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Nov 29

Charts – 25 November 2016

Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 by Paul in Music

It’s pretty much a dead week, to be honest.  Traditionally, we’d be approaching the winter shutdown around this time: unless you were trying to sneak a hit, you generally didn’t try to release or promote a regular single during the Christmas and New Year period.  In the streaming era, when records can take a month or so to slow-build anyway, this may not hold – people might figure it’s worth putting something out and seeing if it takes off at the start of January.  But it’s all  looking familiarly quiet right now.

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye” 

Three weeks.  It still needs a fourth to match the run of “Rather Be” in February 2014.  But along the lines of what I’ve just said, it’ll soon be time for the papers to start filling space by blathering about the race for Christmas Number 1.


Nov 25

Death of X

Posted on Friday, November 25, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

Death of X is pretty wretched.  But at least it has the decency to be revealingly wretched.

When the Marvel Universe picked up again after Secret Wars, we were told that during the gap, Cyclops had got himself killed doing something fairly awful involving the Inhumans.  Death of X is tasked with filling in that gap, presumably to lay the groundwork for the upcoming Inhumans vs X-Men crossover (though how much it really adds is debatable).

The oddity of this crossover is that given the raft of X-Men titles already announced for launch in the new year, it rather gives the game away that the X-Men seem to be coming out ahead.  That doesn’t necessarily make the promotion a bad idea: sometimes it’s no bad thing to send a clear message that the storyline is coming to a climax.  If people didn’t like it until now, maybe at least they’ll show up to see it end.


Nov 23

Deadpool v Gambit: The “V” Is For “Vs.”

Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

I’ve certainly been putting this one off.  Deadpool v Gambit finished ages ago.  The trade paperback is out by now.  But time to get back into the rhythm.  There’s something a bit odd about reading American comics right now.  Comics have a long lead-in time.  They’re slow to react to big events.  And there has been a very big event indeed, one which won’t begin to feed through into actual comics until some time next spring.  In the meantime, everything feels a bit like reading Archie.  It’s a charming world of yesteryear, when things weren’t on fire yet.

No doubt I’ll be saying a lot more about this in the coming months, both here and on the podcast, as the achingly slow turning circle of comics finally orients itself to 2017.  But Deadpool v Gambit is not really a good place to get into this: not only did it come out entirely before the election, but it’s a bouncy, shaggy-dog story caper book with no political dimensions at all.


Nov 21

Charts – 18 November 2016

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2016 by Paul in Music

Right, then… I will get back to a regular schedule later this week, with Deadpool v Gambit finally getting that review, followed by Uncanny X-Men Annual and an Old Man Logan arc a bit later, and maybe a wrestling post (depending on whether I want to write about the show in question once I’ve, you know, actually seen it).  Meantime, let’s clear this one away: a moribund top half of the chart, but a few more surprises lower down.

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye”

Second week.  It’s now number one in streaming as well as sales.

4.  Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane – “Black Beatles”

Blimey.  That’s a 28-place climb, which is quite something for a track that was propelled into the charts as a meme soundtrack (especially since it isn’t a novelty record).

23.  Nevada featuring Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap – “The Mack” (more…)

Nov 17

Charts – 11 November 2016

Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2016 by Paul in Music

Yes, I really will get to Deadpool v Gambit.  But you see, I explained last week that I was leaving it until I was in a better mood and…

So!  We’ve got a new number one!  And the next chart is out tomorrow so I’d better get this post up.

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye”


Nov 13

House to Astonish Episode 150

Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2016 by Al in Podcast

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here – House to Astonish episode 150, commemorating eight years of chat and waffle about comics. This time round, we’re not doing our usual news-reviews-handbook format, but instead tackling questions about what current books we’d recommend, what the most ridiculous stories are that we’ve ever read, the Transformers: Earthforce stories, our secret origin, the concept of the “Reverse OHOTOHOTMU”, our greatest hits, and how we’d remake crossover events. Plus our most punsome Amalgam characters, a spot of House to Astonish Theatre and a feature which we straight-up ripped off from another podcast. As a bonus, we’ve also got the entirety of the House to Astonish vs SILENCE! panel from Thought Bubble 2016, featuring Ryan North, Brenden Fletcher, Emi Lenox and John Allison, for anyone who missed that. All this plus Magazine and Magazine Collecting (the magazine for people who love magazines), fifth-dimensional imp Paul F Tompkins and the Super-Beard.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page.

Our Redbubble store (with its wonderful shirts, so cosy, such perfect Christmas presents) is here. You can find our friends from SILENCE! here, and the boys of Bit Socket here.


Nov 6

Charts – 4 November 2016

Posted on Sunday, November 6, 2016 by Paul in Music

Okay, so.  I was going to try and get the long overdue Deadpool v. Gambit review done this week, but to be honest, I want to write that one when I’m in a more suitable mood for being positive about a happy little story.  And doing it this way round means the chart post won’t immediately shove the DvG review down the page.  So.

1.  Little Mix – “Shout Out To My Ex”

Third week, so it’s now their joint longest-running number 1, matching last year’s “Black Magic”.  Unusually, this is number one in sales but not in streams (on the streaming-only chart, it slips to number 2, leaving James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go” to retake the top spot).  That’s unusual, because it’s tended to be the sales that flare out first.


Oct 31

Charts – 28 October 2016

Posted on Monday, October 31, 2016 by Paul in Uncategorized

Let’s see, what’s still in the queue… oh yes, Deadpool v Gambit.  We’ll get to that soon, honest.  And then we’ll be caught up, hopefully just in time for some more stories to wrap up.  First, though, I’m going to bash through a pretty quiet week on the singles chart.

1.  Little Mix – “Shout Out To My Ex”

That’s their second week, so clearly it didn’t just fluke itself a week at the top on the strength of fan sales.  The streams have caught up quickly enough to keep it here.  It heads up an entirely static top five.

6.  Neiked – “Sexual”

Entering the top ten, and it still doesn’t have a video.

7.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye”


Oct 24

Charts – 21 October 2016

Posted on Monday, October 24, 2016 by Paul in Music

See, it can still be done.

1.  Little Mix – “Shout Out To My Ex”

Well, I think you know what you’re getting with a title like that – you dumped me, you broke my heart, I have risen above you, etc etc.  It’s exactly that.  And given that Little Mix actually can sing, having them in unison on the chorus doesn’t seem the best use of them.  But whatever.  I’ve heard it done worse.


Oct 20

Civil War II: X-Men

Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

Oh, it’s one of those miniseries.  Event Crossover: Non-participating Series.  Never a dull moment with those.  Remember World War Hulk: X-Men?  Me neither.  I mean, I remember it existed, obviously.  Don’t remember a thing about it beyond that.  Imagine it probably had some Hulks.

Turns out, though, that this one isn’t quite such blatant filler as usual.  It’s written by Cullen Bunn, the regular writer of Uncanny X-Men.  It’s the first X-Men title since the relaunch to feature both Magneto’s and Storm’s teams with any sort of extended interaction.   It mildly advances the Magneto/Psylocke storyline in Uncanny (not that you’re missing anything).  And it’s bringing the Inhumans proper – rather than just the Terrigen Mists – into an X-Men book, to start the build for the upcoming Inhumans vs X-Men stuff.