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Jan 19

Housekeeping

Posted on Sunday, January 19, 2014 by Paul in Uncategorized

For those wondering: there’s a podcast recorded, and it should be up tomorrow.  Chart post probably tomorrow too, since it’s 90% written.  Reviews… um, hopefully in the course of the week.

Dec 30

The Homies 2013

Posted on Monday, December 30, 2013 by Al in Uncategorized

We’re one day off the end of 2013, and our next episode (coming this weekend) feature our review of 2013. Those of you who heard last year’s Christmas special (which is all of you who’ve ever heard an episode of the show, I imagine, as it’s still our most-downloaded episode) will know that this means that we’re going to be awarding House to Astonish’s own awards – the Homies – in a variety of categories. As with last year, we want YOU to help – Paul and I are each going to select our winners in the following categories, but we’re also going to read out what our listeners think on the next episode. So check out the categories below, and let us know who or what you think deserves to take home each gong!

BEST NEW SERIES

This one’s pretty self-explanatory – any comic whose first issue was published between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013 is eligible. What new series got your attention the most this year?

BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

This one’s a little less self-explanatory – what series, again first published between 1 January and date of broadcast, did you think was best, with the proviso that it has to be something where the property wasn’t in existence prior to the start of 2013. We’re counting re-use of titles as well as concepts, so Hellboy in Hell, Young Avengers or Batman ’66 wouldn’t be eligible, but (for example) Sex Criminals would.

MOST WANTED

This is for the comic, series or graphic novel that saw print this year which you’d want to see more of, whether that be a book that was cancelled before its time, a one-shot or mini that just begs for a follow-up, or an OGN that you’d love to see a sequel to.

MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

It may have seemed unappealing when you read about it online, and those preview pages may have looked unremarkable, but when you finally got the winner of this category in your hands you were ready to eat your words. What comic, series or graphic novel did you find yourself enjoying much more than you thought you would?

STIFF DRINK AWARD

This award will go to the comic or graphic novel that most made us gasp with surprise – an unexpected plot twist, a daring cliffhanger or a shocking denouement will stand a book in good stead here.

THE BILL ODDIE SPRINGWATCH AWARD FOR EMERGING TALENT

Here we’re looking for the comics creator whom you think is the one we should all be observing closely in 2014 – they may have had a good year in 2013, but they’re someone whom you believe is only going to go from strength to strength.

THE GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS AWARD FOR EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

What move did a comics company or creator make this calendar year that made you glad you didn’t have to work with them? Wonky management edicts, prima donna creators and tales of publisher woes are what we’re looking for here.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

This is exactly what it says – which creator, creative team or publisher really knocked it out of the park this year?

Let us have your picks in the comments thread below, before midnight (your local time) on 3 January. Only ONE NOMINATION per category, please – any that say “oh, I just couldn’t decide, so here are two, or three, or five suggestions” will be disregarded in relation to that category. Please also let us have a bit of info on your thinking on each one – we’ll read out a range of the responses on our big end-of-year show. Happy nominating!

Aug 29

Charts – 25 August 2013

Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 by Paul in Uncategorized

Five new entries, four of them in the top ten.  It’s a busy week at the top and a dead one at the bottom – though it’s also one of the increasingly rare weeks were the number one sold fewer than 100,000.

14.  Matt Cardle & Melanie C – “Loving You”

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Jul 23

Charts – 21 July 2013

Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 by Paul in Uncategorized

After last week’s hiatus, the march of the massive number one hits resumes…

32.  Kings of Leon – “Supersoaker”

YouTube is sparking some odd video clips these days.  That thing above is, obviously, not a video in the conventional sense – and it’s billed simply as an audio track – but by the same token it’s not a  lyric video, nor is it just a still.  It’s, well, over three and half minutes of various camera angles of a neon sign.

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Jun 11

Charts – 9 June 2013

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 by Paul in Uncategorized

This week: X Factor alumni fall slightly short of expectations, Voice contestant does rather better.  It’s Reality TV Show Tales!

39.  The Goo-Goo Dolls – “Iris” 
38.  John Legend – “Ordinary People”
37.  Disclosure featuring Sam Smith – “Latch”

Two of the now familiar perennials from reality TV, plus Disclosure, presumably because of the spillover effect from their album release.  This has become a routine phenomenon at the bottom end of the top 40, though with Britain’s Got Talent over for another year, things should quieten down.

22.  Kodaline – “Love Like This”

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Apr 28

Housekeeping

Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 by Paul in Uncategorized

Just a quick note to say that this week’s podcast and reviews are going to be delayed for a few days, for assorted reasons.  Watch this space, we’ll get back to you.

Feb 18

The X-Axis – 17 February 2013

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2013 by Paul in Uncategorized

Right!  Back to business as usual!

And after a couple of quiet weeks, this time it’s the inevitable deluge…

Age of Apocalypse #12 – Just another two issues to go, and those are both part of the X-Termination crossover.  As I recall, the previous issue seemed to make the pacing work for it, at the cost of de-emphasising some of the individual cast members’ storylines.  With this issue, though, David Lapham appears to be back to trying to get through loads of outstanding plots in the time available.  Logan has been defeated, at least in the sense that he no longer has Apocalypse’s power and he’s sane again.  But of course that doesn’t just lead to his military apparatus vanishing, so the government is still pretty much in control.  So what we get is an issue that reads like it started life as the idea for a second year of stories, with Monet emerging as the rival leader figure now that she’s got some chance of coming out on top.  At around the same time, we’ve also got Graydon Creed confronting his father, Goodnight being exposed within the Hellfire Club (the actual role of which has never really been made terribly clear), and the scientists wondering what they’re going to do with the power of Apocalypse that they’ve managed to harness with their Big Machine.  There are a lot of threads being drawn together here, as is inevitable when a series with longer term plans is being wrapped up, and in one sense Lapham is handling them all well – but it’s hard to shake the feeling that these are storylines which were intended to play out at a much, much more leisurely pace.

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Jan 20

The X-Axis – 20 January 2013

Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2013 by Paul in Uncategorized

Okay, so let’s take stock… I’ve still got several of last week’s books to do, which I didn’t get around to reviewing during the week.  And as for this week’s books, so far I’ve only read the ones that I’m buying digitally.  (That leaves X-Men #40 and X-Factor #250 to be picked up later, basically.)  Still plenty to cover right now, though…

Age of Apocalypse #11 – Marvel have confirmed that the book is officially being cancelled with the “X-Termination” crossover, and while “cancellation” is a relative concept these days – another run of X-Men? Really? – a quick glance at the sales figures, not to mention the sudden haste with which it’s moving to wrap up its storylines, rather suggests that the book is genuinely being put to sleep.

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Dec 8

Even Further Housekeeping

Posted on Saturday, December 8, 2012 by Al in Uncategorized

Folks, we’re really sorry, but the episode of HtA which we recorded yesterday is a complete audio disaster. We’re going to have to re-record the entire episode, which means it won’t be until next week some time. We’ll keep you up to date with when we’re going to be going live.

Dec 3

Charts – 2 December 2012

Posted on Monday, December 3, 2012 by Paul in Uncategorized

The regular music industry is already shutting down for Christmas.  Coming up: Christmas records, a charity record, stuff promoted on X Factor, and a handful of actual regular releases.

40.  Athlete – “Wires” 

Covered on X Factor last weekend, and since it’s not that well known to the general public, it’s the sort of record that sees real benefits from that.  ”Wires” was Athlete’s only top 10 hit, making number 4 in 2005.  The group are still together, but haven’t released any new material since 2010.

You may have noticed that X Factor hasn’t had quite the same impact on the charts this year, though it’s cropped up here and there.  They also mercifully spared us the annual charity single.  With the producers keen to avoid another unedifying squabble over the Christmas number 1 slot, the final is actually next week, so that the winners’ single will be on sale on 9 December to (they hope) be number 1 on 16 December.  Much of the media coverage is centred on whether a chap called Christopher Maloney who has been panned by the judges since day one might actually win, which would apparently be some sort of disaster – though bear in mind that most stories of this sort actually emanate from the producers working their own angle.

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