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Author Topic: Great Comic Books
0Megabyte
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Yes! Throughout my entire life I've loved comic books.

Now that I'm older, I find that I enjoy the artform as an incredibly effective mix of the strengths of novels and movies. As an example,Frank Miller's style is something difficult to pull off in any other medium, but has an intensity and immediacy to it that I don't find in many other places.

I love comic books for the potential for excellent storytelling. I guess I always have. It's hard to admit, but it's perhaps my favorite medium. (That was my mother's fault, always buying me comic books and getting just as enthusiastic about them as I did.)

Anyway: Those of you who know of any comic books, let's talk about good ones!

I'll give the Watchmen as an incredibly good one, along with the Dark Knight Returns. I also think the manga of certain things are incredibly good, as well. (Neon Genesis Evangelion is just as good as a comic book as it is an anime. And there's Chobits, and... oops. My secret love of romantic comedy will sneak through if I keep going!)

What are the best comics anyone else has read?

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TomDavidson
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Are you looking for miniseries recommendations, or ongoing series?
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Adam Masterman
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Since I have a passing interest in this topic, here are some pics:

Crisis on Infinite Earths. George Perez and Marv Wolfman's epic tale about reality, heroism, loss , sacrifice, you name it. Has unmatched scope and vastness of concept, and is a story that couldn't be told as well in any other medium.

Phoenix by Osamu Tezuka. Speaking of scope... This is the opus of the "God of manga", and its an amazing story that spans the entirety of human existance. Serialized in 9 or 10 volumes, my favorite is Future but they are all awesome.

Caddilacs and Dinosaurs. Also collected as xenozoic tales. Mark Shultz is a living master, the second coming of frank frazetta, except with better storytelling abilities. In C and D, he created a rich and vivid world that evokes the great adventure comics of the 40s.

Batman: Hush. My favorite batman tale in ages, its a 12 issue mystery that gives a great take on the classic character by two great creators: Jeff Loeb and Jim Lee. Collected in two trades.

Alex Toth's Zorro. Harder to find, I've peiced it together from some different Toth-themed trades. Toth is the greatest artist to work in the medium, ever, and his zorro was about as kickass as it gets.

I could go on, but its getting late.

Adam

ps Whedon and Cassaday's Astonishing, Allred's Madman, Meltzer's Identity Crisis, Jeff Smith's Bone, Aragones' Groo, etc. etc. There is a lot of good stuff out there: Tintin, Sandman, Waid's Return of Barry Allen, the list continues. More later.

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Rallan
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I mainly get my comic fix online. Still, there's a couple of comics on the internet that are serious or professional enough to warrant being mentioned in a thread about (allegedly) highbrow comics.

Platinum Grit is an enthusiastic offbeat effort that started life in print as an indy comic down under, but has since moved online. It's all about a shy, awkward young man and an exuberant yet sociopathic woman who's decided he's interesting to be around, and the strange things that happen as he gets embroiled in unravelling his family's rather unusual past.

Rice Boy is surreal and beautiful, and I can't recommend it highly enough. A three thousand year old robot strives to bring about a prophesy he no longer believes in, and his latest candidate for the role of chosen one is the meek, unassuming Rice Boy.

There's an awful lot of good webcomics out there (and an awful lot more banal geek-humour tripe like Ctrl+Alt+Del and VGCats and all the other "ha hah, I think it's funny because I played that video game too!" crap), but not too many that I'd mention if we're talking about the best.

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RickyB
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Preacher, by Garth Ennis and Mark(??) Dillon

Sandman by Neil (the god) Gaiman.

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0Megabyte
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Adam:

I know Loeb worked on The Long Halloween, etc, but Jim Lee work with him? *checks books.*

Oh. No, Loeb did, but the other guy didn't.

Actually, this wasn't so much a thread for me looking for recommendations, rather just... talking about good ones in general (reply to Tom)

Preacher, isn't that the one with the Preacher who wants to kill God?

As for webcomics... anyone here read Megatokyo, Order of the Stick, or 8-Bit Theatre? (yes, those are, respectively, a shojo manga, a comic about D&D, and a comic about Final Fantasy. I'm such a geek. Oh, well. )

[ June 10, 2007, 07:56 AM: Message edited by: 0Megabyte ]

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Rallan
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0Megabyte, you're one of the people who's responsible for all the popular webcomics also being the mediocre ones [Smile]
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0Megabyte
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...

Excise me?

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Rallan
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Sorry, I've just got a deep and abiding loathing for all three of those webcomics you just mentioned.
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0Megabyte
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Then I have a deep and abiding loathing of you, so there! [Big Grin]
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TinMan
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I seem to be more in the indiependant publishers vein.

Grimjack (esp. Tim Truman era), Elementals had so much more deep stories in place than any of the mainstream.

I have the majority of most of First comics publications, including the Moorcock adaptations.

Lone Wolf and Cub is probably one of my favorites of all time.

The later Swamp Thing (1988-1996) was probably some of the finest occultish/semi-horror stuff to come around.

Course, my original "starter" and favorite series were The Flash and the Legion of Super-heroes.

I missed out on a whole bunch from 1998- present day though, as I haven't been able to keep up due to finiancial and personal considerations.

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NSCutler
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David Brin and Scott Hampton's The Life Eaters: An alternative Marvel history with the Norse Gods much more believable and decidedly less interested in human welfare.

J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frank's Midnight Nation: Deeply cool 'hard boiled cop in limbo' tale.

Shinji Saijyo's Iron Wok Jan--imagine the Iron Chef T.V. show only the vast majority of the chefs are completely psychotic

Alan Moore's The Killing Joke: best illustration of how both the joker and the batman are completely nuts

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's We3: really, you just have to read it. Any description fails to bring across just what this book is.

Mark Waid and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come: The story is great, but the number of new characters created for the book while still incorporating all the established DC characters is just astounding.

Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross's Marvels: an sweeping overview of the history of the Marvel Universe that still manages to seem intimate.

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NSCutler
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Hey TinMan! Check out your local library. A lot of them are carrying graphic novels these days. It helps feed the addiction without breaking the bank [Smile]
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
Then I have a deep and abiding loathing of you, so there! [Big Grin]

You can't say that! I'm telling my dad on you!
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flydye45
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Elementals was one of the best comics out there.

300 by Frank Miller

The "Born Again" cycle in Daredevil by Frank Miller

[ June 12, 2007, 12:14 AM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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0Megabyte
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"You can't say that! I'm telling my dad on you! "

So what? My dad already beat your dad up last week. He can do so again. [Big Grin]

(Seriously, my father once killed a man in a barfight. You know, back before he got cancer and died from it.)

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Rallan
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He did not! My dad just punched your dad so hard he bruised himself. A lot.
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kelcimer
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"Sin City" by Millar

After you read "Sandman" read the spin off series "Lucifer".

All the Punisher written by Garth Ennis. That includes the 12 issue maxi-series, the 37 issues series that followed, "The Cell" one-shot, the "Born" limited series, "Punisher: The End" one-shot, the current sires that's about to hit issue 50, and the Barracuda limited series. The Punisher/Painkiller Jane one-shot is okay. That would be 111 Garth Ennis written Punisher comics as of next month.

"The Walking Dead"
- High end character driven Zombie book. Responsible for current wave of Zombie books. It's in the middle of it's run.

"Y the Last Man"
- About the last man on earth...litterally. Nearing end of series.

"100 Bullets"
- I'm not sure that I'll be able to say whether this series is great or not until the end, but is worth reading if only for the storytelling. Very noir. Will be concluding with issue 100 mext year.

"Fables"
- Big Bad Wolf, Snow White, Boy Blue, etc. Exiled in present day New York. Ongoing with over 60 issues under it's belt.

Peter David's 12 year run on "The Incredible Hulk"
Peter David's current run on "X-Factor" and the "Madrox" limited that preceeded it.

"Runaways" A marvel super team book, but can be read separate from the rest of the Marvel stuff.

Humor titles:
"Nodwick" and "PS238"
http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/buystuff/hpstore.htm

Online comics:
http://www.sluggy.com/
Oldest still living webcomic there is.

http://www.somethingpositive.net/
Black humor and hugely character driven. Might offend the weak of heart.

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NSCutler
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Nat Gertler's Licensable Bear! Funniest comic I have ever read. He only manages to publish one a year, but its pee-yourself funny.
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TomDavidson
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Comics on my current subscription:

Fables
Jack
Powers
Invincible
Criminal
Ultimate Spider-Man
New Avengers
X-Factor
Hellblazer

If I were to start listing off comics of the past (or miniseries) I think you should read, we'd be here forever. [Smile]

Same goes for webcomics. But I'd never forgive myself if I didn't give shout-outs to Order of the Stick, Schlock Mercenary, Dinosaur Comics, Questionable Content, Achewood, and Scary Go Round.

[ June 13, 2007, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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0Megabyte
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Ultimate Spider=Man happens to be a current fav of mine as well, actually.
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Mormegil
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Spider-Girl is the only comic book I read currently.

Online comics: Order of the Stick, Dr McNinja, xkcd.

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flydye45
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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Loved the second one even more then the first.
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kelcimer
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And "Understanding Comics".

http://www.scottmccloud.com/store/books/uc.html

It's a comic about comics that "that explains the inner workings of the medium and examines many aspects of visual communication along the way."

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Rhoetus
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"Kingdom Come" was art any way you look at it...it just also happened to have a storyline.

I follow, (not fanatically) Astonishing Xmen, I am a Firefly fan, and so Whedon by extension, and of course, its the XMEN, so come on...right?

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Adam Lassek
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I don't really read comic books, although I loved Watchmen nonetheless.

I do frequent quite a few online comics, though and a few really stand out.

Same Difference

A short story in graphic novel form, which is utterly brilliant. This has also been printed in the collection "Same Difference and other stories" by Derek Kirk Kim. It was available on his website here although it doesn't seem to be there anymore. EDIT: Archive.org to the rescue!

And of course, Sluggy Freelance. This really really deserves a look if you haven't read it already. I would say it is the best comic on the internet without hesitation. Wikipedia has a pretty good writeup about it. Sluggy is great. It is alternately a gag strip, a parody strip, avant-garde, and an epic adventure. Also throw in a recovering witch, a psychotic, killer rabbit, a vampire ladies man, a good-natured alien who constantly mutates into different forms, a brainwashed assassin who keeps returning from the dead, and a girl who can turn into a camel for good measure. And that's just the main cast. I could write a 1,000 page essay on how much Sluggy rules.

[ June 20, 2007, 12:37 AM: Message edited by: Adam Lassek ]

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TomDavidson
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Hrm. Me, I'd say that Sluggy never really recovered from the God-awful "Kesandru's Well" storyline, and has been dangling limply at the end of Pete's decaying work ethic ever since.
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hydroman_lmk
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I think comics are a great timesaver i once read the Spiderman book where he fights Charnage for the first time it was about 400 pages and the couple of comics that it was made from was 20-30 pages tops

It was a good book though I recomend Carnage in new york a good short book to read

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
Me, I'd say that Sluggy never really recovered from the God-awful "Kesandru's Well" storyline, and has been dangling limply at the end of Pete's decaying work ethic ever since.
I don't see how that is justified. After Kesandru's Well he did Holiday Wars, Ocean's Unmoving and That Which Redeems, all of which were considerably more daily work than a typical four-panel comic. And I would consider That Which Redeems to be the best story arc of the series thus far, tying up plot points that began six years previously.
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hydroman_lmk
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you all seem to have left out spawn that was a great comic

oh and I liked ctrl.alt.del before it got all sitcomy

and while most of vg cats are stupid they have a few jems like the one they did a few weeks ago spoofing 300 with mario brothers hilarious

just started reading a new webcomic(to me at least)talismenseries.com good one about a marine who is sucked into some magic dimenion well drawn the first serious webcomic I have come accross that is decent

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Adam Masterman
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Spawn was a good comic that was great when written by others but drawn by Todd. McFarlane was a truly gifted, exceptional artist, but his strengths were mainly instinctual. Listening to him try to articulate his artwork or creative process is truly painful; the man is not, shall we say, intellegent. What he does have is an amazing intuitive grasp of visual dynamics, that translate into great pages. The guy can draw a heck of a story, but he can't tell you how he did it.

He also can't write anything that would be compelling to a non-14 year old boy, which severely hampered spawn. The issue that Alan Moore wrote, however, is possibly the best single mainstream comic book issue ever, which is saying quite a lot. Gaiman's issue was also stellar; McFarlane working with a good writer is a purely magical combination. Too bad he's essentially given it up. [Frown]

Adam

[ June 20, 2007, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: Adam Masterman ]

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kelcimer
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Hrm. Me, I'd say that Sluggy never really recovered from the God-awful "Kesandru's Well" storyline, and has been dangling limply at the end of Pete's decaying work ethic ever since.

I have to agree with Adam Lassek. There's been great work since. Granted some stories are better then others, but that's going to happen when you do a strip for ten years.

[ June 21, 2007, 02:50 AM: Message edited by: kelcimer ]

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TomDavidson
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It's been well over a year since That Which Redeems, which I agree was a decent storyline. Since then, there's hardly been an individual strip worth reading, much less a story.
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cherrypoptart
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I notice Groo was already mentioned, but that was probably my favorite. I also liked Elf Quest when I was a kid. Should I even mention Conan? Yeah, why not, it's one of my favorites. Also, Aventurers was pretty cool.
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hydroman_lmk
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I think there should be a punishment for webcomics who burn out before their story line finishes. All to read the comics from the beginning to the almost end should get to give em one good kindney punch

lets start a petition who wants to sign it
HYDROMAN puts his signature

ohh and we also get to include bill waterson for quitting calvin and hobbes. I mean you have to give him some probs for having the guts to simply say if you dont play the game by my rules Im taking my ball and going home, but to create something that great and stop due to trivial copyright issues thats messed up

oh and calvin and hobbies is the best comic of all time and I would put it in as the best comic book of all time too. still bill needs a kidney punch from all of us

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Redskullvw
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On two completly differing sides of the spectrum,

Watchmen

&

Groo The Wanderer.

In seperate ways, each has good plot, great artwork, and an endurance of value over time. Watchmen is still as good to me as it was when I first read it. Groo on the otherhand is almost more funny and more entertaining than when I first started collecting them in the mid 1980's.

Incidentally anyone know how much a complete mint Watchmen series is worth? Aside from flipping through them one time when I bought them, they haven't been in air since. I have the compilation version upstairs that has endured the multiple readings over the years.

Also have Superman dies issue, and Captain America's serialized alternate story vs Redskull that was put out a couple of years ago. Never opened the Superman, but the Redskull series was great.

And that makes up my entire comic book collection. Not that I ever was a collector.

Death in The Family was pretty good.

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kelcimer
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quote:
Originally posted by hydroman_lmk:
ohh and we also get to include bill waterson for quitting calvin and hobbes. I mean you have to give him some probs for having the guts to simply say if you dont play the game by my rules Im taking my ball and going home, but to create something that great and stop due to trivial copyright issues thats messed up

The man did not burn the readers. Whatever his reasons he wanted out. His last strips could not have been more suitable of an end to Calvin & Hobbes. It was all fair. he didn't leave the readers hanging.

Would you have wanted him to have hung around until he was burnt out? Then you would be complaining that he didn't have the sense to get out before the quality of work went down hill.

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hydroman_lmk
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quote:
The man did not burn the readers. Whatever his reasons he wanted out. His last strips could not have been more suitable of an end to Calvin & Hobbes. It was all fair. he didn't leave the readers hanging.

Would you have wanted him to have hung around until he was burnt out? Then you would be complaining that he didn't have the sense to get out before the quality of work went down hill.

If he found that his comics were becomeing stale then he would have been right to stop. Except that his comics were still good. He was still putting out stuff that was funny. In fact he was getting better. Is comics were funnier than they were before. His drawing had gotten better. He had gotten what he wanted from his syndate when it came to more freedom in createing his strips. Then after he gets what he wants he decides that it is not enough and quits. Yea I do take it aback that he would bow out when he had more quality comics to put out.

Oh and that last comic was the biggest climax killer that I have ever or will probably ever have the missfortune to witness. Me and my best friend loved the comic and were really dissapointed that it would end, but we thought that if were going to end then we absolutly had to read that final comic(it was the comic strip equivalant of the death of superman everyone had to get a copy). We waited for the last one. I remember getting the last newspaper that would have the comic in it and excitedly flipping to the comics section to see the last Calvin and Hobbes comic (Ok its obvious that I have some issues with this. Some people are crazy about baseball and can tell you exactly when Lou Garag(and spell his name right) hit is last home run. I am crazy about Calvin and Hobbes) opening the Sunday comics and deflateing. I remember snorting with discust "thats it". It was not even slightly funny or even really that thought provoking. it was the comic equivalant of if this happened in the Return of the king: Frodo finally gets into mount doom and Sam says "ok throw it in" and instead of resisting Frodo says ok and casually tosses it in and the ring goes piff desolves THE END. Time and time again I have seen a climax book movie and play not live up to the build up. This was the pinnical of lost oportunities. The last comic should at least have been one of the greatest comics Waterson had ever produced. The last comic sould have been a reminder why the comic was so great and why we were going to miss it. Instead we got a "lets go exploreing" [Mad] . It is bad enough that he would end it in his prime of skill when he had so much more to offer, but to end it without the great comic skill that Waterson is known for means that I vote he should get a double kidney punch.

in my most humble opinion

Now who is with me on this

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Storm Saxon
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It just doesn't get any better than this.
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0Megabyte
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Sigh.

Yes it does.

Ohhhhh yes it does...

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