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Friday, December 09, 2016

Comic Cuts - 9 December 2016

Another issue of Hotel Business was signed off on Tuesday, although we went right up to the wire—the last paid-in feature arrived at 4:36pm and I signed off the last page at 5:26. Some poor sod still had to upload a high resolution PDF file to the printers, but I could sit back and relax.

What I actually did was watch Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie, which was pretty good; I also enjoyed the two episodes of the Arise series that I've managed to catch. I think  the number of different versions it has gone through (movie, movie 2, Stand Alone Complex and movie, Arise and movie, PC games and even a theatre production) proves that Masamune Shirow's original comic strip was a fantastic base from which to jump off. And early... the original manga was serialised in 1989. Mind you, I read Neuromancer in 1985 and had read 'Johnny Mnemonic' when it originally appeared in Omni in 1981. Thirty-five years ago. Oh, boy. Where do the years go?

Anyway, Ghost in the Shell is the kind of cyber-thriller series I enjoy. I'm looking forward to the movie that's due out next March. It looks like it will be a good year for big-budget comics-based movies, with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets due in July, the Kingsman sequel due in June plus the usual plethora of DC and Marvel tie-ins.

I haven't been impressed with DC's recent crop (Batman vs Superman, Suicide Squad) but Wonder Woman – based on the trailer – could put them back on top. I'm definitely looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor:Ragnarok and I'll give Logan and Spider-Man a look-in. The second Wolverine movie (the one set in Japan) was OK but I haven't been a huge fan of the X-Men franchise. At the end of next year there's the Justice League movie, but if it's as bad as Batman vs Superman (seriously: Martha?) and Suicide Squad...

And while we're about it, can movies please stop with the anti-gravity power beams? Why does every movie have to have electric blue beams shooting into the clouds, which darken and swirl around to make a hole, through which rubble and junk shoot. The Avengers, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men and even the Ninja Turtles have all used the same trope, as did Ghostbusters, Transformers, Independence Day: Resurgence and even Big Hero 6 (see some examples here). There might have been one in Warcraft, too. It was cool when the ground started breaking up and rising in Akira twenty-five years ago, but it's becoming tedious in the extreme now.

With blue power beams filling my thoughts, here are today's random scans on the theme of the colour blue.

Coming soon: With Christmas fast approaching, I thought it was time to share another Paul Temple adventure, so over Christmas and New Year, we will be featuring "Paul Temple and the Khanwada Conspiracy". The adventure will start on Monday, December 19.

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