(2042-2049)
S: Emma Beeby & Gordon Rennie, A: Eoin Coveney, L: Ellie De Ville


A spooky thriller that mashes together horror, time travel and alien invasions whilst still managing to maintain a period feel. There's an air of mystery and a drip-feeding of details about who the characters are, what ultimately motivates them and what the end goals or origins are, which can be slightly frustrating, but then that's probably fundamental to the feel of the piece

I really enjoyed The Alienist. Hadn't clocked that it was a Beeby/Rennie gig.

2
Prog / Re: Prog 2193 - Nothing To See Here?
« on: 06 August, 2020, 02:28:25 PM »
I should point out that I'm in no way decrying TordelBack's fascinating and enlightening plot/character summaries! The more Order talk around here, the better :)

3
General / Re: Best wishes to Dan Abnett
« on: 06 August, 2020, 11:08:52 AM »
Best wishes Mr Abnett, here's to a full and speedy recovery.

4
Prog / Re: Prog 2193 - Nothing To See Here?
« on: 06 August, 2020, 11:06:15 AM »
I think I might have said this before, but I swear the Abnett droid must have six arms, which he uses to simultaneously write episodes of Brink, Lawless, SinDex, Kingdom, The Out and Feral & Foe in a blur of feverish creativity. That tantalizing reveal in the penultimate frame of The Out this week is awesomely cinematic. Is that a Tankinar on the cover, too? It doesn't look like a scene from this prog's instalment.

Nice to see Williams & Fint cranking up the "Ew!" factor in End Of Days. Can we have more of this sort of thing in the Regened issues please Tharg? Funny, though, that while the physical effects of Famine stayed with the crew, the pock-marks of Pestilence vanished once the disease was eradicated. Still no time to stop and think about any of that! The Sovs are here!

Diaboliks wraps up its first mini-chapter well - the Rennie droid sure knows how to mess around with the narrative timeline to great effect. The fact that the art briefly turns into a photostrip reinforces, I guess, my theory that Antonio Fuso was dropped in as a replacement for Dom Reardon at short notice.

A lovely bit of pathos at the end of Full Tilt Boogie there. Is Ifan doomed to drift forever like Tantalus through space, with his greatest desire perpetually out of reach?

And finally, The Order. As Tordel claims in his superb summary thread the strip lost its way a bit with book IV but has now rediscovered its mojo. Myself, I'm one of that subset of its fans who loves it all the more because I don't feel I need to keep track of every character and faction. It's like - you know when you're a kid, OK, and you find just one single copy of an old comic in a charity shop or whatever, and one of the strips is a serial, and because you never again find another edition of that comic it's the only instalment you ever read, right? But the strip is kind of even better for that, because it therefore has a sense of timelessness, and you can only imagine how the rest of it goes beyond that snapshot? Well, reading The Order is a bit like that. Which is wholly fitting for a story about fragmented time streams, I suppose.

Plus, a big robot gets hit by an even bigger train! BLAMM! His legs get smashed off!!

5
Prog / Re: Prog 2192 - Bearing Down!
« on: 30 July, 2020, 11:49:32 AM »
Typical. You wait 26 years for a Shako comeback (since his appearance in Armoured Gideon) then it happens twice in the same month

Great minds, huh :D

So this seems to be a week of unclear action sequence resolutions. What does the mysterious 'SHRRRIPP SHRRRIPPP' in Diaboliks signify? Ravne's hurled axe can be seen flying overhead as Jenny attacks the Red Madonna, so I suppose it's just claw-on-claw action. The Red Madonna appears to be prone in the final frame with blood seeping from her mouth. Does Anderson hurl some kind of psychic thunderbolt at Shako? With the help of the Head I presume, as it's not the sort of thing she can routinely do. And who's been CNHK'd at the end of Full Tilt Boogie?

Must admit I'm kind of hoping that we never see the Tankinar - that they remain a formless threat, removed from the action, and that the focus stays on Cyd and her view of the conflict's fallout.

6
Prog / Re: Prog 2191 - Let's Boogie!
« on: 23 July, 2020, 10:52:44 AM »
Mabe the plan is to get Shako to appear in all the stories.

Imagine if he was revealed in the final panel of every strip in the prog :D

7
Prog / Re: Prog 2191 - Let's Boogie!
« on: 23 July, 2020, 10:40:32 AM »
I'm sure I read an interview the other week where either Mark Harrison or Dan Abnett said that Harrison had enjoyed working on Grey Area but because he followed on from Karl Richardson it never felt it was his own work, which is why Abnett created The Out. If that's the case (and it's not a monumentous piece of misdirection), itt seems extremely unlikely that this is going to be any sort of tie-in.

8
Prog / Re: Prog 2191 - Let's Boogie!
« on: 23 July, 2020, 10:26:04 AM »
I'm getting a Steve Coogan/Brasseye vibe from ideas that The Out might be a continuation of Halo Jones.

In 1987, no-one wrote a story that was like Halo Jones book III.
In 1988, no-one wrote a story that was like Halo Jones book III.
In 1989, no-one wrote a story that was like Halo Jones book III...

In 2020, one person wrote a story that was like Halo Jones book III.

9
Prog / Re: Prog 2191 - Let's Boogie!
« on: 23 July, 2020, 10:22:21 AM »
Might as well spoiler the whole of my first paragraph...

Typical. You wait 26 years for a Shako comeback (since his appearance in Armoured Gideon) then it happens twice in the same month. As Harry Hill used to say, 'What are the chances?!' I do love the idea of Rob Williams writing this instalment of End Of Days while thinking to himself, "Oh man, there's no way they are going to expect this!". And I suppose ironically he was right - given that Dan Abnett had just done it, it probably was the last thing anyone was expecting.

Anyway, EOD continues to be more dog's dinner than dog's bollocks but I still love it. And there's some blinding stuff elsewhere this week too - that last panel of Diaboliks, for instance - I do love a good 'Heroes Assemble!' moment. Is this the mkII Caballistics, Inc.?  Then there's that breathtaking swerve in The Out which catapults it into exciting new territory. But above all there's The Order, where Kek-W finally takes a break from the relentless (but totally compelling) narrative to give us a dark moment of truly disturbing fear and panic. TOP THRILL and extra oil rations to all droids concerned.

10
Prog / Re: Prog 2190 - Slice n' dice!
« on: 16 July, 2020, 01:31:09 PM »
Well, I mean for the duration of the story, at least :)

11
Prog / Re: Prog 2190 - Slice n' dice!
« on: 16 July, 2020, 11:24:34 AM »
I think it's fair to say that End Of Days has a few rough edges. I mean, quite apart from the remote possibility of releasing disease layers from beneath ancient perma-frost, it doesn't seem like a good idea anyway to be blowing up vessels one suspects of harbouring deadly airborne infections.

Still on board with the epic as a whole, though, the odd dodgy moment or uneven pacing notwithstanding. Often the acid test of a strip's worth is how often one re-reads it and I've been through this instalment half a dozen times. The overall concept of mankind inflicting destruction on itself is hardly new but it's being handled well here. Also, if Dredd and his crew are going to be permanently debilitated by each Horseman they encounter, as they have been by Famine, it'll be interesting to see what condition they're in by the time they rock up to Death.

(Oh, and any long-term fans of Rhys Thomas's spoof radio phone-in Down The Line will know why I can't help grinning every time I think of the 'Four Horsemen')

Elsewhere I guess we're into the mid-phase of several other strips' runs so it's basically a case of 'as you were' for Diaboliks (excellent, though Fuso's work isn't quite the calibre of Reardon's - has he perhaps been instructed to copy his style?), The Order (great) and Full Tilt Boogie (good, but always seemingly an episode away from really kicking in). But The Out takes the thrill trophy this week, having over a mere four episodes already developed into one of Dan Abnett's great works. Absolutely adore the series of snapshots of other races (despite the Body Snatchers lift) - it's so good when a strip has the confidence to pause the action like that for a moment.

I do miss episode two's logo though.

12
Prog / Re: Prog 2189 - Hunger Strike
« on: 10 July, 2020, 01:03:04 PM »
Re. End Of Days, I suppose it is a bit weird that a story with such enormous global consequences is rattling along at such a pace that a lot of the bigger picture has been foregone. I'm not generally super bothered about a lack of preamble for epic stories but perhaps, yes, there could have been, say, four one-shots about the genesis of each catastrophe. Although let's face it, the first adversary in these series is usually the most perfunctory. I'm sure there'll be more depth at the sharp end of the tale.

(and the cover... see, without intending any slight to Tharg's talented cadre of cover artists, this is why I like to see covers illustrated by the strip's artist. That way it feels like the story is getting an extra page, and a chance for the droid to give an extra perspective on the action.)

Dan Abnett has once again slipped into that apparently effortless mode of constructing eminently readable dialogue. I'd love to be there while he writes this stuff - I'm sure he's the sort of droid that acts out every conversation, either in a mirror, or turning to face an imaginary camera. He probably even does the voices. Full Tilt Boogie continues to be great but is perhaps missing some of the concentrated bizarreness of the Regen opener. In fact, this and The Order are the two current strips that would read best in one sitting.

Diaboliks, though, once again demonstrates Gordon Rennie's knack for making his stories brilliant serials constructed from satisfying episodes in their own right. This time we get a nice callback to last week's diary pages, a superb story-in-a-story and the first glimpse of an impressive new villain and for that, the strip gets this week's TOP THRILL.

After 43 years, I must get round to writing Tharg a letter. 

13
Prog / Re: Prog 2188: Chronoclysm!
« on: 02 July, 2020, 11:07:33 AM »
Anyone else think 'Chronoclysm!' would have been a better title for the strip than 'The Order'?

Pleased to say that I am definitely feeling the warm fuzzies for my tactile, all-analogue prog. Though perhaps the admittedly atmospheric cover doesn't 'pop' quite as much as it should. AG seems a little crowded out of the frame - perhaps the camera could have pulled back a little, or shifted the focus onto the ship. Ah well. 

Actually pleased that there's been no prologue or other preamble to 'End Of Days'. While it's always nice to extend a story, sometimes it's better just to get stuck in. Although the narrative gets a bit confused this week in terms of who suffers which fate, I love the revelation (or should that be 'Revelation') that this time it's basically us, the stupid humans, causing our own downfall. Airborne nano-food? Yeah, I can get with that. It'll probably happen one day. 

The Out rocks up with a stunning first page - and belatedly, a proper logo. However although we get a big picture we're still not given the big picture, as a plot proves elusive. Is the whole thing going to be loosely-structured in the vein of Halo Jones book II? Or... I'm not quite sure why, but... I've got a tiny inkling at the back of my thrill-synapses that we're being lulled into a false sense of security and this is going to take a really dark and unexpected turn at some point. Any anagrams of 'Cyd Finlea' which might give the game away? 

Turner wasn't the only art historical nod in the prog this week.  The last panel of The Out was definitely a nod to Edouard Manet's "A Bar at the Folies-Bergere

Nice spot. Also, Cyd's backpack has the same 'CYD' logo she uses as her signature.

I'm definitely of the school of thought that The Order (did such a disjointed strip ever have a more ironic title?) is best enjoyed on a prog-by-prog basis and that I don't need to refer to previous instalments or otherwise make attempts to recall the storyline. In fact I'm certain this was the way it's meant to be enjoyed.

Full Tilt Boogie gets a little cutesy this week, which is OK, 'cause it's still brilliant, but I hope it bears its teeth again soon.

Thrill levels at optimum in the house of Diaboliks, with a nicely structured instalment.

All this and more Brink to come (that's the 2020 'best strip' poll sewn up already then) - business as usual for the GCC!

(the what?)

14
Prog / Re: Prog 2188: Chronoclysm!
« on: 01 July, 2020, 01:45:11 PM »
Oh I've got 2175-2187 digitally, I haven't missed anything :D

It's just lovely to have the 'real' thing again. It was nice being able to zoom in on the artwork but there's no substitute to seeing it on the page.

Wondering whether to pick up the 'missing' 13 progs now. Probably no point in spending on them twice over. Guess that 13-prog gap will be another testament to the legacy of the pandemic.

15
Prog / Re: Prog 2188: Chronoclysm!
« on: 01 July, 2020, 12:50:58 PM »
A prog! I actually have a prog! After 13 weeks of lockdown downloads I've been to Smiths and I finally have a real, paper copy of 2000 AD here in front of me!

Excited.

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