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Oct 17

Charts – 14 October 2016

Posted on Monday, October 17, 2016 by Paul in Music

Well, this one won’t take long.  Seriously, there’s a podcast one post down, you should listen to that first.  Proper content.  And in the next two or three days I will, honestly, try and get to Civil War II: X-Men.  But meantime…

1.  James Arthur – “Say You Won’t Let Go”

Number 1 for the third week.  It’s number one in both streams and sales, too.  But there’s not much more to be said about that.

4.  Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj – “Side to Side”

Up one more place.  In true 2016 style, this has taken a month to move four places.

9.  Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”


Oct 16

House to Astonish Episode 149

Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2016 by Al in Podcast

We’re gearing up for our big 150th episode, with discussion of Charlie Adlard becoming the UK’s Comics Laureate; more details on Marvel’s Monsters Unlimited event; Scott Snyder reteaming with Greg Capullo; Kieron Gillen and Kev Walker’s upcoming Doctor Aphra series; the impending relaunches of Nova and Batwoman; Warren Ellis’s revamp of the Wildstorm universe; America Chavez’s 2017 ongoing; Thunderbolts anniversary stories and LionForge’s new superhero universe. We’ve also got reviews of Reborn and Mosaic, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe has eight arms to hold you (even if it actually only has six). All this plus Jeff’s Sandwich Shack, hand-whittled comics and the difference between a ghost and a g-g-g-ghost.

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

We’ve got some fab shirts on sale on our Redbubble store, of course, and if you don’t have one yet, you should buy one, and if you do have one yet, you should buy another one.

As mentioned on the show, we’re no longer syndicated at Comics Should Be Good, but we are now over at Atomic Junk Shop, which also features many of the excellent columnists and regular features that CSBG used to host.

If you’re in the UK and attending Thought Bubble on the 5th and 6th of November, then come and see the House to Astonish/SILENCE! panel at 11.50 on Saturday the 5th. It’s going to be the usual collection of shambolic absurdity, daft games, barely logical Q&A, singing, costumes, all that kind of thing. Thought Bubble show tickets are available from their website.

Oct 10

Charts – 7 October 2016

Posted on Monday, October 10, 2016 by Paul in Music

Three new entries, not much else on the singles charts, deluge on the albums.  Let’s run through it…

1.  James Arthur – “Say You Won’t Let Go”

Two weeks at number one, which by the standards of this year is hardly a surprise.

2.  The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk – “Starboy”

Climbing one place, which it makes it his biggest hit.

5.  Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj – “Side to Side”

Another one place climb.

9.  Niall Horan – “This Town”


Oct 7

All-New Wolverine: Civil War II

Posted on Friday, October 7, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

Even in their present depleted condition, the X-books still have a knack for skilfully sidestepping mega-crossovers.    Their contribution to Civil War II consisted of two books: an X-Men miniseries (which I’ll come to), and this storyline from All-New Wolverine #10-12.

With that in mind, I haven’t been reading Civil War II at all, so all I know about it is the general premise.  Fortunately, as tends to be the way with Marvel’s event crossovers, that’s really all you need to know for this arc.


Oct 2

Charts – 30 September 2016

Posted on Sunday, October 2, 2016 by Paul in Music

Well, you wouldn’t have bet on this a couple of years ago.

1.  James Arthur – “Say You Won’t Let Go”

This is James Arthur’s second number one; the first was his X Factor winners single “Impossible”, and that was back in 2012.  At the time, he seemed like one of the more promising winners – “Impossible” is a characteristically wretched production, but the actual vocal is quite decent.  He did release an album in 2013, which got to number 2 on the album chart, spent a respectable three months in the top 40, and spawned a reasonably acceptable number 2 single.


Sep 29

Extraordinary X-Men Annual #1

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

Marvel go through cycles with the annuals.  Sometimes they’re bonus extra-long issues of the regular title.  Sometimes they’re little mini crossovers off to the side somewhere.  Sometimes they’re quirky little one-shots that wouldn’t fit anywhere else.  And sometimes they’re basically a dumping ground for what would, in a former era, have been fill-in issues.

Extraordinary X-Men Annual #1 is pretty firmly in the last of those categories, or at least the lead story is.


Sep 26

Charts – 23 September 2016

Posted on Monday, September 26, 2016 by Paul in Music

We’ve had a sudden spate of completed stories, so plenty of reviews coming up in the next couple of weeks.  But first up…

1.  The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey – “Closer”

That’s four weeks, and it’s the fourth number one single in a row to manage that.  Apparently this has never happened before; but streaming moves a lot slower than sales did, and there’s a strong argument that this makes it a better measure of popularity, even if a less interesting one.  That said, fast climbs up the chart are still possible…

2.  James Arthur – “Say You Won’t Let Go”


Sep 21

All-New X-Men #13

Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

All-New X-Men is doing a series of single issue character spotlights, from the look of it.  That’s a nice change from the prevailing fashion of working in story arcs the length of a trade paperback.  This issue is Bobby’s turn, as Idie and Evan take him clubbing in Miami in the hope of getting him to talk to boys.

Much of the issue is, if we’re being honest, a fairly routine and straightforward piece of observational comedy-drama.  So Bobby is hopelessly nervous trying to flirt, Idie and Evan’s advice doesn’t really help a great deal (not because it’s bad advice but because confidence can’t be taught), and he does a bit better when he’s trying to be himself.


Sep 19

Charts – 16 September 2016

Posted on Monday, September 19, 2016 by Paul in Music

Here’s a nice change – a couple of relatively high new entries by big names.  See, it still happens.

1.  The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey – “Closer”

That’s three weeks at number 1, and it heads a static top four.  But moving on…

5.  Sia featuring Kendrick Lamar – “The Greatest”


Sep 17

King of Trios 2016

Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2016 by Paul in Wrestling

Okay.  So.  That idea of rewatching the whole Chikara 2015 season turns out to run into a fairly obvious problem: it means finding time to watch both the new shows and the old shows on top of finding the time to, you know, do anything else, and it should be pretty obvious from the rate of progress that this isn’t going to work.  Let’s acknowledge reality on that one.  And instead, let’s do the just-completed 2016 King of Trios tournament.

King of Trios is a 16-team elimination tournament run over three nights (and I originally intended to spread it over three posts, but then figured that I’d just do a huge one).  It’s Chikara’s biggest weekend of the year, at least in terms of attendance, guest stars, and interest from outside the normal fanbase.  For much the same reasons, it’s not necessarily built around Chikara storylines, although there are usually a few turning points for ongoing plots.  The tournament winner is frequently an outsider team that plays no further part in storylines (as with last year’s winners, who were visiting from the Mexican promotion AAA).