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Jul 18

All-New X-Men #9-11 – “Apocalypse Wars”

Posted on Monday, July 18, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

“Apocalypse Wars” may for once be better described as an “event”, because it isn’t a “crossover” in any real sense.  In fact – and as Marvel made clear from the outset – it harks back to the structure of 1988’s “Fall of the Mutants”, which was simply a banner slapped on three storylines that shook up the status quo but were otherwise unrelated.

“Apocalypse Wars” doesn’t shake up the status quo.  Instead, it consists of the three X-Men titles each doing an unrelated Apocalypse story.  Why Apocalypse?  Because there was a movie out when this whole thing started.

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Jul 17

House to Astonish Episode 147

Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2016 by Al in Podcast

There’s absolutely loads to get through this episode, as we run through the Marvel NOW! announcements, take a look at the most recent Direct Market sales figures, look at Spell on Wheels, Ether, Hawkman and Adam Strange: Out of Time and the Lost Boys sequel comic, have a quick chat about the new artist on Black Panther, discuss Plutona‘s potential move to the big screen, dig into the upcoming Marvel/Fox co-produced TV show and sigh wearily at the Wonder Woman cover thing. We’ve also got reviews of Horizon and New Super-Man, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is a real gem. All this plus Mhor Thor, Superman with an elephant head for an arm and the brief return of a much-missed cockney.

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.

Don’t forget that we’ve got some fab shirts for sale on our Redbubble store – just the thing for the summer months.

And if you want to check out my appearance on Into It with Elle Collins, talking about ChikaraPro, it’s here, and if you want to revisit the anguished screams that were our Phantom Stranger review, well, then that episode can be found here.

Jul 16

Charts – 15 July 2016

Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2016 by Paul in Music

It.  Will.  Not.  Die.

1.  Drake featuring WizKid & Kyla – “One Dance” 

The eternal number one just won’t go away.  Kungs’ “This Girl” spent four weeks at number 2, but this week it drops to number 5.  So Drake sees off another challenger.  And that’s fourteen weeks – matching the combined total of “Bohemian Rhapsody” across both its runs.  One more week and it ties with “Love Is All Around”.  Sales and streams are both dropping, so it has to stop some time…

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Jul 14

Old Man Logan #8

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

Following from the “Bordertown” three-parter, Old Man Logan gives us a one-shot story.  And it’s time, yet once more, to contemplate the imminent collapse of society.

Now, these are apocalyptic times indeed.  Pop culture – hell, culture generally – is not exactly going through one of its optimistic phases.  Not that it particularly should be.  And so sure, there ought to be something to work with in the hook of Old Man Logan, the thing that makes him different from the original Wolverine – which is not so much that he’s old, or even specifically that he was tricked into killing his version of the X-Men, but that he’s already lived through the collapse of the society around him.

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Jul 12

Charts – 7 July 2016

Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 by Paul in Music

Okay, so… yes, I was going to do a Watch With Father post before this, but it’s been a busy week, plus there’s been a lot of mesmerisingly distracting stuff on the news, plus there haven’t been any storylines wrapping up in the X-books.  But we’re settling down again now, so we really should be getting back into a more regular schedule.

Meanwhile… in a terrifying and uncertain world, one thing is immutable.

1.  Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla – “One Dance”

Thirteen weeks.  Thirteen.  On a pure sales chart it wouldn’t even be in the top 10 any more, but it’s just not shifting from the streaming charts.  The sales number one would be “This Girl” by Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners, which is stuck at number 2 on the combined chart for the fourth week.

So let’s take a step back to consider what on earth is going on here.

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Jul 4

Charts – 1 July 2016

Posted on Monday, July 4, 2016 by Paul in Music

We’re going through another of those phases when all the X-books are in mid-storyline (not least because the three core X-Men titles are in the middle of a supposed crossover that isn’t actually crossing over), and with one thing or another I’ve been distracted from following up some of the other regulars, but we should be getting back to a more normal posting schedule over the next week or so.  In the meantime, on the singles chart, all is quiet – three new entries, all outside the top 30.

1.  Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla – “One Dance”

And that’s twelve weeks.  This is entirely due to continued streaming popularity – at this point, “One Dance” is number 9 on the pure sales chart – and there are starting to be murmurings that the chart compilers may be looking again at the weighting of sales to streams.  Time will tell whether these sorts of extended runs are going to be the new normal in the current era, but it does seem to be something of a fluke, given more normal turnover of records at number 2 over the same period: “Cheap Thrills” by Sia (3 weeks), “This is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna (2 weeks), “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake (4 weeks) and “This Girl” by Kungs vs Cookin’ on Three Burners (3 weeks).

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Jun 27

Charts – 23 June 2016

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2016 by Paul in Music

I was going to do a Watch With Father over the weekend but, well, I’ve been otherwise diverted.  No matter!  In these interesting times we need an oasis of stability, and the UK top 40 more than delivers.

1.  Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla – “One Dance”

Clinging on by a 5% margin over the number 2 single, it’s still here after eleven weeks at number 1.  It is flagging in both sales and streams, but nothing else has come along to replace it yet.  Even allowing for the general slowing of the chart in the streaming era, this is pretty amazing: only two records have ever had longer runs at number one, namely “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)” by Bryan Adams (16 weeks in 1991) and “Love is all Around” by Wet Wet Wet (15 weeks in 1994).  Since its notional total sale of 60,000 is the lowest for a number 1 single since October, this surely has to be it – doesn’t it?

9.  Sigala featuring John Newman & Nile Rodgers – “Give Me Your Love”

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Jun 20

Charts – 17 June 2016

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2016 by Paul in Music

Dear god, really?  Still…?!

1.  Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla – “One Dance”

And that’s ten weeks, matching “Umbrella” from 2007.  “One Dance” was not number one in the midweeks, and it only held on by a relatively narrow margin – the equivalent of 178,000 streams, compared with its streaming total this week of 4.77 million.  On a pure sales chart it would be number 9, but it’s the streaming data that matters these days.

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Jun 17

Old Man Logan #5-7 – “Bordertown”

Posted on Friday, June 17, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

There’s a bit of a pattern emerging here.

Between issues #4-5, Logan shows up in the first Extraordinary X-Men arc and joins the X-Men.  This series skips over all that and picks up with him taking one of his signature leaves of absence from the X-Men so that he can go off and spend some Logan time.  This time, he goes up to small town Alaska, retracing his steps from his post-apocalyptic future.

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Jun 14

Charts – 10 June 2016

Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 by Paul in Music

Once again, the charts are refreshingly keen to make my life easy by having not very much happen.

1.  Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla – “One Dance”

That’s nine weeks.  Just one more needed to match “Umbrella”‘s ten-week run from 2007.  I’ve already explained why the change to streaming data, which has slowed down the charts generally, means that this isn’t strictly comparable, but it’s still impressive.  If it does manage to match “Umbrella” – and the midweeks say it won’t, but you never know – then the next record in sight will be the epic 15 week run of Wet Wet Wet’s “Love Is All Around” in 1994.   (more…)