Friday, 28 February 2020

Book Review 72 // Judges - Lone Wolf by George Mann

See I told you I was hooked to Judges. After reading the Avalanche I knew I had to pick up book two Lone Wolf in the Judges series. For this tale we leave small town America and head to the big city New York. Not only do we now start seeing how the system works, but we also start to see the political fall out of it all. Here are the details:

Book Details

Title: Judges - Lone Wolf

Author: George Mann

Publisher: Abaddon Books

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 146

Commercial Fluff: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2034 A.D.
Eustace Fargo’s Judges have been on the beat for a year. Crime is down but tensions are high between police and Judges, and millions rail against the radical new laws.
A summary execution sparks a crisis: only the killer knew where his last, still-living victim was hidden.
With the largest storm in decades brewing off the East Coast and a city about to erupt into violence, can Judges Ramos and O’Shea find him in time?

Review

It's 2034 and the Judges system is starting to take root throughout America. But not everyone is keen on the new system, especially the Governor of New York State. But even in the biggest city New York itself, it seems Judges and Police are starting to work together for greater good. That is until a serial killer is executed by a Judge after surrendering to the police.

At this point the story ramps up, with a possible victim still alive and no one left to question! The Judges are thrown on a back foot as they rush to find the possible victim, before all chaos breaks lose in the city as a giant storm heads in from the coast. Into this mix throw in protests, a breakdown in department relationships and an early look at a mega block and you are left with a thrilling short story.

Would have loved for it to be slightly longer, but given such a low page count Mann was able to really squeeze in a lot to this tale. I loved how the Judges especial O'Shea were very human and not the straight cut Judges of the future. I also enjoyed how the story would jump from the Judges to the victim and add a real sense of urgency. It also left me guessing all the way to the end and truly surprised me with the outcome.

This Judges series is truly impressing me. I wasn't sure when I first picked up the book but I am finding myself absolutely hooked. Now to read the third novel When the Light Lay Still.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Audio Review 10 // Judge Dredd: Trapped on Titan by Jonathan Clements

Time for a quick audio book review. Once again it is a Big Finish production about Judge Dredd. I truly love these dramas, but they are becoming increasingly hard to find. I really hope Big Finish will one day release them once more. If a generous follower has audio and wants to share I would to chat.

Details

Name: Judge Dredd: Trapped on Titan.

Author: Jonathan Clements

Cover Artist: Henry Flint

Cast:

  • Toby Longworth (Judge Dredd / Grudfather / McRoy / Babs)
  • Nicola Bryant (Judge Mordin / Titan Public Address System)
  • Adam Blaug (Malcolm / Control / Guard #3)
  • Laurence Bouvard (Stacey Dolan)
  • Andrew Fettes (Honest Bob / Guard #2 / Seamus / Bubba)
  • Jack Galagher (Riley / Martos / Computer)
  • Alfred Hoffman (Jude / Guard #1 / Bowles)

Director: John Ainsworth

Duration: 68 minutes

Commercial Fluff: It's the most hellish place in the Solar System - a prison for the Earth's worst criminals. Now Titan is under new management - a cabal of two-faced spin doctors intent on bleeding the inmates dry.

But something is out there on the freezing plains of Titan. For thirty years, people have committed murder to keep it quiet, but now its secret has escaped. Time is running short for Titan, and Dredd alone can stop the killing.

The future of the Earth is at stake, and Dredd must go into the prison undercover. He must walk among serial-killers and mass-murderers to find the answer to the puzzle, before he spends the rest of his life Trapped on Titan!

Chronological Timeline: This story takes place in September 2124.

Review

One of the darker Dredd stories in this series so far. Following the death of thirty prisoners, MC-1 sends Judge Mordin and an undercover Judge Dredd to investigate. Their main goal was to decide if the Titan Governor was corrupt, their secondary goal was to discover Rico's Rock (yes Dredd's Brother Rico). During this adventure the Governor shows her true colours and attempts to kill Judge Mordin, setting in process a full lockdown which leads to riots lead by the Grudfather.

It's during this mess that an alien warfleet approaches readying to attack earth on Rico's command. The only way to save earth is for Dredd to pretend to be Rico and communicate with the aliens. Ultimately earths destruction is avoided but at the cost of the prison. Rebuilding will take time but ultimately it was worth it.

Actor Toby Longworth once again brings Judge Dredd to life and the script writing was perfect with it's in jokes and perfect 2000 AD humor. It is the perfect tale and an excellent listen for sure.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Beer Review 84 // Robohop New England Imperial IPA

Welcome back for a cheeky brew review. This is an interesting brew as it is a recipe alteration, normally Robohop is a traditional West Coast IIPA but for this one they edited to make it into a North East Style IIPA. So let's skip all this talking and get onto the interesting stuff!

Details

Name: Robohop

Style: Imperial New England IPA

Brewery: Great Lakes Brewery

Country: Canada, Ontario. Toronto.

ABV: 8.5%

Commercial Fluff: RoboHop Imperial IPA, this one New England style... is not a beer to trifle with. Tropical fruits abound from the glass, which consist of passion fruit, guava, lemon with notes of white grape and evergreen mingling together. The full-bodied 8.5% Imperial IPA is very gentle on the palate, making it one sneaky bugger. Many of the aromas come through in the taste, resulting in a very pleasant juicy finish that’s slightly dry.

Own Opinion

Label: It's a pretty fun label with the Robohop character dominating the image. Very cartoonish and very in style for this brewery.

Pour: A slight cloudy, dull orange coloured pour. Off white head that dissipated quickly.

Aroma: Bold pine and a tropical fruit hit. Smells nice.

Taste: Tropical fruits and citrus lead the way. Surprisingly sweet with a caramel note in the back end. Seems a little sticky sweet the more you drink. Pleasant enough.

Would I buy it again: Truthfully nope. For my personal taste this is a bit to sticky sweet for me, I prefer my North Easts in the 3%-6% mark. I guess the maltier backbone just adds that extra sugar that I am not a fan off in this style. I am glad I had it but I feel some time needs to pass before the next one.

As always drop me a comment or hit follow! Until next time bye.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Comic Review 77 // Alien vs Predator: Thrill of the Hunt

Okay, okay I know I've done a lot of Alien franchise comics of late, but I've found a treasure drove of comics at the library. I promise I will give it a rest for a bit after this one and head back into the MC-1 verses. Now this is a well thumbed novel and has seemingly been enjoyed by many, which hopefully bodes well though from the look it is a short story for sure.

Details

Title: Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt

Author: Mike Kennedy

Illustrator: Roger Robinson

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Type: Graphic Novel

Page Count: 96

Commercial Fluff:
In the farthest reaches of space, a creature terrified us. Acid blood. Armoured skin. Razor-sharp teeth. No mercy. In the depths of a rain forest, another creature hunted us. Perfect camouflage. Fearsome weapons. Brutal methods. No conscience. In 2004, these monsters clashed on Earth in the greatest battle the universe has ever known. But far in the future, long after a technological catastrophe that started a second Dark Age, all memory of these two species has been forgotten. And when Mankind again reaches for the stars, we will discover that, truly, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Once again, Man is caught in the middle of a deadly struggle.

Review

Hmmm. Definitely a weak showing from this novel. Felt like we jumped back to the 80's with the artwork. Very flat with line work with a basic colour palette as well. Seriously what is going on? I thought this comic came out in 2004. Have I missed something? A bit disappointing for sure.

The story itself isn't much better, feeling like a 80's action movie. It lacks meat to the story, it just comes across as a flat, violent comic. It also suffers from lack of pages as you don't really get to know the characters enough to care and they end up being more of a background piece on a planet with Aliens and Predators. Whilst we talk about them, why are these two races here? Why aren't they fighting more, why bother telling this pointless tale?

To be honest this was a disappointment. As I've mentioned before I don't expect high brow scifi but I do expect a plot of some sort beyond hey we are all on the same planet. Please avoid this tale and spend time doing something important like watching paint dry.

You have been warned.

Friday, 21 February 2020

Book Review 71 // Judges - The Avalanche by Michael Carroll

Welcome back readers, this week I am actually starting a new series of books called Judges. Created by 2000 AD, Rebellion Publishing and Abaddon Books, the series follows the genesis of the Judge system that would ultimately lead into the World of Judge Dredd.

This is an exciting idea as it set in 2033. Only thirteen years into our future. What does that mean for the reader? Well it means not to much has changed in the world, the cities are all the same ie. no mega-cities, there hasn't been a war yet so no Cursed Earth or high pollution. What is happening though, is a United States of America struggling to handle crime, we are starting to see a big divide between the rich and poor, corporations are taking root and pushing out the little man, the idea of a mega block is starting to be formulated to rise up in cities like New York. The general populace is on a knife edge ready to riot over anything. And into this heap pile the new Fargo Judge System is being unveiled. How exciting!

As I write this I have complete book one The Avalanche and I am nearly finished book two and I am liking how the stories are being portrayed. It's not from Fargo's view point or some high ranked figure. It is instead the view point of the first Judges. The people on the front lines and how everyone including the Judges have to get on board with a new changing Justice system.

Now for Avalanche.

Book Details

Title: The Avalanche

Author: Michael Carroll

Publisher: Abaddon Books

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 232

Commercial Fluff: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2033 A.D.
In a time of widespread poverty, inequality and political unrest, Special Prosecutor Eustace Fargo’s controversial new justice laws have come into effect.
Protests and violence meet the first Judges as they hit the street to enforce the Law; the cure, it’s clear, is far worse than the disease.
Is this a sign of things to come?

Review

Yep. This series has peaked my interested for sure! As I ready mentioned America is on the brink of chaos, the rich are getting richer and crime is on the rise. A man named Fargo has risen in political power and has convinced the President that the police system needs changing. They need a force who can step in and beat back crime. This system is the Judges, a force able to do all aspects of the Justice System from investigating to dispensing the sentencing. These new Judges are being drawn from across all professions be it law enforcement, military and legal. They are the future of law enforcement and they are ready to hit the streets.

But this story isn't set in some big city giving us access to melting pot of chaos, no instead we are in the small town of St. Christopher. Not the nicest place to live but also not the worst. I imagine it as a factory/industry town that has lost most of it's trade and is slowly becoming rundown and derelict. We all know a place like this, a place that once was the place to live and now is just a few stores and some empty warehouses, full of low income families forced to live below the poverty line.

Into this back drop we get a lone Judge arriving a day earlier than her squad because she has family there and after a cold welcome by her brothers at the police station, she rides off alone into the night. This is the last we see of her as she is murdered! The next day the rest of her team arrive lead by Judge Deacon and their first case in this new town is to investigate their team mates death. Faced by police force closing ranks and a general populace who have yet to come to terms with the Judge's system the team will have a hard time fitting in.

This really was a great intro into this new series. We see how the system will ultimately work once up and running but that is at least five years away, until then the Judges have to work along side the police force they will ultimately replace. We get to see also the new mindset for the system, it is going to be brutal and bloody. If you break the law expect to have justice served.

Though a short tale it is amazingly written and very enjoyable to read. If you have any interest in Judge Dredd than I can't portray strong enough why you should read this. It is great. By the time you read this I should have finished Judges - Lone Wolf so watch out for that review soon.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Meg 213 // 2000 AD Megazine 213


Welcome to this weeks comic review. Not sure if anyone is truly reading these posts but I am enjoying writing my thoughts and getting some inspiration as I do it. So this is it! We have hit December 2003 issue 213. An end of an year normally means end of strips or single tale strips and this seems to be the case for a lot of the tales in this issues. We have Judge Dredd: Crime of Passion (One Shot), Devlin Waugh: Rid Tide (Part 12) Final piece, Xtnct (Part 5), Armitage: Apostasy in the UK (Part 2) Final Piece, Judge Death: Wilderness (Part 5), Harry 20 on the High Rock, Charley's War and Apocalypse Soon. So let us dive in.

Story: Judge Dredd - Crime of Passion (One Shot): The World Sex Championships is underway in MC-1, and the mixed pair for MC-1 are in with a strong chance of winning. Only issue is their son has been kidnapped and the pressure is affecting their performance. Can Dredd locate the kidnapper and save the child before the final performance? The whole issue is the highlight. I love the idea of sex becoming a sport and the artwork is great. Only downside is that Judge Dredd is not in enough. When it is a Dredd tale I really want and demand Dredd to play a bigger role, I guess this is a filler piece so really doesn't matter. But a great start to the issue.

Story: Devlin Waugh - Red Tide (Part 12): Finally we are the final stage of this tale, it has felt like ten parts of chase scenes, so I am happy to read this. All scenes have been leading to this, Devlin and Landis finally get their showdown. After a bit of to and through Devlin is pretty much beat and everything is looking bad for team, that is until Lilith actually comes to the rescue. But with all things Lilith has a game plan, following her death she claims the body of Helsing's  daughter and disappears into the Daylight. The final scene is new Lilith giving Devlin a blood kiss to grant him the power to walk in the sunshine.


Story: Harry Twenty One on High Rock: Looks like the tale has finally come to an end. Though I never got emotionally attached to the tale or even wanted to blog about it every time. I am glad I finished the tale. My main gripe was that it was too 80's sci-fi, too high science fiction for me. I enjoy a bit of humour in my tales and this was very straight edge.

Story: Charley's War: Yep, seriously can't work with real world war comics. Through it is nice to read I have no real connection to it and no passion to write about. So I am going to skip and move on.

Story: Xtnct - Part 5: I am really lost on this tale, I don't see where it is going or what the point is. I orginally remember stating being excited about this one as I thought it was going to be a revenge tale, but I truly feel this lost it's way so quickly! I just don't know what I think about it.


Story: Armitage - Apostasy in the UK (Part 2): How on Earth was this just a two part story. I love Armitage and to discover this is just a two part tale breaks my heart! Armitage is racing to save Steel from a weird ass cult that has formed around the minister from the Church of Grud. Thomas Ablom has seen across the void and discovered a parallel world were a new Judge system took root, one based on aged. Basically anyone beneath the age of 30 is killed as it is believe only the young can commit crime! I just love how this tale is mocking the Dark Judges in MC-1, this is what makes 2000 AD stories some of the best out there. This is a real highlight to the issue.


Story: The Wilderness Days - Viva Las Vegas - Not! (Part 5): I'm glad the stories in this issue are rapidly improving. Last time we left Death in the ring killing left right and centre, well that's were we begin in this issue. Death is rapidly reaching his goal on the kill tally and soon the Vegas boss will have to keep his promise....or will he? Death actually discovers he is being played and goes on killing spree hoping to get the Chief Judge. Instead he is violently gunned down and left searching for a body. I am really digging this tale and the artwork is still on point. It's a great piece.

Story: Apocalypse Soon: The Four Horsemen have been captured by Bush and Blair and are now being held in Guantanamo Bay. Looks like they are in deep shit. But things get a lot worst, when God arrives and fires the horsemen before announcing that Bush and Blair are becoming his new messengers of death.

And with that we have reached the end. Not just the end of this issue but also the end of 2003 for the megazine. This issue had some highs, Judge Death, Armitage and Dredd. Then there was lows, Charley's War, High Rock, Extnct. But ultimately this issue was a win.

So what's next? For now I am taking a break from the megazines and will instead hop over to the progs. There has been a sale on 2000 AD for yearly back logs so I just dived in and got them, so I hope you will continue to join me on this adventure. As always please comment below even if it is just to say hi! Or better yet hit the follow button.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Beer Review 83 // Rye Guy by Beyond the Pale

Now it shouldn't be a secret that I enjoy beer, but why? Well the big reason is I work for a brewery here in Ontario. Which brewery you may ask? Well I work for Beyond the Pale, yep the same Beyond the Pale we are beer reviewing today. What does that mean for the review, well not a lot to be honest. I will still write my true thoughts as the owners respect honest over everything, so let's dive into this beer.

Details

Name: Rye Guy

Style: West Coast IPA

Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company

Country: Canada, Ontario. Ottawa

ABV: 6.7%

Commercial Fluff: Rye Guy one of our original beers when we first opened in 2012. This IPA showcases everything that is great about a West Coast style IPA. The American Hop profile gives it a distinctive citrus and pine notes flavour made even more impressive by the ton of rye malts we added as part of the all-Canadian grain bill.

The result is a crisp, full-bodied IPA that is surprisingly session-able during spring, summer, autumn or winter.

Own Opinion

Pour: A light hazy orange pour with a crisp white head, that dissipates to leave a good lacing on the glass as you drink it.

Aroma: Classic west coast hop aromas. Big citrus orange pith hit, with some lingering pine and resin in the background.

Taste: Easy drinking with the citrus and pine notes upfront. But as you continue to drink a slight lingering spice builds on the tongue from the rye character. It also has a bitterness that though not overwhelming lets you know you are drinking and makes you take another sip.

Would I buy it again: Yes. It is a staple in my fridge. It is always a good one for sharing as well, it show how a good IPA should taste and it helps remind people that it doesn't always need to be a North East IPA.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Comic Review 76 // The Case of Dexter Ward by H.P Lovecraft

Wow half way through February already. Not going to lie there has been a lot of sci-fi graphic novels so far this year (not a surprise considering it's my preferred genre). But for this post I decided I should mix it up a little and go for a cosmic horror instead! So let dive in with this library find and see if the horrors of existence will claim our minds and souls.

Details

Title: The Case of Dexter Ward: A Graphic Novel

Author: H.P Lovecraft

Illustrator: I.N.J. Culbard

Publisher: SelfMadeHero

Type: Graphic Novel

Page Count: 144

Commercial Fluff:
Providence, Rhode Island, 1928. A dangerous inmate disappears from a private hospital for the insane, his method of escape baffling the authorities. Only the patient's final visitor, family physician Dr. Marinus Bicknell Willett—himself a pece of the puzzle—holds the key to unlocking The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. A macabre mixture of historical investigation, grave-robbing and bone-chilling revelation, this adaptation artfully lays bare one of H.P. Lovecraft's most horrifying creations.
"The New York Times" best-selling comics writer, Brian Wood pens an epic space odyssey filled with gritty, fearless art by up and coming artist, Tristan Jones. Aliens Defiance #1-6.

Review

What a great story. I haven't actually read the short story this is based off, but it is now on my radar for sure. Unsurprisingly the story is about Charles Ward, a medical student of some intellect who drops out of school and social circles to investigate his family origins. This path of obsession ultimately leads him to discover Joseph Curwen an alchemist and accused wizard!

Soon Charles Ward's own family worry for him and involve Poe a psychological professor and friend of the family. Here the story becomes more of a detective novel, as Poe attempts to track down the elusive Charles Ward. We are treated to all manner of occult mysteries as you would expect from a H.P Lovecraft tale. And we also delve into how far Poe can be pushed before going mad himself!

The artwork is very unique in my opinion and really adds to the tale and the retelling seems to flow nicely and make senses. It definitely delivers on the horror front and is a pretty creepy tale, even though you can workout the ending about half way through.

Overall a fun solid read and one I would be happy to add to my collection.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Gaming and how I enjoy my corner of the worlds.

Work for a brewery in real life.
Something a little different today. This is going to be more of an inside look to me and why I collect. I hope to explain what drives me as hobbyist and let you get to know me more.

Like many people in this hobby of a certain age I started with Heroquest. I was around the 10 year old mark and I found the game at a car boot sale. I was instantly hooked by the idea of elves, orcs, dwarfs, heroes and high adventure. It also didn't take much to get friends hooked or find like minded people. I guess for me this was the golden age, playing into my teenage years I experienced 40k 2nd edition, blood bowl, necromunda, gorkamorka, space hulk. We use to play games almost every weekend and I remember fondly my Iron Warrior army and my Goliath gang. But then slowly real life gets in the way, we got jobs, we had bills to pay, our hangouts more involved painting and drinking than actually playing and then I moved away. Upon moving my gaming time really died, in a new town I didn't have a connection for gaming, nor did I really have the time. So I painted and converted and read stories always keeping a toe in the systems I loved.

Wally Squad Judge Jennings
Jump forward 20 years and I can properly count the number of games I've played on two hands. But I still love the systems (currently 40k and Warlord Games Judge Dredd). For me now it is not the playing that matters, it is the calming escape I now get from reading novels or comics, gluing a figure or even just getting a paint brush out. It is relaxing, it is fun and most importantly its all mine. I feel I have reached a point were everything needs a story. It is no longer just a Pirate model sitting on a shelf, it is in fact Wally Squad Judge Jennings working undercover in the local bar of Sector 102. It is all a part of my own evolving stories that I use to entertain myself and escape for a while. Made more possible by my renewed reading of 2000 AD lines of comics and novels, which I blog about here. It is also the same for 40k, I don't just collect Aeldari of Iyanden but in fact collect the House of Ulthanash. Every squad has a story or background, the leaders have ships that are named, I have a list of models I wish to build that can never be used in a game but will show background of the army. I have moved pasted the dice rolling and more into the story telling, I guess it's almost like rpg world building and I love it.

As my children grow and start showing interest in my "toys" I tell them the stories I've come up with, sparking their imagination with my stories based of these bits of metal and plastic. With hopes one day they will join me in my hobby and when/if they do I want them to expand upon what I have created so far and start their own adventures.

So what about you lot who have read this, why do you hobby? Is it the painting, the gaming, the lore, the world building? What excites you? I would love to hear about it. Drop a comment below and let's get chatting.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Book Review 70 // The House of Night and Chain by David Annandale

This was an interesting tale to dive into as it is kind of a jump outside of my normal reads. As I am sure you have guessed by now, I love sci-fi action a lot. Yes I've delved into fantasy or history but they are still action based novels. So to head into a horror themed novel was a exciting change. I did play safe a stuck to Black Library for it and the setting of Warhammer 40k, but what can I say apart from better the devil you know.

Book Details

Title: The House of Night and Chain

Author: David Annandale

Publisher: Black Library

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 288

Commercial Fluff: In a bleak corner of the city of Valgaast, the House of Malveil awaits. A place of darkness, its halls throb with a sinister history. Its rooms are filled with malice. Its walls echo with pain. Now it stirs eagerly with the approach of an old heir – Colonel Maeson Strock of the Astra Militarum has returned home to his ancestral mansion. He is a man broken, both by the horrors of war and by personal loss, and he has come home to take up the mantle of Planetary Governor. He hopes he can purge his home world of political corruption, and reforge connections with his estranged children. He hopes he can rebuild his life.

Malveil will feast on these dreams. Strock believes he has seen the worst of the galaxy’s horrors. Malveil will show him how wrong he is.

Review

I'm glad this is my introduction to Warhammer Horror. What an intriguing tale, weaved around Strock and his family. Strock is heir to the governor's seat but first has to serve in the Astra Militarum, whilst his ageing uncle wastes away in Malveil as the current governor.

We then skip forward a few years (possibly 10-15 years) the uncle has died and Strock is still off world, leaving his wife to set up in the abandoned Malveil alone. At this point the pace picks up with Strock's wife passing away, and Strock being seriously wounded fighting the Tyranids. It is following his recovery that Strock returns to Valgaast and follows in his wife's footsteps and sets up in Malveil and here the story starts proper.

Brought back to Valgaast in hopes of turning the planets corrupt ruling around, Strock finds himself in a political hotbed of lies and distrust. This aspect of the story is actually really good. I could have happily read a political novel in this setting and what Strock as he takes on the corrupt elements of his homeworld.

But like a true horror the main story all takes place in the creepy house at night. With our main character exploring the abandon rooms and hallways of Malveil. The chapters focusing on this aspect were some of the best in my opinion as it leaves you fearing the shadows and constantly feeling the need to look over your shoulder. Made even more scary as read most of this book in bed. As the house chapters continue Strock finds his late wife's personal diary and attempts to retrace her steps through the house ultimately leading him into a dark mystery as the truth unravels more and more.

Though a some what obvious ending it was still hugely satisfying to see it reach that point. I can only speak highly of this novel and I am excited to read more horror tales from Black Library. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or better let give me follow!

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Beer Review 82 // Triverse IPA by Bellwoods

Got very lucky last weekend and went to Toronto for a few days. Part of this trip was actually a quick stop in at Bellwoods Brewery. So I picked up a few brews and went on my merry way so expect a few Bellwood reviews in the upcoming weeks as I work through my treasures. Up first is a nice little IPA called Triverse.

Details

Name: Triverse IPA

Style: IPA

Brewery: Bellwoods

Country: Canada, Ontario. Toronto

ABV: 7.2%

Artwork: Unknown

Commercial Fluff: Our latest instalment in the 'verse' series, Triverse is an enigmatic and delicious IPA brewed with a pale and oat heavy malt bill, and an intergalactic blend of Sabro, Citra, and Mosaic hops.

Own Opinion

Label: Very bellwoods, looks a wallpaper design you would find in IKEA. I mean that in a great way, it's like European style artwork. Very quirky.

Pour: Fluffy pour, opaque bright yellow with a nice white fluffy head.

Aroma: Tropical fruit cocktail. Yummy is an understatement this smells so, so good. Lots of peachy fruit notes coming through. I can tell this will be fun to drink.

Taste: Smooth almost creamy mouthfeel, fruit notes of peach dominates whilst in the background Coconut plays out to cover the tongue. Pretty low on the bitterness, just a hugely drinkable brew.

Would I buy it again: Yes. Might be a while before they brew again but this was a tasty beer and lucky for me I grabbed a couple of cans.

Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments. Also please take the time to hit the follow button, it would mean the world to me.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Comic Review 75 // Fire and Stone: Predators

Fire and Stone is a scifi Dark Horse comic series linking Prometheus, Aliens, Aliens vs Predators and Predator into one big adventure. So far the series has been a bit hit and miss for me. Pros so far have been the artwork, whilst the actual story has proven to be the weak link. I am hoping part four - Predator will actually tie all the stories together. Let us jump in and find out.

Details

Title: Fire and Stone: Predators

Author: Joshua Williamson

Illustrator: Christopher Mooneyham

Publisher: Dark Horse

Type: Graphic Novel

Page Count: 126

Commercial Fluff:

After the terror of Weyland-Yutani's disastrous mission to the site of the fallen Prometheus, the Perses begins her long journey home, but an invisible stowaway forces the crew into a deadly conflict! While the crew defend themselves against this unseen predator, the hunter itself stalks a much more substantial game!

Collects Predator: Fire and Stone #1-#4!

Review

As mentioned at the start Fire and Stone: Predators is the fourth and final volume of this hit and miss series. What is good about this one is that it expands on some of the characters and helps grow out the backstory. This actually makes these characters likeable and even makes the comics seem like they are linked and not stand alone pieces, with weak links.

This tale picks up on the story of Galgo, a rather believable rogue character, who is purely out for himself. In this issue it really plays into survival instincts and his utter willingness to sacrifice everyone if it means he lives an extra five minutes. Unlucky for Galgo his luck is starting to run out as he gets stuck with a very likeable Predator.

With the Predator now leading the way this unlikely duo head back to LV-223, to hunt a deadly prey an Engineer!

This is a solid ending to the series. For me the strongest issue was the Prometheus issue, closely followed Predator. The weakest issue for me has to be the Aliens vs Predator issue. But overall I am glad it has come to an end. The true highlight of the series was the artwork with Prometheus once again leading the way.

If you are a fan of the franchise I recommend picking them up, but if you only have a passing interest I recommend seeking out a different tale. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Beer Review 81 // Battenberg by Bellwoods x Cloudwater

Following on from last weeks English brew, I now have an English cake made into a beer! Yep you read that right a Canadian Brewery teaming up with a British brewery to attempt to make the much loved battenberg cake into a beer. Here are the details.

Details

Name: Battenberg Cake

Style: Imperial Stout

Brewery: Bellwoods x Cloudwater

Country: Canada

ABV: 11.3%

Artwork: Unknown

Commercial Fluff: Our most recent collab with Cloudwater Brew Co is an Imperial Stout inspired by the traditional, geometric British cake recipe. The rich beer is aided by an ensemble of almond extract, apricot jam, and Madagascar vanilla beans.

Own Opinion

Label: Spot on with the Battenberg cake representation. The pastel shades of colour just scream Battenberg. Love it.

Pour: Black as tar and almost as thick. This is a scary beer pour. The head is rick chocolate shade and really looks the part of a dessert beer.

Aroma: It's rich, sweet apricot jumps up, along side a huge hit of Almonds. I can already feel my teeth decaying from the sugar over dose they are about to endure.

Taste: Very sweet, a lot of vanilla and almond, lots of sugar. As it starts to warm the apricot starts forcing it's way into the foreground. It also seems to get thicker and stickier! Coats the mouth but ultimately is a sweet beer.

Would I buy it again: Yes. This is something I love to enjoy. Pastry stouts are my sort of brew and this ticks every box I could ask for. Only thing I would change is that I would share the next one, 11.3% is too big of a hit to go solo on.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Comic Review 74 // IDW - Judge Dredd: Under Siege

Felt it was time to head back into the Mega City and catch up with Judge Dredd once more. This time it is an IDW tale and one I haven't heard of before. As with a lot of my comics of late I found this one in the local Library. So let's not mess around and head into details drokk heads:

Details

Title: Judge Dredd - Under Siege.

Author: Mark Russell

Illustrator: Max Dunbar

Type: Graphic Novel

Publisher: IDW

Page Count: 96 pages

Commercial Fluff:

Tense, gritty action as Judge Dredd keeps law and order in the chaos that is Mega-City One.

When all contact with the Patrick Swayze Block is lost, Dredd and Judge Beeny are tasked with investigating. As they battle lawlessness and rampant criminality, they discover a threat to the city that they must contain at all costs...

Review

Okay I will be the first to admit that this is a good read. A lot of the time IDW misses the mark for me but not on this tale. This read like it could have come from an issue of 2000 AD.

The plot is straight forward enough; Dredd is sent into Patrick Swayze block to help locate Judge Beeny. Inside the block he discovers Muties have discovered an entry point and are laying siege to the entire block. Realising the two Judges can't face the threat alone, Dredd and Beeny are forced into an uneasy truce with the local crimelord known as the Mayor. This story is a great social commentary of how communities are being forced to look after their own, as an uncaring system abandons them on a daily basis. The artwork is great and really shows off the insides of a block and has given me lots of ideas for my gaming table build which is always nice!

The villains were your standard bad guys, mean enough to hate them but also human enough to understand their motive, I also enjoyed that they weren't 'super' villains but instead more standard bad guys. The Mayor was also very likeable and could be compared to MC-1 Robin Hood of sorts.

Main negative for me was the page count. At 96 it felt like it could have been even better with another 20 pages. But overall this a great read and I would happily pick up a copy for my collection.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Miniature Monday // Warlord Games Judge Dredd Collection


Sadly real life is getting in the way of projects so I am just going to write about my plans for Warlord Games figures seen in the above image. Up first the Judges:

Street Judge John Silar - Already finished and ready for action, as far as I am concerned this model represents myself in the setting. Not let classed as a Senior Judge but far from his rookie days, now patrolling the streets of Sector 102.

The tears of pain are real!
Rookie Judge (So far un-named) - This is actually my second model as I dropped and destroyed the original one!! Lucky for me Warlord Games were kind enough to send me a replacement one. I currently don't have a name for this Judge, have a good name? Drop me a comment always interested in strong names. Pretty easy back story of on final testing with Judge Silar, just wish she had a helmet on! Maybe attempt fixing the damaged one at some point and convert to have a helmet?

Street Gang - A great little starter gang. I have three options currently open to me. First up a completely unique gang that operates out of Sector 102, suggest names if you have a fun one you would like to share. This is the harder option as it requires a bit more effort from me but could be rather rewarding. The second more easier option is to make them part of The Frendz mob, which would easily allow me to add in Nero Narco at a later date. Then there is Pro-Judge Death group, basically gangers campaigning for Judge Death's release and for him to be made Mayor of MC-1! Could be a fun paining opportunity for something moody and dark. Would love to hear peoples thoughts. Personally I am thinking and leaning more into The Frendz mob idea.

Citi-Def - The newest models to enter my collection. I am currently working on a gaming location set in the Dan Abnett City Block of Sector 102. And as is well known all City Blocks need a milita! This group I have a pretty solid plan already for. They with be known as The Ghosts and be named after different characters from Gaunt Ghosts. The idea being their leader came across an old book of Gaunt Ghosts stories and became inspired by them! This is going to be a fun project for sure and a great excuse to start re-reading the Gaunt Ghosts tales. The bearded model is definitely becoming Colm. Just need to locate and purchase a suitable Commissar model to lead from the front!

Well that was a little background guide to future projects. Thanks for stopping by and please do drop a comment if you have a similar project on the go or any name or idea suggestions.

Also if you have a Judge Dredd blog/facebook page/insta feed drop me comment and I will follow.

Book Review 75 // Legion by Dan Abnett

With this forced leave from work I am finding time to start working my way through some of the bookshelves of shame. It's crazy to th...