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Author Topic: Thrill-Coma 2010  (Read 17855 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #105 on: 17 June, 2019, 09:02:20 pm »
You got a logic. I wish I had a logo.

I'm jealous of your logo.

So I'm not going to comment on your wonderful post.

I'm petty like that logo boy...

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #106 on: 17 June, 2019, 10:29:17 pm »
I'm jealous of your logo.

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

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #107 on: 30 June, 2019, 01:07:14 am »


2014 (3rd Quarter)

With a staggered start, the 3rd quarter molds itself into a powerful five-thrill line-up that's almost five for five.

In order of most to least thrilling...


Jaegir: Circe
(1893-1898)
Script: Gordon Rennie
Art: Simon Coleby
Colours: Len O'Grady
Letters: Ellie De Ville


Atalia Jaegir is hired by a body-swapping gangster to track down the cause of a genetic mutation that has turned his comrades into mindless beasts.  As the blind-siding plot wends a twisted route towards a violent resolution of sorts, we find outselves in a dystopian present constantly haunted by a nightmarishly violent past. 

This is disturbing stuff: brought masterfully to life by Coleby and O'Grady's artwork as the city is bathed in red from the glow of fires, the countryside in darkness is lit only by the flames of a burning house and between it we flashback to the chem clouds and violent conflict of Nu Earth's endless war. 

Still, maybe an old face can help brighten things up:




Brass Sun: Floating Worlds
(1888-1899)
Script: Ian Edginton
Art: INJ Culbard
Letters: Ellie De Ville


Part way through this third book of the epic, we get an explanation of how the Wheel of Worlds came to be: effectively a wandering diety (a bit Q-like, for the Trekkies) happened along our solar system, accidentally mostly destroyed it (akin to carelessly knocking over some toys) and rebuilt it as a clockwork imperfection.

As Wren tries to follow AI clues left behind that might repair the structure (and thus save humanity) an implacable opponent comes into frame: a sort-of AI virus that aims instead to destroy the wheel.  This is good for the narrative, because if the only roadblocks were to be found confined to individual worlds the saga could get too repetitive (like the levels in a sequential platform game).

Culbard does a good job of realizing a mostly gaseous world (partly reminiscent of the novel The Algebraist by the late, great Iain M. Banks) in which the humans' airships are often mere minnows:



 
Aquila: Carnifex
(1890-1899)
Script: Gordon Rennie
Art: Leigh Gallagher
Colours: Dylan Teague
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


Carnifex brings to a close an arc started in December 2012 in the special Prog 2013 (Quo Vadis, Domine?), where Aquila got tied into the real history of Emperor Nero's persecution of early Christians in Rome.  In Where All Roads Lead (2013: progs 1851-1855), Aquila becomes a killer for Nero: who is seeking to propel himself to divine status through the execution of various key figures.

As Nero's plans tend towards the end game, we follow various characters through Rome's occult underbelly and are left with a conclusion of sorts which frees Aquila for further adventures (further afield) whilst not allowing him to resolve his own personal mission to confront the Goddess he serves.

Leigh Gallagher succeeds in providing a blend of epic scope (chariot races at The Circus of Nero), the sudden and bloody violence of the melee and the undead horrors of the Roman crypts:




Black Shuck
(1891-1899)
Script: Leah Moore & John Reppion
Art: Steve Yeowell
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letters: Simon Bowland


A brand new fantasy epic very much reminiscent of The Red Seas (partly unavoidable because of Steve Yeowell being on art duties) provides an epic Norse setting: here be Trolls, witches, zombies and werewolves!  The structure is told partly in flashback, as the titular Black Shuck comes into his inheritance as son of King Ivar only to discover that the Kingdom is cursed by an undead Jotnar king intent on the recovery of his stolen treasure horde.
 
It's evocative and action-packed but perhaps missing some sympathy for a main character who at times seems driven by the tumult of fate rather than anything more compelling.  Very Norse, that. 
 
 


Judge Dredd: Cascade
(1894-1899)
Script: Michael Carroll
Art: Paul Marshall
Colours: Gary Caldwell
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


An intriguing opening premise (a space explorer and brilliant scientist from the pre-Judge era returns to Earth) descends into Mark Millar-esque levels of posturing nonsense as Michael Carroll carelessly rummages around in the Wagner goodie bag and pulls out the Lawlords.  They were a short-lived idea from 2001 (Megazines 3.76-3.79) that expanded on the Judge-system across Earth notion (itself a bit of a stretch) and invented aggressive, giant, alien space Judges at an intergalactic Judge convention. 

Now they've come to shout loudly at Earth until Dredd flies a space hotrod (no, really) up to their orbiting ship and punches them in the neck, which solves everything.  It's all just so ... superheroic: the Lawlords even look a bit like mini-Galacti (that's the plural of Galactus) and provide the same sort of cheap exo-threat.  Not really Dredd at all.

The best thing about all of this is the art: especially the splendid cover to prog 1897 by Alex Ronald.

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Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #108 on: 30 June, 2019, 07:28:20 am »
Arh Brass Sun is pure fried 2000ad gold. I worry for it as apparently INJ Culbard has an ongoing coming out soon from ... some publisher... maybe one I imagined? Sure I read that but can't find reference to it? Anyway its not present the way it was which is such a shame.

While I didn't think Black Shuck was the best on seeing this I did miss it and wondered if it'll be back, which I guess not?

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #109 on: 30 June, 2019, 07:33:34 pm »
So Brass Sun hasn't been completed?  Okay...

From back here in 2014-land, it seems relatively fast-paced: a series in each of 2012, 2013 & 2014.  If it kept up that pace it would mean that it's had at least four more series and still isn't complete.  My guess is that it must have slowed down it's publication rate a bit.  (I know I could just check Barney, but I'm enjoying not knowing too much of what's still to come.)

I'm sad that Black Shuck never made it back for a second series: it certainly set some stuff up at the end that could have allowed another go.  If you're into your Norse mythology you might check out Neil Gaiman's aptly titled Norse Mythology.  Shuck wasn't perfect in terms of the flashback structure or the glossed over characterization but it played well atmospherically, I thought.  I definitely thought it belonged in the prog.
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broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #110 on: 30 June, 2019, 07:44:27 pm »
I'm sad that Black Shuck never made it back for a second series: it certainly set some stuff up at the end that could have allowed another go.  If you're into your Norse mythology you might check out Neil Gaiman's aptly titled Norse Mythology.  Shuck wasn't perfect in terms of the flashback structure or the glossed over characterization but it played well atmospherically, I thought.  I definitely thought it belonged in the prog.

I enjoyed Black Shuck. This is for me  series that could have had more that it got.

All I can say is keep on reading.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #111 on: 30 June, 2019, 07:57:47 pm »
Its not that it didn't get a second series...

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #112 on: 06 July, 2019, 08:19:27 pm »
I've been reading The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael (and the dead left in his wake): One Last Bullet, and I thought "Fuck me: that's a long title - probably one of the longest titles in 2000 AD history".

Here's the top 10 in reverse order:

10: A surprise entry and a blast from the past, at 71 characters we've got the fondly remembered kascade of kolorful konundrums that was Kola Kommandos: Is Your Life an Okay Life? Hector Doldrum's Used To Be! (1992: prog 777)

9: Judge Dredd has some strong contenders with the likes of the argumentative The Ballad Of Toad McFarlane ('Cept It's Not A Ballad) or the sub-sub-sub-titling of The Mega-Rackets, Crime File 7 - The Stookie Glanders, but beating both of those into submission with a trusty day stick is the 72 character wonder that is Judge Dredd: They Shoot Deejays, Don't They? (Or At Least They Ought To). (1987: prog 506)

7=: Skulking out of the dark shadows of the Megazine and fueling our nightmares, at 73 characters of doom-laden prophesying we have Tales From The Black Museum: The Unfortunate Case of High-Altitude Albert. (2011: meg 317)

7=: Swaggering in from the Judge Dredd Annual and brushing dust from his dapper suit, with 73 characters of Shuggy skills and sass there's Max Normal: The Pinstripe Freak (He's Dredd's Informer!) - The Max Factor (1983: JDA '84)

6: Aiming for the top spot with a number four cartridge we leap to 80 characters with a true Matryoshka doll of a title in Strontium Dog: The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha: Chapter Three - Mutant Spring (2013: progs 1812.5-1821)

5: Just when you thought it was safe to trust the mayor of Mega-City One, PJ Maybe returns with the only mildly dyslexic 84 characters of Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos - Wot I Did During The Worst Disaster in Mega-City History (2012: progs 1786)

4: Only in 4th place despite being the unholy inspiration for the list, gunning his way through hell and back with a grumpy sneer there's The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael (and the dead left in his wake): One Last Bullet with 87 characters. (2014: prog 1901+)

3: Back when Johnny was dead, other Dogs took up the reins and Maeve didn't just have many arms - she also claimed many characters (89 to be precise) with Strontium Dog, Tales From The Doghouse: Maeve The Many-Armed - Niall Of The Nine Sausages. (1989: progs 636-638)

2: In second place, confirming the unwritten rule that it's not really a Time Twister unless Hitler's in it, defeating the opposition with a stomping jackboot at 93 characters we have Tharg's Time Twisters: The Absolutely And Utterly Authentic Story Behind "The Hitler Diaries". (1983: prog 328)

1: You're not really a Squaxx if you didn't already know that the Russian rogue who's too cool to kill was sitting here waiting, quaffing from a vintage bottle of Champagne as he carelessly tosses out (the 106 characters of) Nikolai Dante: How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life (2005: progs 1428-1431)
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Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #113 on: 07 July, 2019, 10:39:51 am »
That list needed to exist long ago and I'm very happy you've done it. I always assumed (wrongly it would seem) that Ichhy Bod's would have long winded the say.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #114 on: 12 July, 2019, 05:16:13 am »


2014 (4th Quarter)

A strong and stable line-up takes us from the numerically significant prog 1900 to the end of the year.  It's an interesting blend, with more modern thrills leading the pack against the stalwarts of yesteryear (or their strange offspring).

In order of most to least thrilling...


The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael (and the Dead left in his Wake): One Last Bullet
(1900-1910)
Script: Rob Williams
Art: Michael Dowling
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


Did you ever wonder what you'd get if you crossed High Plains Drifter, Preacher, Dante's Inferno and, erm, Dirty Frank from Low Life?  Well, it might end up something like this.  To hazard a guess, this thrill might be Marmite for the Squaxx at large, given that it breaks the fourth (and fifth, and sixth) wall with alacrity and reads a bit like beat poetry (from the 14th century).

If you're looking for a clean, clear and obvious narrative structure: look elswhere!  As one of the character's themselves opines as they meet their demise:

"Behold my finite narrative ends.  I, the hunter, am killed. This is not correct. If anything it should have been him who slayed me as befits my stature as prime antagonist. An ending proper must have its roots established at the beginning. Story, form... decays around us..." 

Dirty Frank is resurrected here as a talking horse and lands many of the best lines.  Certainly, it seems as if the author is having a ton of fun as he provides Ichabod with what seems to be his final chapter.  We are given an ending, and dramatic events unfold prior.




Kingdom: Aux Drift
(1900-1909)
Script: Dan Abnett
Art: Richard Elson
Colours: Abigail Ryder
Letters: Simon Bowland


The fifth book of this long-running series (last seen in 2011) sees Gene find another group of survivors: this time what seems like an equal status mixed group of humans and Aux.  As usual, Them (the dominant Insectoid race populating the Earth) are not far behind and there is much scrapping.

Richard Elson's depiction of Gene's decimated world and the deadly combat he gets into on a regular basis is amazing to behold as the action punches out of the frames, but there is now something repetetive about Gene's journey (insofar as each series after the first has had Gene arrive at a destination, find out it's not a bed of roses and thereafter continue on his walkabout).

To counter that complaint, there are hints back to previously dangled threads (Leezee and the orbiting Masters), a new commander caste Them to worry about and a bit of a stepping stone to what seems to be a well organized survivor population.




Stickleback: The Thru'Penny Opera
(1900-1911)
Script: Ian Edginton
Art: D'Israeli
Letters: Ellie De Ville


In some ways Stickleback can seem more design aesthetic than story, with D'Israeli's depiction being so definitive, and there being a sense that the world is difficult to define: almost a mirage, rather than a reality.  Whilst that sense remains, we're suddenly grounded in the opening scene of this fifth series by the revelation that the stickly back of the titular protagonist is part of an elaborate costume.

As we lurch through a threatened London under seige by the machinations of ancient dark gods, Stickleback finds himself firmly on the back foot and (for those that love the character) there awaits what might be a terrible disappointment in the final reveal.  It's difficult to know if the series can survive such a jarring shift in approach.




Judge Dredd: Block Judge
(1900-1909)
Script: John Wagner
Art: Carlos Ezquerra
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


A solid Dredd tale by the old masters that's reminiscent of classic procedurals such as The Graveyard Shift (335-341) or Sunday Night Fever (416-418), whilst also having the limiting factor of being set within a single block: itself somewhat like the classic The Pit (970-999).

Perhaps the only complaint we could level here, then, is that this very serviceable story is unavoidably derivative.  Dredd is grumpy at a younger Judge, but only because he needs the best from everyone. Whilst ultimately Dredd wins out, it's against a city that has an endless supply of crazy citizens to throw back at him.

There's a great sequence in which the wounded and outnumbered Judge Corrigan has the lights switched off, masterfully realized by Ezquerra:




Greysuit: Prince of Darkness
(1901-1911)
Script: Pat Mills
Art: John Higgins
Colours: Sally Hurst
Letters: Ellie De Ville


Whilst the art is undeniably fantastic (as you'd expect from Higgins), the story is at the ranty, polemic end of the Mills oeuvre.  It would be safe to assume that Mills hates upper class privelege, but in painting his enemies as monsters in need of justified extermination, he ambles too easily into hyperbole and starts to become the beast in need of tranquilising (that he paints his targets as).

As beasts create murderous beasts, we're left in a bloody, muddy field with nobody to root for: a world populated only by the hateful.  It begs the question of who this is for, apart from the author.

The most memorable scene is where the main character injects his enemy with a drug that forces him to beat his own brains out against a wall - but it's just a bit sickening, and so doesn't need to be repeated here.
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #115 on: 12 July, 2019, 10:03:34 am »
"It begs the question of who this is for, apart from the author.”

That… is a really superb summation of that story – and, sadly, far too much Mills output in recent years.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #116 on: 19 July, 2019, 04:41:43 am »
Top Five Covers of 2014

1900: One of those Dredd covers that has nothing to do with the story, this is amazing work from Greg Staples: perhaps it's Dredd just before he battles Orlok during Block Mania.
 



1904: This cover by Alex Ronald takes the internal story further than the prog itself: the untold story of Dredd's encounter with an unruly class during his stint as Block Judge.
 



1869: The return of Ulysses Sweet after a 26 year hiatus (from a two-episode thrill spun off a Future Shock) definitely earns the 2014 WTF award.  The best thing about this frenzied assault on woke-nicity is a wonderfully disturbing cover by Alex Ronald:




1908: Greg Staples gives us another amazing Dredd cover: this time the cover text tries to attach it to the internal story.
 



1897: Another odd turnip from the refuse pile of history would be the Lawlords from Lawcon, having taken thirteen years to hatch a nefarious plot to invade Earth. Their tactic of shouting the plan at everyone during prime time demonstrated their level of intelligence, but this third cover from Alex Ronald (taking the hat trick) again makes a poor story look great:
 
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Jim_Campbell

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #117 on: 19 July, 2019, 08:52:02 am »
More speech balloons on covers, I say.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #118 on: 19 July, 2019, 08:08:26 pm »
There's a very clear clean style in all those covers! Something you get the impression Tharg likes too.

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #119 on: 20 July, 2019, 04:20:05 pm »
It's incredible, isn't it? His old pen-and-ink stuff was much less precise and clean, and I wasn't much of a fan (though Alan Craddock's colours didn't help).

His new stuff is absolutely outstanding; and I can't get enough of it. More Craddock, please, Tharg.
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