“Greetings people of Earth. It is I, Servitor Vek of the Doomlords of Nox. My all too convincing alien visage has come among you to pass final judgement on your species. I expect to reach a guilty verdict. Perhaps the comics you have selected in the Freaky Trigger poll can persuade me that despite humanity’s many imperfections, you deserve to be spared cosmic annihilation… for another few weeks.”
Gosh, thanks Doomlord. This is the – slightly delayed – second section of this year’s comics poll, and also has the honour of being the section where I have read fewest of the titles voted for. Will that stop me making brief and ill-informed comments? No, it will not. (An asterisk means I haven’t read it AT ALL, though)
“Hi readers, I’m Lionel Richie’s Enormous Clay Head. You may remember me from the ‘Hello’ video where a visually impaired student nearly sticks her fingers right into my eyeballs – ouch! Just because she’s blind doesn’t mean she has the authority to blind others. Didn’t anyone tell her ‘an eye for an eye’ is not a sound basis for a system of restorative justice? Anyway I’m potentially the only eye witness to my human counterpart’s abuse of his teacher-pupil power dynamic – a lawsuit waiting to happen if you ask me. But wait, what’s that noise? It sounds strangely like the roaring of a kiln… surely they couldn’t be trying to silence me for ever???”
Thanks Lionel Richie’s Enormous Clay Head, I’m sure the Claymation Jackie Wilson will come to your rescue any minute. Shall we say ‘hi’ to our top 20?
“Hi, I’m a Super Panavision 70mm camera, in fact I may well be the last one in existence. Which sure makes me feel lonely. But what is this, Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan both eulogising me as a symbol of a golden age. Both trying to use myself and new fangled cameras to show stuff in Super Panavision? Oh look, they are scrapping over me, like two suitors in a 1950’s beach movie not realising that seeing two grown men fight over a camera is going to put me off of both of them. Oh, it appears Quentin Tarantino has won, and is going to use me.
“Good morning readers, I am a humble cyanobacteria from the Paleoproterozoic Era! I am responsible for the First Great Mass Extinction Event around 2 billion years ago, when I farted out a bunch of oxygen and wiped out 99% of all life on Earth! Yes that’s right – I’m worse than Hitler. And YOU are breathing the results, haha! Over the last 2 billion years I’ve heard some great pop tunes, but for some reason none of them were by anaerobic life forms? I guess there’s just no market for Now That’s What I Call Peptostreptococcus! in today’s tough industry conditions.”
Thanks Cyanobacteria, without you this poll literally wouldn’t exist. Let’s have a look at #30-21!
Translation: “Good morning, everyone. I’m Rasher, the porcine companion of that young shaver Dennis, and I’m delighted to introduce the 2015 Freaky Trigger Comics Poll. In a year when pigs have had rather a rough ride in the news, it’s wonderful to be able to show that we are cultured animals with a deep appreciation of the ‘Ninth Art’. Some of the comics here may not meet my high aesthetic standards, but I think you’ll agree that the diversity of the list is a credit to its voters and our shared hobby. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with some week-old cabbage.”
Thanks Rasher! We had more voters, and more nominated comics, than last year, with the happy result that I’ve actually had to leave off some titles to produce this Top 50. I’m still greedy enough to go up to 50, mind you. The Comics poll is unique in that the same titles can, in theory, win it again and again if they’re being published year on year. So it’s worth reminding you all that last year Image Comics’ The Wicked And The Divine pipped Marvel’s Ms Marvel to first place by one solitary point, with Loki: Agent Of Asgard in third. Will any or all of those show up this year? Wait and see!
“Hi there kids, I’m an anthropomorphised visualisation of the online streaming service Tidal. This year has been a veritable whirlpool of activity for me, trying to remind people that I exist and keeping all my celebrity investors afloat. It’s not all been smooth sailing: I had to separate Usher and Jack White earlier this morning after a game of rock-paper-scissors got out of hand. But I’ve got just enough spare time to wave in this year’s Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll! Enjoy streaming the deluge of tracks below on my slightly-more-expensive-than-Spotify app!”
Cheers Tidal. In a hark back to 2012, we actually have 41 tracks in our Top 40. Here at FT you get 2.5% more bang for yr buck!
Some years ago I decided to apply the theory that putting brandy-inclusive dairy products into a bacon sandwich would definitely not make things any worse. This year I have taken the research a significant step further and will now be applying the theory to all recipes because this cauliflower cheese was so disgustingly delicious that people who only had a bit cold asked me for the recipe. So I’ve written it up to give the public what they want.
I don’t have a photo of it because we ate it all but just imagine something very, very majestic and golden. It has a vegetable in so you can pretend it is part of your new year regime and also brandy cream is on yellow stickers everywhere so it’s v frugal etc.
80g butter (roughly a third of a normal size pat)
5 heaped tablespoons flour
Pot of brandy cream (about 300ml)
At least a pint of milk but to be honest you’ll have to judge it as you do it
Salt and pepper
300g Red Leicester cheese
1x sharp knife
1x BIG SAUCEPAN
1x medium pyrex or similar for going in the oven
I must glumly report that my relationship with contemporary music seems to be broken. Not because I dislike it. The distillate of year-end lists I’ve been playing this week is full of wonders. But the part of me that knew where and how to find those things for myself has vanished. My desire to gatekeep went years before. And often once I do find new music, it’s like parts of a jigsaw where I’ve lost the box and half the pieces. What consequences this will ultimately have for Popular are uncertain. Still, the hits keep coming and they don’t stop coming, and some of them are better than others. Here are the records that reached Number 1 in the second half of 2015, arranged in order, from best to worst.
Some time during my father’s last summer, I sat with him in his garden. It was late afternoon: the sun, bright and warm but no longer overhead, was hitting the tree-tops at an angle which etched every leaf sharply against its own shadow. You felt if you gazed clear-mindedly you could see and even remember every one of the thousands of leaves visible. I asked him how old the trees were — the copper beech, the oak across the road, the tall fir near my sister’s old bedroom which we always feared would topple in the wrong big wind and smash into the house.
The 16th Annual Freaky Trigger Between Christmas and New Year Pub Crawl: The Kennington Catapult Arm
Pub crawl time once more and it is about time we went South (or actually East) of the river, and to celebrate the Crawl being able to join the army we are heading to Kennington for a gentle wander from the river to Kennington Station. As ever its on the 29th December, and starts at 3pm (er – apologies for forgetting this key info, but its always on the 29th apart from when it wasn’t).
So your route for the day is as follows: