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Messages - Blue Cactus

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Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 28 December, 2020, 01:21:21 PM »
Has it been confirmed anywhere which volume is going to be Red Seas 2? I usually preorder from Forbidden Planet but they don't have specifics yet, just the volume number without contents.

Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 05 December, 2020, 09:31:24 PM »
I'm in for all the John Smith stuff too. Also after people talking it up on here (Colin I'm looking at you!) I've ended up buying Red Seas 1 so I'm in for all four volumes. It wasn't a thrill I loved at the time and I seem to remember finding Jack Dancer quite annoying but I fancy trying it one big read.

Prog / Re: Prog 2203: Order and rule
« on: 14 October, 2020, 03:53:20 PM »
Enjoying the prog just now, it feels strange to me not to have any Abnett in there but that's just fine (for a little while).

Liked this Dredd, I like Maitland a lot as a character and she adds a nice dimension to Justice Dept. The 'Dredd taking down perps' sub-plot feels a bit tacked on here in order to tell her story but enjoyed it nonetheless. Justice Dept could maybe save some money by not having the 500 SJS officers we saw last week, but hey ho.

I feel a bit torn with Stickleback. I'm not sure why he's wearing a mask or makeup and is running about bent at a 45 degree angle all the time, now that his being Holmes is no secret. It's really going to cause him health problems in later life. Incredible art, personally I prefer my D'Israeli with more solid lines and colour but this glowing black white and grey gives the strip such a distinctive feel.

So Skip Tracer is in THE UNDERNEATH now. I can't quite figure out what this means because we don't really get to see any background detail other than some red smoke and possibly some... poles? Pillars? We meet the Splices, who all wear matching waistcoats. Paul Marshall gets to draw one of his textbook 'closeup on the pursed lips of the villain' shots. Love those robot designs! As always I really enjoy the Marshall/Teague combination. This strip always looks lovely.

Fiends is an odd little strip. It's intriguing the way Edginton is exploring this from different angles in each different series. Trevallion really is great these days. There was a panel set in the inn last week that made me really want to go to a pub... sigh. Cracking final panel this week, reminded me of the 80s Dungeons and Dragons cartoon!

Hook Jaw is way better than I anticipated and might be my strip of the week for the last fortnight. Probably my favourite bit of writing by Alec Worley so far and I am always a fan of Leigh Gallagher. Love the way they have combined folk horror with the original 'it's a big shark' premise. Between this and Thistlebone Tharg has found a cool genre of folk horror which is an element I've enjoyed a lot. The final page actually made my jaw drop it was so unexpected, which hasn't happened when reading a comic for a wee while! Someone in last prog's thread mentioned the nightmarish feel of one panel and I hope they can maintain that atmosphere.

Only two sci-fi stories this week might be another reason the prog feels a little different to normal, but that's absolutely fine with me.

Prog / Re: Prog 2203: Order and rule
« on: 14 October, 2020, 03:27:48 PM »
I’m really not sure what to make of Boo Cook’s art. Some of the panels, especially faces are just ridiculously good, others are just too cartoony for my taste.

I like Cook's art a lot but I think I know what you mean. Close ups and mid-range shots are often beautiful, but when he zooms out and is drawing smaller figures their limbs tend to look a bit... 'floppy' to me, as if the image is more cartoony than the surrounding panels. Love his designs and his vibrant colours. He draws a good Dredd too.

Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 04 October, 2020, 11:00:16 PM »
Another vote for Revere here.

Also any themed collection that included Peter Milligan's Shadows please, I've never read it. Or just stick it in a Megazine floppy.

Just ordered Firekind from Forbidden Planet. Even though the Extreme Edition version I have has such lovely big pages so I'll probably just read that one again. And I already have the Leatherjack collection. Hey ho! Hardcovers are nice.

Books & Comics / Re: Limitations of comics
« on: 15 September, 2020, 10:29:55 AM »
A few examples of comics with emotional/thematic/psychological depth that hinge on the fact that they are created in the comics medium and use effects and techniques only available in comics with absolute mastery:

Love and Rockets
Jim Woodring's Frank series
Lots of books by Seth (someone already mentioned him)

Books & Comics / Re: Nostalgia time:Harry 20 on the High Rock
« on: 02 July, 2020, 01:04:11 PM »
'HOLY WEASEL! OLD BEN'S AN - ANDROID!' blew my tiny mind as a kid. Having a shark/squid hybrid called a squark is also great. I have a lot of fondness for this story even though some elements as pointed out above are a little weak now. When I was wee the setting, the character design, the situation all worked for me, it felt genuinely tense and dangerous and I didn't have the progs with the ending so it took me years - decades in fact - to find out how the story ended!

Prog / Re: Prog 2187: Worlds of wonder
« on: 23 June, 2020, 12:23:48 PM »
Mark Harrison really has a unique style, doesn't he? Always interesting to have a non-action 2000ad cover and this one is pretty eyecatching.

Enjoying Dredd. It feels like a while since we had Joe and Anderson working together and I always enjoy seeing that, little moments like the hand on her shoulder at the top of page 5 that show us their relationship. The story is decidedly odd which I'm enjoying too!

Full Tilt Boogie is great, it looks great, the universe feels solid and convincing and it really feels like there are all kinds of strange cultures and worlds out there waiting for us to explore. Love that we have someone's gran as a main character too. Do we know her name, I can't remember?

Speaking of all kinds of strange cultures and worlds to explore, here's The Out. I love Cyn's feeling of tiredness and that idea of her moving further and further out through more and more breathtaking places to the point that 'you can only say 'wow' so many times'.  I have no idea what kind of story this will become, but the inclusion of Cyn's photos as a series of images running through the strip is cool, Harrison is at his wildest (I mean, that food vendor's face is insane!). Anyway, looking forward to seeing where this goes.

The Order is The Order, I think I'm still following it this week, Burns remains a unique and wonderful artist. Enjoying this series.

The Diaboliks - still loving Reardon, but I'm still not really on anyone's side. I like the ossophage though. Especially the scene in the car.

Shame that Sindex didn't get the big long run some of us were expecting, but the lineup feels very fresh (Dredd aside, The Order is the longest-running strip here, and it still feels like a relative newcomer to me! Unless you count Caballistics).

General / Re: The Rebellion Years Top 10 Series - Tournament
« on: 13 June, 2020, 02:42:31 PM »
1) Brink
2) Nikolai Dante
3) Cradlegrave
4) Leatherjack
5) Kingdom
6) Low Life
7) Strontium Dog
8) Ichabod Azrael
9) Anderson (mainly for the Grant-Ranson run of stories stuff like Half-life etc)
10) The Fall of Deadworld

Prog / Re: Prog 2185 - U.S. Marshals!
« on: 13 June, 2020, 11:46:54 AM »
I feel kind of similarly to TordelBack's view of Rob Williams' Dredd. I like Williams's writing a lot, Lowlife and Ichabod being two examples of great stuff he's done for the Prog in my opinion, and Ordinary was fantastic. His Dredd, though, is quite often depicted as this legendary FORCE - stuff happens around him, people react to his presence, and he just waits until he has to blow stuff up or punch something. He kind of says as much in this week's episode. It's a valid take on the character, to be fair.

This isn't always the case, he has done some sneaky planning and under the radar teaming up with people and investigating things in Williams strips too. But he seems to lack those glimmers of humanity, dry dry dry humour, inquisitive detective instincts and even concern that I love seeing in the character.

Still going to enjoy this story though!

Prog / Re: prog 2814 End of days
« on: 02 June, 2020, 12:01:32 PM »
Good prog! I didn't enjoy much about the Regened issue, I'm sorry to say, so this week I loved having the regular Prog back.

Dredd starts well, it feels like there's a real sense of telling a tale here if that makes sense. I'm perfectly happy with the surprise guest appearance, if you haven't read Ichabod before I don't think that will impair enjoyment of the strip at all, since Dredd often has strange entities crossing from other planets or dimensions, and it this ties up the story of Rob Williams's recurring talking horse, I'm all for it. Art is sublime. If I've one criticism I'd have liked to see Dredd speak just a little more; I think Williams sometimes writes him as this indomitable presence, who barely needs to act or speak, everything else just reacts to him. But I'd have loved to have seen a brief exchange between him and Anderson, his long-time colleague and sometime almost-pal. The two don't meet up that often these days and for the reader it's a bit like a meeting of old friends. Hopefully there will be some interaction in the weeks to come!

Looking forward to a longer Sinister Dexter story, the Yeowell/Charles team is well cemented in place now as the definitive modern look for the strip (I still miss Sinister's dreadlocks but they're probably a pain to draw). Yep, I hope this is a nice long run with lots of twists and turns.

The Order - Like others I've found this hard to follow at times since the second series onwards. This episode was nice and clear though, always love seeing Burns in the prog too (speaking of things being like meeting old friends), so yea, lets see if I can keep up with this series.

Cracking Future Shocks, which often don't do much for me. Like the flat earth theme and the way it was used, and I thought Burnham did a fantastic job on the artwork too. Given that he wrote this one as well it feels like a labour of love. That pointing lizard person in the last panel - there's something really familiar about it's pose and expression. I wonder if that's an homage to an earlier 2000ad panel? Something by Bolland maybe or something from the prog's early year. Maybe not, it just looks really really familiar to me! Anyone else?

The Diaboliks - well. How conincidental to have both Ichabod and Dom Reardon return in the same prog! I don't imagine a crossover is afoot between Dredd, Ichabod and Caballistics inc! Anyway, interested to see where this goes. Nice to see Reardon's art again, like John Burns earlier in the prog he handles tricky vehicle-based action really well here.

Can someone remind me about Jennifer Simmons please. She was posessed by a demon in Caballistics, right? I can't remember if she's still in there or if she is all demon now. And is so, what happened to the original Simmons.

Yeah, great prog. Sorry Joko-Jargo!

Prog / Re: prog 2182: So long and geek out
« on: 26 May, 2020, 01:52:27 PM »
Enjoying all the discussion here. I just wanted to chime in to say I roll my eyes every time the judges are all interchangeable white men. When I was a kid I always liked seeing more diversity amongst the judges. I presume it's usually down to the artist - a writer shouldn't have to specify 'please don't make all the judges white' or 'can you make some of the background judges women please'.

I can see how from one point of view, in a grim vision of the future you might expect a white patriarchal order to remain in charge. But I don't think the justice system in Dredd has been shown to discriminate in this way and I like that progressive vision of the future. It's one of the few optimistic elements of the strip!

Prog / Re: 2180: into the fire!
« on: 08 May, 2020, 06:14:42 PM »
I feel the same about the Hershey strip. I know it's 'only' a comic strip but I've known this character since I was in primary school... This was so unpleasant, I just felt bad that this believed character was being dragged through this torture when we've already seen her die in huge discomfort but with grace. I really like Williams's writing but you're right, he does have a tendency to torture characters horrendously. It's a bit like how Mel 'Wallace/Christ/Chicken Run' Gibson seems to love mutilating his central characters on screen. And she keeps being saved by the big guy, so it doesn't seem like much of a blaze of glory either, more just a terrible plan of hers (which doesn't seem like Hershey in itself) which has gone from bad to worse. The colouring is striking this week I must say.

Dredd is great, top class creative team, loving it even if I am pretty fed up of talking monkey strips. The art is glorious and Niemand can just take over as regular Dredd writer as far as I'm concerned, I don't care whether he actually exists or not.

Survival Geeks was fun as ever, Googe and Caldwell do a fab job too. Can't believe this is the final series!

Skip Tracer... I was kind of thinking the Cube was going to crash on Balbuena (have we heard of Balbuena in previous series?) and turn into some kind of Death Planet/Planet of the Damned/Mean Team series two but it seems not.

Aquila looks to being going to some strange places next week, I'm intrigued!

Off Topic / Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« on: 12 April, 2020, 11:57:47 AM »
Decided to modify this to remove my post cos I was just being a bit moany!

Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 11 April, 2020, 02:52:58 PM »
Yep, pleased to get the latest Dante, also from Forbidden Planet. I'm waiting for the whole lot before a reread though.

Just read all the Rennie Rogue Trooper for the first time since the original progs. Good stuff! Makes me want some more Jaegir asap.

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