2014 an eventful year

2014 has been another good year for me on this Blog.

I’ve continued with the comic reviews and received quite a lot of Pdfs from publishers small and large. 2000AD send me quite a few and IDW added me to their Media list, I get previews through an FTP from them. Hibernia Press have sent me several of their marvelous books, both factual regarding comics and reprint collections from the 1980s Eagle, Scream and Speed. Paragon Press also sent me a few Pdfs, also very good quality. I’ve continued to review The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel, now at Issue 4. Plus David Broughton has kindly shared books that he has self published.

By far I prefer comics on paper but obviously as a comic fan to receive preview copies from companies is brilliant. Even more so when the smaller publishers and individuals send them to me.

In February I was asked to be part of a new convention, Lawgiver: A Celebration of Dredd. This was being organised by Rule32, who I backed on Indigogo and had written about. I was thrilled, they wanted me to help with ideas, I was added to the Organiser group, and to run Panels at the convention. I was thrilled. We would be including screenings of Dredd (2012) and Judge Minty. As we would have uniformed Judges on hand I decided to approach Jarred Butler, who provided VO for Judge Minty asking if he would consider doing some VO for the convention so that we had original material that tied in to the theme. Jared very kindly agreed and gave us several adverts and radio calls, including calls from Control for all the official uniformed Judges we would have on the day. He also did a set for Integra Fairbrook, Planet Replica’s official Judge Anderson. Amazingly kind of him. Continue reading

Snow Wolf Family and Me – part two

Snow wolf2Snow Wolf Family and Me episode 2
First Aired on BBC2 21:00 30th December 2014

Presenter Gordon Buchanan
Series Producer Ted Oakes
Producer Anwar Mamon
Director Anwar Mamon
Assistant Producer Patrick Evans

Due to the nature of this program this episode obviously contains spoilers of the first episode so if you haven’t watched it I would suggest you do so before reading further. There is a link to the earlier episode in my comments on Episode One. There is a link to Episode 2 below, my comments come after that link, click on the picture with Gordon & a wolf in silhouette to go to BBC iPlayer, I’m sorry but this will only work if you are in UK or Ireland.

Ellesmere Island, Canada, is an uninhabited island where the Wolves have had no contact with humans. The landscape is wild to say the least and Winter lasts four months of night. A pack of Wolves need to feed themselves during the light months to survive the harsh winter.

The pack under study have four adults, two yearlings and three pups. The alpha pair Romulus led the other four older Wolves hunting at least twice a day to feed the pups. At the end of the last episode when the team had to leave the pack had been gone from the den for twelve hours leaving the pups alone. Continue reading

Star Trek vs Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive – spoiler light (includes preview pages)

ST PotA 1 CoverStar Trek vs The Planet of the Apes
Issue 1 of 5
Published by Boom! Studios
31st December 2015

Writer: Scott Tipton & David
Artist: Rachael Stott
Colours: Charlie Kirchoff
Letterer: Tom B Long

Cover by Rachael Stott
Colours by Charlie Kirchoff

Genre – Sci-Fi, Film tie-in

Two Sci-Fi greats, what’s not to like?

This series features the original cast of Star Trek and the humans Taylor and Nova from the original Planet of the Apes film series.

There are a plethora of covers, the one I’ve used at the top of this article is by the series British artist Rachael Stott, I understand this is her first professional comic work. You can see the other covers in the preview pages below.

I’ve enjoyed Star Trek and Planet of the Apes all my life. Of the two I’d say Planet of the Apes is my favourite (some of my old Bravo Fleet friends might disown me for saying that). Continue reading

Snow Wolf Family and Me – part one

Snow wolfSnow Wolf Family and Me episode 1
Produced by BBC
First Aired on BBC2 21:00 29th December 2014

Presenter Gordon Buchanan
Series Producer Ted Oakes
Producer Anwar Mamon
Director Anwar Mamon
Assistant Producer Patrick Evans

Gordon Buchanan traveled to Ellesmere Island in Canada to find a pack of Wolves that have never encountered Humans. He knew there was a pack in the area as another scientist had observed their presence.

Gordon has previously made similar programs about American Black Bears and Polar Bears. I enjoyed both those programs. I still keep up to date with the American Bear project, though sadly nothing has been heard of our Polar Bear family since just after the program aired.

It is a harsh environment, so far North the sun sets in October and doesn’t rise again for four months. Similarly when Spring comes Summer is in complete daylight. It gets to minus 50 in winter and the Wolves are adapted for this land with their thick white fur.

There are a few spoilers in my comments below, not too strong but if you haven’t watched the show yet I’d encourage you to watch by clicking on the picture below. My comments are not all in the same sequence as the show. Continue reading

Why Judge Minty is a Good Comic Adaptation – SPOILERS (quite big ones) film embeded.

MintyJudge Minty is a Judge Dredd ‘fan film’ from director Steven Sterlacchini, co-written with Michael Carroll. Cinematography and special effects by Steve Green and props by Daniel Carey-George.

The character Judge Minty was created by John Wagner and Mike McMahon; the story featured in Prog 147 (issue 147) of 2000AD , a British anthology comic and was credited to John Howard, a pseudonym of John Wagner. This story is famous for introducing the Long Walk, a form of retirement for Judges past their prime, they leave Mega City One to take law to the lawless in the Cursed Earth, a wasteland outside the city’s walls.

The first seven minutes of the film represent the comic strip, there are differences  in the film but the themes explored in the strip contribute to the core of the film. The rest of the film follows what happens to Judge Minty in the first week or so outside the city, this is from the imagination of Steve Sterlacchini, Michael Carroll and realised by the skills of Steve Green and Daniel Carey-George.

Watch the film first if you haven’t seen it as there are big spoilers below, the film is embedded here to add space before any spoilers can be seen. Remember you can go full screen, I recommend you do. Continue reading

ORLOK Agent of East-Meg One: Eurozoned – new series Starting in 2000AD Prog 1912 – spoiler light (includes preview pages)

ORLOK Agent of East-Meg One: Eurozoned part1
1912 O2aWriter:
Arthur Wyatt
Artist:
Jake Lynch
Letterer:
Simon Bowland

Orlok
Created by
John Wagner,
Alan Grant
Steve Dillon

Starting in Prog 1912 – on sale in stores ULK & worldwide digitally on 7th January 2015.

I’m previewing this now as the Subscription copy of this Prog is arriving already with subscribers and spoilers are bound to leak about this Prog. I have written separate reviews about Judge Dredd: Dark Justice part2 and ORLOK Agent of East-Meg One: Eurozoned part1. This is because I am aware some readers may wish to avoid spoilers of certain stories. These reviews are spoiler light but include preview pages. I will preview the full Prog later.

Introduced in Judge Dredd: Block Mania (Progs 236 to 244) Orlok became a fan favourite as a villain and equally hated as the killer of Judge Giant Senior. Orlok had several other appearances, notably with Judge Anderson. He left continuity in Judge Dredd: The Trial of Orlok (Progs 1336 to 1337), appearing in flash-back form in Judge Dredd: Jumped (Progs 1491 to 1494).

In the 2000Ad Sci-Fi Special in Summer 2014 Orlok was re-introduced written and illustrated by the same team bringing us this story. This story was set during Judge Dredd’s time as Marshal on Luna-One (Prog 51)

Continue reading

Judge Dredd: Dark Justice part2 – in 2000AD Prog 1912 – spoilers (includes preview pages)

Judge Dredd: Dark Justice part2

1912 JD 1aWriter:
John Wagner
Artist:
Greg Staples
Letterer:
Annie Parkhouse

Judge Dredd 
Created by
John Wagner
Carlos Ezquerra

Prog 1912 – on sale in stores ULK & worldwide digitally on 7th January 2015.

I’m previewing this now as the Subscription copy of this Prog is arriving already with subscribers and spoilers are bound to leak about this Prog. I have written separate reviews about Judge Dredd: Dark Justice part2 and ORLOK Agent of East-Meg One: Eurozoned part1. This is because I am aware some readers may wish to avoid spoilers of certain stories. These reviews are spoiler light but include preview pages. I will preview the full Prog later.

Judge Death was introduced in Judge Dredd: Judge Death (Prog 149 to 151) by John Wagner and Brian Bolland, Judge Anderson was introduced in the same story. To say that both Judge Death and Judge Anderson became popular is quite an understatement.

The Dark Judges were introduced in Judge Dredd: Judge Death Lives (Progs 224 to 228) and the Sisters of Death joined the undying set of Judges in Judge Dredd: Necropolis (Progs 674–699).

The Dark Judges were last seen in Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos (Progs 1779 to 1782 & 1786). Part 1 of Dark Justice was published in the year end issue of 2000AD Prog 2015

The preview pages do include images that I consider as Spoilers, so be warned if you read on, again as I said at the top of this article that is why I am previewing this story separately. Continue reading

Who is Orlok? (spoiler free)

1912 O2aOrlok Agent of East-Meg One
New series starts in 2000AD Prog 1912
on sale 7th January 2015 in UK & Ireland
& Digitally worldwide same day/date
via 2000AD webshop & 2000AD iOS Ap

Orlok was created by
John Wagner, Alan Grant & Steve Dillon.

East-Meg One was a Russian version of Mega-City One. When the East-Meg Judges first appeared in Luna Olympics (Prog 50 February 1978) they were referred to as Sov-Cities Judges. East-Meg One was named individually in Battle of The Black Atlantic (Progs 128 to 129 September 1979). Depicted in both stories as exaggerated future versions of the USSR.

Orlok was introduced in Block Mania (Progs 236 to 244 December 1981) but who is he?

This article is marked ‘spoiler free’ as it gives no spoilers regarding Orlok’s new series starting in 2000AD Prog 1912. The image above is a panel from the first episode, There are however a few spoilers for earlier stories further down in this article, as most are from 2003 or earlier. All stories were published as Judge Dredd stories unless I identify them otherwise. Where stories are multi-part I have given the range of issues involved (2000AD unless otherwise stated) and the month the first episode was published.

You can read more about the new story by Arthur Wyatt and Jake Lynch here on 26th December 2014, including the first two pages of the story.  Continue reading

Corto Maltese: Under The Sign of Capricorn – spoiler light (3 preview pages included)

Corto_Capricorn_PRCorto Maltese: Under The Sigh of Capricorn
Published by IDW
24th December 2014

Written & Illustrated by Hugo Pratt
(June 15, 1927 – August 20, 1995)

Translated by Dean Mullaney and Simone Castaldi
Edited by: Dean Mullaney
Co-Cover Designer: Lorraine Turner
Consulting Editor: Patrizia Zanotti

Lettering font based on hand-lettering by Frank Engli.

This is my first encounter with this series, indeed I can’t recall ever hearing of it before IDW announced this reprint. I’m reviewing this from a Pdf preview copy and of course as this is a translation my review is of the English language version in this volume. I am assuming the translation is as true to the original as possible.

Corto Maltese’s first adventure was serialised in the Italian anthology El Sargento Kirk, itself named after an Argentine comic character. Even before translation in to English this makes the comic quite international, you’ll see that this continues inside the comic itself.

The first three pages of the story are previewed below. Continue reading

Anderson Psi Division – part 4 (of 4) – spoiler light (includes 5 preview pages)

JD_PSI04-cvrSUBJD_PSI04-cvrAnderson Psi Division
The King of the Six Sectors
Issue 4 or 4

Published by IDW
24th December 2014

Writer: Matt Smith
Artist: Carl Critchlow
JD_PSI04-cvrRILetters: Shawn Lee

Cover Art:
Matt Haley (right)
Mimi Yoon  (far right)
Agnes Garbowska (lower right)

Judge Dredd created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra
Psi Judge Anderson created by John Wagner and Brian Bolland

For those that don’t know; this story ties in with last year’s acclaimed IDW Judge Dredd mini-series by Matt Smith, Judge Dredd: Year One. You don’t have to have read last year’s story to enjoy this – but I can highly recommend catching up. Matt Smith is the Editor in Chief of the 2000AD brand, editing 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine.

I’ve seen a few readers aren’t keen on maby the covers from this series, IDW might be advised to consider a few of the 2000AD names, they’ve used several in the past. I mentioned the name Alex Ronald in my preview of the previous issue, his covers for 2000AD or Judge Dredd Megazine are always great – you can see them in detail on 2000AD Covers Uncovered. Continue reading