Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Metal Project: W Is For War

the ultimate metal playlist


 We're almost done with our trek through the alphabet of Metal. There might be some letters after this but let's fact it, the pickings are likely to be fairly slim. How many Metal bands are there that start with X anyway?

 No, don't answer that. Really. 

 As always, I hope you find some cool new stuff to headbang to. Enjoy. 

   War-Saw - Intro/Thrash Metal War Machine (Poland 2009)


Wild Whips - Heavy Metal Gods (Poland 2011)


Honour to: Bluesoar

Wytchkraft - Heavy Metal Satânico (Brazil 2004)


Honour to: Sniderthrash

Not going to lie...this next one's a bit dubious. 

Wifebeater -Whorehouse Metal (Germany 2014)


Honour to: Wifebeater Scumfukk


Warrick - Metal or Die (USA 2012)


Honour to: Slipo Pagliacci
 www.facebook.com/warrickofficial


Wrathchild (USA) - Metal Madness (USA1983)


Honour to: Russ Nussman

We opened with a Polish Thrash band singing about War.
Ending the same way seems nice and neat to me.

Warfist -Speed Metal War (Poland 2008)


Honour to: valdivia666


That's All Folks. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Comics: Lady Spitfire (France 2012)

  I've been on a bit of a Euro Comics splurge lately and found a whole universe of stuff that I just didn't know was there.  It seems a bit weird that it's easier to find and read Japanese comics from the other side of the world than the stuff produced just over the Channel.

  In my wanderings through this new territory there's two things guaranteed to make me want to check out a title.
1. A beautiful woman brandishing a sword or gun.
2. WW2 fighters.

  And since I'm a sucker for anything that may have Spitfires in it, when I saw this series I was immediately sold. 

There are four volumes thus far. 

 Lady Spitfire 1- Daughter Of The Air

ww2 fighter pilot woman ace
Aircraft-mad tomboy Lara Chevalier and her father escape the fall of France in "borrowed" fighters.
Tragically Chevalier senior doesn't make it to England and his grief-stricken daughter refuses to let her piloting skills be wasted ferrying fighters.
Then a timely bit of subterfuge lets Lara join the ranks of  Spitfire squadron 1B 
Now all she has to do is keep her secret and avoid being hacked out of the sky by a Messerschmitt. 

Lady Spitifre 2 - Der Henker

woman fighter pilot comic
 A German Ace in a red-nosed BF109 has been ruthlessly picking off RAF squadron leaders. 
Lara and tortured ace "The Spirit" must put aside their differences to deal with Der Henker
(The Executioner) because the future of 1B squadron is at stake. 

 Lady Spitfire 3 - One For All And All For Her

ww2 dogfight comic woman fighter pilot
A new pilot with an attitude problem may bring Lara's tenure with 1B to an end and cause the whole squadron a world of hurt in the process.    
But before Lara Chevalier goes back to the civilian ranks, she has a plan for one last,daring mission. 

Lady Spitfire 4- Desert Air Force

Newly arrived in the Western Desert just as things are looking critical, Lara is sent on a bombing mission
that ends in disaster. The injured and stranded Mademoiselle Chevalier has to face the Germans, the desert and her own personal demons. 

 
Little Lara never wanted to be
a nurse when she grew up.
 There were women fighter pilots in WW2 but as far as I know only in the Russian airforce.  The British had a corps of women pilots who did good and valuable work delivering aircraft but it took a lot of arguing before the Air Transport Auxiliary ladies were allowed to pilot anything more warlike than a Tiger Moth.

  Bearing this in mind I was initially curious as to how the creative team would get Lara into the cockpit of a Spitfire.
 Thankfully any worries I might have about a lipstick wearing, glamourgirl Mary-Sue were entirely unjustified.

   Lara Chevalier's transformation into an RAF officer is a bit of a stretch but still within the grand tradition of Mulan, Hannah Snell and Polly Oliver 

 It also helps that the artist puts some effort into making our heroine look like a hero.  (See below.)

"Charlie" reporting for duty.
Alright, so Lara is treated like somebody special by the rest of the squadron but hey, she is the star of the comic after all and by and large remains likeable even with her faults.
  There's a nice relationship with scarred ace "The Spirit" who is interesting enough that he could have carried a series on his own. In true comic tradition, the two butt heads several times before getting used to each other and turning into an effective team.

  Not everybody warms to the idea of a female fighter pilot, especially a female pilot who take zero shit from anybody
. In volume 3 one new arrival goes out of his way to be a complete dick and things rapidly get ugly.
 ( Mind you Johnny Red had one of his own side try to kill him every three months or so. Just saying. )

 The storylines are relatively simple and maybe a little old-fashioned in the vein of the old-school WW2 fighter stories. Personally I was happy with that.  while I don't want to see war glorified  I also don't need to see the genre deconstructed, given a dark makeover and all the characters turned into unlikable arseholes.

 I think what I'm trying to say is that Lady Spitfire might not be the most realistic war comic you' ever see but it never gets too silly.  There's also plenty of action to keep things moving along past the plotholes.

This seems like a good point to bring up something that I really did like.  The artwork.

Maza's work is decent enough on the ground but when the comic gets into the air  things go up by several notches. The guy draws a fantastic Spitfire and his dogfights are well worth seeing.  See below for some examples.

Lara meets a wanker.
The Spirit. Scarred outside and inside too.  

  Fun fact: The Hurricane had an unprotected fuel tank right in front of the pilot. The result was a lot of badly burned pilots.  

  As I said above, when it comes to the dogfights Maza brings his A Game. 
 

BF109 comic dogfight
Der Henker on the hunt.

WW2 dogfight comic
Lara duels an Emil

   To sum up; If you enjoyed Garth Ennis's aviation work in War Stories, Battlefields and Battler Britton 
and can cope with the central premise then you might enjoy Lady Spitfire.

  Personally I plan to keep an eye out for a possible Volume 5.  Having Lara Chevalier on the Eastern front seems like the logical progression after all.

I'll leave you with one final bit of dogfighting action.  
 Lady Spitfire comic dogfight

That's all folks. 

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