Wednesday, February 25, 2015

RIP John Cooper

The death has occurred of John Cooper at 73. He was a British comic book artist from West Yorkshire that was most famous for his work in the '70's and '80's. Chances are if you read any British weekly comic books around that period, you'll likely have seen his work as he drew strips for Valiant, Action, Starlord, Tornado, Battle, Eagle and one of the first Judge Dredd strips for 2000AD.

While he's known for Johnny Red and One-Eyed Jack - what I'll remember him for is the hundreds of pages of Action Force which he drew for ICP's Battle: Action Force in the mid 80's featuring all the G.I.Joe characters from that period, long before anyone in this neck of the woods had ever heard of G.I.Joe.

As he wasn't bound as his American counterparts were by the Comics Code Authority, Cooper had free reign to draw everything from realistic bullet wounds to suicide bombers in a comic book based on a child's toy. - And it was fucking awesome! May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Commie alien star threatens freedom!

...or at least the freedom of Neanderthal man who shambled the planet 70,000 years ago.

A team of international astronomers led by Eric Mamajek at the University of Rochester, New York and supported by SPEARHEAD say that Scholz's star, a red dwarf, travelled through a region at the edge of the Solar System filled with trillions of comets known as the "outer Oort Cloud" and passed within 0.8 light years of the Sun. No other star is known to have approached this close to us - five times closer than our nearest neighbour - Proxima Centauri.

The researchers determined the trajectory of the star by analysing the change in distance from the Sun to the star and the star's motion across the sky. As Scholz's star now lies 20 light years away but it showed very slow motion for a star as close. This indicated that it was either moving away from us or worse - TOWARDS a future close encounter with the Solar System.

Once the panic that this generated among the senior scientific community and world governments which began working on ways to prolong the human race away from the doomed Earth had died down: the velocity measurements of the red dwarf confirmed that it was in fact speeding away from us. However after tracing its movements back in time, the astronomers found its close shave with the Sun occurred some 70,000 years ago.

While it was theorised that a star passing through the Oort Cloud could potentially play gravitational havoc with the orbits of comets there, sending them on trajectories into the inner Solar System. Dr Mamajek believes the effects of Scholz's star on our cosmic neighbourhood were "negligible". 

Director of Scientific Research,  Dr. "Quantum" Pataal cautioned that just because Scholtz's star will unlikely be the object of our doom "it won't be the last time we're threatened by rogue celestial bodies that we may be ultimately powerless to defend ourselves against.

Source: BBC