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Wednesdays Are For Comics: “Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who-Assimilation2 #6”

7 Nov

KJack’s Back.

Star Trek: The Next Generation/ Doctor Who Assimilation #6

Written by Scott & David Tipton

Art by Gordon Purcell and J.K. Woodward

Reviewed by KJack

 

                Nerdgasm. That’s what I call this issue. If you’re a fan of either Star Trek or Doctor Who, and you’re not reading this book, obviously you’re missing out. It’s rare that the popular fan-boy debate about villain vs. villain from a different property actually sees the light of publication, but it’s even rarer still that it’s given such a high quality treatment.

The Tipton brothers have definitely thought about the question: “Who would win a war between The Borg and The Cybermen?” more than maybe anyone should. (That’s a compliment) Not only do they flesh this battle out better than I ever expected a comic book writer could, but they expertly factor in the crazy variables that are The Doctor, Captain Picard, and any companions/crew that might be helping them. The back and forth between the crews of the TARDIS and the Enterprise, the explanations of how the Borg and Cybermen interact, and the attempts to time travel and mess with Picard’s past, all make this one of this week’s most entertaining comics by far. The painted art is beautiful at times and is always true to the characters that we’ve come to know and love. It’s the writing of these characters and their wonderfully complicated circumstances, however, that make this book so enjoyable.

CJack couldn’t let a post go by without using her stupid apps to make a picture.

4 out of 5 POWS!!

Wednesdays Are For Comics…Even Though It’s Thursday: Darwyn Cooke’s “Before Watchmen Minutemen #1”

7 Jun

Once upon a time, in a blogosphere far, far away, CJack provided you, her Intermittent Readers, with tales of Pop Culture and KJack’s comic book reviews on a mostly regular basis. In recent months, this hasn’t been the case, but thanks to KJack’s insomnia and CJack’s lunch break, we bring you back the the days of yore with a belated edition of…

Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1

By Darwyn Cooke

Reviewed by Kirk Jackson

Kicking off the entire Before Watchman opus is this single issue about the “golden age” of costumed crime-fighting set in Alan Moore’s seminal Watchmen universe. I must admit, like many, I was a little wary before I read this issue. I’m not from the camp that considers Watchmen too sacred to ever be touched by non-Moore hands, but I love the original just as much as anyone and never want to see mediocre versions of it. My fears melted away however as I took in the very first pages. Right away I could tell by the sequence of different images formed by very similar, circular shapes that Cooke was going to waste no time paying tribute to David Gibbon’s art. Cooke’s style in general is perfect for the pulpy feel of the Minutemen book, but he outdoes himself as he adjusts his style on every page to fit the mood and tone of each Minutemen character. The Moth Man sequence for instance is very dark, ominous, and serious, while Dollar Bill has a colorful almost cartoony commercial appearance. I was further comforted by the familiar visage of Hollis Mason, the original Night Owl, as he’s shown just finishing his book, “Under the Hood.” Like in Watchmen, this book is narrated from within by its own characters. Mason relates the story as he had written it in his book, and introduces each Minuteman one by one. With the benefit of hindsight, he is able to describe them all with accuracy and depth, and this makes for a wonderfully character driven comic.  The action sequences are exciting, the dialogue spot on, and the portrayal of each character has me hanging on to every word. All in all this is an amazing start to what should be the most rewarding comic event of the year!

5 POWS!

Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide – the video “sneak peek!”

14 May

Click the link to see KJack sing his face off.

🙂

http://www.facebook.com/v/10150918080190813

 

Why hello there.

Comics, Costumes & More Awkward Celebrity Encounters: Our Adventure at C2E2, 2012

18 Apr

Hey…wanna’ know what I did this weekend? No?

Tough.

It was the third annual Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) at McCormick Place – I got my groovy Stephen King tattoo back in 2010 at the first one.

C2E2, 2010: Check out Kelly Rogers at Gearhead Tattoo! Hurray!

The second year I went by myself and wandered aimlessly for about 3 hours before coming home with only a  leather diary thing that I still haven’t given to its intended recipient. Sorry Cori.

This year, however, was pretty f’ing decent if I do say so myself. KJack and I had to wait until Sunday to go which is usually the shittiest of days to attend a Con, but this year it was badass!

We're Grimey.

He's not in the house.

KJack wore his Rick Grimes Halloween costume and because I knew that a full zombie face make-up was gauranteed to have me itchy and irritated by noon, I opted to dress as Lori (which consisted of wearing clothes I already had and rolling my jeans up too high while screaming “Where’s Carl!??!” all day) instead of the Little Zombie Girl.

Last I heard, he was in the house.

The Con started at 10am and in classic K&CJack form we got there an hour later…whatevs, time means nothing to the nerdy.

Kirk immediately stopped at a t-shirt booth where we got matching Game of Thrones shirts for House Targaryen. I’m now immediately irritated because I need to look at everything first before I start deciding to spend money and I’m incapable of stopping at booths with pushy salespeople without buying something. God love ’em, WWF Wrestler Virgil is $25 richer due to the stellar combination of KJack stopping every time someone talks to him and my desire to just buy something so they’ll let me go away.

You win. Here's $25.

As my Mother has an unhealthy love for John Barrowman and because I’m an awesome daughter, I stood in line for an hour and a half to get her his autograph. I don’t generally do autographs as I feel like a goon once I get up there and I have no clue what I’ll do with them once I have them and also, because I’m of the assumption that they’ll want my autograph in a few years anyway so we may as well do an even swap then, but stood in line I did.

I've never seen more people dressed like a phone booth in my entire life.

Who knows where the hell KJack went while I was playing Draw Something and Words With Friends…maybe he was looking for Carl.

I did finally make it up to Barrowman, who seemed to loose interest in me when I said “Can you sign this for my Mom?” He was nice and all, but it felt like a Rex Manning moment and I think he thought I was some douchebag who didn’t care about him. He’s so wrong. I love him. Even if he was slightly bitchy…hell, I love him BECAUSE he’s slightly bitchy. There was a group of four chicks in their 50’s ahead of me that were wearing t-shirts that said BARROWLAND BRIGADE. I don’t know what it is about middle aged women and adorable gay men, but they were pretty stoked.

I wanted to tell him that The Making of Me was the most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen, that he was totally at the top of the “Celebrities That Could Come To My BBQ” list, that I think he’s probably one of the kindest, most decent people on Earth, that I’d give my left tit to sing just one verse of one song with him!! Instead, I asked him “How he was holding up” and said “My Mom loves you…we all love you.”

Then KJack took our picture and I ran away.

Pay no attention to the man behind the Time Agent.

While in line I caught glimpses of Nicky Brendon to the left and Val Kilmer  a table to the right.

I don't know where he went...the house, maybe?

I was on Buffy...remember Buffy?

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I do love an Awkward Celebrity Encounter.

Moving on…

From there we hit Artist Alley where KJack geeked out all over Eric Powell and while he totally wanted to buy something of his, most everything was sold out and all Powell had left was a book full of fucking awesome giant panels for hundreds of dollars. I suggested KJack start blowing people near the bathrooms and then perhaps we could come back for some sweetass artwork….that didn’t pan out.

It was here we had our Virgil moment and after trying to walk away 6 times we finally succeeded when the guy at the table next to him gave me a flyer for something…I wish I could remember what he was promoting because I owe him my life.

Then we ran into a guy Kirk went to High School with, Steve Gadlin, who was selling cat drawings. Apparently this dude’s a genius because he went on Shark Tank with this idea and Mark Cuban gave him a shitload of money. He’s hilarious. Go. Check him out at I Want To Draw A Cat For You! I’m going to insist he become our new Best Friend. I’m quite sure he won’t mind.

At this point my feet hurt and I’ve looked everywhere for Carl, but to no avail.

Not Carl.

Quite a few people stopped KJack for his picture but very few got that I was supposed to be Lori. This may have been due to the fact that I look too…shall we say…well-fed. I’ve searched through thousands of pictures from Sunday, but I can’t find me anywhere! At least three people took pity on me and let me be in Rick’s picture, but they clearly don’t post to Flickr.

.

.I took one picture with one dude in costume and it. was. divine. I love you, Guy-Dressed-As-DJ-Lance-Rock.

.So that was C2E2 2012. We got a bunch of crap and had a great time. My feet tried to kill me and I refused to take public transportation home. A $30 cab ride later and we were home.

PICTURED: JB & V's autographs, California Raisins, Muppet Caper McDonald's glass, Gremlin book and audio record, 90210 "big button," Married With Children game, All In The Family game, NBC Trivia game, Shaolin Cowboy comic, Crossed comic, 2 Game of Thrones t-shirts, 1 Shining t-shirt, 1 Firefly t-shirt, Mal's replica hand gun, Tony Moore Rick Grimes autographed print, Dynamite Magazine and four Janet Lee prints. NOT PICTURED: Carl.


Wednesdays Are For Comics: “The Boys #65” by Garth Ennis

4 Apr

The Boys #65

COVER ARTIST: Darick Robertson

By Garth Ennis

Art by Russ Braun,

John McCrea,

& Keith Burns

Reviewed by KJack

Basically, I’m writing this review to let everyone know that the wait is over! After 64 issues of spying, political maneuvering, blackmailing, threatening, and just white-hot-hating the Homelander , the Butcher  finally comes face to face with his wife’s killer. It wouldn’t be a proper Garth Ennis production, however, if it just went down in a straight forward fashion. There’s a twist thrown in and the Boys all race to figure it out in time to keep the Butcher from missing the last piece of the Vought puzzle. 

I won’t spoil it for you, but I will tell you that it goes down spectacularly. By flipping back and forth between Butcher’s showdown and the one the Armed Forces have with the “Superheros,” Garth has given us a truly epic last battle. It has all the blood, violence, heroics, and horrible “superhero” deaths that this series has been promising all along. We’re also treated to the art of all the great artists this series has depended on. Trading off scenes, it only seems right that Braun, McCrea, and Burns are all in it together for this big, awesome climax. Furthermore, it is only fitting that the issue is a special 36 pager with a slightly higher price tag.

Don’t miss this issue folks, or you’ll be missing out! If you’ve fallen behind, now is the time to catch up, because the payoff is finally within your grasp!

I give 5 POWS, and hearty thank you to  the entire Boys creative team!

Wednesdays Are For Comics: Mark Millar’s “Kick-Ass 2 #7”

21 Mar

Kick-Ass 2 #7

By Mark Millar

Art by John Romita Jr.

Reviewed by KJack

It’s the big showdown we’ve been waiting for folks, as Kick-Ass and his fellow heroes face down The Mother-F%$ker and his army of hired goons. The real conflict however, is not hero vs. villain, but fantasy vs. reality.  Each of the people wearing costumes imagines that he or she is living out the great comic book dream. They imagine they are, in actuality, superheroes. However, reality comes storming in….in the form of the entire New York Police Department. Yes, the police are better trained and better armed, but more importantly, they don’t care how any of the fighters label themselves. To the police, all of it – the violence, the vandalism, the public nuisance, and the vigilante justice – is highly illegal. They can’t even tell which costumes belong to the “good guys” and which belong to the “evildoers”. What the cops feel they have to stop is just one big riot.

 There are two individuals, however, who do not operate under any illusions. Both Hit-Girl, and the Hired assassin known as Mother Russia know exactly what their realities are.  Hit Girl has been trained her entire young life to think and operate as a crime fighter. It’s the only reality she knows. To her: one sees injustice, and one acts to stop it – there is no other way. Mother Russia on the other hand is the product of a life of harsh realities. She is a professional fighter and killer and an almost impossible opponent for any 10 year old girl. More than anything else, the fight between these two represents the clash between the real world and the vigilante ideal.

 As can be expected, the outcome is not all happiness and congratulations. More than any other issue of Kick-Ass, #7 smacks our protagonists in the face and makes both characters and readers alike question what it takes to make difference and what it means to be a hero.

 Millar and Romita Jr. do it again with a stunning issue I feel deserves a full 5 POWS!

Wednesday Are For Comics: Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples’ “Saga #1”

14 Mar

Hey….guess what?

It’s Wednesday. And you know what Wednesdays are for, right?

BUT! Before we get to KJack’s review of “Saga #1” I must share with you something. Back, all those weeks ago, when I first started this blog, I mentioned that my main comic addiction was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There will eventually be in-depth discussions of BtVS here at Come On, Mr. Sunshine, but for now I will only say this; I love Spike. I named my dog after him. I have a statue of him in my craft corner. One of the hottest television moments of all time was in Season Six of Buffy when they literally made sweet, sweet love to each other until the house fell down. Hottie McHotterson. Anyhoo…KJack brought me my new comics last night and I gots my new Locke & Key and my new Buffy… and (I promise not to spoil anything here, but HOLY CRAP YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE BUFFY-VERSE LATELY!!!!!!) this is the cover of the long-awaited #7 issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9.

Just two normal kids, chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool.

I love them.

Enough of your bullshiz, CJack! We don’t come here on Wednesdays to listen to you talk about crap! We come here for KJack’s reviews, dammit!!!

ugh, fine.

Saga: Chapter One

By Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples
 
Reviewed by Kirk (KJack)
 
What I believe we have here is the start of a truly epic tale.
We begin with the actual beginning of our main character’s story, seeing as how the very first scene is that of her birth. The man and woman standing so picturesquely on the cover are not the main characters of this tale at all, but rather, her parents and we don’t lose sight of them either, nor do we skip forward to a time when our protagonist is a bit older and can carry the story on her own. We follow the trials and adventures of these parents (and therefore our newborn hero) beginning mere seconds after her birth.
 
How do I know then, that the real protagonist is the infant? Well, we’re given a tour guide, a narrator that leads us through these events, gives us the background, and sets the stage. The narrator tells us, through disembodied floating captions, that its parents were not only on opposite sides of a galactic war, but were different species as well. She tells us that her parents were meant to be no more than guard and prisoner, were never supposed to fall in love, and definitely were not supposed to give birth her.
But marry and give birth they did, and apparently the trials and tribulations they go through to keep their baby alive (long enough to narrate this saga) are just too good to be skipped over. 
 
So, since this child ages maybe about 1 day in the course of this first issue, I assume we’re in for quite the long haul. This book is indeed a Saga and that’s a good thing! The epic title, however, isn’t the only clue that we can look forward to a nice long story. The characters and dialogue seem real, vital, and even witty. The details of the galaxy that surrounds them are strange and cool. Already in this issue I’ve seen amazing technology (in the form of fornicating robots), fabulous creatures (and a monkey!), and casually-weilded-but-powerful magic.
 
And I love the art by Fiona Staples! She has a way with body language that breaths life into these characters and the things they’re communicating to each other. 
 
Now, I know this isn’t the creator’s fault, rather a necessary evil of the medium, but the only real downside to this issue, is how far it doesn’t advance. Like so many other #1  issues, I’ve only been given enough to whet my appetite, and can’t yet see the true scope of where I’m sure Vaughan is going with this, but all in all, this book was well named and frankly, I’m excited! I will definitely be here for issue #2 when the saga continues.

Until then, I’ll give the first issue 4 POWS!

 

 

 

CJack’s Note: Ummm…I wasn’t really planning on adding any more comics to my “pull list,” but this sounds freaking RAD! Damn you!

Wednesdays Are For Comics: Jonathan Hickman’s “The Manhattan Projects #1”

7 Mar

Last night, instead of writing the intro to today’s comic book review, I ate half a Little Caesar’s pizza, an entire bag of popcorn and drank a whole bottle of Barefoot Merlot. I then moved from the couch to the bed and welcomed death.

As I did, in fact, survive the night, here we are at Wednesday…and if you didn’t know by now…

Manhattan Projects #1
Story by Jonathan Hickman – Art by: Nick Pitarra & Cris Peter

Reviewed by Kirk (KJack)

How many of you out there are lovers of historical science fiction? Well then, how many of you love a good psychotic killer? If you raised your hand to either question, Mr. Jonathan Hickman has a treat in store for you!

As the name suggests, this story uses as its setting the World War 2 era scientific project that gave us the very first Atom Bomb. In Hickman’s twisted version of history however, the Manhattan Project not only won the atomic race for America, but also served as a cover for the weirdest of weird science experiments known to man. This is why the name of our comic is pluralized: there are many projects that comprise the “Manhattan Project,” all of which are as ambitious as the one meant to produce “the bomb”.

Imagine then, the man brilliant enough to oversee such a project. Enter Robert Oppenheimer, the co-father (with Enrico Fermi) of the Atomic Bomb. Then imagine for a second that this man had a mentally unstable twin brother. Now perhaps you can realize the implications.

The layouts Hickman and Pitarra give us read like a simple cause-effect analysis of a situation with the most dire consequences possible. The layouts are even and symmetrical, designed to read like a disaster preparedness manual. The matter of fact presentation of the events as they unfold make them all the more chilling.

Pitarra’s pencils bring the detail and texture one has come to expect of artists such as Frank Quietly and Chris Burnham. His facial expressions are dynamic and his action scenes, exciting. Perhaps some of his figures could be a bit cleaner, but honestly, I feel they would lose a lot of character for it.

All in all, the Manhattan Projects is the best kind of historical fiction. It re-imagines historical events in a way that makes us re-examine those events from a fresh perspective. Sure, we came out ok on the other side of the atomic age, but just how lucky were we to avoid disaster?

I’m eager to see how Hickman’s history answers that question!

I’ll give this book 4 POWS!

Wednesdays Are For Comics: Joe Hill’s The Cape #4

29 Feb

The Wednesday comic book review isn’t really my gig, but before we get to KJack’s review, I would like to share with you, my Intermittent Readers (King’s are “Constant,”  but I’m not quite there yet), a little pre-review tale. Today’s comic is written by Joe Hill. Joe Hill is a BRILLIANT author. His book Heart Shaped Box was divine and I recommend it to horror fans, rock & roll fans, lovers of dogs (although it’s going to be a bit of a tough read, kids) and people with a fascination for the macabre doings of the twisted families we (hopefully) only read about in books…books like this. Since this isn’t a book review, I’ll leave it at this, look up this man’s work. You will thank me. If you’re a Horror/Genre fan but you’ve never considered graphic novels, please, PLEASE go and get the collections of Locke & Key. At one point they filmed a pilot that was going to be sold to FOX, but the studio backed out because they’re either scared of pure unadulterated awesome or they’re idiots.

It would be ridiculous and somewhat shady of me if I didn’t admit that I did not find Joe Hill’s work by accident. While I admire Hill based entirely on his own merits, I found out about him through my love for his father, Stephen King.

I’m a massive King fan (I even have an SK tattoo,  but that’s a whole other post) from as far back as I can remember and while I’d like to tell you all about why Stephen King is the very best author to ever walk the land, today is about Joe. Mr. Hill, who deserves just as much respect and acclaim as his slightly more famous father. Enough from me…Wednesdays aren’t for novels and tv shows with CJack…

JOE HILL’S THE CAPE #4

by Jason Ciaramella

Artists; Zach Howard & Nelson Daniel

Review by Kirk (KJack)

Before I get started, it’s extremely important that I point something out. This book has absolutely nothing to do with the TV show by the same name. Perhaps you remember that unfortunate piece of television that aired in January, 2011, wasted the talents of Summer Glau, and thoroughly disappointed everyone. Unlike that bad slice of airwave cheese, this comic is serious, and starkly beautiful in it’s simplicity. It also includes zero circus performers.

This is the final part of a 4 issue mini-series (plus 1 one-shot), bringing this story to an end worthy of any great Greek tragedy. Powered by Zach Howard’s textured and nuanced pencils. Ciaramella and Hill have fashioned a tidy little tale that ends as suddenly as the prequel issue woke everyone up.

Yet, there is nothing forced about the ending. On the contrary, I would hold this book up as a prime example of writing that allows its characters to go and end where they need instead of being forced to go where they should. The ending may be quick, but it stays organic throughout – and that says a lot for a story centering around a man who gains the ability to fly from his childhood blanket. I can’t imagine how tempting it must have been to prolong the story (by delving into the history of the blanket, for example) but by avoiding such digression, the story stays focused on its main theme: How dangerous the simple power of flight would be in the wrong hands.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love superhero stories. I’m the first to dive into a comic book that depicts Superman throwing things that are too heavy for elephants to lift. But every now and then, I like to see a take on superpowers that doesn’t involve cartoon physics. The randomness with which our favorite comic book characters receive their powers is in reality the most dangerous thing about such fantasies. Enter our main character Eric. He has none of the qualities that make a hero a “hero.” He’s is not well adjusted, brave, kind, patient, nor is he responsible. He carries a lot of pain from his childhood which he blames on everyone but himself. He is the last person one would give the ability to fly. Yet get it he does, and many innocent people pay the price.

This issue depicts its conclusion in the violent and final fashion that such a set up clearly demands. Furthermore, what is great about this final chapter of The Cape (and this is a bit of a spoiler) is this talented group of gentlemen allow these characters to teach us that power, without intelligence, cannot win in the end.

To that I say “Bravo!” and give 5 well deserved POWS!!

~Kirk

The ABC’s of the Zombie Apocalypse – A is for AMMO

27 Feb

The suspenders keep his torso from ripping away from his legs.

I’ll preface this by saying that if you haven’t watched last night’s The Walking Dead yet you may want to hold off reading this as it’s more than likely going to contain SPOILERSThis particular post is pretty clear! No fear! (it does, however, contain rhymes.)

While these ABC’s will ideally be general guidelines for any and all zombie apocalypses*, chances are I’m writing this with T.W.D. on the brain.

A is for AMMO

In last night’s episode of T.W.D., “18 Miles Out,” our gang of survivors finally acknowledged the fact that maybe they should stop using up all their ammo on lone walkers and swinging logs. Up until this point, it’s seemed like they were working off the assumption that bullets grow on trees, so much so that Shane once spent an hour in the swamp with Andrea…shooting trees.

You shoot the damn log Andrea! That's the log that killed Amy!!!

In worlds outside of Kirkman’s T.W.D., bullets don’t flow so freely. Hell,

NOT PICTURED: Guns

if you’re in the UK you’re going want to hold onto whatever guns/bullets you can find because unlike in the US, guns aren’t as readily available. Shaun had to use that cricket bat because the time it takes to get a license for a handgun would have interfered with trivia night at the Winchester.

In my opinion, Rick’s view on ammunition conservation is that of a man who still has a unique hope. It’s not a hope that this world is going to be what it once was. It’s not even a hope for a world without Zombies. It’s a hope that they will keep surviving and will need those bullets in the years ahead. I don’t think Shane and Andrea share that hope. I also think that whatever they’ve got running around in their heads makes them reckless to boot. They don’t seem to care that gunfire attracts Zombies, because who gives a shit right? They can keep just keep knocking them off one by one because they’re ultra-amazing sharp shooting badasses and gee, doesn’t it feel awesome to put a bullet in the brain of a Walker (or a Daryl). “Look Ma! I shots one!”

Conversely, one can argue that the Shanes and Andreas of the world do have hope. They are the antithesis of the Ricks and Loris. They DO see a world without Zombies or they are at least headed towards the light at the end of the tunnel whereas Rick and Lori would rather just build a nice cozy fire in the middle of that tunnel and stay put.

I’m not sure which camp I’d be in. If I had a husband and kid maybe I’d be satisfied to hunker down and “create stability.” But if I’m on my own, do I really want to sit back and live the rest of my probably short life watching the happy family I’m not going to have and occasionally anger-banging the one or two other single guys in the group? Probably not, I’m probably going to push on and try to find out what’s going on or at least try to find a bigger pool of survivors to increase my odds of making my own little post-apocalyptic family.

So, to shoot or not to shoot? I’d say it really depends on what you’re hoping for.

If the shit hit the fan tomorrow and KJack and I made it out maybe I’d hold onto the ammo we stole from the bodega next door for the longterm, but if KJack didn’t make it and I’m on my own, then feck it, I gotta’ get through today using whatever I have on hand and if I have to find more ammo, so be it.

Or we'd just live a nice life as Zombies in love...with eating faces.

Totally Non-Zombie Related:
*This made me think of Buffy episode “A New Man,” when Riley says; “I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse” One of the best episodes of BtVS. Giles turns into a Fyarl demon and only Spike could understand him as, of course, Spike speaks Fyarl. Any time Spike and Giles were partnered it was awesome.
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