Despite my seeming full mental breakdown after the first issue of Transformers: Regeneration One, I held on to my sanity well enough to continue buying it on a monthly basis.  Didn’t take long for a feeling to creep in that, beyond the initial shock, things were maybe… Off the boil? I continued to buy it more out of a sense of nostalgic loyalty than any actual engagement.  After all, who doesn’t want to see the creators of their childhood iconography still get paid, in this crazy work for hire world?

(assuming they haven’t espoused something morally dubious or engaged in something horrible)


As you’ve probably noticed, it’s Valentines Day, and since we’ve already established that FEELINGS ABOUT COMICS ARE THE ONLY TRUE FEELINGS, I thought that it might be a good time to get a bit soppy about some of the comics I’ve read recently…

It’s been hard to think loving thoughts about comics in the past week or so (because: WA2CHMEN, Gary Friedrich), but I’m a trooper, and I’ve got my good buddy Mister Attack (aka The Boy Fae the Heed, aka The Beast o’the Bar-G) to keep me company, so here it goes!

Winter Solider #1, by Ed Brubker, Butch Guice and Bettie Breitweiser

Fatale #2, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

It’s a bit awkward to read these two comics back-to-back, and to find yourself preferring the one that’s built on the soiled dreams of Jack Kirby, but it’s also hard to pretend that clean hands make for good art when you’re not a teenage boy.  The first two issues of Brubaker and Phillips’ latest collaboration have proceeded exactly as expected – this is the sort of work (solid, well-crafted, “ugly things in the darkness/worse things in store”) that makes it easy to under-appreciate one of corporate comics’ best partnerships.

It’s perfect pulp, in other words, but at their best these guys can suggest a whole city’s worth of stories in one panel…

…and there’s been nothing in the first couple of issues of Fatale that’s hinted at that sort of imaginative depth. Winter Soldier #1 meanwhile, is absolutely full of potent images. Despite having a truly ugly, gurning cover – despite looking like a superhero book, basically – it’s a sneakily great wee comic, all slick superspy action and unexpected quietness. This panel has caught the attention of a few other commentators

…and rightly so.  Butch Guice’s art here has a softness too it (and not just in the sense that it contains – ugh! – kissing) that couldn’t stand out more in context if it radiated ethical integrity (ooh, burn – take that, comics!). If I was looking to get all thematic on your ass I’d point you in the direction of Clive Barker’s comment that comics aren’t good at making room for love, but I’m not feeling particularly clever today, so instead I’ll  just note that while most individual images will yield lots of strange, abstract patterns if you crop them artfully enough, this image gives itself more readily to this treatment than most:

Look, I don’t want to make too much of a prat of myself this early in the post, but there’s something beautiful about the way that the boundaries between the two characters in this panel seem to have been gently and willingly collapsed, isn’t there?

Yeah… there definitely is. Click here to watch me search for love in all the wrong places, like a character in a story with a blunt moral!

For our final gifting, Zom gives Gary Lactus the first issue of Paul Grist’s new super hero comic, Mud Man.

Click to download

Rogue’s Review: Thunderwing

September 23rd, 2011

Awright troops, Illogical Volume here, with a bit of fine
imported basterdry for ye!

Like another recent guest post, this one started with a tweet from Bostwana Beast.

I’m not sure that aka the Original Eyeball intended to start a fight here, but he should’ve known no tae challenge a proper weegie baistart like my pal Scott McAllister, aka Mr Attack, aka The Boy Fae the Heed, because a man like Scott disnae back down fae fuck aww.

Well, at least not when there are Transformers involved. Anyway, that’s enough of my pish. Here’s what the lad Scott had to say about Thunderwing:

It’s another day at the office in Marvel UK in the late 1980′s. Creative license tells me that at this point in history, it would be dark all the time, and it would be raining. A package has been couriered over from Hasbro, and contains the latest information on new products that must be featured in future issues of Transformers. By this point, the engineering has gotten less interesting, and the toys can be changed in about two or three moves. Quite often these days, they are accompanied by a humanoid shell to contain them in, like a a sarcophagus with arms that can only rotate at the shoulders. A quick glance of the villains line-up reveals it looking more and more like the cover to an Iron Maiden single.

On top of that, with Budiansky departing the American book, it seems the personalities of the toys have fallen into the doldrums, with each character little amounting to endless variations of “he is so bad, so very, very bad”, “he is soooooo good it hurts”, “he is evil because he is mental and robots don’t do meds” or “he’s sort of a good guy, but if we’re honest he’s a bit of a wank”.

Now, if you’re one of the cartoon writers, you stare into the mirror, remind yourself you’re too good for this shit and that you’re only in it for the money, so you recycle the plot of some other show you wrote, and have the new villain you’ve been requested to début elect to secretly build some giant weather-controlling device, or hypnosis booth or some shite, and have him turn up at the end as the mastermind of it all, to get his ass kicked.

But, you’re not one of those guys. You are Simon Furman. Simon Furman only has one question in his head EVER. “How can I make this guy interesting so that he’ll be remembered long after I kill him to bits?”.

Wanna see a masterclass in how to make people give a fuck? Then click on dear readers, click on!

Transformers: Toy Stories

July 4th, 2011

There are many, many reasons why I might be considered an idiot, but if you were going to make a list – and believe me, I’ve made a few such lists in my time – then I’ve got a fair idea of what the top three should look like.

I’ll spare you numbers one and two for now, but number three is easy. You see, I must be an idiot, because I don’t think I understood mortality until I watched Transformers: The Movie for the first time. Yeah, Transformers, “robots in disguise” that turned into planes and cars and tanks, and had their own crappy TV show. That was where my first intimation of mortality came from. Told you I was an idiot.

The realisation that all of this would one day stop had never sunk in at Sunday School, where the focus was more on old stories than on the possible absence of narrative. It hadn’t made any impression on me when various distant relatives had died – they had seemed like minor characters in my story, and their deaths didn’t truly register with me at the time. It didn’t even really occur to me in the early parts of Transformers: The Movie, despite the fact that whole planets were being destroyed and beloved characters were being gunned down like so many extras (with all weapons having been switched from tickle to mangle between TV series and movie, naturally). But OPTIMUS FUCKING PRIME, my favourite toy and childhood hero, dying on-screen, in an astonishingly drawn out manner? Yeah, I felt that, and it scared the living shit out of me.

See, here? One day your sentence will be up. Full stop. Story over. The end.

Don’t worry, we’ll get to Simon Furman in a minute!

This would be a good death

December 16th, 2009

Here in Mindlessland our habits and schedule are all over the queue-crammed shop at the moment. At this time of year half of us are likely to be so drinkfucked that, instead of being busy at our blog-desks we’re far more likely to be found sleeping underneath the pier, the night tide slurping away at our feet, kindly come to take us away from the brain-pained horror of waking up again. So with that in mind, all conventions merrily abandoned in the name of seasonal silliness, there’s no Tuesday Reviewsday nonsense tonight. What could have been a dispirited  recap of the (byrne-stolen, sorry) SWORD #2, I thought instead I’d concentrate on taking one of the characters from the issue, and nostalgically telling the world about why he is so ace, why British comic readers of a certain age are so giddily stupid when it comes to the galaxy’s deadliest freelance peace-keeping agent, Death’s Head.

What follows is an account of his finest moment. Better than when he went toe-to-toe with Galvatron even after having his arm ripped off. Better than when he took out the entire Incinerator Jones Clan. Better even than his first appearance, when he killed that barman for asking him to pay for his tab. Yes – it’s Death’s Head vs. Shockwave.


Look at Galvatron’s mental face! Calm down!

Mindless Bollockry

June 15th, 2009

This is what last Friday afternoon looked like if you are a Mindless One (macrophageous Gary Lactus and the doughty, doughy Tymbus excepted, for some reason.) It was one of those doldrummy days, and this is how we killed the time: Email Style! I’ve caught a few of the bigger tyops, changed names, put a few links in, cut  mean or downright slanderous comments, and excised one-and-a-half shitloads of Ron Smith jokes for reasons of taste and such, and the following cascade of slurry is what remains.


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