Friday, 18 November 2016

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 (#1-6)

"Oh so a good guard mouse abandons his fellow guard?" - Lieam

It's been a while since I covered Mouse Guard: Autmn 1152, you can blame fluctuating Amazon prices for my delay in picking up the sequel miniseries Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 as a birthday gift from my dear old mum.  But here we are.  A quick introduction, Mouse Guard: Autumn 1152 was first published in 2006 written and drawn by David Peterson.  It featured the titular guard which is made up of sword wielding mice who protect their own from the dangers posed to mouse sized animals.  The first book saw them deal with a traitor in their own ranks and an assault on Mouse Guard headquarters by "The Army of the Axe" lead by the rebellious Midnight, wielder of the stolen Black Axe. He proclaims that the Guard is a joke, and that they need one strong leader to rule all the terrtories. They need "One who can offer security and prosperity. One who is not afraid to hunt down our predators. One who is more than a mere Guard mouse". The rebellion is crushed and Midnight defeated when the real, legendary Black Axe makes himself known and The Mouse Guard restore order. But it ends on an uncertain note with leader Gwendolyn noting in her diary about mounting distrust of the Guard in the mouse terrtories and the threat still posed by those in the Army of the Axe who melted back into their normal lives. She finished up by saying that winter is coming and they are dangerously low on supplies and that ended Mouse Guard: Autumn 1152.  We now move onto the direct sequel, Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 published in 2007-2008.  We follow the main characters from the first miniseries as they act as ambassadors for Gwendolyn in an attempt to unite the Mouse territories to aid their base town of Lockhaven through the winter and adventures ensue. 

We're reintrodued to the major characters who have been sent to retrieve some Elixir from a mouse town.  There's Kenzie and Saxon the brothers in arms, Sadie the scout and Lieam the youngest who has been taken under the wing of the oldest, Celanawe who is also the legendary "Black Axe" which he carries with him at all times.

The band of mice make their way through the snowy weather as a storm rages around them.  They have the city of Sprucetuck to get to, but they'll never make it in this weather.  Celanawe has another plan though, there is an underground route they can take if they tunnel their way there.
Celanawe, Sadie, Kenzie Lieam, Saxon.
Saxon and Sadie take up the rear and Saxon grumbles that  it is "foolish to hide from a storm". Sadie says a sword can't defeat everything. Lieam says sometimes it takes an axe. And thanks to Celanawe they find a safe route to Sprucetuck and introduce themselves, saying they want to meet the governer.

The elderly governer wants to know what brings the guard in such heavy weather.  Kenzie says the Lady Gwendolyn extends an offer of "continued goodwill" and also that they are in dire need of elixir.  The governer says their own stocks are low and can only spare two bottles, which are accepted with grateful thanks.

The guard pay with currency this town does not use, but the governer says they'll make an exception for them. The governer says the town owes its existence to the guard, they are mice of "science, not swordmice". The elixir is brought to the mouse guard, it has been infused with special herbs so less per dose is needed.

The governer says the letter they bought mentions a summit.  Kenzie says in "seven sundowns the neccessary escorts will arrive", but for now they need to get these supplies back to Lockhaven. The mice then leave and return to the surface.

Saxon takes Kenzie to one side and asks who really leads the group, Kenzie is supposed to, but is it Celanawe?  "You bend an ear anytime he speaks" and Lieam follows his steps in awe says Saxon.  Kenzie says Celanawe  is Gwendolyn's ambassador and the voice of experience but he, Kenzie leads the group.

Saxon says his loyalties lie with Lockhaven and Gwendolyn, "not that axe".  Kenzie says Celanawe has done nothing but protect them and the guard.  Saxon says the incident with Midnight proves threats can come from anywhere.  Saxon says he's been friends with Kenzie too long to question his loyalty, "I will always follow your lead."  Kenzie says "I know."
Sadie sees off a threat.
Celanawe interrupts their conversation to say they are being "hunted".  And an owl looms overhead.  They draw their weapons and huddle together so they can't be picked off.  Sadie hurls a rock at its foot saying it was a warning and that she doesn't miss.  She fires another one which hits the owl in the eye.  It squawks and flies off, the others congratulate Sadie on her shot.  Kenzie says they must carry on through the night rather than make camp, "Lockhaven is depending on us".

Back there, Gwendolyn writes in her diary about sending out the guard to collect provisions.  Then she and a couple of other mice pour over a map and discuss the places the various groups have been sent to.  Kenzie's team have the most arduous journey but Gwendolyn has great faith in them.

Gwendolyn: "I hope we have that much time.  Starvation and illness will take more lives than the last Winter War."

She goes to see how a mouse called Rand is faring as he is in the throes of sickness.  She asks Abigail who is tending him how long he has.  She says with no medicine to treat him he'll not last long.  Gwendolyn hopes he can last long enough for Kenzie's group to return with medical supplies.  The mice in question are stocked up and returning with Lockhaven two days away when the ground suddenly give way beneath them and they all bar Celanawe and Lieam fall down a hole.
The party gets into trouble.
Lieam is hanging down, gripping Celanawe's axe and is pulled up, but the others have fallen right into the murky depths.  They both look down and can't even see the bottom of the hole, but they can hear the others who are all OK, but there is no way to climb back up for them.

Kenzie relights the lantern and they have a good look around the tunnel they have fallen into. It appears to go in the same direction as Lockhaven so both parties will travel independently now.  Celanawe and Lieam have the much-needed supplies to take there, the others will just have to see where the tunnel takes them.  Unfortunately that is likely to be a place called "Darkheather", but Kenzie grimly says he will lead them out come what may.

As Celanawe and Lieam travel, Celanawe gives his assessment of Kenzie and Saxon.  He says they rely on each other too much:

Celanawe: "Saxon knows he can afford to be reckless since Kenzie acts as his conscience.  And Kenzie can linger in his thoughts and plans because he knows Saxon can depend upon him".

Celanawe says he "tested" Kenzie earlier, and saw that it was Saxon's coaxing that made swayed Kenzie's mind.  He tells Lieam, "be complete within yourself young redfur.  You will never disappoint.  Even in solitude."  As they walk, Lieam takes a plunge into some water

They make camp so he can warm up and Celanawe says he had heard of Lieam's slaying of a snake through its mouth before he met him.  Then freezing rain starts up and they go on their way back to Lockhaven, Celanawe notes "it seems I have an apprentice".

The underground team are also making their way along.  They find ruins and Kenzie says it is important to travel deeper into them as they have found "potential threats to the securities of the territories".  Celanawe and Lieam will get to Lockhaven, they have a new mission.

Saxon is dubious about the youngest and oldest of the guardmice making it, but Kenzie says with the Black Axe and Lieam having proved worthy he has no concerns they won't make it.   They come across an enormous wooden door guarded by two opossums.  They immediately draw their weapons and ready an attack.
Saxon is headstrong.
Saxon charges then he realises they are statues.  Kenzie chews him out for his recklessness.  Saxon says he thought he could take one down and Kenzie and Sadie take the other one. Kenzie is still mad he didn't wait for a proper plan.  They open the doors and find what appears to be an abandoned building, with high vaulted ceilings made of stone.

They are confused as to why it wasn't destroyed in "the war".  Then they hear something and Kenzie orders Sadie to scout ahead, to the annoyance of Saxon.  They have arrived in Darkheather and Saxon says "I need to know you're ready to fight our way out."

Back in Lockhaven Gwendolyn goes to check on the sick Rand, who is Lockhaven's "shield-bearer".  He groans in agony and she realises he's been poisoned with hemlock. Gwendolyn orders all of Lockhaven immediately sealed, much to the annoyance of Isabel who was about to ride out to Oakgrove and Lake Cities.

Isabel goes to see Gwendolyn and finds a group of mice all talking at her. They have sealed the city and the suspected culprit, Abigail who was caring for Rand, must still be within the city walls.  Gwendolyn has hidden Rand away to keep him safe, they have cured the poison but he is still dreadfully sick.

Gwendolyn: "I know not of Abigail's motives. But it makes little difference.  Hunt her down."

Back with Celanawe and Lieam, the sleet has got so bad they are drenched in it.  Celenawe says they must stop and dig in.  Lieam says what about the mission?  Celanawe says they will fail it if they die.
A very cold Lieam and Celanawe.
They dig a hole under the snow and light a fire to warm up.  They only have enough candle to last one night and they begin to thaw out.  Celenawe asks Lieam what went through his mind when he faced the snake.   Lieam says it was the words, "it matter's not what you fight, but what you fight for." 

Celanawe says that can be a "dangerous slogan".  Midnight thought what he was fighting for was right and that the ends justified the means.  Lieam asks him if he truly is the Black Axe.  Celanawe wonders how, after all the time they spent together, Lieam can doubt him.  Lieam says he was afraid to ask before.  Celanawe says he is indeed the Black Axe.

He then tells Lieam how Midnight managed to acquire the Black Axe itself.   He was crafty and able to move in the shadows.  Midnight is the only user of the Black Axe who was not the Black Axe in person to "have wielded the Black Axe and not felt the bite of its blade."

Celanawe: "Yet despite his theivery, murder and motives, he was not wholly wrong... his goals were selfish, he wanted to rule on high. But the idea of the territories needing unification and protection is what I do with this axe."

He goes on to say he does good for the mice of the territories but is beholden to no matriarch, he puts the needs of all mice before his own.  He has shaped the course of wars, fought predators to beyond their borders and "carved portions of this very landscape".

Lieam asks how that can be possible, he's not old enough to have been around when the axe was first forged or accomplish all the legends attributed to him. Celanawe just responds that he is "shrouded in myth and legend" and mystery has grown up around him.  The tale of when his paw first touched the Black Axe is for another day, "tales are best told at the end of a journey".

He asks Lieam where he got the scar on his ear.  Lieam won't say. Celanawe says they both have their secrets even if those secrets can't keep them warm.  Meanwhile Kenzie, Saxon and Sadie are carefully walking through Darkheather the old weasel kingdom. 
Sadie says Kenzie and Saxon "squabble like an old mouse couple."  Saxon says they don't, but Sadie says now is a good time to stay quiet.   Up in the ceiling are many bats, who don't eat mice, but Saxon says are the ears of their enemies.  One of the bats tells them they are "unwelcome".

Sadie says it's time to go.  Saxon says the bats will alert the enemy weasels  within a day flight away.  The head bat is annoyed by this.  Saxon however draws his sword.  The bats fly at him en masse.  Bats say that long ago they offered to fight for either side.  But the birds did not trust their fur and the earth dwellers did not trust their flight.  So after the war, they secluded themselves in this ruin:

Various Bats: "Our seclusion is our life...we are accepted by none when we offered loyalty to all...  You come to our sanctury where we eat.  Where we breed.  And you challenge our trust?"

Saxon manages to jump on the head bat and hold his sword to its throat demanding it show them a way out.  There is a scuffle and Sadie hurls a dagger through one of the bats and its thrashing causes some of the masonry to crumble, which blocks our plucky mice safely away from the angry bats.  Apart from Saxon that is, who is flown away on the back of the head bat.
The owl returns.
In their ice hole, Lieam discovers the cold has shattered one of the bottles of Elixir, now they only have one left for Lockhaven. Celanawe says he heard something and standing above the entrance to the hole is the huge owl.  They climb up out of the shelter and engage the owl, with Celanawe brandishing the Black Axe he goes in on the attack.

Saxon meanwhile is hanging off one of the bats, they tell him freedom is above him but he needs wings to reach it. The bats say mouse bones sleep below the soil and Saxon will join them, but Saxon says he'll take a few of them out before he does so.  He slashes the throat of the bat he is holding and they both fall into a dark hole.  He lands on a mountain of bones, meanwhile all the bats fly out of the hole in the ceiling taking their fallen brother's soul "to the stars."

Kenzie and Sadie are wandering through a maze of tunnels shrouded in darkness.  Kenzie calls for Saxon, Sadie says they don't know if he is alive, but Kenzie knows he is. He says Saxon was a fool for starting a fight with the bats, but Sadie says there was no other way out.  She says she hoped calm talk would prevail, but she expected a battle.

Kenzie says Saxon drew first blood though, Sadie says Saxon can be "stubborn and crude.  I doubt he agrees with the idea of ladymice as guard".  Kenzie laughs and says he knows Saxon loves someone from afar.  Sadie asks if there are any ladymice Kenzie admires from afar?

Kenzie says they life of the guard isn't generally conducive to relationships. He hunts opossum, sleeps on the hard soil and spends more time outside than other mice.  "Where do you think I would find a ladymmouse who would appreciate such things?" Then he and Sadie share a silent moment. Kenzie starts humming a tune to break the awkward silence, Sadie asks what it is and he tells her it's a ballad of "The Ivory Lass".
Saxon finds the remains of his old teacher.
We then return to Saxon, as the ballad narrates the images, he comes around on the pile of bones.  Using material from his cloak he fashions a torch and starts walking.  The corridors are full of mouse skeletons.  Then he finds one intact in a cloak, it holds a sword and has a buckle Saxon recognises.  It belonged to his old teacher Loukas and he tearfully embraces the skeleton.

In Lockhaven, Abaigail has been cornered. She calls them fools and says she was instrumental in ridding Lockhaven of its stock, while in the other mice territories the same thing occured.  She says countless mice still stand by Midnight's views and she was to be his queen.  She throws herself down the well as she is peppered with arrows, and poisons it as she lands to her death.  Then we briefly cut to the battle against the owl, Celenawe has fallen and Lieam is facing it down alone.

Kenzie and Sadie are snoozing together, when Saxon suddenly appears. He teases Kenzie for "snuggling with your new lady".  Kenzie splutters it's nothing like that, he asks where Saxon ended up.  Saxon says never you mind, it certainly wasn't "dreaming next to a lady". Kenzie says if Saxon is mad at him, leave Sadie out of it.  Saxon apologises then shows them the buckle he found.  He is also now wielding Loukas's sword.
Kenzie and Sadie snuggle, d'awww.
Kenzie then says he's going to lead them out of Darkheather, too many mice have died there and only a handful have returned from there.  He tells Saxon he was lucky to be alive after what happened.  They find a waterfall and look for something they can sail in, "pray Celanawe and Lieam fared better than we are" says Saxon.

And that takes us back to the battle against the owl.  Celanawe is back in the fight and picks up the Black Axe and cuts the foot of the owl with it.  He tells Lieam to run and get the medicine back to Lockhaven, "make sure the greater good is served".  The owl's wing knocks Lieam down, then it's foot grabs Celanawe and crushes him.
Lieam will not be deterred.
The owl flies off with Celanawe but Lieam manages to grab onto it's wing.  He climbs up its body and drives his sword into the top of its head.  The owl crashes to the ground, Lieam uses a feather to land safely in a tree, Celanawe has been dropped, but he isn't moving.

The others are in a small bucket paddling up the underground river.  Saxon checks the compass in Loukas's sword and confirms they are heading north-east towards Lockhaven.   Sadie wonders how the weasel kingdom could have come so close to the mice territories.  Kenzie says the weasels might not have built this, the caverns could be older and the weasels simply annexed it like they tend to do.

They spot something in the water.  It is a mouseguard's corpse with mouse arrows in it.  It's Abigail's corpse although they don't know that as it's floating face down.  They find the mark of Lockhaven and climb up the well arriving back in Lockhaven safely. Gwendolyn greets them saying after sending Abigail down there to death they never expected three live mice to come out.  She fills them in on what has been going on and the fact that Celanawe and Lieam have not returned.

The owl, is still alive.  Celanawe too, he brandishes the Black Axe and leaps at the owl, who snatches him out of the air and bites him before dropping him on the ground him to Lieam's horror and distress.  It turns its attentions to him as he holds his sword and prepares for a last stand.

Lieam tearfully remembers all the advice Celanawe gave him as the owl bears down on him.  As the owl makes to snap him up he stabs it in the throat and the foot and it collapses.  He goes and picks up the Black Axe and brings it down onto the top of the owl's head finally killing it.  Then he collapses too.
Lieam takes up The Black Axe and gets his revenge.
Back in Lockhaven, Kenzie and Saxon go to where Isabel has the hares they ride readied to go out.  Kenzie pleads with the head hare to help them find Celanawe and Lieam before they carry on to where they were supposed to be going.  The hare agrees and the mice mount up.

They ride out and find the dead owl, and footprints leading away to the east. They follow them and find Lieam deliriously carrying Celeanawe's body, the Black Axe and an owl feather.  When he sees them he collapses again.

The hares take them all back to Lockhaven.  Lieam is conscious again and has a broken arm which he just shakes off. Gwendolyne is told the bad news about Celanawe.  His body is laid out on a pyre and he is cremated with great ceremony.  Gwendolyne gives a heartfelt eulogy while a recovered Rand whispers that he thought the Black Axe was immortal.  "No mouse is Rand..." says Saxon, "no mouse is".

After the ceremony Saxon opens his heart out to Gwendolyne, the ladymouse he admired from afar:

Saxon: "M-M'lady Gwendolyne.  I have been to hell and back... twice now... and I need to know there is more to our lives than this".
And they kiss.  Lieam recalls Celanawe's last words to him, he knew this journey would end in his death and he declares Lieam as the new Black Axe then he dies, which brings the story to an end.
Saxon and Gwendolyn kiss, double d'awwwww.
But there is an epilogue.  Gwendolyne writes in her diary that there was a successful summit of the representatives of the mice territories.  Lockhaven is now a neutral location for summit leaders to meet annually to resolve greivances.  Reserve harvest will be stored there, in return they will provide the outer territories with more guardmice.

Kenzie and Sadie oversaw the excavation and repairs to the cistern which purged the well of poison, "they have been inseparable since their return". She writes that dealing with threats from within still are hampering their efforts to deal with threats from without.

Lieam was aimless after the funeral, as she writes that she wants to give him more responsibility we see him going to where the Black Axe is.  She also writes that Saxon has made an impact on her life and says that although she has no plan to leave her post anytime soon, the situation between her and Saxon has her on the lookout for a successor. The book then finally finishes on Lieam, with the Black Axe, walking out of Lockhaven to make his own way in the world...
A new Black Axe strikes out into the world.
What a lovely book. David Peterson's artwork is beautiful and manages to wring all sorts of emotions out of the simple but strong mouse designs.  His script manages a olde worlde feel without getting hackneyed or irritating.  He carries on world building around a story of five mice thrown into dangerous situations, and gives each of them a distinct personality.  From the bickering bros that are Kenzie and Saxon, to the snarky Sadie, to the wise old Celenawe and his young, fiercely brave apprentice Lieam.  The battle against the owl is epic and stunningly realised, as are the vaulted halls of Darkheather and all the bats that live there.  And with traitors still lurking within the mouse guard and Lieam leaving for adventures new there is plenty of fodder for future stories.  Which is why it's so frustrating that the series seems to have ground to a halt.  One issue of Spring 1153 was released as part of free comicbook day a couple of years ago, but apart from that there has just been a Black Axe miniseries and a couple of volumes of Tales From The Mouse Guard.  C'mon David, pull yer finger out.  I want more sumptiously illustrated adventures of the brave little mice and the scary world they live in.  Do it now, I command it!


  1. I like Midnight's stance on defence and security but before I vote for him I'd need to know more about his tax policy.

    That is a weird little comic. It would be so easy for it to just be a bit twee but it seems to work. That might be the artwork. It reminds in of those nature calendars you get in hippy shops. Just cite enough for the characters and subject matter but with enough realism to make them actually believable. Bit like Watership Down (to draw an obvious but not exactly analogous parallel).

    Dumb question: what's the 1152 a reference to? Is that their calendar? And if so is it the same as ours?

    I'm now trying to figure out whether this is a completely original story just with some common themes or whether it's an allegory based on real world human history.

  2. Yeah for some reason it manages to not be twee when it easily could be. It's obviously a labour of love but the man writing and drawing it seems to have been distracted with prequels.

    The 1152 is the calender. He's done a single issue Spring 1153, but that's impossible to find right now. I don't know if it's meant to be related to ours, humans don't seem to exist AFAIK in this world.

  3. Eek, maybe it's some post apocalyptic earth where the mice finally succeeded in getting rid of the humans.

    So it's either 1152AD and they just got the Black Death kicked off early; which would explain why they've pretty much copied human technology of the time. Or maybe it's 1152 years since the Vogons *didn't* destroy the earth. I'll let you figure out the horrific implications of that scenario for yourself.

    And so we don't have to keep hopping between posts, yeah she's a great character in Andromeda Strain. It's interesting, especially for the era, that it's not even commented on that's she's a woman (just that she's a pothead socialist)

    Wonder what Mochael Chrghton has against technology though. I read a biography and there's no explanation in there. But I can't help think one day he was left in a baby bouncer or something and it went haywire.

  4. When I lived in Manchester I didn't have my cat living with me, and I used to put out food for the mice. I had two mice living in my bedsit, a shy city mouse and a tiny, and I mean TINY (honestly it was the size of a large grape) little field mouse who did not give a shit. I would hope when the mouse apocalypse finally happens my kindness to them would be held in my favour. I'm assuming the Mice in Mouse Guard are field mice because they are seriously brave little chaps and chapesses. I'm assuming the lack of humans probably means lack of cats, I wish the fella behind this series would pull his finger out and give us more answers!

    Michael Crichton does write a lot about technology run amok doesn't he? Although I've only read a few of his books, the technology isn't usually depicted as bad, just the people behind it. Still you have to wonder if he did indeed have a bad experience at some point, true.

  5. I once used a mousetrap in my London flat; once. It caught one and I felt so awful afterwards that I used to put biscuits out for the rest of the mice to atone. They got to the stage where they would sit on my hand and nibble them. I still feel really guilty about that one mouse though. A biker friend was trying to get rid of a rat. One of the old Cornish sages in the pub said that they were really smart (I'd agree with that) so the trick was to get them used to food before using a trap or poison. So my mate kept making the rat jam sandwiches. After about a week of that they became quite good mates so he just kept on making it a sandwich. I'm sure you'll be ok after mouseageddon, but I'll probably be up before their war crimes tribunal. Fair enough I suppose.

    Crichton's books do have a bit of a pattern. Man has great idea to harness and exploit nature, technological safeguards fail in unexpected but foreseeable (with hindsight way), man escapes by skin of teeth, nature prevails and escapes into the wild (where it gets on just fine). I seem to recall from that biography that he was a doctor but he had some illness and he had some weird views on conventional medicine. Wonder if that plays into it. Ah who cares, I just like dinosaurs. Although Dredd was battling a cloned dinosaur amok in a theme park back in the early 80s.

    If I ever have to battle dinosaurs though I want Raquel Welch as my sidekick. I'm old school.

    Back to cute rodents:; do you remember the Spike Milligan cartoon 'The Ratties' ("there's one called Hattie, and one called Mattie..." etc.) That was so funny. They had a picture of Enoch Powell because they thought he'd started the Boy Scout movement.

  6. It's amazing how guilty you feel isn't it? My first cat was a real mouser and birder and was female. This was bad. Because while male cats will catch and kill prey and leave the bits for you to tread on in the morning, female cats see their pet humans as big stupid kittens who need to be trained. So she was forever dumping mice and birds that were still alive but slowly dying from broken necks/spines at my feet and I'd have to put them out of their misery which was the right thing to do but felt terrible. I hope the mice rulers take circumstances into consideration.

    Biff has never caught anything thank goodness. Honestly the way he is now he could have mice scurrying over him and he wouldn't care. Good.

    I'd hope I wouldn't have to battle dinosaurs but be like that dude in Jurassic World with the raptor pack. That film might have had it's flaws but if you're so jaded the sight of a raptor riding a T-Rex fighting a genetic dino-monstrosity doesn't fill you with glee, then there is no hope :D

    I don't recall that Spike Milligan cartoon, but I think my favourite fictional mouse, gotta be Dangermouse. Glad it's made a comeback.

  7. I also like Rastamouse; although sadly he's three times more likely than Dangermouse to get stopped by the police. I have seen one of the new DM cartoons. I really liked it. They updated it but without spoiling it as so often can happen (im looking at you new Scooby Doo). I like his USian distaff counterpart Jeopardy Mouse too.

    I have rescued a lot of mice from mousicidal moggies. The trick (if you don't want what is effectively a furry blood and guts Christmas cracker scenario) is to throw down a wellie. The mouse can then run into it and hide round the corner where th cat can't get at it. Then you can easily transfer it to a safe haven.

    The main murdering mogg belonged to my arty friend. I was once left in charge of that cat and a tame Robin whislt she went away. Let's just say I was 50% successful in ensuring they both got fed.

  8. I'm looking forward to watching the new Dangermouse cartoons with my nephew. He's a little too young for them right now and is all about "Hey Duggie" anyway.

    Out of a family of six cats only one is a verminator and that's sister 1.0's rescue cat who is exactly what I picture Greebo looking like. Their garden backs onto a railway cutting so he has plenty of mice and rats to catch. Doesn't go for birds though which I guess is a good thing. Funny thing is the only cat in the family who sports a collar with a bell on it is Biff the others just accidentally "lose" their collars. I'll tell sis about the wellie trick, occasionally Magnus brings a live one into play with so it could come in handy.

  9. Oh I do love the words and phrases you come up with. :-)

    Arty friend did try sticking a bell collar on Curvey-Cat (seriously, that's her name) but to no avail. Ironically in an attempt to remove it she got her head stuck in a plastic rabbit ornament for a few days (we thought she'd just wondered off on one of her sprees) and she was *not* happy when our farmer neighbour found her and rescued her. Much sulking ensued and she made it pretty clear that further attempts at replacing the collar would be foolishness on a par with sticking your face in a blender.

    I've accidentally got into kids TV. Was catching up with Horrible Histories on IPlayer when I discovered So Awkward and M I High. They're just so brilliantly written, especially so awkward. And whilst child actors can be eminently punchable the kids in that show are great. The delivery on some of the lines would put David Jason to shame. MIH is also good. It's a kids spy thing that's actually written and produced by the team that made Spooks. It's better though because Spooks tried to be realistic but was just silly whereas in the kids show its like they acknowledge the premise is daft so they can just unashamedly run with it. There's also an animated show called The Deep. You might like tjat, it's based on a comic. I think CBBC knows it's got a secondary audience as I note from the online schedule they repeat these shows in the evening.

    Ah well at least I'm not watching CBeebies! Apart from one show that shows how stuff works. (Embarrassingly, there was an episode about cars where it turned out I'd actually misunderstood how a brake servo works. I even rang a mechanic mate to ask "Is that right?". Yup, there are 5 year old who were better informed than me.)

  10. Curvey-Cat lol. Any particular reason for that name? Sounds like a story behind it. My first cat was definitely of the face-blendery attitude towards collars and my second never went out so didn't need it. I collared Biff pretty much from the moment I acquired him at eight weeks old, which I think is the best way to get a cat agreeable towards collars. He has a very smart red one right now, after totally destroying the pink glittery one I put on him for a laugh.

    I have a sister I am 12 years older than so would see a lot of kids TV even when I was past the age for them. Horrible Histories is great. If you do venture into CBeebies, "Hey Duggie" is brill. It's narrated by Alexander Armstrong and is pretty funny and surreal in places.

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  12. She's very slinky and bendy even by regular cat standards ("How is she doing that; I'm sure cats have spines?"). You know the thing about girls on comic covers showing both their fronts and their arses? That's Curvey's passport photo.

    I'll check out Duggie.I love Alexander Armstrong. He plays the voice of Sarah Jane's computer. K-9 doesn't like him, he thinks he's got a smug voice :-)

    HH is amazing. Why do they even bother teaching history in school? Just get the kids to watch that. Boudicca is one of my heroes so I especially like the destruction of Colchester done as an episode of Grand Designs.

    "I understand that you had some objections from the neighbours"

    "Yes, we had to cut through a lot of red tape. And limbs."

  13. She sounds gorgeous. Biff's more of a saggy old cloth cat. Seriously I have never met a cat with the amount of baggy skin he has. He's a Bagpuss, now he's broken the decade mark he's also as lazy as Bagpuss. Currently sleeping in my dirty laundry basket having not gone out for a few days because it's cold and wet.

    My baby sister had all the Horrible History books when she was a kid, so that's why we ended up seeing them. They're certainly educational in an accessible way. I love the song parodies myself.

  14. She actually looks a bit feral and contemptuous; but she has been known to let her guard down and allow her inner kittyness to come through. Despite the fact she used to bully Sas a bit every now and then I'd wake up to find them both curled up together on top of me. It was really sweet in an asphyxiating gob full of fur sort of way.

    Baggy cats are ace though. I mentioned on Mammoth the theory that Bagpuss is an allegory for Marxism. And my own theory that Emily is a fence. It's almost time for me to go into black and white and fall asleep now. I'm just huddling over the cooker to get thoroughly warmed up before I retire. It actually snowed briefly here so of course the Cornish are freaking out. There are kids in the Serengeti who would be less phased.

  15. Yeah when we had a cat and a dog although the cat would chase the dog sometimes, they would snuggle in front of the fire together as well.

    I loved your marxist theory of Bagpuss! It all fits, although I've often thought there was a Freudian aspect to the show, the Mice are the Id, Yaffle the Super-Ego, Bagpuss the Ego and Madeline and Gabriel the emotions and creative impulses. I guess Emily in that respects represents the Whole.

    Ah snow down south. I always laughed at how freaked out Devon Taxi drivers were by a thin sheet of snow when I was going back to Macc after visiting mum in Plymouth and I'd get to Macc and the snow would be a foot deep and no1curr.

  16. That cottage I used to live in had an open fire (and yup, have done the Withnail thing of burning random stuff when it got freezing). It was a regular winter thing for Sas, the cat and I to huddle round it together until all you could smell was smouldering fur and singed Yorkshire bloke (Arty friend used to literally sleep on top of the Aga some nights). Happy times.

    I like your Freudian theory. It does make sense. I've seen that applied to the Simpsons too. There are also the theories that the Magic Roundabout characters each represent a different drug. That's probably just stoner projection. A French friend tells me it is in fact about French politics. Dougal is De Gaulle etc. She makes it very plausible. There's also the theory that all the Winnie the Pooh characters represent a different mental illness. I'm not sure about that. I did however have a book titled 'what does tigger want?' that seems to be an Irvine Welsh style tale of one desperate tiger's attempts to score ("tigger just wants roo's special medicine", seriously)

    I'd turned into a soft southern jessie by my second year in London, and I've just got worse since. I flew back up north for a friends birthday party last year. It was snowing when I arrived and I just strared at it in bewilderment desperately begging my friend to hurry up and collect me. "be with you in a bit, just picking up some stuff for the party"; "there's no time for that!!!". I can't even claim in my defence that I was underdressed (although I was just soaking my feet in canvas converse) as she was just in short skirt tights and cardigan. She's the lass from hulme though and they're a tough bunch.

    I'm going to nick no1curr and try and use it in at least one business email this week.

  17. I spent my teen years living in an old three story Victorian house with only two gas fires to heat it all in the lovely artic town of Buxton. Since then I have lived North and lived South but I have never been as cold as I was during those years ever again. When I went to university I was amazed by this thing called "Central Heating" such luxury!

    I did a lot of cycling so I was usually dressed in shorts and a T-shirt half the time, my sister was more like your friend and would go out at nights in short skirts and heels. Those were the days, when the temperature didn't get above freezing for weeks on the trot and it often snowed during Easter. The way the cold is depicted in this Mouse Guard story bought it all back. Brrr.

    I'm not sure the Winnie The Pooh characters are mental illnesses but I've often thought they were more character archetypes and that everyone fits a Winnie The Pooh character. I used to be a total Eeyore but chemical and theraputic intervention has turned me into an Owl instead. Not sure if that was a change for the better ;) My older-younger sister is still a total Tigger, but now she's a mum has definite Kanga attributes and has her own little Roo.

  18. You've got me thinking now. I certainly do have some Tigger tendencies. There's probably one of those Facebook things "Which Winnie character are you?". Of course, those tests are just used by the illuminati to build up a comprehensive database of the entire population and their inner most secrets. It's so they can tailor Room 101 for each of us. I just hope they never find out my greatest fear is being confronted by a huge selection of cakes.

    The coldest house I ever lived in was in a village called Thornton. The only way to be warm was to stay in the shower. Eventually you'd have to confront the fact that you'd have to get out of the shower and put 57 layers of clothing on whilst you were still wet before you froze to death. That house was on the same street as the one where the Brontes lived (before they moved to Haworth). Someone had graffitied "Fuck off Bronte cunts" on it. That's when I decided I really needed to move out of Yorkshire.

    One thing I do like doing when it's cold is reading 'a day in the life of Ivan Denisovitch Shukov'. The theory being I'll feel I don't have it so bad. Although on occasions when I've run out of food and the shops are shut I get jealous that they have soup.

    Northern lasses are amazing though when they go out in artic conditions. A poet friend once captured that so perfectly though "You hear them (girls in heels) howling as they go down on the ice. It were like a seal cull"

  19. Yeah uh my Room 101 is being locked in a room with some kittens and a stack of horror films on dvd, yeah, I'm scared of that!

    When I lived in Buxton in winter I would usually have to go to bed fully clothed under a pile of blankets and a sleeping bag and hot water bottle and wake up to find the pillow was crunchy from where my breath had frozen overnight. That picture of Lieam and Celanawe in the ice hole is a pretty good depiction of what it was like.

    Really Macc is quite warm in comparison and the flat is fully insulated and quick to heat up toasty warm. My sister was the one for going out in artic conditions in club wear, I used to wear a full length angora wool black coat which I still have and is now too warm for me to wear in the winters we have now, which is a shame because I look like someone out of the Matrix in it.

  20. You'll no doubt have heard the Mitchell & Webb radio sketch where they work in Room 102 and are constantly complaining about the noise from next door.

    "Who's greatest fear is killer whales?"

    Hopefully without going TMI I can't sleep with clothes on, even when it's cold. I like wild camping though including in horrible weather (nothing more exciting than being snug in a tent in a storm) so I have developed a knack for getting fully dressed with just my nose sticking out of a sleeping bag.

    Ah the badass longcoat. I had a great coat (in both the superlative and technical sense). Bought on the advice of my fashion designer friend. It was second hand from a weird shop called Bertie Wooster (brilliant place). I'm embarrassed to say what it cost, but I got my money's worth out of it. Wore it til it literally fell apart. It managed to be both classy and scary. My first Krav teacher said she'd seen me wearing it and reckoned it was the sort of thing where you could walk into a nightclub run by the Russian mafia, ask to see the boss and all the henchmen would just wave you through.

    If I ever manage to find a replacement we'll have to team up. You can wear yours and we'll do our own northern version of the matrix. Less annoying emo angst, more twatting people with cricket bats.

  21. I mostly loaf about the place in just a dressing gown. I might throw a T-shirt on while I wait for the flat to heat up.

    I'd like to rock the badass longcoat again. I still have my old one but as I said now winters are much milder it just boils me. I usually just wear a hoodie or my old donkey jacket over a T-shirt. Might have to do some checking out for one made of a lighter material than pure wool. Then we can Matrix it up ;P

  22. Worked for Arthur Dent. Or if it's a brown one you can pretend you're Ben Kenobi (one of the many things wrong with the SW prequels is that became standard Jedi uniform when it was clearly just whatever Obi Wan happened to have thrown on that day)

    Is it a proper donkey jacket with the leather bit on the shoulders? Loved those when I was a kid. You don't see them around these days.

    My favourite item of clothing is the shemagh (pronounced 'shmogg'). That's those Arab headscarf thingies. They're just so versatile. There's actually a lot of politics around them in the middle east. There's even a feminist slant. Leila Khaled was really pissed off that people said she was wearing a hijab in the famous photo as it was actually a keffiyha (another word for shemagh) which is traditionally *male* headdress, which is the point she was trying to make.

  23. Yeah it's a real old skool donkey jacket, dunno how I came to acquire it but it's actually comfier than it looks despite being so untilitarian in design. I so feminine lol.

    I like to have my head covered, either wearing a hoodie or a hat. I have many hats, mostly of military surplus. But tend to prefer a comfie beanie these days. Those headdresses look pretty cool, but I'd probably fail to carry one off properly.

  24. That's so cool! I especially liked the ones that said stuff like "National Coal Board" or "British Rail" then you knew they'd just been swiped. A mate put up a video of us all sledging once that his boss saw on Facebook. It wasn't so much that we were all wearing Seacore boiler suits, more we all had exactly the right sizes. His boss didn't mind though, just saw it as free advertising.

    My shemaghs are army surplus ones (for a certain value of 'surplus'). So they're just desert tan colour. Different colours have different political meanings in the middle east and it can get very controversial, but nobody seems to mind the British ones.

    I'm sure you'd look amazing in one and they are very comfy. The best thing is one minute you can just look a bit Boho but a minor adjustment and you can look like you're in the Taliban (their colour is black, probably a goth thing)

  25. Talking of nicked workware I do own a green and white leather jacket from when my dad worked at the now defunct courior company Pony Express. If winter is particularly wet I sometimes break it out even though it's a little on the big side.

    I might have to look into shemaghs now, although my family always take the piss out of me if I wear anything apart from my wooly hat on my head, :(

  26. As you can imagine I'm now envisaging your dad on a stagecoach with a lever action rifle. If I'd been in charge of pony express I'd still have people wearing suede jackets with tassels.

    I need to get another rainhat. There's a popular style down here that's effectively like a leather 'cowboy' hat (of course we know what they really wore). Every year though I buy one but then forget about it when spring comes. So they go rock hard. Luckily you can pick them up quite cheap from the farming supply stores. They're kind of ubiquitous. They look very cute on girls though, so that's an option for you. I get through a lot of the thinsulate 'wooly' hats, mainly because I always leave them behind at friends places. They make me look like I'm out burgling though anyway, so yet again the shemagh has the advantage. It was hailing here in the week so I rigged it with just my eyes showing. Felt so snug. Like being in a tiny tent.

  27. In spying tradecraft they use signals to indicate when there's something to be collected from a dead drop. So I'd like you to imagine I've just stuck a drawing pin into the shelter on Hampstead Heath.

    Which is a convoluted way of saying I've sent you an email.

  28. Like I siad, I'm a big fan of hats in all their forms, but my horrible family won't be seen out with me in anything more extravgant than a wooly hat. Woe. Still you've peaked my interest with a shemagh, I assume it's easily adjustable to all head sizes. I have a massive melon and often even men's hats don't fit me.

    I shall check my emails.

  29. I'm sure you'll rock one. And yes, if they fit my macrocephalic bonce they'll definitely fit a normal human. As well as the traditional wraps you can also do ninja and pirate. So I'm sure one of those will bring your family round.

    I did have a quick Google to get you a link to the various ways of tying them. There's loads of tutorials out there, including videos. But I saw this picture and, in the words of Bob Hoskins, thought of you.

  30. I'm definitely gonna hunt one down and wear it despite my meanass family. I bet I can get my little nephew onside wearing it ninja style. It's always annoying when I'm in a charity shop, see an awesome hat, try it on and it sort of perches on top on my head. It's a curse I tell yah. The hat I used to wear ALL the time is a padded black cap with fold down ears, but again the mild winters we have now means it just boils my head. I still have it laid out just in case we have a snowfall or something. For special nerd points I have a ST@TNG era "commbadge" pinned to the front. Also I used to tuck lollipops in it when I was biking. Can't do that with a beanie.

  31. That's eminently practical with the lollipops; much admiration. And of course you get bonus geek points for the combadge. I had one of those hats, it was great but it joined the long list of clothing items my goddaughter nicked. But optional earlug coverage is one of the many benefits of the shemagh. I hope you manage to track one down.

    Funnily enough I've always quite fancied one of those medieval hoods like our mouse friends are wearing. They are pretty cool. There are some funky bits of headgear out there. I used to have a fez. Unfortunately that was a bit small so it looked a bit like I just stuck a paper coffee cup on the back of my head. I wanted to get a quilted smoking jacket to go with it so I could go for that Noel Coward look. Of course, out of date headgear goes with the job a bit. It's funny though how you just think nothing of the fact you're essentially wearing an 18th century priest's outfit.

  32. My baby sister has a Tricorn hat, although she only tends to wear it when very drunk. I've personally liked the idea of one of those tall black Puritan hats with the buckle on them. They look awesome.

    I'm replaying Fallout 3 for the millionth, billionth time and have set myself the challenge of collecting one of every type of hat in the game. Although my character rocks the fedora most of the time because it boosts his Perception stat. If only real life hats had such benefits!

  33. What? Hats don't give you special powers? Grrr! Curse you suspicious looking milliner!!!

    The funny thing about those puritan hats (as I'm sure you know) is that they weren't typical puritan dress. It's like the ninja costume thing. Most puritans wore the regular clothes of the day. Basically we just base everything off atypical examples like the oats packets. It is a cool hat though. You ever read any of the Solomon Kane comics?

  34. It's saddening the lack of special abilities titfers give you. A beanie that increased my endurance would be most welcome right now as I shake off the last of the flu.

    Yeah I was aware those Puritan costumes were mostly just for special occasions, I haven't read the Soloman Kane comics, but googling makes me interested.

    Anyway when it comes to hats I like to bear in mind the words of Mr. Marc Bolan:

    "Wear a tall hat like a druid in the old days
    Wear a tall hat and a tattooed gown
    Ride a white swan like the people of the Beltane
    Wear your hair long, babe, you can't go wrong"

    Damn right.

  35. You still snuffly? Hope it finally buggers off soon.

    I only read a few SK stories. They were like the back-up in the B&W marvel comics I liked. He is an interesting character though. Bit more depth than a lot of marvel characters of the time. And he does sometimes wear one of those hats.

    Ah Mark Bolan. Very popular with my hippy chick friends at school. Now I'm getting nostalgic for Paisley shirts, scarfs as belts and the smell of patchouli oil.

  36. Yeah still got the tail end of the flu, bloody annoying. But I managed to make it up the steps behind my doctor's for the first time in a couple of weeks on Friday without needing to stop for breath so the worst is over with.

    Although Marc Bolan was a little before my time, my parents were outrageous hippies so I get nostalgic for those things too. And the music, got quite a bit of seventies stuff stored on my Zen. From Yes to ABBA it all brings back happy childhood memories....

  37. I should probably pint out that Mr Bolan was a little before my time too. It's word though, when I was a kid the Beatles seemed like someotmg from ancient history (notwithstanding I liked the music) and at school the old glam rock bands were definitely 'retro' yet they'd only been defunct for a few years. It's weird when I think that bands like Nirvana are really recent but they're like two decades ago!

    But anyway, of mice and (not) men. I've been googling some of the mouse guard artwork whilst trying not to read anything about them so as not to spoil. It truly is amazing. So detailed but also it really reminds me of my times hanging around in those sorts of shops that sell little statutes of dragons and the like. I keep thinking that this world would make a great point and click adventure. They've already got some great backgrounds and the characters would work too.

    I also got distracted wondering who would win in a sword fight between the mice and Eve. Let's face it, it's Eve isn't it.

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  39. You know you're old when you find out Kurt Cobain's kid has had a kid >_<

    There appears to be a Mouse Guard tabletop RPG out, and my baby sister and her circle of friends are well into tabletop rpg's so I'm thinking I might get it for them for a gift at some point. And yeah I could see it working as a point n'click also.

    That said, I think Eve pretty much wins every sword fighting scenario I can think of. She does kind of cheat with the whole being able to come back from the dead bit though.

  40. Nooo, that can't be true! Gawd, it was bad enough when someone messaged me a couple of years back to remind me it was 20 years since we'd seen Nirvana (Bradford Uni Students Union, about 100 people there!)

    Met Courteney once. At the BBC when I was doing a roadie thing. She was completely bolloxed. And some 80 year old bloke in a commisionaire's uniform was trying to tell her "You can't smoke in here love" (which just confused her even more)

    I'd like to play one of those table top games. You seen the IT Crowd thing Moz did where he had his web show? I loved that. I do understand its more like Will Wheaton says though.

    Coming back from the dead would be a handy combat skill. Although you've now just reminded me of something one of my Krav friends sent me. I'll have to dig it out for you.

    Oh, and another drawing pin stuck.

  41. Heh that doesn't surprise me about Courtney. When I met rock legends they tended to have cleaned up and come out of retirement sober.

    Tabletop rpg's can be a lot of fun if you have a good group and a creative Game/Dungeon Master. They tend to vary on one extreme they are just fancy boardgames to the other extreme which is a book of rules, tables and scenarios for the GM and pen and paper for everyone else. When I was a teen it was pen and paper, I tended to be the GM and we played Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay upstairs over a comicshop in Back Piccadilly. I was quite an evil GM though, but because I was the only girl there I got away with mistreating my gaming group quite hilariously.

    I haven't watched all of the IT Crowd, but you've reminded me I need to, so I'm going to borrow it off my sister who has all the dvds this week.

  42. I've never played D&D but I'd really like to. I had The Dredd game but all we did was read the source book. I didn't want to spoil the set by cutting all the figures out. Which is a bit daft come to think of it.

    I liked the cartoon series (guess who my favourite was?). I also had a text based adventure on my C64. It was in BASIC so I edited it so the monsters were our school teachers. I also had Zork; but I couldn't get out of the first location. Hmm, now I want to have another go.

    The IT Crowd thing is so funny. They end up reviewing the "Norfolk expansion pack" to "Medieval Textile Merchant". It's such a sweet parody you end up wanting to play it.

    I can imagine you'd be a good GM. You're very creative. And I bet it's fun when you indulge your evil side.

    Hey, didn't they do a Slaine story as an RPG?

    Anyway if you'll excuse me, I now want to create a character. Where do you buy bearskin pants?

  43. I've still got my 1st edition Warhammer Fantasy RPG book, might dig it out and enjoy the memories. I tended to play the tabletop wargames more though, had a sweet Chaos army for the fantasy game and an Eldar Harlequin skirmishing unit for 40K.

    Zork, I haven't played that in a long time but I always know one should be wary of grues if you are in a dark room with no light source. I'd love to see Zork done with PS4/Xbox One style graphics, just as long as the grues stayed unseen though.

    I did have a stack of 2000AD board games, I remember attempting to play the Rogue Trooper one once with my family but we all got drunk and I think we finished it with no one winning. I passed all my Games Workshop/2000AD games off to my sister anyway, they were just taking up space in my flat, seemed sensible to give them to the fantasy game freaks.

    You know I think they did do a Slaine story as an rpg, you've tickled a memory there. I might have to check back my Best of 2000AD's now...

    I'm sure if you check out Deviant Art you can find someone who'll run you up some bearskin pants. LARPing and cosplay is all the rage right now and there is a minor cottage industry catering to folks who want to do it properly!

  44. I don't know a lot about Warhammer despite the fact a mate worked for the company that produced the game. Of course, pundits that we were, we thought it was a daft idea and he should look for a proper job. He did blag us copies of an album from a band called Bolt Thrower. They did some sort of tie in. Loved that name and it was a pretty good album. This was around the time of the thrash metal craze. When it was pleasantly daft and didn't take itself seriously. Napalm Death would release songs that were half a second long (I bought an extended 12" mix that was one and a half seconds). Bolt Thrower were very much in that vibe. Lots of growling and doom filled lyrics.

    Didn't know there were other 2000AD games; but I am pretty slow on the uptake. Vaguely remember there were a few peripheral marketing things. Prose books and audios and the like, but I was getting a bit disillusioned with the comic by then and only sticking it out from a sense of duty.

    I thought deviant art was just an art site (in my defence...). I have seen cosplay stuff though. Some of it is amazing. Even when I don't know the characters I can appreciate the effort that goes into them. I was introduced by a friend. She used to make latex stuff, and she started doing some cosplay themed stuff. She did a great one of that dragon lass from game of thrones. (I didn't know that at first, and that's where she introduced me to the concept). I'll try and find a pic.

  45. Here you go

    Ironically, on deviant art!

  46. That's one sexy Danerys!

    Warhammer 40K is metal as hell. I do remember the music, though it wasn't my cup of tea. Been quite a few videogames based on the 40K verse, but none of the strategy oddly. Mostly FPS games where you play a Space Marine. Boring!

    I've got the two PS2 2000AD games that came out, one is a Judge Dredd game the other Rogue Trooper. I ashamed to say they have been in my pile of PS2 games for years and I have never even booted them up. I really should, the Rogue Trooper game especially has some good reviews.

  47. She's really nice; and pretty handy at Krav too.

    Ah, didn't realise you meant computer games. Shows how down with the kids I am. To me 'Games' = (*six sided*) dice.

    Funny you mention strategy games. You'd got me thinking earlier about one of those games you had to type in from a magazine. It was called 'Bad King John'. Basically you just assigned numbers representing money to each of three variables (crops, troops, tax rate) and then it would give figures showing revenue or whether the peasants were revolting. You get the idea. It seemed so novel at the time and it was quite enthralling. But I suppose it's the great grand daddy of all these turn based god player games. I'll have to see if there's an emulator out there.

    I've been told that the Riddick film is very Warhammer. I liked that. I'm guessing you know Vin Diesel managed to get Judi Dench to sign on to that because they're both D&D nerds.

  48. Well there are both types of games, boardgames and videogames. Boardgames/rpg games seem to be going under a bit of a renaisssance right now if my games playing mad sister is anything to go by. It's one of those times I curse my solitariness because I'd like to be part of a gaming group again. But I refuse to move back to Manchester! Videogames are just a way for us anti-social types to enjoy games :)

    Vin Diesel is great, he has his own videogame company. They did a couple of relaly good games based on the Riddick films and a shonky but fun car driving one I had a lot of fun with. Didn't know Judi Dench was a gamer. One Of Us! One Of Us!


    See you in the squirrel pages.

  50. the art is lovely, those mice are soooo cute. and the owl looks amazing too.

  51. It is a lovely comic all round really, I demand more of it!

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