Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning...

A brief note on The Sound of Drums mainly to say that I'll comment in full once the final episode has been broadcast. I normally prefer to consider multiple parters as a whole (yes, I know I covered 'Utopia' on it's own but... my blog my rules, OK?).

I will say though that John Simm's Master is a triumph. A dark and twisted anti-Doctor able to do in one episode what the preceding three series and two Christmas specials worth of villains had failed to do - that is to shut the Doctor up and wipe the grin off his face. This Master visibly rejoices in chaos and destruction. The final close up on the Doctor, old and infirm, restrained by Mrs Saxon and the Master, is the most chilling image the series has yet offered us.

Good luck Martha, please look after him.

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In other news I continue to be totally useless at getting any work done. I intend to get a lot done this week and next week (it's another weeks holiday - yes it's writey-week again!) and hopefully kick start my routine again. Ever since we got the car everything seems to have gone to pot. What the connection is I've no idea.
Speaking of the car I'm driving up to Sedgley to meet Emma on Saturday morning. This will be my longest journey yet. Spare a thought for me with only Mo Dutta to keep me company!

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I got back into reading 2000AD at the start of this year for the first time in nearly ten years. While I've been enjoying it enough to keep buying it there's not really been much cause for me to mention it here... until now.

There are two new strips in the comic, just a few weeks into their run. Both are written by Pat Mills, one of them is excellent. Defoe concerns the adventures of a zombie exterminator in an alternative seventeenth century England overrun with the undead. Defoe is a character who seems to have much in common with the best anti-heroes of the western genre. He is a war veteran who lost his family in a terrible tragedy with a gruff demeanor and a nice line in monosyllabic answers. Such a character translates into this warped vision of historic London admirably and has quickly become the first story I read every week. Sorry Joe.

Elsewhere in the Galaxy's Greatest I've become quite fond of Nikolai Dante though it often seems like little more than an excuse to print nudie drawings of ladies. Judge Dredd has been pretty good and shows signs of something really exciting coming up. Detonator X was dull, Savage was excellent (though he doesn't look like Stanley Baker anymore, which is bad), Robohunter was very funny with beautiful art and Greysuit, that second new Pat Mills strip, is a tedious retread of Mach 1, which was a tedious retread of the Six Million Dollar Man, which was just tedious.

The Megazine's comic content has been outshone totally by it's non-fiction features, interviews and the excellent film reviews. Still the current Anderson story is good and Blood of Satanus III looks gorgeous thanks to the wonderfully wrong, wrong, wrong artwork of John Hicklenton.

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In fact, despite resisting for some years now I've recently been reading the odd comic. I was always more a fan of specific characters in the past so whilst I may have read every issue of 'Tec between about 1986 and 2003 I'd never tried Transmetropolitan or Bone. My slavish loyalty to the Dark Knight has finally been defeated now, thanks to getting burned once too often by DC's (and Marvel's) insistence on crossover 'events'.

It was a great pleasure therefore to enjoy book one of Warren Ellis's excellent Transmetropolitan collection. It's not often something stays with me so long after I read it yet I find snatches of Spider's wisdom flit into my head with surprising regularity. I will certainly be reading the rest of the series and looking for other interesting comics of the last ten years (feel free to offer suggestions).

It's liberating to finally be able to go into a comic shop without buckling under the crushing weight of responsibility that loyalty to certain characters or publishers can impose upon you.

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Finally a note to say if you missed Angry, Sexy and Working Class on Radio 2 on Friday night then you can listen to it via the stations interweb site and should doso at the earliest opportunity as it was excellent. Narrated by Christopher Eccleston it's a series about British New Wave cinema of the late fifties and early sixties. Lot's of soundbites from key people of the period and a timely reminder that British Cinema should not be an oxymoron and certainly shouldn't follow the crowd.

Look out for it on Friday nights at 7pm.


  1. was that SAM SLADE Robohunter? With Hoagie and everything? Because if it was, 2000AD may well be attracting another lapsed reader.

    Comics, eh?
    Off the top of my head, I'd recommend Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson (young creatively inclined arty type working in bookstore, may sound familiar), Alan Moore's League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (don't be put off by the film), Age Of Bronze by Eric Shanowar (retelling of the Trojan War), The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman (full on Romero esque zombie gorefest. You won't respect it in the morning) and Jaka's Story by Dave Sim (a standalone part of his incredible Cerebus 6000 page graphic novel)

    The best comic shop in England is Page 45 in Nottingham


    tell them I sent you

  2. It's actually Samantha Slade, but with Hoagie & Stogie in tow.

    I've passed through Nottingham a few times (as you'll know) but I don't think I've come across Page 45.

    I'll check 'em out.