Story: Alan Moore
Art: Gabriel Andrade
Publisher: Avatar Press
The Crossed comics has, since it first was released in 2008, become somewhat of a phenomena. Though not widely acknowledged by the main stream yet, it has built up a cult following and anyone who knows anything about comics has heard of it. It has seen several different incarnation through various story arcs, by various writers and artists, and it is constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to gore and sexual perversion. There are few things that haven’t been covered over the years. With a monthly series, Crossed: Badlands, and two webcomics the franchise would run the risk of growing stale and stagnant. It is when Garth Ennis returns to his creation when people begin to get excited about it again and the news of a possible webseries has also sparked interest and might launch the franchise into the main stream.
The fact that Alan Moore was going to tackle a Crossed story set in the future naturally got the casual Crossed subscriber’s heart a flutter.
Crossed +100 is set one hundred years after the outbreak of infected, referred to as The Surprise, which has devastated the earth. In the first issue, the subject of this particular review, we get to follow a group traveling on an old train and mainly the character Future Taylor, an archivist who is charged with finding books for trade or general information. On a routine investigation of a library the group is ambushed by Crossed, which is surprising since they rarely encounter them anymore. Their numbers have been dwindling and when they discover a new born Crossed baby it makes the entire business even more confusing for them. They also end up finding a shrine set up in an old town hall, raising further questions.
To set Crossed in the future is no easy task. There are many factors to take into consideration here. How have people survived, can the Crossed with their decadent ways live on and so on. Moore is of course the right man for this job. He manages, already in this first issue, to create an understanding for the characters’ situation and the setting of the world they live in. He also manages to describe the language of the future. People have seemingly managed to keep the written language, but it has evolved from emoticons and internet slang. Future Taylor for instance uses the phrase “I don’t heart it much” and the others in her group say “brown” instead of other curse words. This makes the story more believable and gives it a depth that many of the other Crossed stories lack. It also deviates a bit from the other titles, except for the initial story arc, in that it has very little shock value, the strength is instead the mystery of why the Crossed seem to be gaining in numbers again and what are world would look like 100 years after a global catastrophe that isn’t environmental.
For those not familiar with Crossed, this is still an interesting piece of dystopian science-fiction filled with Moore’s ingenious attention to detail and great art. Of course things may change, but initially it is easy to get excited about the coming issues.
The American band Mountain Goats have just announce the release of their new album Beat the Champ, a collection of songs about wrestling. From their homepage they announced the release on CD, Double Vinyl and Vinyl Deluxe. The dates are April 7th in North America, Europe and the UK on April 13th and Australia and NZ on April 3rd
Surf over to mergerecords.com to pre-order it, meanwhile check out the song Chavo Guerrero
It is a virtual jungle out there when it comes to podcasts and it seems like everyone, from celebrities to regular Joes are trying to get in on the deal. It can be difficult to distinguish the good from the “not-so-good” as a listener and probably even more difficult to become successful at it. Someone who has managed to create a following by combining a love of podcasts and an interest in wrestling is David Gilbert a family man with two sons living in Essex just outside of London. Gilbert and his wife host the TNA TALK PODCAST, which airs live on Mondays 9 p.m. UK time. On the podcast they review the latest TNA Impact show and discuss rumors and the world surrounding TNA. C. Marry Hultman caught up with him to talk TNA and the life of a podcaster.
CMH: How long have you hosted the Talk TNA Podcast
DG: We have been doing the TALK TNA PODCAST for 84 straight weeks!
CMH: How did it all get started?
DG: I have been watching TNA since about 2007, and I have always watched wrestling. I also enjoy lots of different podcasts, and I started the TALK TNA PODCAST with my wife as something for us to enjoy together. And here we are, 84 weeks later!
CMH: Are you surprised that it has gone almost 100 episodes?
DG: Not really, because once I commit to something, I tend to stick with it. Especially if I am on a schedule with it like I am with the podcast.
CMH: Had you had any experience working in any form of broadcasting before?
DG: Not in broadcasting, but I used to be in a band and I have recorded music at home in the past, so I am familiar with microphones and the audio editing side of things
CMH: Was it easier to get started than you expected?
DG: I researched starting a podcast, so I knew what to expect. I had to teach myself a few things, but I didn’t really struggle at all.
CMH: You have a dedicated following now, how did you get the word out? Did you have zero listeners for the premier episode?
DG: I cant remember how many we got for the first show. It takes more time promoting the show and getting the word out there than it does producing the show. It’s a lot to do with social media and building relationships with people. That takes a lot of time and dedication
CMH: Were you particularly fond of TNA and that is why you chose it as your subject matter?
DG: Yep, like I said, I have been watching TNA since 2007 and for the past few years, my wife Claudia was watching the show with me, so it was something we both watched together and could talk about together, so we started the show. The podcast was my idea, but I convinced Claudia that it would be a good idea to do it with me! She constantly regrets agreeing to do it!!
CMH: How much work goes into the podcast and the website? Social Media, promotion, articles, interviews etc?
DG: A lot of work. I would do more work if I had the time. Most days, I am doing something to do with the podcast and website and covering TNA in general
CMH: Is your goal or wish to make a living off of the podcast or in some way work within wrestling?
DG: Not at all. I enjoy covering TNA and bringing my audience accurate information as well as producing a very entertaining and informative weekly podcast.
CMH: You have done a few interview with TNA wrestlers like Shark Boy, Manik and Davey Richards, is it a struggle to get in touch with the TNA roster?
DG: It can be hard work trying to confirm things with them, but they are busy people. But it’s not especially hard to get in touch with most of them
CMH: Who have you not managed to nail down that you would like to interview?
DG: One of the TNA Knockouts, but hopefully I will be able to speak to some of them in the future
CMH: You often talk about people within TNA that you have contact with. How have those contacts come about?
DG: Just persistence and working on building relationships.
CMH: Do you have a team of go to guys that keep you in the loop?
DG: Not really. There is so much rumor that flies around the internet and all I do is try and get things clarified by people closer to the information, but that’s not always easy.
CMH: I know TNA just premiered on Destination America, but lets talk about the past year ;what do you think of the current product?
DG: The past year was just run of the mill TNA – nothing really groundbreaking, just pretty safe. At times, the product was pretty boring, to be honest. And that’s just being truthful.
CMH: I just watched TNA’s greatest matches (Sting/Kurt Angle) and best matches on Impact and both crowd wise and wrestling wise it was quite different a few years ago. When do you feel TNA was at its best?
DG: I think a lot of people feel it was really good around the 2004, 2005 times, but I am not sure. I don’t really remember things from year to year and I find it hard to recall what years things have happened. They have good storylines from time to time and periods of being good, but that’s never been that consistent, but that’s the nature of doing a weekly TV show without taking a break. Sometimes it will be bad
CMH: Any particular storyline that comes to mind? or stable/faction?
DG: I enjoyed most of Aces and 8’s stuff because it seemed to have a good storyline arc. I liked Eric Young’s work when he was heading up World Elite, and some of the Fourtune stuff with Flair
CMH: Who has been you favorite TNA wrestler of all time, so far?
DG: Oh man – I think I would say someone like Bully Ray – purely because I appreciate his work rate and his ability and he carried the company for a long time in the last couple of years. A consistently strong performer
CMH: If you were able to bring in any current wrestler that could really invigorate TNA who would that be?
DG: Tough one – in a fantasy world, I would say either someone like Paul Heyman or Stephanie Mcmahon, and neither of those are wrestlers.
CMH: What would you like to see from TNA in the coming year?
DG: Creativity, imagination, commitment & better writing. More compelling TV. A reason to tune in each and every week. Something fresh and exciting, not too much to ask for
CMH: If a TNA fan would tune in to TALK TNA PODCAST what could they expect to hear?
DG: Lots of laughter, and also all the latest TNA news and the most in depth review of Impact wrestling that you will find – and lots of laughing! We aim to entertain and inform
CMH: What are your hope and wishes for the Podcast in the coming year and for the future?
DG: Just to carry on doing what we are doing and grow our audience. Once people discover our show, they generally enjoy it and keep on listening. Just want to have fun and do the best job we can do
CMH: Where can listeners find you?
DG: You can find us on iTunes, Stitcher and Tunein radio and also listen to and download every episode on www.talktnapodcast.com
If people like what we do and want to show us some love, they can do that at www.patreon.com/talktna
So if you want interesting news, opinions and facts, look for TALK TNA PODCAST at your local podcast outlet.
As mentioned earlier this week we are heading into a very exciting time in wrestling and among the things to look forward to is the possible development and production of L.A. Fights, a bold new project that is the brain child of Nigel McGuinness. McGuinness is of course familiar to most wrestling fans from his time in Ring of Honor as well as in TNA, as Desmond Wolf, but maybe to some from his earlier Kickstarter project The Last of the McGuinness, a deeply personal movie documenting his retirement tour.
He has now returned to Kickstarter with a new project and since we at the Guild love both crowdfunding and wrestling we wanted to pick his brain about L.A. Fights. With a substantial amount of money needing to be raised to get this exciting project off the ground and 21 days to go he has been doing a lot of promotional interviews and we wanted our readers to hear about it also. According to the Kickstarter page the story is as follows:
“A diverse group of amateur fighters and their morally ambivalent promoter struggle to coexist in their upstart fight league.”
He wants it to be a reinvention of the wrestling genre, so we asked him about it:
W: How long has this project been in the works? From first idea to where you are at now.
NM: Five years in my head, eighteen months extensively working in the script, in ring style and development.
W: Are there any wrestling companies that you have found that put out a different product, in part or completely, other than Lucha Underground?
NM: Of course. But LA Fights and Lucha Underground are not wrestling companies. They are TV shows. ROH, PWG, EVOLVE, Chikara all present different takes on the pro wrestling people see on Monday nights.
W: You have cited shows like Breaking Bad as successful shows that you enjoy. What element from shows like it will you add to your product?
Even though wrestling doesn’t have any seasons, something that has been discussed extensively lately in different places around the internet, this week somehow feels like the beginning of a new season. It might be because TNA has been on hiatus since leaving Spike or that Lucha Underground has had a holiday break, but there is something in the air.
To me it has all been about anticipation, 2014 was about anticipation and expectation. Ever since Global Force Wrestling announced that they were making New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 available to the world a new sense of excitement for wrestling was lit in my heart. Placing logs on that heap was the emergence of Lucha Underground. To many the show has been a welcome change to the tired and true format of main stream wrestling programs, even though of us see similarities with the long defunct Wrestling Society X.
The return of Chikara and the creative work that was behind probably one of the most advanced story lines in wrestling has also moved that product closer to a wider audience attention. After a stellar season 14 with King of Trios and an influx of returning rudos Chikara is even more interesting than before. Add to it that most of their roster has elevated their game and developed into great performers. They take their show to the UK in march and kicking the season itself off on 25th och January.
EVOLVE has also had an amazing year and has managed to show that they are one of the most interesting independent promotions around. They took their show to China for a tour and now bringing their number of event into the thirties. They have such a strong roster and product that few other companies can measure up to.
When it comes to WWE I have a hard time becoming excited about anything they are producing save for WWE NXT and that is mainly because of good booking and great former indie stars. The rest of it is of no interest to me with uninteresting and predictable booking, pushing dull performers and the bringing in of questionable wrestlers (The Ascension and Bo Dallas). The only way I would tune in for any Raw or Smackdown is if they brought up Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Hideo Itami and Finn Balor.
Even if there is a lot to be excited about in the coming year I personally am excited about the premier of Impact on its new home Destination America. As I’m writing this the first episode of Impact has yet to air. I’m not going into a whole spiel about how TNA might change their product or what needs to happen, enough people have done that. What is important to me is that the TNA roster is far too good to be left off TV. While I haven’t watched Impact from the beginning, I have watched every episode for the past five years and love it. With a new home and new opportunities TNA is more exciting than ever and I can’t wait to see what they will treat us to.
With all this in mind, and the fact that ROH always brings a solid product, it is difficult to not become excited about what 2015 has to offer when it comes to wrestling. I feel that my hours in front of the TV/Internet will most likely double in the coming months.
If you are interested in what is in store in wrestling follow these links:
Lucha Underground airs every Wednesday on El Rey
Chikara kicks off its new season the 25th of January
EVOLVE opens up 2015 with shows on the 9th and 10th of January
Find where you can watch both Impact wrestling and Ring of Honor at the following places
An autodidact he has been drawing since he could hold a crayon, even though other things have come that seemed more important at times, yet it has always been present. Taking influence from comics as a kid he these days look a little extra at artists like Ryan Ottley, Humberto Ramos and Joe Vriens to name a few, but he also takes time to keep in touch with the artist communities on social media.
Having barely managed a passing grade in art class, mostly because he drew scary monsters instead of flowers and old fruit, he believes that some things just come down to practice, practice, practice and pushing oneself no matter what it is in life.
Apart from from drawing he enjoys collecting 80’s action figures, mostly Masters of the Universe and Thundercats. These are also very present and a constant inspiration in his art, even though just lining up pens on a table and sitting down with his daughters is enough to get the creative juices flowing. Cooking is also a keen interest in his life.
When it comes to future plans, Andreas is looking to grow a killer beard, but also begin the year as he ended the last, by drawing, selling prints and taking orders for work. He also wants to print T-shirts, stickers and finish his Thundercats collection.
To not miss anything that Andreas Laggar does follow him on:
This Sunday the wrestling year starts off with a bang. The highly anticipated Wrestle Kingdom 9 will for the first time be broadcast all over the world with English commentating by Jim Ross and Matt Striker. This very much due to Global Force Wrestling, who we followed early on in the start up of the company. We have since stopped covering their comings and goings, but will most likely to it again after the event. Wrestlers taking part in this momentous event are AJ Styles, Doc Gallows, Machine Gun Carl Anderson, Okada, Tanahashi, Young Bucks and several others so it promises to be great.
For full lineup go to Globalforcewrestling.com and also watch the Matt Striker previews on GFW’s youtube channel.
If you don’t live in the U.S or Japan and can’t watch it on TV you may still get Wrestle Kingdom 9 by downloading the Flipps app for your tablet or phone and casting it to your TV, alternatively just watching it on your phone or tablet.
Hopefully this will be the start of something big…