What I thought of They’re Not Like Us #8

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6 and #7.


Now we know everyone’s real names and that in fact, Syd is actually Tabitha, not to mention that the group that left The Voice are still finding it hard to shake off old habits as the fight that threatened to kick off last issue ends badly.


Meanwhile Tabitha is speaking to her unwelcome visitor Healsey is doing at her front door, and whether The Voice is aware of their location.


As for the police, they’re getting into the mystery of Tabitha and a family’s missing daughter that they have no memory of.


Eric Stephenson weaves three different strands of story which are essentially panel after panel of exposition but it never feels boring as they’re all designed to propel the plot, so Tabitha finds a new purpose, her companions slip off the straight and narrow while the police provide a threat to the future of these super powered teenagers.

Pace is an issue though in this comic as it feels like it’s going somewhere but it’s meandering pace is problematic much of the time, but this issue that pace serves the story well. Plus there’s a quote from the Manic Street Preachers Motorcycle Emptiness, which is glorious.

Breaking my back in

My back (that has been in agony for the last eight days) has clicked back into place tonight. I’ve spent most of tonight feeling my spine slide back into place, which is an odd feeling at the best of times as you feel bone locking back in place where it should be.

I’ve felt like Batman having his back broken by Bane and then repaired in less than a fortnight.

This has meant that the rest of this week’s comic reviews is on hold for a couple of days, as is any political stuff or in fact anything but this wee blog to say ‘ouch’.

Normal service will resume….

What I thought of Crossed +100 #9

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4#5#6#7 and #8.


Last issue Future Taylor realised the smarter Crossed were holding human settlements to a horrendous ransom rather than just go piling in torturing, raping and killing as the human race have got used to the Crossed doing. This issue picks up shortly after the ending of last issue with Future back in Mursfreeboro and having to deal with religion in a post-Crossed world.


Spurrier treats this modified version of Islam well, but the issue remains in that Cautious is acting erratically and Future needs to try to convince the people of her current settlement to take the fight to the Crossed, something they’re reluctant to do.This sparks a bit of a domestic and some interesting use of profanities in this new world.


This helps Future get a group together to scout the Crossed town she found previously to help get the proof she needs to convince the Imam that there needs to be a war to wipe out the intelligent Crossed, but the town has been wiped clean as if it never existed. The Crossed have cleaned up after themselves.


Future doesn’t give up and decides to kick on to see what she can find, and what she finds are the Crossed. However they appear to be scared or at least wary of Future Taylor.


But it becomes clear these aren’t Crossed, in fact Future works out what they actually are.


There lies one more horrible twist in this issue which makes it clear just how long the Crossed have been using humans in their plans, and that makes things all the more scary as these aren’t mindless animals Future is facing. But smart, ruthless and totally immoral creatures that will wait if need be to get what they want which is to inflict pain and suffering where they can.

This issue doesn’t so much close on a cliffhanger but it does make one desperate to see where this story goes from here, but there’s definitely something huge Spurrier is building up to.

What I thought of Providence #5

Thoughts about #1#2#3 and #4.


Alan Moore’s journey through the world of H.P Lovecraft continues it’s slow build and sense of creeping dread as protagonist Robert Black arrives in Manchester (no, not the real Manchester) to find a particular book to help him in his research for his own book.


Even to someone that isn’t steeped in Lovecraft lore like myself will be able to work out just who from Lovecraft’s works Moore is referencing as the issue progresses.


Hector North? Herbert West more like it. Moore had to at some point deal with the lead character of the Re-Animator stories and films, so here we are as things continue to become creepy, and here’s a fantastic panel by artist Jacen Burrows which is part of Black being shown his room he’ll be boarding in while staying in Manchester, but there’s a lot more going on.


I love how the branches of the plant growing on the side of the house reach menacingly at Black, but only one small one reaches for his landlady, Mrs. Macey. There’s also a mirror panel a couple of pages later which is also fantastic.


I’ve not praised artist Jacen Burrows enough in these reviews. He really is turning out some incredible work and 99% of the time he’s just drawing people talking as there’s been (so far) very little fantastical or horrific for him to draw, but the sense of the fantastic and menace drips from his pages. He also seems to get Moore’s scripts perfectly, something not every artist does when they work with Moore.

His ability to make the seemingly ordinary something fearful is fantastic. Considering I’m more familiar to his work via his Crossed material which dripped in extreme images, the subtlety and craft here is showing what a real talent he is. Especially for drawing creeping vines…


This issue of Providence is superb.There’s not only a ramping up of the threat aimed at Robert Black, as well as the more fantastical aspects which Moore has been very carefully drip feeding us readers now for four issues. As for black this issue suggests things aren’t going to go well for him in the future so I’ll be back next issue to see how Moore manages to get Black out of the situation he’s walking into at the end of this issue.

The horror that is Glastonbury Festival ticket day approaches….

This Sunday is the first Sunday in October and that means it’s Glastonbury Festival ticket day, so free heart attacks for all!! It is simply, a fucking mental day as around a million  people around the globe try to get 150k tickets. I simply hate and despise every single second of it and have done for the decade or so there’s been this insane rush to buy tickets.


In fact I remember walking into the Bristol Ticket Shop in 2002, buying a couple of tickets, and walking home with them. In 2003 I went online, bunged my ticket on my card and it was job done. In 2004 it was fucking ridiculous and ever since it’s been dreadful. But I’ve always managed to get tickets somehow, and with last year being a year off for myself I’m not approaching this Sunday with quite the same level of creeping dread as previous years.

Previous years though have seen me get help from friends who’ve managed to get in the site via the backdoor, but last year they closed these digital doors, so hopefully new ones can be found this year. Also in previous years it’s been the last real weekend of any Indian Summer we’ve had, apart from the one year when  it snowed….

Still, after a year off I’m hopefully going to be back at Glastonbury, if of course I manage to get a bloody ticket……

Altered State: Reflections on Scotland’s First Independence Referendum

Altered State is the first part of a documentary series with this first part being titled How to Steal a Country in 10 Days. It’s a very good, if somewhat depressing look at how the media in the last few days running up to the vote on Scottish Independence on September 18th 2014 and in particular the role of the BBC in Scotland.

There’s some very good interviews from people like Derek Bateman but take a special note of the interview with Professor John Robertson and the comments of Scottish blogger Wee Ginger Dug who nails the issues with the media, and the legality of the UK government ‘promises’ in the last days of the referendum. I especially like his comment about how the British establishment’s glee in the inadequacies of the problems of Scotland, inadequacies predominately caused by the UK establishment.

I also noted Derek Bateman’s comments on the private polling done by the UK government which was apparently showing 54% support for a Yes vote; something I was unaware of. If true then that explains a hell of a lot, including the level of sheer blind panic from the UK government, the Tories, Labour and the entire UK establishment to try to keep Scotland as part of the UK. Of course the result was No, and within hours of the result all the promises made through teary eyes by London based politicians and crypt dwelling former Labour leaders dissipated in a shower of smoke.

The effect of all those false promises is that over a year on, the support for independence grows. People have realised they were sold a kipper when they were expecting salmon. The last vague flicker of hope of the UK keeping Scotland in the long run in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn has vanished thanks to the events of the last couple of days. A year on and all parties are either looking forward or resigned to a second referendum but next time people are going to smarter, and wiser. Documentaries like this will be a great help and I look forward to the second part eagerly.

My first week going cold turkey from giving up sugar….

Last week I blogged about how my major sugar habit, in particular my love for Scotland’s finest drink, Irn Bru. Today I’m six days more or less clean of sugar and it’s odd as I’m not turning into a fridge monster (more than usual) or am I suffering.

Actually that’s not quite true. I have stopped drinking a bottle a day of Irn Bru but sneaky chunks of glorious heroin-esque bit of sugar have slipped into my mouth like sweet tasty drops of joy, so I’ve not quite given up totally. Neither have I stopped drinking Irn Bru at the weekends.

But even though I’m being a bit shite, the difference is noticeable. Apart from a few hard, shaky days early in the week as I went cold turkey and my body was craving sugar badly things have been going fine. In fact by Friday I actually noticed I was having more energy and I wasn’t as worn out as usual, but this week I have to seriously cut out weekday sugar.

Because here’s a terrible stat: the amount of sugar you intake on top of what’s already in foods, or has been artificially added is ridiculous. It isn’t good, and it’s a reason why I’m doing this to not just shift some weight but get healthier in anticipation for all the stuff I’ve got planned next year.

Next week though it’s proper cold turkey!