Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Meg 227 - Fit For Duty

(Link to BARNEY)

(Been having a little break from the Megs. Been reading Nemesis The Warlock Complete Vol.1 - and very good it is too!)

Didn't like the cover at all. As I have said before, I'm extremely picky with my Andersons - but this one is awful. As I have said before when criticising artists, I couldn't do what they do - I'm just commenting on whether I like it. And I don't. It makes me cross. I don't want to see Anderson's nipples through her suit and I really don't think she could dangle heavy-duty justice department handcuffs on one finger. The sexual innuendo I can do without. Sorry Ungara - Anderson likes to let he hair down and be irreverent but this is taking the piss...

I'm moving on, before my spleen explodes ;-)

Being the festive season in Meg-land, we were treated to an extra-long festive Dredd called Fat Christmas - 17 pages no less! John Wagner script with - well - passable John Higgins art. It's quite cartoony, a style I'm never sure suits Dredd too well - but it didn't get in the way as I enjoyed the story a lot; a cheeky Mega City One Romeo and Juliet involving two rival gangs of eating championship fatty teams. Worked well as a strip and I liked it a lot, and - on second thoughts - the art probably suited the style I think...

In Robin Smith's interview last time, he had made mention of a strip that was returning to the Meg with him on pens called The Bogie Man. It's basically about a guy who believe's he is Humphrey Bogart, and sees the world as if he were Rick from Casablanca. Except he's living in Scotland in the 90's. I had serious reservations about this - I thought it sounded bobbins frankly. But I parked my doubts, and read the strip, and it was actually pretty good. It's Grant and Wagner on writing duties and it's littered with a fair amount of humour. It doesn't take itself too seriously, which is a good thing for sure with the subject material! So what's it about? Francis Clunie, who thinks he's Bogart, stumbles across a people smuggling operation whilst trying to sort out his bar (which is just a pub called Rix he happened to wander into). We see the story told through Clunie's mind (so with everyone appearing as they would in Casablanca) as well as in the reality too. It could have been a car crash of a strip, but it's done well.

John Smith and Colin MacNeil are back with a Devlin Waugh. Thankfully, it was a self-contained episode and thankfully it was pretty good too. It was Smith getting back to his best I think, as the story had a few twists and turns which I thought worked well. Colin's painting was top notch too - more on Colin later... I'd like to see more of Detective Inspector Strange - a Brit-Cit cop from the Endangered Species squad - deformed by coming into contact with a black mirror (whatever that is!). I'm hoping he may get his own gig. I had the same sentiment towards Cursed Earth Koburn, and he did indeed come back with his own strip, so here's hoping...

The tide has turned in Young Middenface, as the norms strike back against the muties. Is time running our for our young hero and his kind. Again, it was "narrated" by the Scottish MP who embellishes his story in text whilst we see the real action in pictures. My love for this strip has not waned, and I'm glad it is getting an extended outing. This story feels important in Middenface's universe - so looking forward to seeing where it goes.

And Grant and Ranson are back with Anderson - which in a bizarre twist actually features Judge Anderson herself! Finally freed from the Half Life virus, she is being tested for street duties. However, a strange malady is sweeping the building she is in, with people going crazy and killing each other for seemingly no reason. Straight back into the action she goes. I have high hopes for this story - I do hope it doesn't let me down...

In the text articles, we had a treat in the fiction slot with Si Spurrier writing a Simping Detective story, illustrated by Frazer Irving. It had me laughing out loud at some points, Jack is such a brilliant character and his turn-of-phrase is spot-on:

"Welcome to Angeltown. If Grud made the Big Meg in six days, this is where he puked the morning after..."

Jack is, once again, persuaded by a beautiful femme-fatale to take on a case. Her husband has gone missing - all she is has is a photo of where he last was seen. Plenty of twists in the story as Jack sets about unravelling what has happened to Mr Takko. More please!!! And someone cheery was interviewed in Interrogation - the fabulous Colin MacNeil. I've had the pleasure of chatting to Colin on email when buying artwork from him, and he's a cracking bloke who has plenty of time for fans. And he really gives us an insight into his work through this interview with David Bishop. Part 2 is next Meg and I'm looking forward to reading more.

The Dredd Files...dear Grud...when oh when will it end...

Over in Heatseekers, I skipped Movies and TV and went straight for Orient to read about a Lost Interviews of Bruce Lee DVD that has been released. And in the Comics section was a review of The Complete Peanuts. I loved Charlie Brown as a kid, and felt Scott Gray really got to the bottom of just why he is so endearing. Does anyone out there actually hate Peanuts? I've got a feeling it's impossible to hate :-). Not content with venting at artists, Gordon Rennie now takes some pot-shots at editors in You're Next, Punk. Just like last time, this is another cracking column with Gordon on fire and on form.

And finally... Charley's War continues to be awesome. Lots more Smith Seventy in these episodes. There is a slight feeling that Charley is leading a VERY charmed life, getting our of some of these scrapes, but I'm willing to accept he's just a very lucky bloke.

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