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MORTAL ENGINES (December 22, 2018)

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Cry Havoc And Let Slip The Dogs Of War...


This weekend Tonbridge Castle - and its environs - is playing host to Tonbridge 100: Step Back In Time To WWI, a living history event looking at the First World War.

The first thing I have to say is that Rachel and I (and Alice) were amazed by just how people there were there with dogs. Pretty sure it's the most dogs we've seen at a non-canine-themed event in the town.

Not only did this mean Alice got to make lots of new friends (both doggie and human), but we got to chat to fellow owners and give their fur-babies a stroke.

We met Nick, Clare, Alec and Bettany there, and the children have really taken to Alice these days, and enjoy taking it in turns to take her for short walks - which is a wonderful turnaround from when they first met her (years ago, of course) and weren't quite sure what to make of her!

That said, I haven't any photographs of other people's dogs as, this not actually being a dog show, I feel a bit uncomfortable about snapping random pictures of other people's pooches (or even bringing the idea up in conversation, it would just seem a bit weird).


The event, itself, was very impressive, with displays in the 'arena' on the castle lawn, surrounded by an array of tents featuring living history displays (quite a lot on first aid and surgery), a machine gun nest, an assault course for youngsters, a tank-driving 'school', and a life-sized WWI prop tank.

Tonbridge 100 was running in parallel with the riverside food market, which meant we also got to sample some local wares, and purchase some chilli chutney and posh ice cream.

The River Market

Every one of these local events we go to reminds me why I love living in Tonbridge so much. The town doesn't rest on it laurels because it has a castle and a river, but it uses them frequently and to great effect.

Tank Boy!

At Last I Have A Comic Box Worthy Of My Fantastic Four Collection...


My love for all-things "Fantastic Four" continues with the arrival of this magnificent shortbox - ordered from Andy at Paradox Comics in Poole.

I'd seen that with the relaunch of my favourite team this month Marvel was releasing a branded shortbox and I knew it had to be mine.

I let Andy know, and this morning a Hermes delivery man turned up with a large flat package that could only be one thing.

As you can see, the box - which features the team's modern design on one side and a vintage look on the other - is now assembled and chock full of classic Fantastic Four back issues.

Even Rachel gave her seal of approval (in light of the fact that we're supposed to be 'decluttering' the house) and said the box was "cool".

The Great Decluttering Recommences...

My main "books to be read/I am reading" pile on the bedside cabinet...

Depending on how the time goes this weekend, the plan is to resume the "great decluttering" - ahead of putting our house on the market and looking for somewhere new to live.

Although we managed initially to choose the hottest week of the year for manual labour (with silly temperatures that I just couldn't operate in), we still broke the back of what we wanted to do.

But now we're this close to finishing... and getting on to the fun stuff.

Much of the house - largely due to Rachel's hard work and vision - now looks much more presentable, while the bulk of my overspill of books, comics etc has either been consigned to charity, resell websites, or put into storage.

Although I'm still surrounded by stuff, it's quite minimalist compared to the 'good old days'.

Take, for instance, the master bedroom.

My "to be read" book pile is down to three books (the latest Philip Reeve collection of short stories from the World Of Mortal Engines; a study of 'real life' superheroes; and a vintage Stephen King short story collection), and my "to be read" comics have been curated into a single short box:

Playing catch-up on my comic backlog, after months of barely reading any at all...

After months of not really reading much at all (due to wonky eyesight, headaches etc), I'm playing catch-up with my back catalogue of comics.

For the moment I'm primarily concentrating on newly published books, and the backlog on some of the titles that I've been collecting but let slip for too long.

The mountainous stacks - which always made Rachel feel uncomfortable - have now gone and have been replaced by Superman's short box (which also limits how long I can let my backlog get!)

In my second bedside cabinet, I now have my overflow of "books to be read", which are mainly factual books, or books that can be dipped in and out of, as well as roleplaying game material and graphic novels.

While the bulk of my graphic novel - and gaming - library remains upstairs in the gamesroom, the idea is that these are the ones I'm most likely to read or, in the case of the gaming books, seek to reference in the coming months.

The bulk of the roleplaying game books are from the superhero genre and are supposed to help inspire me to work on my planned Villains & Vigilantes campaign for the Tuesday Knights, set in the fictional Knight City.

Secondary bedside cabinet contains gaming research material, random books, and magazines...
This is primarily my gaming research material for Knight City...

Detroit Mob Confidential (Directed By Al Profit)


Friday, 17 August 2018

With Its Seasonal Specials, DC Comics Has Your Holiday Reading Sorted...

Yanick Paquette’s holidays-meets-holocaust cover for The DC Nuclear Winter Special #1

I'm loving the fact that DC Comics are really getting on board with the whole "holiday special" schtick, and are truly riding the crazy train with their latest announcement: The DC Nuclear Winter Special #1.
The holidays are tough enough as it is, but when you’re living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (or, you know, 2018) the world can seem bleaker than ever.

So do yourself a favour this holiday season, break out your best eggnog and enjoy 10 all-new stories featuring the World’s Greatest Heroes, including looks at the futures of Batman, Superman and the Flash, as well as many more denizens of the DC Universe.
This 80-page, prestige format, special is due to drop on November 28, boasting input from the likes of Paul Dini, Mark Russell, Cully Hamner, Phil Hester, Steve Orlando and more.

This special is the perfect follow-up to DC's Halloween offering: Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1, out on October 10.

Horror! Death! Uh...Face-punching! Witness ten all-new stories that promise to be the most terrifying, most shocking and most horrific comic that DC Comics has ever published! (Hyperbole much?)

Batman, Wonder Woman, Guy Gardner, Swamp Thing, Zatanna and more of your favourite heroes face unspeakable horrors from the streets of Gotham City to the darkest sectors of the universe.
This EC Comics-style horror anthology includes contributions from James Tynion IV, Bryan Hill, Tim Seeley, and Gary Dauberman with art by Mark Buckingham and Riccardo Federici, while Riley Rossmo and Becky Cloonan will be writing and illustrating their very own terror-filled tales.
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MORTAL ENGINES (December 22)

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