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  1. Darren

    What books did you read in 2019?

    You’ll soon be way ahead of me then, I won’t be starting my next King for a few weeks yet. I like to read a few other things in between each one!
  2. Darren

    What books did you read in 2019?

    I’m very gradually reading all of King in publication order (in between other books), a project which will probably last the rest of my natural life, so the other Bachmans are on the list too, except Rage which isn’t available anywhere and which I’m happy to ignore on the basis that the author has effectively disowned it.
  3. Darren

    2000AD & The Meg

    Without giving anything away, WOW WOW WOW at this month’s Lawless. It’s always the best thing in the Megazine but amazingly it got even better. Meanwhile over in 2000AD Brink continues to be stupendously great. What a zarjaz time to be alive.
  4. Darren

    Star Wars Episode IX (December 2019)

    Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson
  5. Darren

    What books did you read in 2019?

    I finished my first book of the year the other day: The Long Walk by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King. I would have finished it much sooner but I didn’t read for a whole week while I had flu and couldn’t concentrate on anything! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Anyway, The Long Walk is a bit of an odd one. It’s very readable although it doesn’t make perfect sense; there are hints that it takes place in an alternative dystopian America but these are never properly developed so you don’t get a sense of the context in which the walk takes place; and like many King books the ending is quite anti-climactic, although I did like the link on the last page to the Dark Tower. But on its own terms, as a tightly focused story of a group of teenage boys taking part in what is basically the ultimate game show (or what would now be the ultimate reality show) and gradually realising the reality of what they’ve committed themselves to, it’s a success. All these boys volunteer to be one of 100 randomly chosen participants, knowing full well that 99 of those 100 will not survive to the end, because they’re teenage boys and all think that they’re effectively immortal. The whole thing could be read as a Vietnam parable, with the state literally killing its own young, cheered on by the general public, but it’s not necessary to do so and it definitely isn’t laboured. It works like the best King stories, through its characters, and this is as good a bunch as any: flawed, and ultimately doomed.
  6. Darren

    New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe (2019)

    I think I finished this on the Wii U, or got very close to the end at least. I remember thinking it was easily the best of the New SMB series and possibly the best 2D Mario ever. I loved it so much I bought the limited edition Luigi disc rather than just the DLC, only to find it was hard as nails and fail to ever even reach the first save point.
  7. Darren

    Now TV

    If you have Now TV but haven’t watched the Leftovers, sort that out this instant!
  8. Darren

    Best one hit wonder of all time

    So Tenpole Tudor wasn’t a one hit wonder? You'll be telling me next neither were Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
  9. Darren

    Best one hit wonder of all time

    It’s the Rllmuk Way.
  10. Darren

    Best one hit wonder of all time

    Yeah but the non-negotiable rules apparently don’t allow any follow up to trouble the top 40!
  11. Darren

    Best one hit wonder of all time

    Surely a one-hit wonder act is allowed to have a follow up single that still charted but much lower, in the wake of its successful precursor, before they disappeared off the radar entirely? That is, after all, the natural life cycle for any band attempting to outrun the curse of one-hit-wonderhood. Otherwise we’d have to disqualify the utterly brilliant Swords of a Thousand Men on the basis that its rubbish follow up Wunderbar somehow managed to get to number 16.
  12. Darren

    2000AD & The Meg

    Oh no, Ron Smith was great. He really shone in that early golden age of Dredd between the Cal and Judge Child epics, where the focus was more on the city and all the weirdos in it, most of which I’m sure he drew. Otto Sump, the Blobs, Uncle Ump, I think Mayor Dave was around then too.
  13. Darren

    The Watchtower - A thread for all comics

    I read the first volume of Immortal Hulk the other day, and it absolutely lived up to the hype. The highlight was the episode from all the different points of view, especially the cop who saw it all as 60s style comic action. Nuff said! It’s so clearly a labour of love and I’m really looking forward to seeing where it all goes.
  14. Darren

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    True fans only like the original cut of Star Wars that Lucas showed to Laddie, Spielberg et al, and which was so groundbreaking and brilliant that even Spielberg could only say “er, well, I liked the bit with the robots.” Everything after that has been a studio-led watering down of the auteur’s original vision.
  15. Darren

    Doctor Who

    I finally got round to watching this tonight. I loved the idea of the threat being not just a lone Dalek but a lone Dalek with no “tank.” And then I loved the idea of that Dalek going all Iron Man 1 and knocking together a steampunk version of its armour. BUT the end result was too good! I wanted it to be properly shonky, so that the Doctor laughed at it until it started shooting. Preferably it should have been made from square boxes rather than cylinders, and then it could have made this canon at the same time.

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