The Walking Dead comic and others too! Download for free!! [S8 SPOILER ALERT]

01/05/2018

Did you watch season 8 of the AMC series The Walking Dead recently? It’s a cracking show… sometimes. Sadly the past few seasons have been pretty awful. The first half of season 8 was crummy too, and I didn’t expect the last half-season to be any better.

I’m happy to report that I was wrong. Or wrong-ish. Season 8.2 wasn’t a return to the good old days, when everything was better than stuff now, but it was an improvement on 8.1. The dreaded Carl episode was as long drawn-out as I feared it would be, but at least he died. And although they went with the sickly-sweet option not to kill Negan, it could have been worse. Could have been better too. (What does that say about a TV show, that I’m happy it was only half crap?)

Anyway, if you like The Walking Dead, maybe you’ll like the comic on which it is based (and which is called, funnily enough, “The Walking Dead” too). The comic has been going for years and years. The TV show sort of follows the same plot as the comic (with important differences) and the comic has provided enough material to keep the show going for many seasons to come. Though Carl dying is a major diversion from the comic story.

After getting into the subreddit on The Walking Dead TV show, I started reading the one on the comic out of interest,  and I got curious about the comic.  I decided to read it, but being poverty-stricken/tight and stingey I didn’t want to pay for it, so I did what I always do when I want to read something for free – asked Google where I could download it for free.

And, as always, Google the Genie came up with the goods – in spades!  Not just The Walking Dead, but millions (or thousands.  Or hundreds?) of comics, to download for free. Getcomics.info.

I don’t know how this site could be legal – all those comics for free?  Shorely not!! – but it certainly acts like it’s legit.  But still… I wanted to share this discovery with others.  But the subreddits have a strict “no illegal links allowed” rule, and it’d be a pain getting banned.  So, I’m sharing it here instead.

Anyway, getcomics.info is a wonderful place.  It has so many comics available for free.  Current titles, like The Walking Dead, appear there promptly after release.  And they also have a good back catalogue.  For example, Transmetropolitan.  This title came out for 60 monthly issues, and a few specials, then stopped, as was Warren Ellis’ strict five-year plan (actually he did really well managing to do it, what with the original imprint on which it was published, Helix, going down with almost all hands, and his having to jump ship to Vertigo at the last minute).  I actually collected most of the series in hard-copy form (back when web comics were exotic beasts), and I actually found the entire series in .cbr format in a torrent some years ago.  But I’ve always wanted to introduce the title to the rest of the internet… but I never got round to posting it on a site for free download… and now I don’t have to!!  I just need to share a link to the appropriate page on getcomics.info. Here’s one – to download the 60 issues of the comic (in one beefy go):

=====>> https://getcomics.info/dc/transmetropolitan-vol-1-1-60/  <<=====

and another, to download the same stuff, but in the form of the 10 collected volumes (in one tremendous gulp):

=====>> https://getcomics.info/dc/transmetropolitan-vol-1-10/

So, I wanted to post a link. And now I’ve posted TWO !! Whoo hoo!!

A tip: when you click on the download button, you get taken to a sh.st page, and a notification box comes up saying “Click Allow to continue”.  I don’t like clicking on notifications.  So, I ignore the notification, and look at the box on the top right instead.  It performs a countdown then says SKIP THIS AD.  I click that, and get taken to the download which starts automatically.   I DON’T click the button that appears to accept and install a browser extension.  You can, if you really really want to…

So, go download some Spidery goodness!!  You know you want to!!

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Ooh ooh another quick post about Dredd (2012)

05/05/2016

I just thought that anything about Dredd (2012) that doesn’t include Ma-Ma’s long fall to her death from the top of a Megablock while on Slo-Mo is not complete.  So here it is.  Poor Leana Headey – I hope her Game of Thrones death (if Cersei ever does die) is quicker… though it’s kinda hard to tell if Ma-Ma is actually enjoying this fall…

Also, shouldn’t Dredd have failed Anderson because she lost her gun?  She’s told right from the start that  losing her firearm would be an automatic fail.  And letting the computer-whiz kid walk – regardless of his bad treatment etc, he aided and abetted some pretty gruesome and unforgivable crimes… surely he should have got some cube time for that?  Don’t agree with me?  Then don’t suffer in silence… it’s been Web 2.0 since forever, douchebags – use the drokking Comments willya!

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Judge Dredd 2012 -grrrowl or grrreat?

02/05/2016

Movies based on comics are a big deal nowadays.  So, to show how up-to-the-minute I HATE HATE!!! really is, here’s a review of a 3 years old film!

Back in 2012,  I wrote a post about the then-soon-to-be-released movie Dredd and my thoughts on the concept of a new  Dredd movie, sight unseen.  Although comics producers have far more respect and even control in the movie industry than used to be the case, I still was wary.  The ghost of Sylvester Stallone’s 1995 crap Judge Dredd  had to the struggle with the “A new 2000AD movie?  Cool!” components in my brain.  I ended that piece with a note of wary optimism.  And I was right to be happy (yeah yeah, not so happy that it didn’t take 4 YEARS to write this piece here, but what can I say to placate any comics fans out there?  I got a life beyond I HATE HATE!!! and comics-based movies, y’know?  On second thoughts, you probably don’t know.  But anyway.

“There’s ten of us and only two of you.”

One point in the movie’s favour is the fact that Karl Urban. who plays Dredd, doesn’t take his helmet off once.  The uninitiated probably don’t see the significance in this: but it is a big deal.  in the near-to-40 years of 2000AD history, Dredd has hardly ever been seen by readers with no helmet.  I seem to remember from my childhood days that there was once a picture of him taking a shower with his helmet on!  Comics-illiterate Stallone and his handlers have no understanding of the importance of comics tradition.  But someone in the 2012 Dredd production did see the importance – long-time 200AD Judge Dredd artist Carlos Ezquerra was a co-writer, working with SF movie writer Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later, Sunshine)  – and Karl kept his hat on throughout.  Yay Dredd!

The female eye-candy, Olivia Thirlby, doesn’t wear her helmet at all, but the film creates a plausible-sounding excuse for revealing her face: she’s a “psi” judge, meaning she has telepathic powers, and a helmet would affect her brain waves or whatever. 2000AD enthusiasts will blow holes through this in a second – her character, Cassandra Anderson, in the comics is far older than the movie Anderson, and there is no way a judge like Dredd would be overseeing a psi cadet’s final assessment anyway.  But this is movieland, not 2000AD, so I feel I can forgive Dredd‘s sins much more easily than the Stallone attempt.  And Thirlby is certainly a pleasant-looking “Anderson” rookie.

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Instead of creating a colossal event that might destroy Mega City one or even the world unless Dredd manages an edge-of-your-seat mission, the viewer gets a sort of “everyday life of a Judge”.  Dredd goes to pick up a wanted perp and ends up in a life-or-death struggle to fight his way out of the Megablock against the forces of the block Queenpin, Ma-Ma (played by Lena Heady, aka Queen Cersei in Game of Thrones)

.  There’s some corruption involving a few judges, a fun,  over-the-top Ma-Ma (her final scene has a wonderful, dreamlike-yet-visceral feel), a lot of gun-play, but no ominous end-of-life-as-we-know-it threat hanging over our valiant heroes. A proper “this is what judges do” kind of film.  Kind of depressed that other 2000AD movies of a similar vein haven’t been made.  Or have they?  Tell us in Comments if you know of any!

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At the London Film and Comic Con in July 2012, Alex Garland claimed he was planning not only a sequel to Dredd but a trilogy! When I read that I emitted a little “ooh” but then remembered the Matrix Trilogy and cried “Nooo…!” like I was a slo-mo addict taking a tumble from the penthouse of a Megablock.  But never fear: in March 2015, Garland said that a direct sequel would likely not happen in the near future, “at least not with the crew involved in the original film.”  Kind of a shame: a Judge Death-related flick could be good, or one about the pro-democracy terrorists (a contemporary idea that might put some real-life proponents of democracy on the spot).  But sequels can kill good ideas (the bloody Matrix, innit?) so let’s leave Dredd alone.  But Strontium Dog, ABC Warriors, Slaine… 2000AD is full of wonderful material that any scriptwriter ought to want to kill for.  In fact, once I’ve finished this blog post I may unearth my 2000AD collection and look for the Next Big Thing!

The rottentomatoes.com page for Dredd is at www.rottentomatoes.com/m/dredd/ and is interesting.  Lots of positive comments.  Lovely.  Dredd was also nominated for a few film prizes, and won a few – see here for details.

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How to rip dvds – including “copy-protected disks” – with dvd::rip and vlc

27/03/2016

Disclaimer: I never ever break the law.  Any suggestion that I do so, regularly and in flagrant disregard of conventional norms, is unintended and all I can say in my defence is that you must have misunderstood what I’ve written (I often write fiction – maybe this blog entry is fiction.  Lies, lies; all is lies!).  Anyway, don’t never do wrong!! (was that a double negative?)

I hate buying DVDs.  Bittorrent is beautiful, it takes away all that parting with money nonsense.  But another way to get cool videos is having friends who buy DVDs then lend them out to their friends.  Including you!  Except you don’t watch the thing once then give it back – you riiip it first!

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Don’t copy DVDs!  Not only is it illegal, it’s not a victimless crime.  Think of the poor movie stars, the directors, the multi-millionaire producers.  And the children!  Won’t somebody please think of the children? [image shamelessly borrowed from the Intellectual Property Rights Center (whoever they are).  Don’t sweat it, IPRCENTER, you can have the image back when we’ve finished using it…]

I like using dvd::rip despite its stupid name.  I mean, what’s up with the double-colons?  They’re invisible to Google as far as I can make out.  Luckily for you, I (the King of stealing shit) found the dvd::rip download page.

Now for the bad news (so far as most of you are concerned – it’s a Linux program!!!  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Linux FTW!!  If you want to learn how to rip DVDs with Windows or Mac, you’ll have to look elsewhere.  But don’t give up the hunt too quickly.  Tenacity is a great quality for a pirate, hacker, oil-field surveyer, just about anyone to have.  And if that doesn’t work out for ya, get yerself a Linux OS.  Ubuntu is my favourite (also my first, so I may be biased) but there are lots of other distros to try.

Okay, so you have Linux (Ubuntu!  Ubuntu!  Choose Ubuntu!) installed.  Now you need a DVD ripping software.  My personal choice is dvd::rip, despite its stupid name.  It’s a stupid name because those dumb double-colons stop you from installing the program via the command line (ie sudo apt-get install application-x).  But the Ubuntu Software Centre will find it easily enough, or the package manager of whatever Linux distro you’ve installed.  Tell it to install, and in a jiffy dvd::rip will be downloaded and installed, stupid double-colons and all  (depending on how fast your internet connection is and how long you consider a jiffy to be).

If, for some reason, your distro installation system doesn’t find dvd::rip, you can find downloads in various formats here.

Okay, you have dvd::rip installed on your system and you have a DVD you want to rip.  We’re nearly there: all you gotta do is to stick in the DVD and rriiiip it.

Insert the DVD, then run dvd::rip.  Under the File menu, click on New Project.  The next screen will want some storage path information.  By default the project is called unnamed.  If you change it in the Project name box, it will automagically change in the other boxes too.  Note that the files created by dvd::rip will appear in a sub-directory of your home directory. Now click on the button labelled +create project. dvd::rip will want to know where to put the *.zip file.  For this example, I’m ripping the DVD of the movie The Departed, so I called the project “departed”.  So dvd::rip wants to know where to put the file departed.rip file.  I generally just stick them in my home directory.  Choose where you want your *.rip file to be stored, then click OK.

Now the program wants some info about the DVD device you’re using.  Generally leave this as it is, unless you’re using an external or non-default DVD device.  You’ll be offered a ripping choice: Copy data from DVD to harddisk before encoding or Encode DVD on the fly.  I choose the first because it is quicker and puts less strain on the DVD devices.  It also enables “interesting features”, but I haven’t explored these yet.

 

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So, you’ve selected the DVD device and ripping mode.  Now click on the greyed-out button RIP Title.  This brings you to a new screen.  There’s a big empty space here which will fill with the DVD’s contents when you click the button Read DVD table of contents. Click it.

A list of the table of contents will be printed to the screen.  In the case of The Departed it’s pretty obvious which particular title you want to rip: there are only 2 options, and one is only 1 second long.  So title 2, all 2 hours and 25 minutes of it, is the one you want.

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Sometimes choosing is more difficult.  Generally, the longer item is the one you want.  Sometimes though. a sneaky attempt at “copy protection” (hah!) presents you with a long list of titles of almost identical lengths.  There’s a pretty easy way of working out which title is the one you want to rip.  I will explain how to get past this ridiculous attempt at “copy-protection” later*.  But, to continue with this example, it’s clear which track you want to rip. So high-light it (by clicking on it) then click on Rip selected title(s)/chapter(s) near the bottom of the screen.  The status bar at the bottom of the screen will start turning orange – the more orange you can see, the more of the DVD has been ripped.  So now it’s a waiting game.  Large files can take 45 minutes or more ro rip!  So now’s a good time to make some coffee, maybe watch some TV show you downloaded from the internet, you naughty pirate, you!

When  the ripping is done, the status bar at the bottom of the screen will not be orange any more.  It will  be clear, except for some text telling you how much free space you have left on your hard disk.  Now click on Transcode.  On the Transcoding page, usually the only changes from the default are under Video Bitrate Calculation: by Target media I choose from the drop-down menus One x 850 MB  Then I click on Transcode, and sit back to watch the status bar fill with orange again – or maybe watch some more illegal content while waiting for the transcoding to finish…  By default dvd::rip makes 2 passes transcoding, which can take some time…

At the end of all this transcoding… and waiting… and transcoding… and waiting… that status bar will trn colourless again, with some text saying how much diskspace is left.  The ripping is complete.  Go to ~/dvdrip-data, and in the directory named avi you will find your movie in an avi video file -move it to where you keep your video files .  The sub-directories tmp and vob may as well be deleted, as I haven’t found a use for them yet. The files in the vob directory are especially large – in the case of The Departed, there were 8 .vob files, all but one weighing in at 1.1 GB each!  They may be useful (perhaps for transferring the movie to another video DVD?) but I haven’t looked into that yet.  So I do myself a favour by deleting the contents of the dvdrip-data directory and freeing up the disk space.

*The sneaky yet futile attempt at “copy protecting”.

I told you that I’d get to this nonsense, and so I have.  Some DVDs, when their tables of content are open, list many titles as the one you want to copy.  You can’t tell them apart very easily, as they are all near enough the same length.  But only one of them is the track you want.  The others are a school of red herrings, containing just parts of the movie or other such crap.  What you need is “The 99 Video Titles Fix”.  What you need is vlc.

vlc should be available through the Software Centre or Synaptic (I’m assuming that you’re using Ubuntu. It might be in the package manager of other Linux distros.  If you’re having problems finding it, have a look at the VideoLAN site for possibly useful information. And Google.  Never forget the mantra: Google Is Your Friend.)  If you’re going to rip one of these “copy protected” disks with dvd::rip you are going to need vlc.  Unless you know of another method, in which case please share this other method in Comments below (or if you’re shy, send it to me direct via the Contact Form button at the top of this page.

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This guy is a dick.  Really!  I ended up cheering for the Red Skull, that Captain was so goody-two-shoed.  And a shield?  FFS! [image stolen, I mean borrowed, from amazon.com]

Anyway.  A friend of mine lent me his DVD of Captain America: The First Avenger, and an evil voice in my ear whispered “Rip the DVD and add it to your goodly-sized collection of comics-based movies.”  You see, I collect comics-based movies.  The good voice in my other ear said something like “Mmph! Mmmph!” like it had been gagged or something.  Anyway, I’m easily led, so I set to ripping Captain America.

But those evil guys at Hydra, I mean Marvel Studios, had employed a fool-proof method of copy protection.  I fired up dvd::rip, had it read the table of contents, and look what it showed me!

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99 tracks in total, 16 of which were about the right size to be the one I wanted.  But only one was the right one.  So what to do?  Rip all 16 possibles?  That would take a bloody long time.  There had to be a quicker way, I thought.  And I was right.  I consulted my good friend Google and it found this for me.

Basically, fire up vlc,  then select Media > Open Disc.

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Next select the type of disc you’re about to play (DVD), enter the device name and path (VLC will select the most likely device – or use Browse and click Play to start playback.

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Now start watching the movie – make sure you’ve gone through any menus and the correct movie you want to rip is playing, then click Playback > Title.  In the example below you can see it’s Title 1; but when this so-called “copy protection” is in use the correct Title could be any, from 1 to 99 or however many they’ve decided to put on the disk to dissuade potential pirates.  Bloody idiots: no matter how many layers of armour they embed their precious movie in, there’s always a way through!

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So now you know which Title is the one you want, go back to dvd::rip and select that Title.  And Abracadabra!  The movie is yours!  If you’re a wicked pirate, that is, and I would never condone piracy.  I feel I must repeat: this blog post is fictional – I’ve never ripped a DVD in my life – and all th info is strictly for educative, abstract purposes.  They hang pirates, you know?  Seen the end of Pirates of the Caribbean, where cunning Jack Sparrow escapes the hangman’s noose?  Well, that’s fiction.  (If you haven’t seen that movie, you could probably find it via bittorrent; or a friend may have a DVD you could borrow… 😉 )

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New Judge Dredd movie… Yay?

30/08/2012

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Judge Dredd: just your regular sociopathic murderous cop.

I used to collect 2000AD (weekly British SF comic) and even Judge Dredd Megazine (monthly spin-off) for quite a while – and I’ve got one helluva potential fire hazard under my bed to prove it. But then I grew up or something, and quit the comic-book habit several years ago. Until a few months ago, the comic’s garish cover caught my eye and I succumbed. And now I have a potential fire hazard under my coffee table.

So, other than my compulsion to tell total strangers about my domestic fire hazards, why am I writing about this? Because I’ve discovered that a new Judge Dredd movie is being released soon! OMG this is brilliant! First of all, I gotta tell you that the film is called Dredd, I suppose to distance itself from the bucket of sloppy crap Judge Dredd released in 1995 and starring Sylvester Stallone. That film suked majorly, as many 2000AD readers said loudly and often. And its actual cinema title is Dredd 3D, because it’s (obviously) been filmed with 3D format in mind. But I’m sure a regular 2D version will be released on DVD (it better had, or someone very close to me will burn down every cinema he can before the cops shoot him dead. 2000AD fans are very protective of Dredd, whose story has been featured in every issue of 2000AD since #2).

What’s more, it’s a British film, just like 2000AD is a British comic! It’s going to be released in Britain first, on 7 September, and the USA will have to wait until 21 September! Swivel on that, Yanks Well, apart from those Yanks whose IQs are above “complete and utter loser” and know how to download a video file off the internet. Google Is Your Friend.

I don’t recognise Karl Urban, the Kiwi who plays the eponymous sociopath,but Wikipedia tells us he is known for playing Éomer in the second and third installments of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the 2009 film Star Trek, and Caesar on Xena: Warrior Princess. He played Vaako in The Chronicles of Riddick, the Russian assassin Kirill in The Bourne Supremacy, and Ghost in Pathfinder and won acclaim for his performances in New Zealand films The Price of Milk and Out of the Blue. That’s not bad, for a Kiwi. Olivia Thirlby, who plays Judge Anderson in the film, has had some movie expereince too, but I’m not going to bother telling you about it, as Thirlby is a bird and everyone knows that chicks are just decoration in action (I’ll probably get garotted with my own intestines for writing that, and maybe I’ll deserve it – Anderson is a powerful dudette in the comic, so Thurlby may be more than the oh-so-predictable love interest yawn). If you really wanna know about her, look at her Wikipedia article, same as I did.

Another major reason for thinking this movie won’t suck is the fact that Dredd keeps his helmet on all through the film. He never appears unhelmeted in the comics, so why would he on screen? No pandering to an egotistic dick like Sylvester Stallone.

I’m not too sure about this new drug “Slo-Mo” that apparently makes users think the world is in slow motion – just a way of justifying some Matrix-style scenes – I meancome on, doesn’t the world of Judge Dredd contain enough weird future drugs? But wtf do I know: I’m not writing films, just writing about them.

Anyway: Dredd 3D. British cinemas from 7 September (Hah!). Don’t miss it. And send in yer comments about it. Let’s see if this one’s any better than that nineties shite eh?

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Comics are just kids’stuff, right?

19/04/2011

Wow, I’m tired. But I’m really wired too. You know, how you feel when you’ve been up for three days on a speed binge and have ground your teeth down to stumps (not that I know how it feels to be up for three days on a speed binge, I feel a bit too old for such antics nowadays).

No, my drug of choice has been comics. Back in the mid-to-late nineties I was well keen on comics, and I’ve been reliving that enthusiasm by reading comics on my computer. I don’t mean internet comics like Beaver and Steve – I’m talking about the real thing, like what I used to go to the comics store to buy, only now they’ve been digitized and are available for download in .cbr format files. You can read .cbr files in any .pdf reader, but my chosen weapon is Comix, whose creators describe it as

a user-friendly, customizable image viewer. It is specifically designed to handle comic books, but also serves as a generic viewer. It reads images in ZIP, RAR or tar archives (also gzip or bzip2 compressed) as well as plain image files. It is written in Python and uses GTK+ through the PyGTK bindings.

If you use Ubuntu, it’s in the repositories. I’m sure you can find it for other OSes too; just go looky at that link (here it is again, if you missed it).

I used to read Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson (and Rodney Ramos on inks) but sadly stopped buying comics before the title’s 5 year run was over. So, I downloaded the entire run of the comic and have been reading it straight through.

I’m also a big fan of Hellblazer, on which that Keanu Reeves movie Constantine was based (incidentally, that film did not do the comic any justice at all). So, I downloaded a huge bunch of Hellblazer .cbr files and binged on them too. I also downloaded V For Vendetta, the Watchmen mini-series (on which the film of the same name was based), and I’ve started a new (to me) title, the first volume of The Invisibles by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell.

So, where did I find this veritable trove of comic book treasures? All I’ll say is Filestube.com. Brilliant site. Check it out.

Now, how many more issues of The Invisibles can I read before I lapse into a coma and die?

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A criminal’s guide to the police

01/09/2009

Well here’s an interesting site. Just Cause Law Collective is a manual on how to deal with the police and the courts – mostly aimed at political campaigners like the anti-G20 protesters, but it’s relevant to anyone whose activities might bring them into conflict with the cops (which means just about everyone really). There are articles on subjects like “Arrest and Questioning”, “Searches”, “Jail and Bail”, and there are also fun comic strips like the one I’ve reproduced (or “blatantly ripped off”) below. Go check it out – I promise, you’ll be surprised and shocked at what the cops get up to and what they can get away with… You’ll be damned pleased you took the time to educate yourself.

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