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Carnivorous Vulgaris

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Everything posted by Carnivorous Vulgaris

  1. Oh sweet fucking Christ... (@The imagine in John's opening post)
  2. Just finished reading the Critical Mass TPB, having never read any of Jenkins stuff before. It's fantastic and a it's mystery* why DC left it so long to republish the story considering how it compares to some of what preceded and succeeded it. * Yes, yes, as Someone upthread mentioned, sales figures of the monthly trades were probably poor.
  3. Andy Diggle's first two issues. The story line called "The Deep End", I think. It's a fine setup and plenty of potential for great dialogue if the chemistry between Ryan and whoever they would cast as Webb was right.
  4. Count me among those that took offence to the Romany issue. "Nothing blacker than gypsy magic" might have some kind of logical consistency with whatever this interpretation of John Constantine knows about magic and the occult but to virgin ears it still comes across as quite racist. It was also pretty obvious that her character was villainous - her inappropriate behaviour towards Constantine was a clanging giveaway. "It's always the wife", as my girlfriend wearily observed while watching it. I liked the setting for this last episode. A blue-collar mining town with Welsh roots in backwoods America is fertile and unexplored ground, the kind of place you'd expect Constantine to crop up in. Quite in keeping with his first appearances in Swamp Thing and then Azzarello's run on the title. Is Matt Ryan owning the character? He's a damn sight better than Reeves and he's showing signs of being able to nail the acerbic wit of the character but I'm not sure about his ability to carry the "heavier" moments that he's had to deal with so far. The "You can't have her" scene from the pilot wasn't great. I remain a Matt Ryan agnostic for the time being but there's enough to be cautiously optimistic.
  5. Royal Blood is a bit of a mixed bag for me. It's redeeming features stem more from its artwork (always liked Simpson's style) than its narrative which is quite dull. I can imagine that when Ennis and Simpson first pitched the idea "What if a member of the Royal Family gets possessed by a murderous demon?" it must have seemed funny and ripe with possibility but they quite fumbled the execution and, even within the context of Hellblazer, the story's absurd.
  6. Well, after going on an Ebay binge, I've reacquired the issues of Eagle that I owned years ago, plus a few more besides. It's been a nostalgic headfuck, to say the least. Just leafing through the pages of each issue again is like stepping back in time. I remember exactly what I was thinking, what I was feeling, back when I read these stories for the first time. Starting with Survival, one must remark that it grew in stature in my mind during the years since I've read it in inverse proportions to how good it actually is, a consequence of nostalgic longing. It's still interesting fare, with some good ideas, a wonderfully bleak outlook and some stunning visuals. But at heart it is, of course, a children's comic, replete with corny dialog loaded with exposition ("A car! And it's coming straight at me! I haven't got time to get out of the way!"), light characterisation if any and some stupendously poor resolutions to cliffhangers. Ortiz's artwork, however, is worth the admission price and elevates it above mediocrity. Some of it is comparable to Eddie Campbell's work on From Hell. It's similarly striking. Reading the rest of the strips, one gets the impression that the writers and artists must have been working entirely independent of one another. The artists are serving up a wonderful visual feast of non-corporeal dimensions, gleaming starships, hideous monsters and mutuations, melting bodies and nightmare zones while the poor old writers, no doubt toiling away under the whip of a rapidly looming deadline, are churning out the most basic A moves to B moves to C material imaginable. I was going to describe The Thirteenth Floor as a laughably right-wing little strip before I realised that it is in no way political or purposeful. Every story is a variation on 'Ne'er-do-well gains access to Maxwell Tower, antagonises the tenants, is transported to the thirteenth floor by Max ("Thirteenth floor? This building doesn't have a thirteenth floor!") where he is tortured for a few minutes before repenting unquestionably and set free. The strip only exists so the reader can vicariously experience giving scumbags a good kicking and the most unusual thing about it is the fact that only one of the victims dies from fright. The mandatory ludicrous dialog gets an outing too, of course ("The shark! It's pulling me to pieces!"). Doomlord, I've since come to understand, has a degree of success outside of Eagle - even getting his own TPB from 2000AD. The story I remember most fondly from the issues I read dealt with Vek fending off an alien invasion of Australia by The Populators Of Pollux (oh, yes). There's a moment in the story where the fictional town of Ellis, Australia is being "sterilised" by a laser beam fired from a hovering alien starship, the beam melting or incinerating anyone or anything it comes into contact with. Alien robots are then dispatched to mop up surivors. One man, evidently hideously burned by the beam and who should be in agonising pain, sees the oncoming robots and loudly remarks, "Knock me down with a platypus! Robots!" Not that any of this will dissuade me from buying the remaining copies, assuming I can find them. I still remain irredeemably sad.
  7. What else has he done that you'd recommend?
  8. NĂ¡ bac leis As with many artefacts from one's childhood, time's not been especially kind to Survival's opening chapters, not when considered via modern sensibilities. Perhaps I'm being too harsh - the comic was, after all, aimed primarily at children - but there's an overly expositional nature to the first pages of the strip. A conscious desire to dash through the premise, which is inherently fascinating, and dive right into the action. Shame, really. The haunting artwork, however, has aged remarkably well. You can practically feel your skin breaking out into goosebumps looking at the poor wretches who have contracted the virus.
  9. Stop the Press! Two working MySpace links - First blog Second blog
  10. Wow! Didn't know my thread had been resurrected. I just googled "Eagle comic Survival" again today purely out of coincidence. Thanks for those links, JasonT!!! Spain - I don't know if the story itself could have been described as famous but the Eagle was a hugely popular and influential comic among English and Irish readers (and evidently Spanish readers too!). Definitely something of a cult phenomenon. I remember when 28 Days Later's promotional campaign began and all I could think of was "Wow! Somebody's adapted Survival!" (This was before I actually saw the film, mind). I had my mates salivating over the prospect of this unearthed gem of a strip that I've been unable to find. Why, oh why did I throw away all my Eagle back issues?!?!?!
  11. Very, very sorry for the loss you and your family have suffered, Tim. There's not much I can do or say except add my best wishes to those expressed already. Stick close to those you love and you'll pulll through.
  12. Glad to see he's going back to his roots. I wouldn't harbour any resentment towards Andy for that quote. He's honest enough to admit to where interests lie and his run on Hellblazer has revitalised Constantine to an enormous degree. Will definitely be pickup up Thunderbolts now.
  13. My objection to the scene was that, no matter how immunised to horror or violence, I can't conceive of Constantine just sitting there saying, "Er, yeah - keep it up." As opposed to him reeling in horror. Tied into the other flaws in the story I thought it was just horror for horror's sake and an attempt to reassert what a hardened bastard John is. Agree with you totally here. It felt very much like the stop-gap solution that it is. Now while I don't have a problem with that I just think it covered territory that didn't really need to be covered again, it didn't offer us any particularly insightful glimpses into Constantine or offer up any potentially interesting other characters. It's basically your typical horror movie dumb-American-kids-stumble-into-something-out-of-their-depth-and-become-horribly-mangled-as-a-result story fodder. When you compare it with Andy Diggle's opening two issues on the title (which I'd highly recommend, btw) and you see what can be done with a simple concept and execution it emerges as very, very wanting.
  14. What a let down. If anything, Constantine's portrayal in this issue was worse than in The Knowledge. The issue was redeemed somewhat by the pacing of the documentary clips. The dialogue on those pages felt natural, it was witty, it was interesting. Otherwise; guff. Why Newcastle again?
  15. I meant that in a "What stories should I best avoid" kind of way but sterling advice all the same. ;-)
  16. Picked up Dangerous Habits a couple of days ago and, although I have my reservations over Ennis as a writer, loved it. It might turn out to be the only Ennis-authored Hellblazer that I like but it's a worthy, human addition to Constantine's story, I feel. Moving onto Bloodlines now. Any words of warning?
  17. It's a nagging inconsistency as opposed to a major problem with the series, but I do find it bothersome from time to time. Obviously, the fact that the series has had several writers and that it doesn't slavishly ascribe to every single, contradictory facet of Christian ideology means that you're never going to get complete consistency with regard to this. But I've often wondered how Constantine, who's more aware of the life beyond than most people, feels about the people he sees and meets on his travels. Many of his heroes or characters that the series venerates (just to take an example, the Sex Pistols, various Labour/socialist/left-wing politicians) are probably condemned to eternal damnation for what the Christian god would consider blasphemy, heresy, etc. Fucking hell, just re-read that and it sounds so nitpicky. I'm going to go hang my head in shame now.
  18. I read it in its complete form, not one issue per month, so I didn't find as much of a problem with the pacing as you described. It felt more like a introspective mood piece, a kind of graphic novel "Karma Police", and it didn't go down the easy route which would have been to pen twelve issues of senseless action, but each to their own I guess. I generally consider Superman to be a pretty dull character as it is, so any deviation from his base template is something I'd welcome. Lee's artwork was stunning, I thought. Very anime-like, particularly Zod's battle armour. That reminds me, I've a copy of Loveless lying around here somewhere that I've yet to read...
  19. I recently finished Azzarrello's For Tomorrow storyline on Superman. It's apparently been decanonised or removed from the continuity of that strip due to elements of the story and to the negative reaction it received in some quarters. I'd actually recommend it as a cerebral, contemplative take on an archaic character but it seems to me (a relative newcomer to comics) that Azarrello is a kind of divisive figure. His Hellblazer run certainly pissed a few people off. How do you guys feel about him?
  20. Carey's run had some covers sans Johnny-boy. and Those are astounding. What arc are they from?
  21. I don't think you'd find too many HB readers who'd consider that to be an accurate representation of the character or the comic. While I've not read Ennis' run, my take on Constantine has always been of a darkly intelligent, complicated man with a strong social conscience and a knack for getting himself and his friends into trouble. I don't see very much in Diggle, Ellis, Mina or Carey's Constantin that carries over from the excesses of typical Ennis characterisation. The Constantine I'm used to is a much more sensitive soul. If there's one writer that every subsequent author is in the shadow of, then it's Jamie Delano.
  22. Yeah I loved Thirteenth Floor too. Also notable was the Doomlord strip. The last storyline of that character I loved was when aliens invaded Australia (cue gratuitous exclamations of "Strewth!" at every conceivable opportunity).
  23. Oh, I've searched those avenues. This is the best synopsis of the tale I can find out there - Written by someone called D. Horton and illustrated by someone called Ortiz. As for back issues, they're hard to find, even on Ebay.
  24. Don't know if anyone here was a reader of the monthly Eagle comic back in the late 80's/early 90's but there was a storyline in it called "Survival" that dealt with the eradication of all but a tiny fraction of the Earth's population by a virus and the story of a bunch of children struggling to survive after the catastrophe. It was astoundingly similar to 28 Days Later in many ways and I remember loving it at the time. Does anyone remember this strip? Or is there anywhere you can download or buy old issues of the Eagle Monthly?
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