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Messages - Funt Solo

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 407
General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: Today at 05:28:47 am »
That fantastic McCarthy cover Fox was talking about:

Off Topic / Re: Basic Argumentation, And The Causing Of Offence
« on: 19 June, 2019, 10:21:04 pm »
Gotta say that wasn't very enigmatic, Dr X.

Off Topic / Re: Basic Argumentation, And The Causing Of Offence
« on: 19 June, 2019, 10:11:58 pm »
I'm lumping all those who believe in the rights of the state together...

Well, at least you admit it!  :-\

Other Reviews / Re: LETTERSENTERTAINYOU 2015 - The Beast Lives!
« on: 19 June, 2019, 10:10:11 pm »

Other Reviews / Re: LETTERSENTERTAINYOU 2015 - The Beast Lives!
« on: 19 June, 2019, 09:56:15 pm »
Don't forget your banner: we're all doing banners now!

Off Topic / Re: Basic Argumentation, And The Causing Of Offence
« on: 19 June, 2019, 09:51:26 pm »
But will they work on Nazis?
Or other statists?

There is the danger, Shark, that you're inadvertently equating Nazis and people who like to be even mildly efficient.  I'm sure that's not what you meant to do.

General / Re: Oh no not another re-read thread (progs 336 to 729)
« on: 19 June, 2019, 08:45:27 pm »
Stoagie (an e-cigarette who is both as much of an arsehole as Hoagy, but manages to also be an offensive Mexican stereotype) to convince Sam he's gone insane.

I always saw Stogie as an affectionate swipe to (cigar-smoking) Carlos Ezquerra...

I think that's pretty well documented.  But also, he has a Spanish speaker's accent because he's a Cuban cigar.

I would only classify it as offensive stereotyping if there was some offensive stereotyping.  (I don't think having an accent counts.)

(Ooh, look, it's quote-ception.)

Megazine / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« on: 19 June, 2019, 06:54:28 am »

The best of the Megazine from October 2013 to July 2014, in order of publication:

(2013-2014: megs 340-345)
Script: Rob Williams
Art: D'Israeli
Lettering: HV Derci

Instead of a zombie apocalypse, here we get a superhero pandemic: everyone on the planet suddenly develops superpowers (with predictably disastrous results) - except for Michael Fisher, who's just too ordinary.  Really, this is a story of hope for someone who can't even get a break in his fantasies: in the opening scene he's dreaming of dating Scarlet Johansson but gets put into the friend zone, and meekly accepts his lot.

As the world goes mad around him, he sets out on a quest to help his disjointed immediate family: but his value as the only immune human on the planet sets him up as a target for various powerful factions.  It's a great tale with lots of bleak humor, dark characters and pathos. 

D'Israeli does an amazing job of bringing it all to vibrant life: whether its talking bears, baseball collusi or presidents whose thought bubbles are visible to everyone around them.

DeMarco P.I. - The Whisper
(2014: megs 343-347)
Script: Michael Carroll
Art: Steve Yeowell
Lettering: Ellie De Ville

DeMarco last had her own series in 2002 scripted by Robbie Morrison.  Here, Michael Carroll does a good job of creating a murder mystery for her to solve and wisely chooses neutral ground to do it.  Instead of basing the adventure in Mega-City One, we get relocated to SovSec (in MC-2), where Mega-City citizens with Sov heritage have been relocated post Chaos Day in order that they didn't get lynched.

There's a bit of repetitiveness where we get DeMarco pushing the boundaries of acceptable behavior but getting let off because she's an ex-Judge.  Lots of "I'll let this go this once, but try it again and it's the cubes", but then she keeps bending the rules and it doesn't result in any problems: shooting a guys leg off as part of an interrogation is perhaps the most egregious example.

Yeowell's art is at turns sublime and confusing (as a character with unique facial protrusions is tackled by a guy with ... unique facial protusions).

We don't get a neat resolution regarding the origins of the key antagonist, which is problematic in terms of understanding the potential threat. As with "Creep" (1993-94), it's a point of confusion for the reader to have magical villains whose power-limitations seem based on the whimsy of the author. 

Anderson Psi-Division - Dead End
(2014: megs 343-349)
Script: Alan Grant
Art: Michael Dowling
Lettering: Simon Bowland

There's stupendous art (dynamic gun fights and panoramic cityscapes) from Michael Dowling in this mysterious tale as Judge Anderson (hard hit by the depressing and repetitive nature of her work) starts to contemplate suicide. 

At around the mid-point we get a major reveal (her suicidal feelings are being planted in her mind) and the focus of the narrative naturally shifts.

This is some of the best Anderson in what seems like a good while: a long-form procedural in which the character seems to grow.

General / Re: Oh no not another re-read thread (progs 336 to 729)
« on: 19 June, 2019, 06:06:55 am »
One character that really sticks out in Book 2 is - what we would call today - a non-binary gendered character who everyone ignores and forgets exists. He/she ends up sacrificing themselves to save Halo, and of course their heroic act is instantly forgotten about. Appropriately enough I can't remember the name of this characters. I could google it I guess but it seems apt to keep things as they are.

When Rachael and I covered the Ballad of Halo Jones for the Mega-City Book Club podcast, we all forgot about Glyph until right at the end as well!

Wait ... who?

General / Re: Oh no not another re-read thread (progs 336 to 729)
« on: 19 June, 2019, 05:59:06 am »
...Tom Frame noticeably changed his 2000AD lettering style — to those rough-hewn balloons with the straight-line edges.

I had to go and look to see this from prog 345:

Tom Frame on DreddTom Frame on Slaine
Rumble in the JungleHeroes' Blood

So much of the subtlety and artistry behind the lettering just passes me by.  I guess (and this is probably a hoary cliche) that if lettering is done well, it's generally unobtrusive.

AlexF mentioned the biochips, and then the other memorable balloons (bubbles? dialog ellipses?) that spring to mind are the Dark Judges, and (I think) Torquemada in spirit form.

Biochipped balloons from Bill Nuttall:


General / Re: Oh no not another re-read thread (progs 336 to 729)
« on: 17 June, 2019, 10:39:39 pm »
Wait - is Book III the one where Mek-Quake's brain has been transplanted into a gargantuan robot who battles another giant robot (Torque-Armada) into submission during the siege of Yggdrasil (the world tree)?  I love that book: it got the centre-spread colour pages (back when that was important) and made great use of them.

Still: just because I loved it doesn't mean everyone has to. 

Pussyfoot 5 was indeed short-lived and (at least up to 2014) consisted of only two series (both of which were reprinted in the Meg 281 floppy): Fast Breeder (1184-1188) and Alien Sex Fiend (1251-1256).

I found Missionary Man to be very hit and miss (story-wise) but often a showcase for great art.

Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« on: 17 June, 2019, 10:29:17 pm »
I'm jealous of your logo.

 :) I was jealous of the Letters Us Entertain You logo.

Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« on: 17 June, 2019, 06:52:58 pm »

2014 (Mid Year Cement)

As the longer thrills of the 2nd quarter (Slaine and Outlier) finish up, and the scheduling for a prog 1900 jump-on starts to kick in, we get a mix of Tharg's [F]illers (which, to be fair, are often REALLY good), vari-sized Dredds, some shorter thrills (Grey Area & Sinister Dexter) and the return of Indigo Prime.

A selection of those, in order of most to least thrilling...

Judge Dredd: The Heart is a Lonely Klegg Hunter
Script: Rob Williams
Art: Chris Weston
Colours: Michael Dowling
Letters: Annie Parkhouse

Non-Wagner Dredd sometimes suffers by comparison, but here's the proof that it can be done, and done blindingly well.  We follow a day in the life of Sensitive Klegg (a periodically recurring character) and find that things aren't going well for him and seem to be getting worse - even to the extent that he might be in danger of giving in to his baser desires.

This is not just a beautiful tale by Rob Williams, but sublimely realized by the real treat of Chris Weston on art duties.  Here's a thrill that makes us feel bad for all the non-Squaxx out there who just don't get to experience it.

Tharg's 3rillers: Colony
Script: Kek-W
Art: Vince Locke
Colours: Adam Brown
Letters: Ellie De Ville

A cross between John Carpenter's The Thing and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Colony is set in the harsh world of a soviet gulag.  It's a blend of bleak dystopian hardships and pulp sci-fi one liners ("T-They're all over me!  Imperialists from outer space!") that works really well in this short format. 

Indigo Prime: Perfect Day
Script: John Smith
Art: Lee Carter
Letters: Simon Bowland

You can't accuse it of being dull - either in terms of action or art (and Lee Carter's art is beyond compare), but Indigo Prime suffers from a sense of impenetrability which seems as if it's probably deliberate (no spoon-feeding here) yet also perhaps a side effect of having such a large cast spread out over multiple realities.

Not to spoil the plot but there's a blend of Nazis and dark gods that sets up a cliffhanger threat (so that this entire series is just a preamble): which might set one to think that it's an easy fix for Indigo Prime - just shut down the reality that's having the problem - but then only Smith knows how this multiverse operates, so perhaps it's some kind of omni-threat. (Most thrills don't involve us asking questions this bizarre.)

While trying to follow the dimensional shenanigans, it was jarring to accept the switch to Monty Python level comedy with OAP combat robot pilots complaining about their lumbago and absent-mindedly wondering if they left the oven on (whilst still trying to care about the fate of the IP operatives who are in mortal danger). 

Summary: it's beautiful to look at but sometimes frustrating to follow.

Judge Dredd: Shooters Night
Script: John Wagner
Art: John McCrea
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letters: Annie Parkhouse

The ambiguity of the missing titular apostrophe drives the plot forward as Dredd attempts to solve a case and thereby stop a planned mass shooting.  Generally the art serves the tale well, but there are a couple of confusing compositions (like a sudden draw down at the end of the second episode that seems to come out of nowhere, or an entire page framed against Dredd confronting a perfectly well perp that was bleeding out in a previous frame).

Summary: a great build up with a tricky third-act that is hampered by some unusual storytelling.

Grey Area: Nearer My God To Thee
Script: Dan Abnett
Art: Mark Harrison
Letters: Annie Parkhouse

New employee Birdy, having started a sexual relationship with her line manager (Adam Bulliet), is finding it difficult to adjust when he gets a promotion to head of department.  She becomes increasingly jealous as a new and glamerous female CEO (Lyra Hallard) seems to be taking up a lot of Adam's time.  Birdy becomes convinced that they're having an affair and (despite planning to keep their relationship a secret from the rest of the team) she spends a lot of her work day complaining to her colleagues about feeling sidelined.

When Adam finds out about her continual jealous digs to colleagues he decides to resolve the problem by passionately kissing Birdy in front of all the other employees, then expletively berating her ("Now get your shit in order...") before getting on with the day's business (of nuking an interplanetary god-being intent on the destruction of Earth).

The series ends on a cliffhanger, as we don't know whether Birdy will attain feminist enlightenment, lodge a complaint with HR or feel economically and societally restrained to continue in the role of subserviant chattel.  (Plus, it seems as if the team might have died in a nuclear inferno.)


One line mini-reviews:

Judge Dredd: A Night in Sylvia Plath - a jolly romp featuring Walter and Mrs Gunderson.
Judge Dredd: Traumatown - a solid 5-part thrill reminscent of The Haunting of Sector House 9.
Terror Tales: Done Deal - an exceptionally wrought setting (high-rise, working class) with a despairing twist.
Tharg's 3rillers: In Seconds Flat - fun, fast moving time twister that's as dumb as a bag of hammers.
Future Shocks: The Name of the Law - an intriguing tale of dark assistance hampered by a smelly closet reveal.
Tharg's Time Twisters: Burping Hitler - uhm ... there's something distasteful about making Hitler fun.
Sinister Dexter: The Generican Dream: Congo - Sin & Dex continue to circle endlessly around Moses Tanenbaum.
Judge Dredd: Student Bodies - a mean-spirited tale of mutie prejudice with a gloomy resolution.
Tharg's 3rillers: Voodoo Planet - unrelenting horror and the elimination of hope makes for a bit of a bummer. 

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