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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

The atrocious events in Charlottesville aroused the ire and blanket condemnation of pretty much everyone (Even senior Republicans were straightforward about that), with one notable exception of course.

As one commentator put it, when the people who made the Tiki Torches the White Supremacists were using (Adding a quirky, yet jejeune aspect to their hate march), offers a more literate and resounding put-down of their actions than the President of the United States, it's a REALLY depressing, and worrying, situation to be in.

Oh, and when juvenile brinksmanship tactics bringing the world that bit closer to a possible nuclear exchange is STILL the SECOND worst thing you've done in a week, words really do fail.

A 1940's Anti-Nazi film has gone viral on youtube and might be worth a watch

At the other end of the scale, the new "Duck Tales" premiere aired, to very good reviews, and Disney have made the whole episode available on their Youtube channel if you're in the US. The rest of us can just... wait, I suppose.

Also, new Scrooge McDuck David Tennant is continuing his steamrolling through every cartoon, fantasy and sci-fi franchise he can think of by not only returning for the next season of "Jessica Jones" as Killgrave, but also by being cast in the long awaited TV production of Neil Gaiman's and Sir Terry Pratchett's brilliant "Good Omens". Tennant will play Crowley (a cynical, rather jaded demon) against Michael Sheen's Aziraphale (a fussy but equally jaded angel) as both seek to deal with the imminent Apocalypse, and the apparent absence of the Antichrist they've been expecting.

Brexit shambles on with the gracefulness of an inebriated yak... and the way things are going I think I'd rather have the inebriated yak running it.

Happy 70th Indian Independence day for today (and slightly belated happy Pakistan Independence Day for yesterday!)

"Wonder Woman" picked up most of the movie categories at the Teen Choice awards. But in an inspiring choice which gives me some hope for the future, Teen Vogue did NOT livetweet it as one might expect, but instead, spent the time calling out White Supremacist terrorist bullshit.

The tone and ending of the forthcoming Justice League movie are being changed, most likely (but perhaps not 100%) due to Joss Whedon coming on board. Originally intended to end with Steppenwolf, the bad guy, being defeated, but Darkseid arriving on Earth anyway (making the whole movie essentially a lead in for a sequel), Darkseid will now not appear, giving the movie an actual ending of it's own.

Oh, and I can recommend the podcast The Orbiting Human Circus (of the air) from some surreal, quirky diversions as we peer into the life of a janitor working in the Eiffel Tower, home of the world's most popular radio show and it's unusual acts?
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

A charming short film called In a Heartbeat was released online and, in dark and dreary world, it was a nicely upbeat reminder of what your first crush is like, and how awkward it can be when it's a same sex thing. (If the creators aren't working for Pixar within a year or two, I'll be surprised)

Speaking of dark and dreary, Brexit shambles on like the abomination it is, with more (but not yet enough) exiters starting to realise what the implications are. Honestly it's like watching the school bully realise that there might be consequences for their actions.)

Speaking of school bullies and consequences, the Trump Presidency festers on like the abomination it is. After details of a phone call with the Australian Prime Minister were released it became obvious that one side had no clue what they were talking about, and the other was having trouble believing that the person they were talking to could be quite THAT clueless about pretty much everything.

This weeks special project has been attempting to single out journalists... en masse it would seem, as being enemies of all that is free and decent, and they probably kick puppies too when they're not leaking top secret bits of information about possible abuses of powers. (It's like JJJ endlessly railing on about Spider-Man... except even Stan Lee on the best day of his life couldn't make this shit up). (And there are some disquieting suggestions about what a post-Trump WH would be like too)

About the only good thing I could find is that the military chiefs seem to have no intention of doing anything about the military transgender ban, partly (and hopefully mostly) because they find it not right, and partly because it was sprung on them with no warning.

President Macron of France has backed down from a plan to give his wife a sort of First Lady role (not something that exists in the French political system) after a negative public reaction.

Season 3 of Voltron Legendary Defender dropped, only seven episodes for some reason and yet it feels that not a lot happened other than introducing Lothor and his all-girl gang and some playing of Musical Lions with the remaining Paladins. Have to say that whilst it's still an excellent series it needs to focus more on a few of it's core cast (Hunk hasn't done anything of note in ages, and Pidge hasn't done much better)

In slightly ON topic news, Netflix confirm that they will be broadcasting the new CGI remake of classic 80's manga/anime/toyline "Saint Seiya", a personal favourite of mine. Considering the bloody awful job that Cartoon Network made of launching the original, and otherwise globally successful, series, Netflix have a low bar to clear, but here's hoping it's a success!

Oh, and the world of cinema mourns Haruo Nakajima who has died at the age of 88.You've probably never heard of but he was pivotal to many kaiju films, since he was the man INSIDE the Godzilla suit in all the Godzilla movies from the original "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" in 1954, until "Godzilla Vs Gigan" in 1972. He also played Mothra and King Kong in other Toho Studio movies.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

In the latest round of musical chairs, Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci, new White House Press Secretary (and apparent American Psycho cosplayer) departed his new role after ten days and at least two foul-mouthed tirades, in what the Pres descirbed as "a great day".

John McCain divided opinion on every side by voting to progress the repeal of Obamacare, but then seemed to score a political victory by basically setting the whole thing up to fail.

Trump's random, out of the blue, and frankly despicable, decision to ban all transgender personnel from US Armed Forces, blindsiding the likes of y'know, the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, deserves special condemnation in his many, many attempts at deflection. Mercifully the Joint Chiefs repsonded by saying they had no plans to change any of their policies on that topic at the moment thank you.

The UK military even made a point of denouncing the policy.

The BBC has a nice (if unfortunately headlined) piece up about young woman who owns and manages a comic shop in Chelmsford. We wish her success!

At the other end of the scale, Marvel writer and editor Heather Antos faced some frankly horrific misogyny when she posted an innocent selfie on Friday afternoon, though thankfully she gained a lot of support from other fans and professionals.

We mourn two ladies of remarkable impact on entertainment media.

Legendary voice artist June Foray has died at the age of 99, a woman whose career as a voice performer began on radio ten years before World War II started, and continued on into the world of animation in the 40's (She's perhaps best known as the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel) and her last credit is listed on IMDB as being 2014 (Still playing Rocky though now aged 97). She worked in so many shows, adverts, films and media, that it would be impossible to list all of them, but chances are if you've seen a Western animation in the last.. ohhh, say 70 years, she was either in it, or someone she inspired to get into voice work was.

Also, Flo Steinberg died last week. Technically she was Stan Lee's secretary, but actually she was one of the most driving forces behind Marvel's interactions with it's fans, in letter columns, fanzines and the like during it's massive growth phase from 63 to 68. As the person responsible, it would seem, for everything not directly linked ot wirting and drawing comics, her impact in the growth of Marvel should not be underestimated (nor was it, not least by Stan Lee). Her eventual leaving due to a denied request for a $5 pay rise reflects a situation that hasn't really changed since, alas, but let's remember and celebrate Fabulous Flo Steinberg for her work in building the brand.

Oh, and whilst not as sad, we should note that Andrea Romano is retiring this week, after 30 years as a voice director for WB animation, during which time she was voiceover and casting director on a couple of shows you may have heard of, starting with the original DuckTales, and then others like "Batman the Animated Series" and "Avatar: The Last Airbender". Thank you Ms Romano, and enjoy your retirement!
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

SDCC came and went with a slew of movie news from all directions and John Barrowman wearing a glittery TARDIS tutu, I'm sure other, very relevant and important, things happened too, but once you've seen John Barrowman in a glittery TARDIS tutu, all else tends to drift into the background. EDIT - Not having actually watched the video, only seen the photos, I had not realised how inappropriate some of his comments were. Be aware there are references to transgender issues which are not really appropriate (A cis gay guy dressing as an alien spaceship which has a possibly-akin-to-female nature was probably never going to be a 100% successful idea).

In a move which is disturbing on a number of levels, President Trump used an address to the Boy Scouts of America (which he'd promised would not be political) to give a 40 minute ramble about how important loyalty to the President was... before asking them to boo the previous President. Words fail which, given some of the words I know, is probably best for everyone).

Pokemon Go's first live event, being held in Chicago, was something of a disaster, which is a genuine shame.

Greenland's ice sheet seems to be melting faster than anticipated.

The BBC published the pay rates of it's top stars, and the immediately obvious gender pay gap has led to some less than comfortable, but long overdue, discussions. Jodie Whittaker is confirmed as receiving the same pay for playing the Doctor as Peter Capaldi did.

The trailer for the Doctor Who Christmas Special which will see Capaldi regenerate into Whittaker has been released and David Bradley's impersonation of William Hartnell's first Doctor is approaching the scarily good. It also confirmed that Pearl Mackie will return as Bill for the special, but she has revealed that she will not be joining the new team for the following season.

Descendants 2, Disney's franchise combining "Once Upon a Time..." with "High School Musical" came out, and though Evie and Mal (daughters of the Wicked Queen from Snow White and Malificent, respectively) DO sing a Wicked-esque number which has more slashy subtext than a Chris Claremont comic, a scene of Harry Hook (the eyeliner-wearing (and for some reason Scottish) son of Captain Hook) kissing Gil (a dim, but-good natured, son of Gaston) was filmed, but cut from the movie, but is apparently still in the Junior Novelisation... which is certainly progress of a sort. (To be fair, the scenes of Harry "toying" with a captive handsome Prince don't leave much to the imagination either)
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Clearly the big news has been the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor on Doctor Who. The first woman to ever hold the role in it's 54 years of a regenerating main character. The more toxic end of the fandom, of course, turned up in force and doubtless will continue to but frankly, sod them.

The increase in British life expectancy has slowed down for the first time in over a century.

Trump has been Trump, what more needs to be said.

Though I will mention that he seemed a little nonplussed by President Macron's Bastille Day celebrations including a marching band performing a selection of Daft Punk numbers... a sentence it positively delights me to type.

In cheerier news, the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare has failed, again


Noted actor Martin Landau (best known for North by North-West, Mission Impossible, Space: 1999, or Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood" depending on your age and tastes) died at the age of 89. A little known aspect of his history was that he spent over a year as a professional cartoonist back in the 1940's. Mark Evanier covers it here.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

So the G20 summit came and went and... well, the UK didn't cover itself in glory, but it's nice to know we can alway count on the current POTUS to liven things up.. whether it's his first meeting with Putin, his leaving his daughter to sit in for him whilst he leaves the room (not unheard of, but a very odd choice, though I'm not sure she wouldn't actually count as an improvement) or the now viral Australian reporters critique

What is believed to be Britains first same-sex Muslim wedding has taken place. We wish the happy grooms long life and happiness.

One of Hasbro's SDCC exclusives looks rather awesome, the "IDW Revolution" pack includes the first ever Rom action figure, a Dire Wraith (though it doesn't look like what I think of when I hear "Dire Wraith"), Action Man, Leoric of the Visionaries, Roadblack from GI Joe and Jetfire.. and a selection of mini-Micronauts. I suspect that tht secondary value on these is going to be INSANE, dammit!

The world of anime mourns the passing at age 82 of Seiji Yokoyama, composer for Captain Harlock and, perhaps even better known, Saint Seiya whose orchestral scores are simply superb.

Keeping it short and sweet, but ending on an important issue; 12th July is Net Neutrality Day, when a number of heavy hitting web based companies are taking action to protest the US' FCC's plan to repeal net neutrality laws.... More details about how you can get involved here
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Well, it's the 4th July, which as a Brit I probably shouldn't acknowledge, but I suppose I must... So I reluctantly bid our American members a Happy Traitorous Colony Day!

(Bad losers? Us? Nah)

Still, even I have to commiserate at the current state of the USA administration (And I say that as someone from a country with Boris Johnson as their Foreign Secretary and Michael Gove being trusted with anything more complex than a paper round). You don't need me to highlight it, and I'm not sure where I'd even start this week. So "Happy Independence Day" instead.

In unusual videogame news, apparently a far-Right nutter's plot to assassinate President Macron of France (during a visit from Trump) was stopped due to the actions of a video game forum.

The Doctor Who season finale was quite a trip, perhaps not quite matching up to the magnificent horror buildup of the previous episode, this was a lot more about character interactions, with the Doctor (whose speech about the importance of being kind should be up for ALL the awards), Bill (who had an odd resolution to a characters fate, but let's hear it for the inverse of the "dead lesbians" TV trope, DW gave us "immortal god-tier lesbians IN SPACE"), Nardole (Who actually got a surprisingly depressing exit without it being acknowledged as such), Missy and the Master all having some dynamite interactions with each other (especially those last two.. err.. one.. no.. two... oh, you know what I mean!!!).

(Oh, and there was a little bit of politics when the Doctor described the Cybermen's unstoppable rise on multiple worlds; "Like sewage, smartphones and Donald Trump, some things are just inevitable")

And the end scene, which I won't even describe in case spoilers might be an issue for those who haven't seen the episode yet, is one hell of a lead-in to the Christmas special... and now I just have six months to wait.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

In the US, the new Healthcare scheme is being co-ordinated and planned in such cloak and dagger stealth and secrecy that the planning of the D-Day landings look like an information free for all by comparison.

The Supreme Court upheld, sort of, Trump's travel ban, until it's review later in the year, so we'll see how that one goes.

The British PM finalised a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (a party more regressive than even her own Tory Party are) to shore up her minority Government for Brexit, and the cost of this compeltely cynical move? A snip at £1 billion pounds. And this from a PM who told a nurse that the Public Sector pay cap of 1% had to stay because "We don't have a magic money tree"... yeah, right.

A new mini-version of the Super Nintendo is being released in September for $80

This weeks Doctor Who, the first of the two part season finale (and last regular story for Peter Capaldi) was pretty damn awesome... especially if (like one lucky friend) you had managed to avoid ALL spoilers, because the reveals were very, VERY impressive. And even if you knew what they were, they were still capable of holding an emotional gut-punch.

Missy was a delight, in her trying to be good, but not really having the right attitude for it. (Oddly, and I only realise this as I typed that last sentence, in some ways reminiscent of Capaldi's early stories, where his social skills were... distinctly lacking and he ponders over whether he's a GOOD man)

The Cybermen should always reflect a degree of body horror of course, but I can't recall anything on this scale before (The proto-Cyberman screaming "Pain!" repeatedly and endlessly through it's voicebox, until a nurse comes along to tend to it... by turning the volume on the voicebox down... That's just HORRIBLE)

My one serious concern is that Bill does not end up being a victim of the reprehensible "dead lesbian" trope in TV drama, but I'm hoping that Moffatt's tendency to NOT kill characters will shine through and it might end up being something to do with why he's seen regenerating at the start of the episode. Am REALLY jazzed for the finale!

And to shift slightly more ON topic (which I really do try NOT to do), it's the last week of Pride Month, and whilst we may not have had a theme devoted to it, since EVERY month is Pride Month on scans_daily (Well, it is if we're doing it right), a big shout out to all members who identify on the delightful rainbow which is the LGBTQIA spectrum! You are all welcome, you are all celebrated and if some of you want to post scans on the topic, then fly my pretties, FLY!
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Britain has had another pretty awful week, a horrendous fire in London, causing any number of questions about the housing situation and cuts to the Fire and Emegenecy Services. Local's rally round in magnificent

Also in London, a white terrorist attempted to run down a group of worshippers at a Mosque as they left late night prayers. One dead, several injured, and notably, an Imam who protected the attacker from potential angry mob to ensure that the rule of law and justice would proceed. (Even The Daily Mail had, eventually and after it's usual shoddy attempt to victim blaming, to describe a white man as a terrorist, a move so outside their normal scope that a friend of a friend described it as "Like hearing a cat moo")

Also Brexit negotations started... with the UK team immediately capitulating on the order of discussion, a topic which they had promised they would fight all summer long.

In the US, the tentative loosening of diplomatic relations with Cuba initated by Obama, were summarily removed by Trump... citing human rights concerns... Which, given the human right records of certain countries he recently toured and praised to high heaven, seems to be a rather radical disconnect, even by Trumpian standards.

In more upbeat news a College at Oxford University has loaned a 19th century violin to a 14 year-old Syrian refugee and musician.

The opening titles for the new Ducktales series have been previewed, and though the new animation style will take some getting used to, it seems very promising, with some very definite nods to Carl Barks in the layouts.

And it's been announced that Animaniacs may be returning to the small screen

"Transformers: Rescue Bots" which ended after four seasons (and the longest run of any single title in the Transformers franchise" is getting a sequel "Rescue Bots Academy" which will follow the further adventures of the team, as set up in the series finale. Also announced is another Transformers series (presumably something to replace Robots in Disguise?) and new series using the name "Micronauts", though how it ties in to comics old, new, or whatever toy line Hasbro has been working on, is anyone's guess right now.

Peter Capaldi's final season as the Doctor starts it's two part finale this coming weekend, with the return, after fifty years, of the original design "Mondasian Cybermen" (Mondas being the long lost twin planet of Earth that appeared in William Hartnell's final story "The Tenth Planet", which also introduced the Cybermen). Also featured in the trailer is the return of John Simms as the Master which, since the story also includes Michelle Gomez as Missy, makes this the first multiple Master/Mistress story on TV.

Also in a cute note, just discovered that in "Dark Water", the Season 8 story which revealed Missy was the new incarnation of the Master, her line "I am a Mobile Intelligence Systems Interface, MISI for short" (As a fake out, since we viewers had no idea who or what Missy was at that time), was originally recorded as "I am a Random Access Neural Interface, or RANI for short" in case anyone outside the film crew overheard the recording (There was much speculation about that Missy might actually be a regenerated Rani, the amoral scientist Time Lord the 6th and 7th Doctors met) so the surprise could be kept.
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Well, good personal anthropomorphised cosmological concept almighty, the UK Political situation is currently.. I believe the term the young folk use is "cray-cray". To summarise for those who probably wisely, haven't been paying attention.
  • Britain voted (narrowly) for Brexit last year in a purely advisory referendum.
  • The Conservative Prime Minister who said he's oversee the Brexit process if it was voted for promptly quit, prompting a leadership election.
  • New PM eventually appointed after the rest of the contenders perform the political equivalent of a suicidal Keystone cops routine (I started to right that out but gave up, because no one would believe it all)
  • New PM triggers Article 40 to start the Brexit process
  • The new PM promised repeatedly she'd not call an election as we needed "stablity" and the current Parliament runs until 2020 anyway. (Since in the UK you vote in a party, not a person. the parties are allowed to change leaders without an election, though it's sometimes a risky move)
  • With less than two months to go before the start of Brexit negotiations, she calls a General Election to increase her majority.
  • Vicious campaigning, PM predicted to win a landslide despite genuinely appalling track record on campaign trail Refused to debate, constantly reciting "snappy" mantra's like a Dalek in a twin set ("Strong and stable" being the one that lingers), awful media presence, etc.
  • Young people come out to vote in record numbers, many for the first time (And bless every single one of them) and many vote for the opposition, a very old school Left Wing chap of a sort we haven't had in decades (think Bernie Sanders).
  • PM loses her majority.
  • UKIP wiped out and lose their only MP, who had already quit the party to defect to the Conservatives.
  • In order to achieve a majority, PM has to form an alliance of some sort with the only party prepared to do business with her, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which won ten seats in the election and so can swing things the Conservative way, for an unspecified political price.
  • The DUP has been described as both "the Political Wing of the Flat Earth Society", and "The UK equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church". A bunch of highly religious, homophobic, anti-abortion, "woman's place is in the home" zealot throwbacks who would be only slightly scary if they weren't currently holding the balance of power in their hot, sticky hands (For some samples of their positions's try this list, but assume trigger warnings for homophobia, misogyny etc etc)
  • Alliance with DUP may seriously damage the UK's involvement in Northern Ireland government, as they are supposed to remain impartial and neutral when dealing with the various parties there, which they are now quite clearly NOT.
  • The leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, who is about to marry her same-sex partner, makes it clear to her London based boss that she is NOT happy about the DUP alliance.
  • Current PM's projected political lifespan measurable in weeks, possibly months, but can perhaps console herself with the fact that whilst she has incredibly low popularity, all her likely successors have even lower ratings.
As a friend put it "Basically, Britain is drunk and doing politics."

Sorry, I needed to vent a little I think.

Not that the US has much to be happy about with with the Comey deposition not exactly winning him friends at the White House, and the Trump machine, basically acting like the Trump machine does... which hardly needs cataloguing at this stage.

E3 is this week, so there will doubtless be good news and disappointing news depending on what you were expecting to hear.

The sad loss of Adam West has been noted already in another thread, but I will risk you ire by mentioning again. A host of delightful, and in many cases heartbreaking, tributes have been paid to Mr West since Saturday, including editorial cartoons, art tributes and perhaps my favourite, a US digital billboard company changing all their boards to the Batsignal shining into the night sky.

Michael Palin has donated a large quantity of notebooks, annotated scripts and diaries to the British library, which includes many pieces relating to Monty Python and his own travel writings. It's hoped they will eventually go on display.

The new Doctor Who may be announced soon, with former showrunner Russell T Davies revealing that he knows who it is, but is saying nothing beyond that. The most recent episode included the return of the Ice Warriors, and gave us our first female Martian in the form of the Ice Queen Iraxxa.


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As we all know, the world situation is currently an endless kaleidoscope of kittens, puppies and baby otter photos, all set to a soundtrack of kd lang and Louis Armstrong.

Sigh, nope, I can't do it. I wish I could, but I can't.

Following recent attacks near the Houses of Parliament and the Manchester stadium blast, Britain had another terrorist attack this past weekend near London Bridge. Our thoughts go out to those impacted by this, or any other terrorist incident.

(And full marks to Ariana Grande for returning to Manchester for an impressively staged benefit concert so quickly)

Quite why the US President felt that right after the attack was an appropriate time to start a pissing contest with Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London (who has behaved with diplomatic aplomb throughout) is anyone's guess. With any luck it might put the nail in the coffin for any plans to give the Mangled Apricot Hellbeast the State Visit that our current PM ill-advisedly offered earlier in the year. It also means that his legal case about his travel ban on Muslims NOT being a travel ban but "Extreme vetting" is looking even weaker since he referred to it as "a travel ban" in one of his angry (Well, angrier than usual) tweets.

Speaking of the PM... Brits, we have a General Election this Thursday and by all you hold dear, if you can, PLEASE vote! If you're young and never voted and feel like your voice isn't heard, here is your chance to show that it is. It may not seem like much, but trust me, it's one of the most important things you can do. The Brexit referendum ended with the result it did largely because of voter apathy, especially in the disenfranchised young.

The Beatles seminal, ground-breaking album "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" celebrates 50 years since it's release.

The sequel to the more-perspective-distorting-than-turning-a-TARDIS-inside-out game "Monument Valley", called with remarkable originality" Monument Valley 2", was released last week.

And sort of on-topic but worth mentioning, Wonder Woman is enjoying phenomenal success, both critically, financially and in terms of word of mouth from those who have seen it, WAY beyond anything we might reasonably have hoped for. Just wanted to end on an upbeat note by mentioning that.
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Ramadan Mubarak to those who follow the Muslim faith. And a few simple pointers for those who may want more information about what Ramadan is (Though there are many more in depth analyses available quite readily)

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to recognise same sex marriage!

The US Government has managed to, one way or another cause dissent with the Israeli intelligence service (by mentioning them as the source of information casually mentioned to a visiting Russian delegation), the British intelligence services (by leaking information and photos from the Manchester bombing before they were intended to) and the US intelligence services (Which is no mean feat) by mentioning where a couple of the US nuclear submarines were heading (It rhymes with Korth Norea) when one of the golden rules of your stealthy, sneaky submarine fleet is YOU DON'T TELL PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE... especially if the place they are heading towards is testing it's own ballistic weapons and is run by a paranoid)

Oh, and a shout out to the half of an entire 8th Grade class from New Jersey who on a tour of the US Capitol, were given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have their photo taken with House Speaker Ryan Paul, and who basically told him "No" and were quite happy to, politely, explain why.

In the UK, campaigning for the Election is back up and running, with the heads of both main parties being interviewed on TV (but separately, so no actual debate as such) and achieving a no score-draw, no major gaffes, no major slip ups on either side. May came across (again) as rather rigid in her approach to things, and Corbyn came across (again) as someone who operates based on strongly held personal beliefs (which sort of puts him at odds with many career politicians).

With so many examples of humanity seeming to be pretty much a lost cause of late, it seems appropriate to mention, as a counter, the names of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and Rick Best, two men (one a recent college graduate, the other a veteran turned community worker) who intervened when two Muslim women were being threatened by a white supremacist terrorist (Lets call him what he is) in Portland, and who were fatally stabbed whilst defending them. A third man, Micah Fletcher, also came to their aid, and was injured, but survived. Selfless heroism should always be recognised.

Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley have both expressed their concerns about the direction of their characters and plot of "The Last Jedi", with Hamill saying to the director "I at one point had to say to Rian, ‘I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made for this character. Now, having said that, I have gotten it off my chest, and my job now is to take what you’ve created and do my best to realize your vision."

That being said, the Vanity Fair photos of The Last Jedi cast by Annie Leibowitz, including what are probably the last in character shots of Carrie Fisher, are absolutely beautiful.

And finally (As they say in the news), full marks to the Russian news anchorwoman, who had to deal with an unexpected visitor on set whilst in the middle of a broadcast.

If someone has cheerier news to report, PLEASE chip in, as this is getting harder every week it feels like.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

The horrible events overnight in the UK at the Manchester Arena have left me in not very much of a light-hearted mood today, so this may be a somewhat shorter list than usual.

If you are concerned about anyone still missing, the Greater Manchester Police have emergency contact details on their Twitter feed.

Local people and business have, as they so often do, rallied round magnificently offering shelter, resources and transportation for those who needed them, and given how many of those impacted were young children and their parents coming to collect them at the end of the concert, those were some deeply traumatised people to deal with.

As yet, not motive or motivation has been ascribed to the bomber, and media outlets have been asked not to speculate or mention names, as it may hinder investigations, or spread fear and we would ask that you do the same.

Any act of terrorism which targets the helpless and innocent is an abomination, and I can find no words foul enough to describe someone who would deliberately target an event where the audience are likely to be young children and teenage girls (The concert was by Ariana Grande, the star of a Nickelodeon show for Gods sake). Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.

In associated news, the UK political parties have, in a pleasing display of unity and good taste, agreed to suspend any campaigning for today, and most likely for the rest of the week.

In other news, Zach Snyder has withdrawn from the Justice League movie to deal with a family tragedy. Joss Whedon is coming on board to finish it.

Buzz for the Wonder Woman movie is extraordinarily positive, which is a reassuring change of pace.

A photo of Donald Trump (spreading his special kind of politics around the globe and trying to avoid all the talk of Russian-links investigation), King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian PM Abdel Fatah al-Sisi all placing their hand on a glowing globe (actually switching on a bank of computers, but giving the suggestion that they are activating the Omegazon Omni-Destructor (tm)) hit Twitter and every single possible joke that could be made was. My favourite quote is that it looks like an Alex Ross cover and all it needs is the Justice League looming behind them to complete the effect.

Things took an even MORE surreal turn when a sinkhole mysteriously appearaed at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort... I'm SURE the two events are not connected.

And on a lighter note to end with, anyone buying the Titans Return Seapray from Transformers, might have spotted, or more likely have not spotted, an incredibly geeky easter egg from one of the designers.

And it's just been confirmed that Sir Roger Moore, British actor and star of several Bond movies in the 1970's and "The Saint" in the 1960's, has died at the age of 89, in Sqwitzerland, after a short battle with cancer. RIP 007.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

In terms of the week in US politics, I could comment on the various stages of "WTF?" that are going on, but instead I choose to proffer an analogy... Imagine a puppy.. now imagine a blender. You can complete the analogy for yourself (Hey, they MIGHT just be making a smoothie for the puppy.. or they might be making the puppy a smoothie, if you see what I mean).

In terms of the week in UK politics, imagine a puppy.. with fleas. A lot of fleas, of a variety of types, all the fleas make the puppy very uncomfortable, but there's not a lot the puppy can do about it and even if it can get itself down to one type of flea it'll still be itchy.

WB Games and Traveller's Tales have confirmed that the next LEGO console game will not be released for last generation consoles, so Marvel Superheroes 2 will require a PC, PS4, Switch or Xbox One. It will feaure time travel and alternate versions of existing characters, so we'll get Spider-Man 2099, Wild West Captain America and so on (I suspect no X-Men again though... which is irritating, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. There is a teaser trailer with a full trailer next week.

The infestation of UK computers (especially in our National Health Service) by the WannaCry ransomware in a massive cyberattack (which may be linked to North Korea) is a serious issue, but I did like that the severity was greatly reduced by a young British computer security tech who, after examining the code, spotted a line of code for a website domain that didn't exist, and the failure to contact would trigger the worst of the virus. So he registered the domain for $11 and directed the domain to a sinkhole server where it prevented a lot of damage being done.

Special note that Microsoft has, very unusually,
released a special patch to protect no-longer-in-general-support Windows XP PC's (because there are still a heck of a lot of people running XP at home...including yours truly)

The Eurovision Song Contest final was held this past weekend, and it was it's usual bizarre self, with entries including:

Americans, you don't know what you're missing out on!

And finally, to remind you either that all things are possible in life, or else to remind you that no matter how cool you are, you will probably never be THIS cool, a 101 year old man, and D-Day veteran, has just broken a world record, by going skydiving from 15,000 feet!. :)
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

At the MTV Awards, Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen accepted the award for Best On Screen Duo for Logan, but Mr Jackman was put in his place by Ms Keen for wanting to give the acceptance speech. :)

In Politics, well, France has been the shining light, with Emmanuel Macron's Centrist party delivering a resounding defeat for Far Right nominee Marine Le Pen, whose tears at the loss give hope to us all. (It also led to one of the most amusing news stories of the week, as a British Twitter user gloated about how Le Pen was going to win, and how he'd put money on her victory, then tried to claim that their account had been used by their 13 year old child and so the bet was invalid. It's fair to say that not many people believed them :) )

In the US, the replacement for the AHCA has been passed by the  Senate House of Representatives, removing concepts like "Affordable" and indeed "Healthcare", especially as regards pre-existing conditions. The House Senate looks set to not be quite the pushover but it's looking pretty grim. The ACLU has put together a summary in case you find yourself in need of some depressing reading.

In the UK, last weeks Local Government elections were a mixed blessing as it cemented and expanded Conservative seats across the country (not good if you're not pro-Brexit) but it did destroy UKIP more or less completely (Though as many noted, since the Conservative Party now seem to embody many of UKIP's policies, it's not needed so much... which is not as reassuring.

Two pages by William Caxton, who introduced the printing press to Brtain in the 15th Century have been discovered in a Unversity Library

The BBC has announced that it's making a new series based on HG Wells classic "The War of the Worlds", but are taking the unusual step of NOT updating/relocating it (as all the most famous versions of it have done) and it will be set in Victorian England.

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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

Thursday is Star Wars Day (May the Fourth, and all that) any plans to celebrate? I've just discovered that Acker and Blacker are releasing a special Star wars book launch concert in aid of pro bono law firm Public Counsel on the day itself, so that should be fun.

In other, coincidental, battles against evil empires, POTUS Mk45 has announced that A) The job is harder than he expected and B) He'd have gotten away with it if it weren't for that meddling, archaic Constitution and it's system of checks and balances! Oh, and he also ended an interview because he was asked question about the wiretapping allegations that he had brought up in one of his more obscure rants.

Brexit continues to be a fun game for 27 players, and a crappy one for the other one, as acrimony and bitterness already the order of the day.

The UK General Election campaign continues to be a party that no one wants to attend and has featured some breathtakingly bad PR from pretty much everyone. My personal favourite being Theresa May going door to door in Scotland surrounded by press, and no one answering the door, apart from one couple of saved her the bother of trying by calling "No, thank you", as she walked past.

France heads to the Presidentila polls again for the final vote and, whilst it may look like Le Pen isn't getting in, the same might be have been said about other far-right-wing leaders of democratic societies the past couple of years, so please do exercise your constitutional right to vote.

In non-political news, a tweet about a Chinese lesbian couple getting married and become the world's richest married couple turned out to be a hoax (They were actually members of a Korean pop group), which is a shame, but it was fun whilst it went viral, and the degree of support it gained was refreshing.

Oh, and in terms of reminding us of our true size in relation to the universe, NASA's Cassini probe is nearing it's end, as the plucky little probe is darting in and out of Saturn's rings a total of 22 times as part of it's Grand Finale, before reaching the end of it's 20 year mission, and the images it's send back are breathtaking.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

Tests of the first malaria vaccine will start in 2018 in three African countries; Kenya, Ghana and Malawi

Politics; Noun - "The activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power."

And that's all I can bring myself to type about it this week.

Doctor Who scored another winner in "Smile", with a nice simple story about killer emoji-bots wandering around a city on an alien paradise world (beautifully realised using the gorgeous Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias City of Arts and Sciences), an entertainment and cultural complex in Valencia, Spain.

The March for Science, in support of evidence based decision making (and how sad that THAT should need a protest), happened around the world, and featured some of the best signs I've seen since the Westboro Baptist Church attempted to picket the San Diego Comic Convention and got roundly schooled by cosplayers.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

So Easter is over, and chocolate consumption levels will now presumably start to level off towards something less... excessive (With a short spike allowing for cheap-chocolate going on sale yesterday)

The world political situation is still, well, "royally screwed" seems to be the most cogent term. Take your pick; North
 Korea, Syria,  Russia, Turkey, the USA, the UK and Marie Le Pen veering even more radical right wing as the French Presidential election hoves into view.

And just to add to our British fun,
 Theresa May has announced a nsap general Election for May 8th... oh this is JUST what we need....

On lighter news new Doctor Who started at the weekend, with the introduction of new companion Bill Potts, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed both her as a character, and the story. The Doctor has a new story setup and a new job as a University lecturer whilst he's looking after... well, I won't spoil anything about that. But I do like that his reason for choosing Bill as his new companion was not some weird sci-fi plot thingie like Clara. He just liked her attitude and curiosity ("When most people find something they don't understand, they frown, but you... you smile") and Peter Capaldi giving a lecture would pretty much have been my student dreams come true.

And the rather wistful, light story was peppered with lovely little nods to the classic series, such as the photos the Doctor has on his desk, or the background aliens with the silly wigs who show up when... but again, not going to spoil it if people haven't been able to see it yet.

(Also, rumours abound that Kris Marshall is to be the next Doctor, news that leaves me fairly cold as, whilst a tolerable, if bland, light drama/comedy actor, I've seen nothing in his many years of serviceable-ish work to suggest he has the range the Doctor requires. I appear not to be alone in my concerns

Oh, and we've had a larger than usual influx of new members recently. not sure if some of them are just people migrating over to DW from LJ, or are a nice little batch of newcomers, but in any event, welcome.
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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

It's been a pretty bloody grim week all round, I'am afraid.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (who has the approval and indulgence of Vladimir Putin) has denied the possibility of mistreatment of gay men in the province he runs because there ARE apparently NO gay men in the province. This, in conjunction with plausible reports of his having established what amounts to concentration camps for gay men where they are murdered with impunity, is a deeply worrying state of affairs.

The world political situation is... I'm trying to think of a better term than "Up shit creek" but am sort of drawing a blank there. I don't even know where to start so I won't.

Pepsi looked like a sure fire winner of the "Worst PR Campaign of the Week" award with their astoundingly inappropriate advert with it's implied message of "Pepsi can stop police brutality" (Coke just wanted to teach the world to sing), but props to United Airlines for snatching that prize at the last minute with a breathtakingly ghastly treatment of a passenger on an overbooked plane (involving actual violence), when they had UA staff they wanted to be given the seats instead. You can find that one on your newsfeeds if you wish because I'm not going to link to it.

STOP PRESS: Clearly feeling ignored in these PR disasters, good ol reliable Sean Spicer has contributed his own special kind of flustercuck  to pour a little crude oil on troubled waters, managing to screw up a comparison between Bashar al-Assad and Hitler in such a way as to make himself look even more like an idiot. I'd be impressed if it weren't so scary.

Scrabbling to find something positive, we DO have new Doctor Who to look forward to on Saturday, and in this messed up world, it's worth nothing Peter Capaldi's recent summation of the show when asked his opinion of cyber bullying. (Prompted by a question from a young fan who has experience with it)

"The essence of Doctor Who is kindness, that is what really is underneath all of this.

This is a person who moves through time and space and history, and all kinds of situations, and reacts to them, ultimately – despite the way the different versions of him may appear – he reacts with kindness.

And that is how everyone involved with Doctor Who should be and how everyone who is a fan of it should be.

If they’re not kind, they’re not receiving the show in the proper way and they’re not really a fan of it."

The show has been REALLY lucky with the actors it casts in the role, and Mr Capaldi is no exception.

Slightly on topic, but Jay Edidin of the ever entertaining X-Plain the X-Men podcast, gave a talk recently about mutant metaphor and representation which you may find interesting (I know I did). It's a Facebook video, which I know some people are a little iffy about, so I won't embed it

https://www.facebook.com/BooksWithPicturesPDX/videos/450383108635852/

Oh, and since this weekend is Easter, and Passover is underway, best wishes to those who celebrate either of these and, if you don't, enjoy the weekend anyway. Me? I can finally eat chocolate again as Lent will be over. The fact I have a dental checkup booked for the end of next week is just one of those ironic coincidences, but it will encourage me not to binge TOO much.

Oh, and in an effort not to be too dismal, let me end with a story which might seem depressing, but isn't. A rally of the English Defence League (as thuggish a bunch of far-right arseholes as you might hope to avoid in the street) was held in Birmingham this weekend and went about as badly for them as you might hope.

The photo that was captured is absolutely perfect. One of the EDL's nasty little lot being confronted by a smiling young woman of colour, a passing local (as opposed to the EDL who arrived by bus from who knows where), who stepped in to protect a woman in hijab that the EDL had surrounded and were menacing. It's a near perfect dichotomy of an image, it highlights, as nothing else, everything that is wrong with the EDL worldview and everything that is optimistic for the future. 


The lady's name is Saffiyah Khan and my admiration for her is boundless. The man has a name too, but I'm not going to mention it here.

Oh, and Birmginham's Central Mosque's reaction to the rally? They organised an open-to-all "Best of British" tea-party with Union Jack bunting, tea and cakes,

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In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

So British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 last week, officially notifying the EU that Britain wishes to leave, and to say the wheels are coming off that cart faster than even I had thought possible is understating it. Little things like Spain being likely to play hardball over Gibraltar ("But who could have seen THAT coming?" wail the Brexiters. "We did, and warned you about it", say the Remainers with a sigh) and not helped by Michael Howard, one of our "elder statesmen", immediately ranting on about how Britain would be prepared to go to war over Gibraltar (Wanna bet?).

Internet privacy in the US took a major body blow, with ISP's now able to sell your data to third parties without any need to check with you about who those third parties might be. Several of the more right wing websites are appalled at this, since it means that something the man they helped vote into office might now impact on THEM! (Shock horror), though in a delicious move, a number of parties are now seeking to buy data about the Congress members who voted on those laws, and we'll just have to see what comes of some of THAT data being revealed.

And as appreciators of the visual medium, scans_daily extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Gilbert Baker, who died at the weekend. The self-styled "Gay Betsy Ross" was the man who designed the Gay Pride Rainbow flag in 1978 at the behest of Harvey Milk.

In more happier news...

Grenoble has become the first city in Europe to ban outdoor advertising, and replace it with community noticeboards and trees

It's been confirmed that Bill Potts, the 12th Doctor's new companion (played by Pearl Mackie) making her debut in a little under two weeks time when Series 10 launches, is gay. Aside from the rather special case of Captain Jack (Who hails from a distant future where being omnisexual is the norm) she is the first confirmed LGBTQ companion in the shows history. Go Bill! :)

And I'm delighted to report that I'm the happy owner of the new Marvel Legends Build-A-Figure from the X-Men wave; WARLOCK! :D

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