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Messages - positronic

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General / Re: I may get shot for this...
« on: Today at 08:28:53 pm »
I hasten to point out that I refer here to the newly-updated (by Karl Stock, with David Bishop's blessing, but without his actual participation) 2017 edition of Thrill-Power Overload. I haven't seen the prior edition from eight years earlier, so I couldn't say what might have been left out of the new edition that may have been in the previous edition, but the new expanded version contains a substantial amount of new text, including of course, all of the events covered since the first edition was written.

General / Re: I may get shot for this...
« on: Today at 07:51:55 pm »
As the person who wrote the multi-part interview in the Megazine and had the extraordinary privilege to have met Ron several times, I can confirm these comments are being taken wildly - nay, egregiously - out of context.

That's fair. Perhaps I should be criticizing the editor of Thrill-Power Overload for choosing to print that quote out of context of the rest of a lengthy interview, which would have presented a more balanced picture. Since he didn't choose to print any counterbalancing comments in which Mr. Smith warmly expressed his appreciation of the medium or the fans of his work, without any context it tends to paint him in a negative light.

Then again, it would probably be fair to characterize TPO as somewhat of a 'warts and all' Mega-City Babylon approach to the 2000 AD history, not afraid to air the dirty laundry behind-the-scenes. For an authorized company history, that's pretty unusual, but when we get to the point where Rebellion acquired ownership of 2000 AD, things become substantially more subdued and reserved. That may or may not be truly reflective of a less-turbulent period in the magazine's history, or it may reflect the point at which David Bishop's editorial choices of whom to quote, about what, were no longer a factor.

At any rate, there's nothing to be lost in digging up dirt on tempestuous relations with former editors or publishers, and it makes for more interesting reading than the kind of carefully-vetted and tidied-up-politely histories of other comics companies. But it also does make me wonder if Bishop chose to highlight that quote of Ron Smith's specifically because it sounded so "just business; it-was-all-about-the-money", if he couldn't find anything else the least bit provocative. I did notice just a few instances in the book of creators or editors who "declined to be interviewed for this book".

General / Re: How did you first get into 2000ad?
« on: Today at 03:52:45 pm »
A huge pile of Titan reprints which my brother borrowed from a friend got me on board.

It's funny how "reprints" started out as such a good thing when a reader was young and new to comics, way back before trade paperbacks was really even a product category, but after a reader became one of the cognoscenti, a comics insider with an awareness of what's going on in the marketplace, "reprints" became a dirty word ("PFAH! ... reprints !"), and then once you become an older veteran, "reprints" are like meeting an old friend again.

(Although technically, now even first-run trade hardcovers or paperbacks are reprints, and digital comics are a re-something (if not actually "print") -- unless they're digital first or digital exclusives.)

Back in the day, to be seen reading reprints was to be caught "out of the loop", to suffer the embarrassment of not being cool enough to have been there for the first appearance in print (or at least not being cool enough to have collected all of the original run of a comic). The practiced comic fanatics looked down their noses at this attempt by publishers to save money and foist off second-hand goods well past their shelf-life on knowing readers eager for the works of the newest and hottest creators.

On the other hand, the 2000 AD Titan graphic albums were, to Americans, for all intents and purposes "new", and better than that, they were even seen as somewhat 'cutting edge' compared to American mainstream comics, which made you cooler than people who read Savage Sword of Conan or Vampirella, and maybe even Heavy Metal.

General / Re: How did you first get into 2000ad?
« on: Today at 03:22:19 pm »
Spent the weekend over at my grandmother as a child, went to the newsagent to buy something and picked up issue no2 of 2000AD. (Yes I am that old).
Never got to see issue no1 :)

Neither did Judge Dredd, and he's the star! (now)

General / Re: How did you first get into 2000ad?
« on: Today at 03:17:38 pm »
It might be that I'm just not fond of reboots, and didn't particularly much care for even Dave Gibbons' earlier War Machine/Friday reboot, so... this one got a read, but felt underwhelming to me.

But since it probably justified IDW's reprinting Rogue Trooper Classics in color, everybody wins!

I loved War Machine, so you might be onto something there.

As reboots go though... that would hardly be a fair comparison. Although I also didn't know that War Machine was supposed to be a reboot* when I first read it so long ago, so I should really pull it out again and offer it a proper re-assessment.

*[Until much later, when it was decided editorially that it wasn't, after all.]

Off Topic / Re: Stuff you don't see anymore.
« on: Today at 03:12:03 pm »
You still get some machines - although strangely it's massive versions of phone games like fruit ninja.

Either that or Dancing/Driving/Shooting stuff with custom cabinets.

People keep saying that VR might bring it back, but I'm not sure about the sweaty VR helmets aspect.

And yet... people still rent bowling shoes.  :lol:

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: Today at 02:00:31 pm »
Wow Positronic that's quite a pull list. How many titles are you getting a month? Some good stuff there - always nice to hear some love for the fantastic Hillbilly

About... "kind of a lot"? Who counts? If I did, I guess the next thing I'd be thinking about was cutting down.  :(   [I have a secret though. I kind of cheat, because about half the comics I might read in any given week might be borrowed, not bought, which sure does make it easier to sample stuff or read things that I'd otherwise dismiss out of hand as of marginal worth.]

I just try to find comics that appeal to me, and I have eclectic tastes. Some comics are the "comfort food", some are "meat & potatoes", some are "fine cuisine", and some are "dessert". Some are like candy or bubblegum, and some are "snack food".

I do tend to lean towards comics that are science-fictional (especially some of the more specialized subgenres), or have monsters, or are cartoony or comical (big animation fan, too), at least to some degree. But I'm not ruling anything out per se, so anything from mainstream to kids' comics to manga to alternative/underground could be on my list in any given week.

I used to be a huge DC and Marvel guy. But that was back 5-10 years ago or more, so my reading list of the Big Two has been shrinking ever since. It's easier to pass most of their titles by when you aren't reading for "the universe" any longer. Too many years of gimmicks and "event burnout" I guess. I tend to view the Pavlovian-response techniques with a jaundiced eye these days. I still keep a finger on the pulse, as it were, and sometimes relent when people push me to read something. There are exceptions to restricting my diet for "fast food" comics. There are always exceptions, depending on who the writer and artist is, but considering how few Marvel & DC comics I actually buy, as opposed to just borrow...

I feel bad now about missing The Goon when it first started, or select Vertigo titles, or lots of the Mignolaverse stuff. There's a huge back catalog I missed in the last 25 years or so.

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: Today at 11:13:52 am »
Perhapse an inherently unfair comparrison (PLUTO is a masterpiece) and rather a reimagining it's a sequel that ignores everything that came after Ultra Q and Ultraman '66, but over all, yes. Go in with that mindset and you'll likely read into it a lot better.

Okay, thanks, Hawkmumbler. Manga can be a little hard to navigate sometimes in terms of recommendations because there are so many different genres and tastes out there. Where seinin manga overlaps tokusatsu/superhero or classic anime-manga reboots or sequels, it's hard for me to find recommendations from people of like-minded sensibilities.

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: Today at 10:50:42 am »
ULTRAMAN is something that is very, radically different from the source material, but when you get over that what you find is a superb series full of murder mystery intrigue and galactic political espionage. It wont be for everyone, but it's magnificent in it's own little way.

So, could you compare it to something like Urasawa's PLUTO then, in terms of how that was a reimagining of Tezuka's Tetusuwan Atomu: "The Greatest Robot on Earth" story? Lots of political allegory and a more realistic 21st century re-do in that one (with a very different sort of art and storytelling sensibility, and not just a rehash of the same plot), and one of the best manga I've read in recent years. If the Ultraman reboot is anywhere half as great as that, then it's probably pretty good.

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: Today at 06:55:09 am »
Weekly Shonen Jump is on fire right now, I might add, and by farthe best anthology on the market besides the tooth. New series Doctor Stone is the paleolithic post apocalyptic survival series I never knew I wanted, One Piece is pulling out all the stops to be as crazy as possible, Food Wars! continues to do it's thing, The Promised Neverland is jaw droppingly wonderful, and so out of the Jump comfert zone as to be enigmatic. Then theres My Hero Academia. Oh how I love it.

ULTRAMAN #8 continues to be mesmerisingly brilliant yet so familiar.

Seeing how we both like stuff like Stokoe, Kill or Be Killed, Savage Dragon, and Hillbilly, it seems like we might have some similar tastes in comics. So I have to ask, is Ultraman really that good? Someone else had recommended it to me, but when I flipped through it, it just seemed entirely too unnecessary... for an Ultraman manga, that is. Just like overly busy (artwise), and maybe a little too 'grim & gritty' and trying too hard to prove something in terms of justifying itself as a seinin manga for nostalgic adult readers. In general though, I'm eager for some tokusatsu hero manga. I'm still hoping for an English translation of Kamen Rider Spirits someday, in a subdued 'don't-hold-your-breath' kind of way. How would you compare the new Ultraman to something like (the highly-underrated IMO) Bio-Booster Armor GUYVER?

I take it Jump's all-digital now? I never really liked following the stories piecemeal, a few pages at a time every week; I prefer them in tankobon-sized chunks. I'm all over it when a new One-Punch Man volume comes out, and My Hero Academia (from last year's FCBD preview) seemed all right, but maybe a little like One-Punch Man lite, crossed with Avengers Academy or something. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

Any other notable manga you're enjoying?

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: Today at 06:36:22 am »
Stokoe's been kinda quiet lately, with his run of Godzilla over and Orc Stain struggling to gaintraction, the dude has turned his considerable talents to the Xenomorphs in Alien Dead Orbit #1 and its...just solid. Hard too feel a little underwhelmed despite my enthusiasm, as it's really just another Aliens story at this point. But i'm keeping my eye on it.

Thanks for the heads-up on that one, Hawkmumbler. Dark Horse releases SO many Aliens and Predator series that it becomes a little ho-hum, and I tend to just glance over them in the solicitations. But of course anything by Stokoe is an exception, so I've just ordered this series from my LCS.

Speaking of.... now where IS that fourth issue of Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens? It seems like it's been... forever, since issue #3.

Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: 27 April, 2017, 06:55:42 pm »
Positronic, I had burned out a little on Lobster Johnson (after the calamitous events of BPRD the stakes just seemed too small) but the promise of some small insight into the enigma of the man himself is luring me back!

I've just recently figured out that the one-shot (and maybe even 2-issue) stories are real stand-alone stories that they can slot into the long hiatuses between Tonci Zonjic's 3- or 4-issue story arcs. Those are the only ones where you'll find the advancement of any clues or character developments.

On the other hand, it would be wrong to read LJ just for some kind of overall advancement on the mystery angle. I've a feeling the ultimate resolution to that may not really come until John Arcudi is within arm's length of the end of the Lobster's career.

I don't even KNOW for sure if those clues are in the offing in this story, but reporter Cindy was working on researching some clues, and the bad guys have somehow figured out she's important. One of the things she had found had to do with a pirate, and this arc has a pirate's ghost, so it seems likely there might be some connection. Whether it will be enough for anyone to formulate any viable theories is up in the air. I have some vague ideas myself, but they might have something to do with it, or be way out in left field.

There's still room for a lot of false trails or red herrings before anything resembling a real "origin story" might be realized. Somehow, the fact that the reader knows as little about the Lobster as the criminals he fights is part of the successful formula of this title. I think Arcudi's trying to emulate the mysterioso quality of the early 1930s Shadow novels, when readers spent years guessing about small clues about the Shadow's past that were peppered through various pulp novels.

General / Re: I may get shot for this...
« on: 27 April, 2017, 04:39:51 pm »
I couldn't say what passes for shop talk among comic artists, but you'd think they'd spare the fans (who else is going to be reading Thrill-Power Overload?) the brass tacks of boiling "the art of comics" down to a fine accounting of X#-pounds per hour. I've read plenty of interviews, and I've heard artists gripe about pay rates, deadlines, etc. Not all of them were happy with the jobs they got assigned or the characters or genres they were drawing, and some of them hated editors with a burning passion, but they carried on, because they were being paid for what they loved doing.

I didn't get any sense of that at all from Smith's comments.  I get the sense that Smith had no special attachment to the work itself. It was almost as if the breakdown of accounting would have had him painting signs, if it turned out he could have gotten a better hourly rate for it. It just really offended me -- not that he can't do whatever he likes, but is that the kind of thing comic fans really want to read in an artist's interview? ... 'I'm only in it for the money' ? If that's the way you really feel, have the decency to keep it to yourself.

General / Re: Do the Rogue trooper tales of Nu earth....
« on: 27 April, 2017, 04:28:54 pm »
I haven't read that since its first American printing in HEAVY METAL (and subsequent re-reprinting as a hardcover graphic novel under the War Machine title). It was a long time ago. Guess I'll have to put that into the re-read stack. I don't think it includes anything beyond the Gibbons-written original story arc, but I doubt if I can justify buying another reprinting.

Books & Comics / Re: Comics you are excited about in 2017
« on: 27 April, 2017, 04:24:56 pm »
I believe Phillips was privy to this story before hand, and is now presumably completed to some degree, and acquired this piece from Burns for his collection. The dude love him some painted comic art.

He's already acquiring the original artwork, and the series hasn't even been announced (presumably by Dynamite) yet?

There was a full-page DE ad in the back of this week's Batman/The Shadow #1... just the silhouette of the Shadow, with the gun in a gloved, girasol-ringed hand, pointing straight at the viewer. Typography reads simply THE SHADOW and at the bottom of the page SUMMER 2017. Artwork isn't signed, but unless I miss my guess it's Francisco Francavilla.

I would assume John Burns isn't involved in The Spirit/Green Hornet crossover miniseries that DE already announced, so... ??

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