VFCast Season 2 Episode 15: The Vestrymen meet The Sentry

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This podcast is more a literary criticism than you have gotten from us in a while. Before you listen please, go and get yourself a copy of this great book. We spoil it, but even more than that you’ll need to have read it to enjoy our analysis.

The Sentry

Sentry-Tpb-9780785107996WRITTEN BY: Paul Jenkins
ART BY: Jae Lee
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics (Marvel Knights Imprint)
RELEASE: December 1, 2001

This is not our standard podcast. The Sentry is a literary graphic novel full of layered meaning, depth, ambiguity of meaning, and nostalgia. We manage to get through almost a whole podcast without making a single dick joke!

So we briefly touch on this in the podcast, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on something so I’m going to elaborate here. As we’ve touched on before there is an interesting tug-of-war in the comics industry between creator rights, editorial control, and company profits. In this particular case Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Lee created the Sentry but ownership of the character feel to Marvel, which is fairly standard in the industry.

Jenkins and Lee had created a multi faceted story, that by its very plotting lent itself to self-containment. It was, by all accounts, also massively influential and well regarded. Since Jenkins didn’t retain the rights to The Sentry, other writers got to riff on what Jenkins had done.

250px-Sentry(Robert_Reynolds)We don’t, on principle. have a problem with that, especially when a character that has been languishing is picked up by a great creative team and gets great things done with them. When it goes the other way, though, it leaves me with a foul taste in my mouth. Jenkins and Lee wrote a great arc here, and it has unique pacing, plotting, and temperament. That magic mix proved, in the following six years or so, impossible to duplicate. It is disappointing to expect a certain type of thing from a specific character and get a different experience. Some of the stories that use the Sentry after this are good, but none of them reach the heights of this original run, and that is ok, I guess. I suppose if we get The Immortal Iron Fist, I can just pretend that The Sentry is a Super Skrull in his later appearances if that is what it takes to have both The Sentry and Ed Brubaker’s Daredevil.

This was an long rant, now go listen to the podcast!

Vestrymen Grade: You just scrolled to the bottom to see what grade we gave it didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU? For this you must be punished, with fire, and the forgetting of all that you where and all that you could be!

You can download a copy of this podcast: VFCast Sason 2 Episode 15

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Real Vocal String Quartet – “Forte Abandonada”, Plurabelle – “Lips” and Paper Navy – “Swan Song”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

VFCast Season 2 Episode 14: An Examination of Aggression

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It’s an anti-Batman extravaganza as we behold the devil and discover the secrets of aggression, violence, power, and animal sex!

Grendel: Behold The Devil

14736WRITTEN BY: Matt Wagner
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: March 16, 2010

Neither of us have ever read any Grendel stories before. We’ve enjoyed Matt Wagner’s work, and Grendel is a OLD character, at least for the Indy scene.

I have an Ex-girlfriend who hated superhero crossovers. She thought that it diluted both Superman and Batman’s iconic nature for the two of them to hang out. I have apparently switched sides in this debate, or at least in this particular case, so listen to this podcast with that in mind!

You can also purchase Grendel’s saga in Omnibus format, and if you think you’d like the story it is a much more cost effective way to acquire all the Noiry examinations of human aggression you can deal with.

Here is an image dump of things that happen in Behold the Devil:

grbtdaBeholdTheDevil3Pg2-3grendel

Download this podcast: Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 14

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Warm Soda – “Jeanie Loves Pop” and Captives of the Carousel – “The Oak Tree”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 13: Oh, the Hickmanity!

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So we’ve changed the formatting up of our podcast up a little. We’ve decided to spin the quick reviews off into their own content. This way you can listen to just the reviews if you need just a quick hit of that Vestrymen goodness, or you can hang out and listen to a slightly long discussion of a graphic novel in our ongoing posts. Also look forward to more ranting by me now that I’ve been freed from the oppression of the strictness of the season two formatting!

Fantastic Four: Volume 1

61xb7xZVhRL._SL500_WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Dale Eaglesham
PUBLISHER: Marvel comics
RELEASE: August 4, 2012

We have talked about works by Jonathan Hickman more than once before. We like him, especially when he writes his own, original work, out from under the thumb of Brian Michael Bendis. We have a few issues, but in general we really enjoy this book.

Also the more I interact with Galactus the more I like the giant purple god thing as a villain. He is just too damn Kirby to not exist in the world.

Also next time on Hickman’s Amazing Fantastic Four; super smart moloids created by a mash-up of The Mole Man and The High Evolutionary’s technology that worship Ben Grim as a universal savior. It is confirmed, Hickman loves continuity.

Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 12: Sometimes Leonardo Da Vinci has to punch Galactus in the face

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OMG did we enjoy Mr. Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. We also review Mr. Gillen’s Iron Man #1, Mr. Jordan’s Shadowman #1, Mr. Richardson’s 47 Ronin, and Joe Kubert’s Joe Kubert Presents #1. We pour one out for our departed homies.

Quick Reviews!:

Iron Man #1

ironman1WRITTEN BY: Kieron Gillen
ART BY: Greg Land, Jay Leisten and Guru eFx
PUBLISHER: Marvel comics
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

Feels a lot like Ellis’ Extremis, and Mr. Gillen does a good job, but he is not the creator of Leland’s favorite comic book, so we really just recommend you go buy Transmet, or  Extremis if you really need an Iron Man story. If you’ve read both those texts and you still need more Iron Man then you are allowed to read Marvel Now! Iron Man #1: the Re-extremising!

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Shadowman #1

Shadowman_issue_1_comic_book_cover_by_Valiant_Comics1WRITTEN BY: Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher
ART BY: Patrick Zircher
PUBLISHER: Valiant Comics
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

Garth Ennis used to write Shadowman. We probably should have read that instead.  I can’t find a place to buy this one online, you’ll have to actually go to a brick and mortar store or wait ’til it gets onto the online vendors, peeps. We like Astro-Zombies, if you live in Albuquerque or feel like a comic book themed road trip.

Cabel Grade: C Leland Grade: B-

47 Ronin #1

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WRITTEN Mike Richardson
ART BY: Stan Sakai
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

This is not a review of the upcoming Keanu Reeves vehicle, though they are both drawing from the same source material. Reeves is a strange choice for Kai, don’t you think? It is good that he got the role though, ‘cuz the Hollywood Asian Actors Guild was complaining  about how there where too many nuanced, interesting blockbusters being produced about famous historical events from the Asian Continent. It’s a good comic book with some art issues that confound us a bit.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Joe Kubert Presents #1

JKP01_covercropCREATED BY: Joe Kubert, Brian Buniak, Sam Glanzman
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

Vestrymen Grade: A-

Our Feature:

S.H.I.E.L.D.: Architects of Forever

shield_2_2ndWRITTEN BY: Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Dustin Weaver
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: November 7, 2012

We skip talking about the author here, having discussed him in some depth recentlyDustin Weaver does have a great blog and a very funny nonsense rivalry with Dustin Nguyen, since they are both named “Dustin.” Mr. Nguyen has a Wikipedia entry and Mr. Weaver only has a Wookieepedia entry, so Nguyen 1 – Weaver 0. Very serious rivalries aside, we loved the Ever Loving Everything out of this book. Go read it, then listen to our podcast!

Vestrymen Grade: A+

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 11: We thought it was a Halloween book

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I love that image of Ms./Captain Marvel. We actually review a  book where she is going by Ms. We also review Bedlam #1, Multiple Warheads #1, Uncanny Avengers #1, and Debris #4.

Quick Reviews:

Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1 (of 4)

WRITTEN BY: Brandon Grahammw01-1
ART BY: Brandon Graham
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE:  October 24, 2012

This book is hip and fun and self aware. It’s a single creator book, and it’s certain to garner a following.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Bedlam #1

2674534-bedlam_1_superWRITTEN BY: Nick Spencer
ART BY: Riley Rossmo
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: October 31, 2012

Bedlam is a HIGHLY anticipated book. It reads like a really solid Joker story in issue one, though I think it will go in interesting directions. We both enjoyed it.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Debris #4

debris4WRITTEN BY: Nick Spencer
ART BY: Riley Rossmo
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: October 24, 2012

“Punk Junk” is an interesting genre, and there are really engaging things to be said here. It is fun, we talk about Waterworld for a bit.

Vestrymen Grade: A-

Uncanny Avengers #1

skottie-young-uncanny-avengers-variantWRITTEN BY: Rick Remender
ART BY: John Cassady
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: October 31, 2012

So we will never love a book as much as we loved Wolverine and the X-Men, but this book does a passable job at being a comic book where The Avengers and The X-Men have a post AvX team book together.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Our Feature:

Ms. Marvel Volume 4: Monster Smash

448484-ms_marvel_monster_smash_1_00_largeWRITTEN BY: Brian Reed
ART BY: Aaron Lopresti
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: March 19, 2008

We talk about the gender politics of Ms. Marvel, comic books, and their relative intensity over time for a while. We also spend some time talking about the book.

Vestrymen Grade: B-

Nice set of Bs to the comic book industry this week… Lots of Image too. The end

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Cobson – “Rubbish”, The Womb – “1970 Vampire College Girls”, and Kids on Bikes – “Transferrence”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Season 2: Special Episode 2: ANNIHILATION!

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We take some time out from our normal review schedule to talk about Nova, Drax, The Silver Surfer, Annihilus, Ronan, The Kree, Thanos, and… and other space opera duders and ladies.

Our Books

Annihilation: Volume 1

76a1WRITTEN BY: Keith Giffen , Dan Abnett , Andy Lanning
ART BY: Mitch Breitweiser, Scott Kolins, Ariel Olivetti, Kev Walker
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: September 26, 2007

Includes a Drax story, a Nova story featuring Drax, a prologue featuring Drax and Nova, and the foundations of an epic. We rather enjoyed it, and it made us read two more volumes of Annihilationy goodness!

Vestrymen Grade: A –

Annihilation Volume 2

Annihilation Book 2WRITTEN BY: Keith Giffen , Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Simon Furman
ART BY: Renato Arlem, Jorge Lucas, Greg Titus
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: November 14, 2007

Was volume one not enough for you? Volume Two is more, with stories featuring The Silver Surfer,  The Super Skrull, and Ronan The Accuser. The Silver Surfer has great character design, too bad his stories are ALWAYS so boring! The other stories are silly, silver age-y and fun.

Vestrymen Grade: B

Annihilation Volume 3

Annihilation%20tp%20book%203-01WRITTEN BY: Keith Giffen , Christos Gage, Stuart Moore
ART BY: Andrea Di Vito, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Mike McKone, Scott Koblish
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: December 5, 2007

Then the *$&t hits the fan, like what. The United Front is collapsing, Nova is boning down with Gamora, and moral ambiguity abounds! Fun, dark, and interesting. Thanos and Annihilus’ motives are fleshed out, and are AWESOME!

Vestrymen Grade: A

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature The Hentchmen – “Green Sabbath Dance Party”, Frank Bango – “Defenseless”, Oskar Schuster – “Sneeuwland”, and Octopus – “Signal B”. Intro music by Jonathan Coulton.

Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 10: It’s Bendis Time.

Nick Fury and the Howling Immortality Serum Secret War Invasion! Captain Marvel #5, Cyberforce #1, BPRD #1 and Marvel Now!

Quick Reviews:

Cyberforce #1

WRITTEN BY: Marc Silvestri & Matt HawkinsCyberForce1-600x914
ART BY: Khoi Pham & Sunny Gho
PUBLISHER: Top Cow Publishing
RELEASE DATE: 10/17/2012

This comic is Kickstarter funded and, apparently, free. We paid a buck for it.  That is the most interesting thing I can say about this book here.

Vestrymen Grade: C-

Captain Marvel #5

WRITTEN BY: Kelly-Sue DeConnickdetail
ART BY: Emma Rios
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE: 10/17/2012

’50s fighter planes! Punching with brass knuckles! Odd art choices!

Vestrymen Grade: B-

B.P.R.D 1948 #1

WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola and John ArcudiBPRD_1948-420x645
ART BY: Max Fiumara
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE DATE: 10/17/2012

The end of the Secret Origins trilogy! I don’t know what that means, but Mike Mignola always delivers a Mike Mignola experence, and that is a plus in my book. Leland’s too, I think.

Vestrymen Grade: B+

Marvel Now Preview

WRITTEN BY: VariousMarvelNOW_JoeQ
ART BY: Various
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE: 10/17/2012

A free look at upcoming Marvel projects as we move out of the AvX period into the Marvel NOW! period. It was interesting, and it looks like Marvel’s titles will continue to be a mixed bag.

Vestrymen Grade: Da kine?

Our Feature:

Secret Warriors Volume 1: Nick Fury: Agent of Nothing

WRITTEN BY: OCT090634Brian Michael Bendis & Jonathan Hickman
ART BY: Stefano Casell
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics

BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS! Also, Jonathan Hickman. We’ve talked about Hickman before, so you are here to hear about BMB. He is a dude who made the Marvel Ultimate Universe. Also, wonder of wonders, we get another chance to talk about Devil’s Due Publishing.  Popcultivator!

Vestrymen Grade: C+

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. This week, we feature Stealing Orchestra – “Just Like Oscar, We Will Never Grow Up”, Big Digits – “Black Sweatshirts”, and Oferta Especial – “Polska”.

Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 9: Greetings, Fellow Omnivores! Follow me to the snack machine!

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ASM 695! Doctor Who #1! Legends of the Dark Knight 1! Action Comics 13! Animal Man 13? Also Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 1! Bonus Content at the End!

Quick Reviews:

Action Comics #13

WRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison AC_Cv13_var
ART BY: Travel Foreman
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: October 3
Vestrymen Grade: A

God, is Action Comics the best book to come out most months. Sweet, sweet Superman, y’all! It’s Halloweeny, funny, sad, pathos-y and rad. Also, yes, those are all words!

Legends of The Dark Knight #1

WRITTEN BY: Various1339179998_cvr
ART BY: Various
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: October 3rd

Vestrymen Grade: C

Batman things happen here, except when Batman doesn’t feel like Batman. There are two stories where Batman is so Batmany that my nose almost bleeds. Three stories, one awesome, one ok, and one that seems to miss Bruce Wayne’s character completely. 

Animal Man #13

WRITTEN BY:  Jeff LemireANMAN_Cv13
ART BY: Steve Pugh
PUBLISHER: Dc Comics
RELEASE: October 3rd

Vestrymen Grade: C-

Animal Man 13 is a comic book that represents what goes wrong when things go wrong with modern comics. It is part of a crossover but that seems to limit what it can do rather than contribute. It pacing is all wrong and there doesn’t seem to be anything that is worth saying once that is not worth saying three times.

Doctor Who #1

WRITTEN BY:  AndDOCTOR-WHO-1-Comic-Previewy Diggle
ART BY: Mark Buckingham
PUBLISHER: IDW
RELEASE: October 3rd

Vestrymen Grade: B-

We love Doctor Who. It is awesome, but this comic falls a little short of its potential. Its hard to capture Matt Smith’s energy and everything is so dependent on it. It’s a serviceable Doctor story but not a great one. I cannot find a find a link to where you can buy this online as of publishing, so just go to your local comic book stories, lazy people!

Amazing Spider-Man #695

WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott,Christos Gage
ART BY: Guseppe Camuncoli
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: October 3rd

Vestrymen Grade: A

Funny, smart, well written, and well paced, this book kicks a lot of ass. It has a few missteps, but in general it is rad as a radish and it has a GREAT cover!

Our Feature:

Wolverine and the X-Men: Volume 1

WRITTEN BY: Arron Scott
ART BY: Various
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics

Vestrymen Grade: A+

The hands down best superhero comic we’ve read in a long time. It is smart, funny, interesting, and a little dark. It has great character work and really engaging art. It compares unfavorably to “Secret Avengers” in the podcast.

Bonus Section: Graphic Novel Pricing Discussion!

Wolverine and the X-Men spawns a fairly interesting discussion of the pricing, distribution, land consumer advocacy issues around how graphic novels are produced, distributed and sold in the current comics climate. We liked the conversation and couldn’t bring ourselves to cut it, so we left it here for you to listen to, if you’d dare.

Download the Podcast here: Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 9

Music for today’s podcast includes Thee Midnight Creep – “Strange Side of the Tracks”, MI-GU – “Spider”, and The Peach Tree – “Totally Insane”. All music featured on Vestrymen from the Future! is licensed under Creative Commons.

Season 2: Episode 8: The Dream of the 90s is Alive!

We quick review Talon #0, Happy! #1, ASM #694, Batman Inc. #0 and engage in high-minded literary criticism of Stumtown Vol 1 by Great Rucka and Matthew Southworth.

Quick Reviews:

Talon #0

WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder, James T. Tynion IVHe Has a silly costume
ART BY: Guillem March
PUBLISHER: Dc Comics
RELEASE: September 26
Vestrymen Grade: B

A passable thing. We didn’t hate it, but I like Scott Free more! Also, great name, Scott Free. So 50s comic book.

Batman Incorporated #0

WRITTEN BY:Grant Morrison, Chris BurnhamMORRISON!
ART BY: Chris Burnham
PUBLISHER: Dc Comics
RELEASE: September 26

Vestrymen Grade: A-

If you’ve been reading Batman, Inc. before now you can skip this one, but why would you want to? Its undiluted Batman nonsense written by Grant Morrison and drawn by the incalculable Mr. Burnham.

The Amazing Spiderman #694

WRITTEN BY:  Dan SlottAlpha is the very worst
ART BY: Humberto Ramos
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: September 26th

Vestrymen Grade: B-

I hate Alpha, I hate him so much! Leland has a measurable distaste for him, but hates him slightly less. This comic is fine, but it has Alpha in in it. Run in terror.

Happy #1MORE MORRISON!

WRITTEN BY:  Grant Morrison
ART BY: Darick Robertson
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: September 26th

Vestrymen Grade: A

Grant Morrison of Batman, Inc. and Everything That Is Awesome and Transmetropolitan co-creator Darick Robertson are creating a comic together. It is balls to the wall strange. So. Very. Good.

Our Feature:

Stumptown: Volume 1

WRITTEN BY: Mark PowersPORTLANDIA AGAIN!
ART BY: Russell Braun
PUBLISHER: Devils Due Publishing

Vestrymen Grade: A

Sweet, sweet Portlandia this book is a great detective story. Dex is a fun, interesting, engaging protagonist, Mr. Rucka writing is amazing, and relative newcomer Matthew Southworth might actually give you Seasonal Affective Disorder with his amazing, evocative renditions of Portland. Go read this book.

It reminds us of this post.

Download the Podcast here: Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 8

Music for today’s podcast includes Centz – “Keg Baseball”, Everlone – “Landlock”, and Blake Fleming (that guy who drums for The Mars Volta) – “Street Corner Throwdown”. All songs are available under the Creative Commons License at http://freemusicarchive.org/curator/Creative_Commons/.

Season 2: Episode 7: Sometimes there is an Obama that we don’t talk about at all

This image comes up over and over if you Google "Drafted Comic."

Three of our pamphlets are written by women this week, and we’d call Womanthology: Space #1, but that name was already taken so we read that book, and it was good. We read 3 other books and Drafted Volume One, and it is surreal.

Quick Reviews:

Womanthology: Space #1

WRITTEN BY: Various
ART BY: Various
PUBLISHER: IDW
RELEASE: September 19th

Vestrymen Grade: B

Its an anthology of comic vignettes written by women, mostly about women. Like most collections it varies in quality but, its thoroughly interesting to see what these creators can do with   a limited space.

Sword of Sorcery featuring Amethyst #0

WRITTEN BY: Christy Marx
ART BY: Tony Bedard
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: September 19th

Vestrymen Grade: C+

A princess story about princess and purple, so much purple, Amethyst is a character that appeals to fans of the old Gemworld stories from the 80s. Neither Leland or I actually read those old stories, so we are not viewing this through that lens. Without it this work comes of as odd, very, very odd.

Batgirl #0

WRITTEN BY: Gail Simone
ART BY: Ed Benes
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: September 19th

Vestrymen Grade: A

Gail Simone is a favorite of the Vestrymen for a lot of reasons. She walks the line between the obvious fun sillyness of superheroes and the inherent humanity of the established characters she often writes with grace and charm. She is funny. Here she delivers a phenomenal Batgirl story. Go and buy it!

Godzilla Fifty Year War #2

WRITTEN AND DRAWN BY: James Stokoe
PUBLISHER: IDW
RELEASE: September 19th

Vestrymen Grade: C+

Godzilla thrashes some things in ‘Nam in 68. There is another giant monster. They fight, Japanese people try and stop this from  happening.

Our Feature:

Drafted: Volume 1

WRITTEN BY: Mark Powers
ART BY: Russell Braun
PUBLISHER: Devils Due Publishing

Vestrymen Grade: C+

Listen to the bizarre history of Devil’s Due Publishing. They don’t pay their bills, get it? I don’t for like 10 minutes.

This book has promise, but doesn’t really stand on its own as a graphic novel, though we both enjoyed it to some degree. Its cheap on amazon if you want to pick it up.

 

Download here fo shiz: Vestrymen Season 2 Episode 7

Music for today’s podcast provided by Professor Kliq – “Bollywood Blades”, Terror Bird – “Can’t Tell What’s Real”, and Hiiragi Fukada – “TV Dinner”.  All three songs are available under the Creative Commons License at http://freemusicarchive.org/curator/Creative_Commons/.