Tag: The Walking Dead

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    Just watched the Episode β€œHere’s Negan” in The Walking Dead. Beautiful and Heartbreaking. @JDMorgan is incredible to watch.

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    2020 β€” Review of the year

    Disclaimer — this post is still in a bit of a draft state. I have published it, however, as it is New Year’s Eve 2020 and if I don’t do it now I will probably forget to do it.

    What an absolute bloody shit show this year has been. I’ve been super lucky when compared with most and still it’s probably been the most terrible year I’ve experienced.

    Inept and corrupt Government; complete idiots who think wearing safety masks are against their civil liberties and more besides.

    I thought I’d start a new tradition of reviewing the year just passed and looking towards a plan for the new year to come.


    I began this year working at a Birmingham based web agency called Substrakt. And although I enjoyed most aspects of the work, and 100% of the people, the job just didn’t end up being the right one for me.

    From there I moved to another Birmingham based agency, Eastside Co — this time focusing on the Shopify platform. And despite having a great welcome and on-boarding, have decided that Shopify is not a platform I want to be focusing my time and energy.

    At the time of writing I have recently handed in my notice and am planning to start at a new company come February time. Really looking forward to seeing what the future brings there.

    Music I’ve discovered

    I have fallen in love with an American metal band called Skid Row — more specifically their excellent album “Slave to the Grind”.

    I have learnt to actually enjoy a couple of songs by The Killers. The two songs I have come to love are “The Man” and “Shot at the Night”.

    Eminem’s album “Music to be Murdered by” is incredible and the recently-released Side B album is growing on me too.

    The music of Low Roar was an obsession of mine thanks to the excellent PS4 game “Death Stranding“. My obsession was compounded when I was working at Substrakt as I would have to take my work laptop to and from work in a large laptop / travel backpack.

    Sam, sam – He’s our man

    Sam Porter Bridges from Death Stranding

    Books I’ve read

    This year I planned to read 12 books — 1 per month. However, I failed miserably and only manage a few.

    I kicked off the year with George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

    Next came my trying to read Dune, but stopped reading part way through. Not sure why if I’m honest.

    I also tried to read Stephen King’s It, but I just couldn’t get my head around the shifting character points of view in a police interrogation scene near the start. Need to re-try that one.

    I read a classic horror book this year — Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And I loved it. I read it because it felt like it was one of those bedrocks of horror that I should read in my life. I’m glad to say that I really got lost in that one. I definitely plan to read it again soon.

    I have just (literally 1 hour before writing this) finished Stephen King’s Duma Key. One of the longest books Ive attempted, only surpassed by Clive Barker’s Gallilee some years ago. I really enjoyed the journey and characters of Duma Key but couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed by the closing chapters. To be honest I don’t think “disappointed” is fair to say. I think it was more like me just expecting a huge explosive ending, when in fact the ending was more low key. But I can’t really fault the book as a whole — it was a journey I enjoyed being taken on.

    Films I’ve watched

    I have been digging into Italian Giallo films more this year and even got round to watching the remake of Suspiria. Absolutely insane and incredible in equal measure.

    I finally began watching the Friday the 13th film series (only the first 2 so far). Loved part 2 and looking forward to continuing this journey soon.

    I really need to be making a note of the films I watch next year too. As I can only remember the ones I’ve written about on my site.

    The New York Ripper and Rosemary’s Baby were stand out films for me that I discovered in 2020.

    Games I’ve played

    I have come to the decision that Horizon Zero Dawn is my favourite game of all time — at least until Forbidden West comes out. I finally played through the story of The Frozen Wilds DLC and found to be a glorious addition to an already perfect game. At least perfect in my eyes. I really must write up a post about that game.

    Before the DLC, I conquered the game on Ultra Hard New Game plus, and really would have the game any other way. I am still working on getting 100% completion for it and its DLC content.

    The Last of Us part 2 was the stand-out new release for me this year. And despite having to big twist spoiled accidentally the night before release — yes I managed to not hear anything up until then — I still enjoyed it for the dark, brutal, often tough-to-endure story that it is.

    I have replayed Death Stranding and took my time, almost doubling the play time from my first play through.

    I made a meme

    2020’s Governor to 2021’s Negan — A Walking Dead meme I made

    Next Year

    Like many people I have some goals for the coming year. I want to buy my own home with my lady. I want to be move organised and more goal focused, which I’ve actually been working on in the latter part of this December 2020. I should thank Carl Pullein for this organisation boost as I am implementing his TIme / Sector system — it seems to be working for me so far.

    I want to read at least 12 books this year. I have written out the 12 I want to read and in which months. Only this time I am determined to actually pull through with it. I am starting on January 1st with Daphne Du Maurier’s The House on the Strand.

    I will be dedicating more time to building up my Junji Ito Manga site. Writing a lot more on there and building out the tag pages too.

    Along with writing the posts on the Junji Ito site, I will be aiming to write a lot more heavily on this site also. As well as keeping better track of what I watch, read, hear and play.

    I want to see many more Films this year too — specifically classic horror.

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    Retracing my steps with The Walking Dead

    The Walking Dead is one of my favourite ever TV series. Dark; brutal; gut-wrenching – it’s everything you could possibly want in a series. You may know it already but for the benefit of those who don’t, The Walking Dead is based on a long-running comic book series of the same name.

    Since the finale of Series 7 recently, I have decided to re-read the series from start to finish (or at least up to the latest issue).

    The TV series is different enough from the comics to enable you to enjoy each for their own merits. Many characters are in both, however, some have vastly different life spans. Some characters in the TV series even perform certain actions that completely different people did in the comic.

    I always remember when an old boss of mine, who is still a friend, telling me about his excitement for Negan to arrive. This was back in series 4 when the Governor was the big bad and Negan was a long way off. He used to say how evil he was, but still how charming. How right he was.

    If you get the chance, I strongly recommend you picking up The Walking Dead compendiums and checking them out. If you are a fan of the series you will almost certainly be a fan of the original source material.

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    His word is his bond – Negan shows who is boss

    Like many of the other comments on The Walking Dead’s seventh season opening episode, I too found it the most shocking. For me this episode showcased one of the best things that the writers do – take what you think you know and turn it around.

    The drawing out of the big reveal set out by last season’s finale was left just the right length for me. Not only did it keep me on the edge of my seat, anxious, it also succeeded in putting me into as close to Rick’s frame of mind as it could. I don’t think I’ve ever been as anxious and upset and angry during one episode ever before. Of any TV show. The base of my spine was aching by the end from being that anxious while watching.

    I’ve seen people writing about how the show was “too much” or that it had “jumped the shark”. What a load of bull. Negan is an evil bastard and will do anything to ensure his followers do exactly what he commands. He takes no shit and leads by example. The world of the Walking Dead has always been a brutal one and I think some people have become too comfortable in Rick leading the way and being the big boss man. I’m so glad a character like Negan has come into it to truly push our heroes to their emotional and physical limits.

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    Natural Born Losers by Nicole Dollanganger

    This week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” was quite an emotional one. One of the more likeable, newer characters got a good amount of screen time for some interesting character development. That was just before that person was shot in the back of the head with an arrow. When carrying her body back to the home base, the remaining characters were backed musically, by one of my favourite artists at the moment – “Nicole Dollanganger” with her song “Chapel”.


    Art, whether it be film; tv; or music, is always more interesting when two or more contrasting ideas are brought together to form something that wouldn’t have been thought possible before.

    Like when Quentin Tarantino had “Stuck In The Middle With You” by “Stealer’s Wheel” playing over the famous ear-cutting scene in “Reservoir Dogs”. Or when we see Hannibal preparing a beautiful meal only to know that it was made from human flesh.

    Nicole Dollanganger’s music fits into this idea of stark contrast perfectly, and is one of – if not the – most beautiful joining of acoustic guitar and a female voice I’ve ever heard.

    She is a siren

    The opening to the album, “Natural Born Losers”, tells you straight away what Nicole is all about stylistically – although not what she is limited to. Poacher’s Pride opens with a sweet, innocent-sounding voice singing the follow words:

    I shot an angel with my father’s rifle
    I should have set it free, but I let it bleed
    Made it into taxidermy, hung it on my wall
    On my wall

    Poacher’s Pride, Natural Born Losers

    Straight away you get the beautiful sound of Nicole’s haunting voice along with the dark lyrics – a siren enticing you in to experience this darkness with her. And you wont be able to deny her.

    That song – and the rest of the album – conjured up imagery and feelings to me, of my watching the first series of the aforementioned TV series, “Hannibal”. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s that dark feeling of beauty in death, and innocence that can be found in the darkest places.

    The Style of the Album

    Her voice, when I first heard her, immediately made me think of a slightly-introverted, young girl sat in the corner of a pub on open-mike-night, performing to herself, with everyone else there as extras. Her lyrics however reveal anything but an introverted artist – she is telling stories about, and based on, some dark, hard subject matters.

    The album’s instruments are often minimal and range from acoustic guitar, to thundering bass-heavy kick drums that you will feel more than hear, as in the song “Executioner”. Occasionally the guitars are used to give a drone, pedal-tone effect, but then out of that darkness a heavily-distorted, almost smothered, electric guitar will stalk towards you. You can hear this in the album’s mid-way song, “Alligator Blood” – one of the album’s heaviest-sounding songs, along with “Executioner”.

    From out of the darkest places.

    “In the Land” is one of my favourite songs on “Natural Born Losers”, and is a beautiful sounding song with the most horrifying inspiration for a song I’ve ever come across. As I read on a comment for the song, it was apparently partly inspired by an american serial torturer called David Parker Ray, whose story I wont repeat here.

    Give it up for the milk carton angel
    Soaked in vomit, tied up at the kitchen table
    Choking on the chicken bones, a plate of mashed potatoes
    Her momma screaming “come on, bitch, chew and swallow”
    When she’s done she will give her to the earth

    In the Land, Natural Born Losers

    In fact a lot of the album seems to have dark inspirations, which is in stark contrast to the result that her songs have. These are some of the most beautiful, emotive songs I’ve heard in a long while and often have her music on repeat when at work.

    In Closing

    I have tried to give as honest as possible a review of this album and really hope that people reading this don’t see this album’s darkness as something to be avoided. As humans it is important that we experience a wide range of emotions from art and music – even if it sometimes makes us feel uncomfortable – for only when we experience those feelings can we truly grow.

    It is artists like Nicole that deserve to be, and need to be, heard. She is one of the few people who dare to look into the darkest reaches of human experience, and sometimes depravity, and come out with some of the best music I’ve heard in a while.

    And thank you to Grimes who put Nicole’s album “Natural Born Losers” out on her purposely-formed company in order to get more people to hear this unique artist. Nicole had already recorded many albums by herself at home before this album came out, which are just as good as this album. Its great that she has now been introduced to many more people who can themselves now investigate her amazing back catalogue.

    What are your thoughts on “Natural Born Losers”, or on Nicole Dollanganger’s music in general? Leave your comments below and let’s talk.

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    Probably the best episode of The Walking Dead yet.

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    Walking Dead Lego

    Walking Dead Lego at the Jewellery Quarter street food market.

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    The representative from Alexandria has just shown up in the comic. Loving the comic.

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    My next issue of Walking Dead comic is Michone’s revenge by the look of the cover. This should be good.

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    Walking Dead double bill 1 of 2 down. I actually liked that episode. The barn scene was intense.