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Author Topic: Thrill-Coma 2010  (Read 27696 times)

broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #195 on: 07 August, 2020, 03:08:24 PM »
Yes , I also want to see him continuing his 'gangster/mafia/mob' thread he started but it looks more like we are going to get a story where Judge Dredd deals with the aftermath of the Four Horseman as a chaotic city picks up the pieces in “Carry the Nine”.
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #196 on: 12 August, 2020, 05:48:55 AM »


2018: First Quarter
Unfortunately, one of the most disappointing spans of 2000 AD in quite a while. Saying that: the art quality is superb throughout. So, it's disappointing for something that's got incredibly high production standards. In order of completion...


Savage: Book 11, The Thousand Year Stare
(2018: progs 2061-2071)
S: Pat Mills, A: Patrick Goddard, L: Ellie De Ville


Bill Savage teams up with Yulia Tymoshenko Nika Volodina to investigate the source of hi-tech futuristic weaponry being employed by the Volgans.

Great art suffers alongside a leaden script that relies too much on poor research, real-world conspiracy theories and the unhelpful intertwining of characters from the writer's decades-old (and unsurprisingly dated) stories.

It spirals eventually into a terribly obvious male fantasy pissing contest as Howard Quartz literally launches his phallus in order to capture the female prize, who Savage then wins back in a final battle (as she blithely abandons her strongly held moral imperatives).




Judge Dredd: Live Evil
(2018: progs 2069-2072)
S: Ian Edginton, A: Dave Taylor, L: Annie Parkhouse


A very atmospheric alien ghost story. Contextually (on a meta level), because the Dredd writers keep swapping out for long periods of time but introducing their own sets of side characters to tell stories with, I'm not sure who two of the key characters are, but it works well despite that. (Edginton last wrote Dredd two years prior to this.)

There's a slightly bum note when the ghost of someone recently deceased is all winks and smiles when you'd think there might be a touch of trauma about having just died.

(Is it "live evil", live rhymes with dive, or live rhymes with shiv?)




Bad Company: Terrorists
(2018: progs 2061-2072)
S: Peter Milligan, A: Rufus Dayglo, C: Pippa Mather & Dominic Regen, L: Simon Bowland


There's a plot, as Bad Company try to track down the commander who was in charge during the Min Massacre, which was staged to start the war with the Krool. Beyond that, this doesn't marry up well with the original story but doesn't probably intend to.

There's a sense that the creators are having fun at the expense of the readers, even going so far as to fart at them out of a giant sphincter. I hope someone gets some enjoyment out of this sort of thing, but I would be happiest if it never got another series. It doesn't work as comedy - because it's not funny. It doesn't work as drama - because the plot's incoherent. It would have sat nicely in Toxic!, I suppose. But then that experiment didn't work. I think if you just openly disregard the readers then it's probably not much of a surprise if it doesn't work well.

If every character in The Young Ones were Rik and he was scripting it.




The A.B.C. Warriors: Fallout
(2018: progs 2061-2072)
S: Pat Mills, A: Clint Langley, L: Annie Parkhouse


The A.B.C. Warriors get betrayed by Blackblood, again. They all get destroyed, again, but rebuilt, again. They're on Mars, again.

Great art cannot save this spiral of repetitive bickering from coming across as dated and repetitive. Again.

They used to go on missions. They used to visit other planets. There really isn't a plot anymore - just some characters who don't develop, in a setting which doesn't develop. It's another situation where I'm wondering what it's supposed to be and not finding a box (e.g. comedy or drama) to fit it into.




Brass Sun: Engine Summer
(2018: progs 2061-2072)
S: Ian Edginton, A: INJ Culbard, L: Ellie De Ville


This series has always reminded me of Saga, which happens again here as the plot jumps forward dramatically in time, splitting Engine Summer into two halves and defying easy expectations of the narrative. It ends on a cliffhanger, though, so we need a follow-up series to explain the many dangling threads.

Plot-wise, the sun remains in decline, and world-spanning conflict remains the norm as the secret to reversing the solar death of the system remains hidden. The only duff note is the stupendous coincidence by which two characters stumble upon one another again, given the many worlds on offer.





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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #197 on: 30 August, 2020, 07:13:07 PM »


2018: Spring
A selection of stories from progs 2073 to 2081, in order of most to least ghafflebette...


Jaegir: In The Realm of Pyrrhus
(2018: progs 2073-2078)
S: Gordon Rennie, A: Simon Coleby, C: Len O'Grady, L: Ellie De Ville


This is gobsmacking future war spectacle from start to finish: spacecraft are decimated as they exit the black hole above Nu Earth - bodies tumble lifelessly in vacuum - giant, aircraft carrier-sized tanks hove into view - then we're in the trenches - now we're flying a Nort hopper - now we're in a tunneling submarine. The art throughout is astounding - beautifully lit and dynamically framed.

As for Jaegir, she appears to have been demoted back to front line life-or-death-in-the-blink-of-an-eye duties, and there are hints that it's all a cover for a greater mission (but that's the over-arching plot and this just a stepping stone towards it).




Judge Dredd: Nans of Anarchy
(2018: progs 2079-2080)
S: Alec Worley, A: Karl Richardson, L: Annie Parkhouse


The hydra that is modern Dredd carries on with stories from Rob Williams (the Pin thread), Rory McConville (humorous one-offs) and T.C. Eglington (the Booth thread). I chose Alec Worley's Nans of Anarchy because it's not buried in its own long-form mini-continuity, and it's a highly entertaining comedy with superb art from Karl Richardson.

The characters of the aging Valkyries biker gang are well constructed. Their leader (a cross between Rosie the Riveter and Robin Hood) allows us to root for them as they launch a raid on a hipster enclave, only to encounter Dredd.




Sinister Dexter: The Gangbusters
(2018: progs 2079-2081)
S: Dan Abnett, A: Steve Yeowell, C: John Charles, L: Annie Parkhouse


Preceded by a couple of one-offs and The Devil Don't Care (which sews up the Devil sub-plot that's been chugging along for a while), The Gangbusters is a real breath of fresh air and both an homage and a comedy critique of 70's WWII war comic production mores. This is the first time I've actively enjoyed a Sinister Dexter story since Malone in 2006.

Making not much sense, our heroes enter an Augmented Reality game that behaves like a WWII dog-fight, at which point we get sidebar boxes explaining what we can already see happening either visually or from the character's speech. Dexter starts to argue with his newly aquired thought bubbles (which are frowned upon in modern comics), and there's a suggestion that he might take them back with him to the "normal" strip, and Sinister keeps verbalizing all of his own sound effects. It's just a sort of comedy heaven, and the most fun this strip's been for about fourteen years.




Strontium Dog: The Son
(2018: progs 2073-2081)
S: John Wagner, A: Carlos Ezquerra, L: Ellie De Ville


This introduces a son of Wulf: Kenton Sternhammer - a mutie with a preternatural sense of smell, who ends up partnered with a reluctant Johnny Alpha. Alpha's reluctance to take on Wulf's son boils down to a fear of history repeating itself, which Johnny ends up discussing with the ghost of Wulf.

There are a couple of story fluffs involving a historical misquote (it's "Sternhammer Silencer") and some forgetfulness over which planet the characters are on ("by which time Earth has moved on"), but it's a heartfelt introduction of a new character and seems to have brought Alpha back to his pre-death self.

That this story about the loss of a lifelong friend turned out to be the last complete story from Carlos Ezquerra is incredibly poignant. In many ways, a very strong end to the series, if that's what it turns out to be, and a powerful message of trust in friends from a great creative team.




Anderson Psi-Division: Undertow
(2018: progs 2073-2080)
S: Emma Beeby, A: David Roach, Mike Collins & Cliff Robinson, C: Jose Villarubia, L: Simon Bowland


I have very little idea of what actually happened here (except for the vaguest overview) as it struggles to coherently tell us a story. Some power is taking over Psi-Division's judges and making them behave erratically. Anderson gets a team together to investigate. Lots of things go badly. The end result is a much-reduced Psi-Division.

One of the issues is figuring out who's speaking when everyone's doing psychic-speak. Even with color-coding, it's a bit baffling and, honestly, it would work better with standard tails (or whatever you call those bits that connect the speaker to their speech). Even here, the solution changes over time: Echo starts out as red text to Flowers' grey. In the next part, it's decided that it's the bubble's background color that needs changed, so Karyn (see below) gets a soft pink (except when she's having one of her turns, because then it's black), Anderson gets yellow & Echo switches to blue. It's a lot to track and adds confusion to what's already quite tricky to follow frame to frame.

Psi-Judge Karyn turns up but I just don't remember how she got in the state she's in. The last time I think she showed up was in 2005's Descent. I don't remember it, and there's not even a little *Tharg-note* to help us out. Then Tempest turns up, but it's not Tempest - it's Hondo-Cit Judge Kazuo, who's a psi-blank with magic psi-blank weapons that do *something* when a psi touches them. What?! Then an old lady turns up - and she's the antagonist - but this is in part five - who is she? Everyone will die if they do Thing A, which they do, but then nobody dies. What?! Aaaargh! What happened to the old lady? How is that key character alive at the end after being killed? Why does she have manicure issues still? So many questions: so little story cohesion.





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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #198 on: 31 August, 2020, 11:02:49 PM »



May 2010 - May 2018
Well, it's taken me a couple of years, but I've read eight years worth of progs and managed to catch up to where everyone else was when I started the project. (So, yeah, you're still a couple of years ahead of me, but I've reached a milestone.) Here are some of the highlights...


The Greatest Danglers
Ian Edginton wins the hat trick here, leaving us dangling precariously on the edge of three enormous cliffhangers - the earliest of which parked its carefully weighted bus full of money back in 2014!

 - Stickleback's last episode in prog 1911 stated "The game's afoot ... and just beginning!"
 - Helium's finale left us pondering in prog 1945 and promised that "Helium will return..."
 - Brass Sun ran out of saga in prog 2072 but promised the next segment was "Coming soon!"
 
 
Future Shocks! [SPOILER WARNING]

In the not quite completely titled The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha, Middenface McNulty argues with some rock gods (literally gods made of rock, not Maiden) and persuades them to resurrect Johnny Alpha (twenty of our years after he was disintegrated by a flying demon)!

Nikolai Dante and his weapons crest were inseperable, but in the climax of Heroes Be Damned (prog 1684), Dmitri Romanov (now bonded with his own son) uses his powers to destroy Nikolai's crest, which leaves him as vulnerable to death as any other normal human.

Three stories, all set in the Dreddverse: The Simping Detective (Jokes to the Right), Low Life (Suadade) and Judge Dredd (The Cold Deck) are all running in the prog at the same time. Then, in prog 1807, Dredd kicks down the door in his final panel, and we see the results in the first panel of The Simping Detective! As the three threads reveal their connections, it all comes together by taking over prog 1812 as Trifecta.



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Top Ten New Thrills
In no particular order, the best of new thrillage:

Grey Area: a slow start with a high concept eventually becomes a compelling long-form serial after flip-flopping the original premise and making the greatest threat to humanity be your fellow humans.

Aquila: inspired by (the Tornado version of) Blackhawk from 1979, in some ways this also threatens Slaine for the "mystical warrior from an alt-history" slot.

Survival Geeks: borne from a Tharg's 3riller, this is a mash-up of Spaced and Doctor Who that merges deft characterization with nerd-centric comedy to serve up a delightful interdimensional trope-fest.

Dandridge: a drunken lothario (in the Jack Sparrow mould of heroes) that just happens to get involved in paranormal adventures (when he's not attempting to ride inanimate objects to freedom).

Jaegir: realizing that the Norts are more interesting than the Southers (and perhaps that Rogue's thread is too frayed to play with), this focusses on Atalia Jaegir's quest to root out corruption in a society that seems to thrive on it.

Age of the Wolf: a bit like 28 Days Later but with werewolves, the heroine is a witch who's first a victim, and then humanity's only hope of survival.

The Alienist: a paranormal investigator up against shadowy dark gods hell bent on the domination of humanity, but atmospherically like Tales of the Unexpected: it's much better than my description of it.


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Brink: a dense, challenging space opera that blends dark whispers of alien madness with police predural detective work ... out on the edge of space with the floating remnants of humanity ... on the brink!

Hope...: horror noir that blends the dark Hollywood of James Ellroy with the pulp characterizations of Raymond Chandler and a side helping of H.P. Lovecraft.

Kingmaker: Lord of the Rings has an outside context problem as hi-tech space invaders easily dominate a fantasy setting. Can Gandalf, a wandering orc and a dryad princess turn the tables on their new alien overlords?


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Top Ten Great Moments in Thrill-Power
In no particular order, the greatest thrilling moments that deftly teleported my self-darning socks to another dimension:

The Book of Scars: 30 Years of Slaughter
An astounding celebration of a long-running character, bringing in four strip artists (and an homage to the much missed Belardinelli), five covers (one variant from Simon Davis) an accompanying Meg retrospective and five posters (adding another three artists).

Day of Chaos
The disaster this time is everything, and Dredd loses and hangs his head in shame. Woah! If only they'd told all the other Dredd writers what was happening.

Judge Dredd: The Heart is a Lonely Klegg Hunter
A top-notch blend of comedy Dredd and pathos from Rob Williams and Chris Weston: this stands out in what's quite a crowded authorial field these days. Yes, it uses an established sub-canon character, but it doesn't rely on us recalling details from three years prior.

Indigo Prime
There was Killing Time in 1991, then Dead Eyes as a stealth-Prime strip in 2008 - but it had been a long wait for John Smith to rock up and give us an actual series: here (in 2011) we get Everything and More.


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Kingdom
Of course this started back in 2006, but it's the one stand-out series that whenever a new segment begins in the prog I'm cheering inside because I just love it. It's got the quotability of Aliens, the high concept of The Omega Man, the pulp sensibility of Them! and stupendously beautiful art from Richard Elson. Always, always: more, please!

Judge Dredd: Dark Justice
A real event story - this saw the dark judges set loose on a passenger spacecraft with predictable results. Dredd and Anderson team up on what seems like a suicide mission. Suffering slightly from Arnie-isms, you can still just savour the Greg Staples art over and over again.

Dreams of Deadworld & The Fall of Deadworld
Kek-W and Dave Kendall team up to reinvent the Dark Judges as something from your darkest nightmares. Borrowing tropes from zombie apocalypse movies, we're left to wonder, as we wander a bleak hellscape, what the point of it all is. I mean, if everyone's destined to die then isn't it hopeless? Shouldn't we just give in? Or is that just Fear talking?


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Scarlet Traces: Cold War
Managing the tricky art of making their 2007 sequel (The Great Game) just as compelling as their 2002 opener, Ian Edginton and D'Israeli make it a hat trick with the two-book Cold War: deftly blending race politics with interplanetary war.

Judge Dredd: The Fields
It's another Rob Williams and Chris Weston winner, as they manage to concoct a character (Judge Pin) that threatens all the other Dredd villains in existence for the title of most creepy.

Tharg's 3rillers: Mechastopheles
Something I love about the 3rillers format is the potential for a new series to come a-knocking, and this one felt like it was written on the cards almost from the first panel. A great high concept, with the title describing a mech from hell, which turns out to be our heroes' house.


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broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #199 on: 01 September, 2020, 05:34:21 AM »
Some great new series started during this period. We can also add Scarlet Traces as anew series although it started outside the borders of the prog.


Both The Alienist and Mechastopheles I would like to see more off in the prog.  Even Jaegir should get more regular appearances in the prog. I really like the rich, unique world Rennie created in Mechastopheles.


Kingmaker and Hope both are instant hits for me different takes on magic. interesting article in the meg related about Jimmy Broxton. Hope was original poised to be more Bladerunner like but it was changed since another series had the same concept.
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #200 on: 01 September, 2020, 06:31:11 AM »
An interesting fact is that the first appearance of The Alienist was not in the prog but rather in the 2000AD Winter Special 2014. The series debut in prog 1944.
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

AlexF

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #201 on: 01 September, 2020, 10:10:05 AM »
Funt, what a joy to see such a thorough celebration of the 2010s in 2000AD! Of course I don't agree with all of your choices for favourites (Kingmaker is rubbish! There i said it) but if anything that makes it even more fun to read.

And big second to Broodblik for more Alienist and Mechastopheles. Rennie is one of those droids who gets better and better over the years - although in those two cases praise should also be given to his co-writers.

norton canes

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #202 on: 01 September, 2020, 11:50:49 AM »
Thirded! Maybe one day Tharg could publish a nostalgic 2010's strip Special featuring new instalments of these stories.

norton canes

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #203 on: 01 September, 2020, 11:52:14 AM »
(or just return them to the regular prog :))

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #204 on: 01 September, 2020, 08:47:33 PM »
And big second to Broodblik for more Alienist and Mechastopheles. Rennie is one of those droids who gets better and better over the years - although in those two cases praise should also be given to his co-writers.

I'm assuming that Lawrence Rennie is Gordon's son (and demonstrably a chip off the old block) - but I have no idea.
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AlexF

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #205 on: 03 September, 2020, 10:04:23 AM »
Yes that's my assumption too, although I suppose he could be a demon that Rennie exorcised from himself and keeps in a little robot jar on a shelf above his writing cubicle.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #206 on: 27 October, 2020, 09:14:43 PM »


2018: Summer
A selection of stories from progs 2081 to 2092, in order of most to least ghafflebette...


Survival Geeks: Geek-Con
(2018: progs 2082-2086)
S: Emma Beeby & Gordon Rennie, A: Neil Googe, C: Gary Caldwell, L: Annie Parkhouse


Even though they're ripping into the sacred cow of Doctor Qui?, they're doing it with such bonhomie and pinache that it just works beautifully. Probably the most engaging thing about this series is how effortlessly it seems to produce such high quality, and never seems to be anywhere predictable - having managed to scribble all of that on a notice board as a throwaway gag in an earlier series. If this was a long-form television series, you'd expect it to just do a Quantum Leap style reset for each mini-series, as we visit another locale with approximately the same adventure beats, but either the format allows it not to or the authors have insisted - or some combination - so it manages to avoid the cliche pitfalls but still revel in the tropes (and still end up with the house drifting off into the nether for the next instalment). Definitely having its cake and eating it.




The Fall of Deadworld: Damned
(2018: progs 2081-2092)
S: Kek-W, A: Dave Kendall, L: Ellie De Ville


It's a bit like being inside every amazing sci-fi/horror movie ever made as we jump from scene to scene bumping into tropes like old friends at a disturbingly hallucinogenic party. We've got to track the machinations of the Sisters within the rapidly corrupting Justice Department, freedom fighters on a suicide mission, Death's distrust of his subordinates, an aging McGruder-like cop taking to the streets for one last hurrah and a couple of other strands of broken loyalty. Like a descent into madness, it doesn't seem like anything good can be waiting, and there's a tendency, either as the reader or as one of the characters, to give in to utter despair. As action horror goes, it's amazingly well done.




Judge Dredd: Elevator Pitch
(2018: progs 2088-2089)
S: Rob Williams, A: Chris Weston, C: Chris Blythe, L: Annie Parkhouse


Chris Weston on art duties for a Rob Williams Dredd is a winning formula (see prog 2011's Boxing Day, the Pin sequence and The Heart is a Lonely Klegg Hunter), and now they turn their sights on the Ape Gang. Cue death by terminal velocity banana, Judge Giant wondering about his "grandpappy", apes waxing lyrical while the humans utter banalities, and a Wally Squad operative with a ridiculous belt gadget. It's a barrel of fun, but perhaps a little too knowing.




Durham Red: Born Bad
(2018: progs 2082-2089)
S: Alec Worley, A: Ben Willsher, L: Ellie De Ville


A stylish western that dares to explore the preternatural hunger and associated guilt that drives Durham Red to try to do good even though she's doomed to do evil. The frustration with early Durham is that she was played as a cipher - the threat of badness without ever exploring what that meant. Of course, that left her palatable, so perhaps was the wisest choice. In this tale, there are times where you could forgive her what happens during the "red mist", but there are other moments where she seems to choose to do murder. It's not clear enough that the villains deserve their fate, especially as one begs for his life.




Skip Tracer: Heavy is the Head
(2018: progs 2081-2089)
S: James Peaty, A: Paul Marshall, C: Dylan Teague, L: Simon Bowland


Probably the best you can say about this is it's a bit like Bad City Blue, and the worst you can say is it's too much like Dry Run. On the face of it, there are strengths - it's a cyberpunk dystopia, with minotaurs - the hero eats noodles in neon, like in Blade Runner. But, the lead is a second-rate Stallone devoid of anything approaching a personality - and if the lead character is the keystone upon which the entire edifice relies, that's a problem. Perhaps Pat Mills is onto something when he says that one of the rules of great comic strip creation is to name the strip after the main character - because I don't know his name. He's a bit like Korben Dallas from The Fifth Element, which had the same problem of not really giving the lead any positive characteristics. And he's drawn with a permanent villainous sneer. Also: the portmanteau "Consociation" is annoying to parse.

Looking into my crystal ball, I can see this crops up for another three series, which hopefully improve more than various online mutterings suggest.





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broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #207 on: 28 October, 2020, 02:57:53 AM »
Survival Geeks are one of those thrills that grows on you;it took me awhile to warm-up but Googe's art gets better with each series.

Skip Tracer is one of those trills that if you do not like the first series I do not think you will like the next and the next and the .........  The second series is still the best (you will not have to wait too long Funt it is almost upon you).
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.