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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 15470 times)

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #225 on: 11 June, 2017, 06:50:52 am »
I, too, share a deep love for RoboHunter: Farewell, my Billions. It could do with a high-end reprint as Droid Files Vol 2 suffers from some tragically poor scanning/printing, even in the digital edition!

Without bursts of Nemesis, Halo Jones and indeed those Milligan Future Shocks, this is the era when EVERYTHING was penned by Wagner & Grant. Not coincidence it's one of the all-time high points of Progness...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #226 on: 11 June, 2017, 04:13:53 pm »
1985

As I've dicussed a lot of the course of my whittering for 1985's Progs this year is hard for me to judge in a sober, cleaner header manner. Its so entrenched in what I value - not just in 2000ad, not just in comics, but in entertainment as a whole. So when I say its the finest year in thrill power to date you need to take that with a pinch of salty nostaglia.

That said objectively it is a bloomin' fantastic year. Firstly we shouldn't just take Dredd for granted, which its easy to do. 1984 had some real highs in Dredd, once we get past City of the Damned in early February, 1985 is pretty much nothing but highs, I can think of very few that are anything other than top rate and in some cases they are some of my absolute favourites (mind that said I have a feeling that 1986 Dredd might be better, I'm really looking forward to finding that one out!).

On top of Dredd you have some other absolute classic thrills, most of which I've mentioned specifically in early so I'll save you more of my gushing, though I think I missed Halo Jones book II but really there is some astonishingly good stuff in 1985.

So its the best year... well maybe, there is of course some lower points. Rogue Trooper continues but to be honest that's just become background muzak as you whistle to yourself in the lift taking you up Thrillpower Heights. Slaine I've mentioned takes a real nose dive, a real nose dive and by the end of the year in Tombs of Terror is really struggling. Mean Team is a real sticker too and never really works out what it is. Even the Bad Jack Keller, the most terrible of 2000ad 'heroes' doesn't quite make sense as the series flaps around trying to work out what the heck it is. As it ends its just utter poppycock I'm afraid.

The end of 1985 also has some other worrying signs. Strontium Dog starts one of my least favourite of Johnny stories with the berserk Ragnorak Job, Even Nemesis isn't as good as it was. Book IV started the year on a real high, Book V is a bit uneven, it starts at break neck speed, rattles to a fantastic end after about 8 parts but then seems to blunder on for 3 or 4 more parts not really achieving anything else. It all felt a bit mistimed... that said its still bloody good and has some truly classic Nemesis moments and lets face it if the main negatives to focus on for the year are Strontium Dog slipping (especially remembering whats coming after this!) and Nemesis slipping from stunningly amazing to just plain fantastic, I think that says everything about the quality of 1985.

Maybe proclaiming it the best year yet in thrillpower isn't simply fuelled by personal bias?

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #227 on: 18 June, 2017, 09:04:02 pm »
So talking about things being special to you let talk 2000ad Sci-Fi Special 1985

This alongside Prog 431 is the comic get did it for me. I wonder if I got this first, don't honestly know BUT I know the ad on the back for Forbidden Planet (there were 2 not one it would seem) is the one that led me to Denmark Street and... well I've done that before. So yeah this Special has a ... well special place in my heart. The trouble is ... its not actually that good... well okay the Dredd is the fun almost classic I think it is. The Cam Kennedy art, man one day I will own a piece from this. Another cool Pete Milligan Future Shock, Dr + Quinch is fluff fun and that Halo Jones poster in the middle is just fantastic...

... but in the real word, not in Colin's memory world the rest is filler pure and simple. I mean I loved the Ro-Busters stories back in the day, but they're not the best. I loved the Daily Dredd reprints too, but while they are good they are just reprints now. There's some fun quizzes and text pieces, and that kinda crazy Tharg meets film and telly stars but on re-read its all a bit light on substance.

None of this will affect my love of this special BUT unlike the regular Progs of this time the memory and affection doesn't really hold up in reality.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #228 on: 18 June, 2017, 09:07:03 pm »
Annuals 1985

Not much to say about these, both 2000ad and Dredd annuals labelled 1986 are okay, nothing more, nothing less BUT when the quality is pretty imuch evenly matched as it is here its become clear that I prefer the variety in the 2000ad annuals simply cos of the variety.

Huey2

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #229 on: 27 June, 2017, 08:51:44 pm »
"Much as I love Gibson's work on Halo Jones Book III (and generally!), I often think that Farewell My Billions is his true masterpiece.  It's just a level up from what he had done on Robohunter before."

- Ian Gibson's always been great but during the 400s he's really on fire. " Tomb of the Judges" is another classic featuring some of the best Dredd artwork ever.

" Farewell my Billions" is a great tale. It's like the two Ace Trucking stories that came just before it - "Strike" and the last Evil Blood story - where the story is driven totally by the interactions of the main characters rather than external forces. It would be great to see this kind of thing more often.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #230 on: 27 June, 2017, 09:03:56 pm »
"Much as I love Gibson's work on Halo Jones Book III (and generally!), I often think that Farewell My Billions is his true masterpiece.  It's just a level up from what he had done on Robohunter before."

- Ian Gibson's always been great but during the 400s he's really on fire. " Tomb of the Judges" is another classic featuring some of the best Dredd artwork ever.


Well reading Halo Jones Book 3 much as I love Farewell My Billions his work on the former is just astonishing and really is the definition of him being on fire. I'm sure I'm come back to that later, its not what I'm here for...

... rather I'm here to salute another absolute classic ably assisted by stunning art. I adore The Warlord , it head me over the head at the time and does everytime I read it. I'm always surprised its only 5 parts. So much packed in and it just feels so epic I always trick myself that its longer and McGruder's actions at the end felt so significent.

Its a real bright spot in a very shaky start to 1986.... well that and Halo. Elsewhere all is not well. Slaine goes from bad to worse,  I've never been much of a fan of Ragnarok - Strontium Dog can be very hit and miss in its long form stories. Dopplegarp is a story I don't have much love for either... though have to be honest its started better than I recall...

... there's a post here about Wagner and Grant's long form stories some time soon isn't there...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #231 on: 30 June, 2017, 09:36:53 pm »
Well while Halo Jones continues to be flat out brilliant (see what I did there!) the star of Prog 460 is of Dredd as Letter From A Democrat appears.

Its interesting to compare the work of Alan Moore, so poised, so elegant and considered. Its brilliant, layered and deep. Yet Wagner and Grants Dredd is the more powerful and in many ways superior. Its more direct, rugged and honest. Its not quite as smart, yet somehow manages to be 'better'. Its a quiet explosion of what the strips been building to for 2 or 3 years now and while its not exactly subtle it hits home and works perfectly.

Alas they also expose the weakness of the rest of the Prog at this time!

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #232 on: 30 June, 2017, 10:32:10 pm »
I remember the week 'Letter From A Democrat' came out. I was literally grabbing everyone I knew who read comics and pressing the issue into their hands, saying 'You must read this…"

Six pages. You can't do that with Watchmen, or Dark Knight, or America, even. For a Dredd fan, it was like a seismic charge: it goes off somewhere deep below your feet and everything shakes to its foundations. In my head, it pairs off with 'John Cassavetes Is Dead', which shakes the foundations in a similar, but much quieter, way.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #233 on: 01 July, 2017, 07:10:25 am »
For a Dredd fan, it was like a seismic charge: it goes off somewhere deep below your feet and everything shakes to its foundations.

Wish I'd said that instead of 'quiet explosion' as this is exactly what I meant expressed SO much better. As time goes on and memory distorts I will have said this and Jim will be cast into the dungeon of my mind!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #234 on: 02 July, 2017, 09:20:16 pm »
Another classic from Wagner Grant and Kennedy. The Falucci Tapes knocks it out the park. This really is Dredd's golden age isn't it. Since the end of City of the Damned its barely missed a step.

Elsewhere the end of Slaine Tomb of Terrible is seeing the Prog pick up in other areas with a nice run of Future Shocks stemming the tide previously held at bay only by Dredd and Halo.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #235 on: 02 July, 2017, 09:35:56 pm »
Another classic from Wagner Grant and Kennedy. The Falucci Tapes knocks it out the park. This really is Dredd's golden age isn't it. Since the end of City of the Damned its barely missed a step.

Yes. The Wagner/Grant/Kennedy Dredds of the 400s are, without exception, brilliant. Dredd is mostly excellent throughout this period, but Cam routinely knocks it out of the park on his stories.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #236 on: 05 July, 2017, 08:16:54 pm »
Well just finished Halo Jones book 3 and felt I shouldn't let the occasion pass without saying something... but what is left to say about this strip. Just wonderful, Ian Gibson's art is just so good and unlike Skizz which I routinel reference as my favourite Moore strip in 2000ad my God isn't that ending perfect. I mean sure we'd loved to have seen it continue but since it didn't by heck didn't we get the perfect conclusion. Beautiful.

I'll leave it there, but already know I'll be back after the next Prog I read for reasons that are becoming cliche...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #237 on: 16 July, 2017, 09:19:00 pm »
Well okay not quite next Prog but after a little break I'm back and while I could return to comment on yet another glorious Cam Kennedy Dredd with the two parter The Big Sleep finishing in Prog 467... I could but me releasing my sticky nerd glee all over another Wagner, Grant and Kennedy is anything we need to see again. So I'll not tell you all that this has always been one of my all time favourite Dredd's and its another example of the increasing confidence the strip has in having very little Dredd in it more and more often taking a lesson from Eisner's post 1945 The Spirit stories... no I'll spare you all that and instead skip ahead to

Prog 468

Now I could go into the exciting new thrills that kick off in 468, I could but I suspect each thrill will get its own post in due time as there's so much to reflect on in each for a variety of reasons. Instead I stop by to comment on the amount of 4th wall breakign that happens in this issue.

It starts subtly with Swifty in Sooner and Later, at this point in the series its just a knowing look to the reader, but one that feels like a defo, if not breaking but certainly serious leaning on the 4th Wall.

Then we get to a fantastic Dredd, for once done by Ian Gibson not Cam Kennedy (well to be fair there's been many an artist knocking it out the park with great Dredd scripts of late, it just the Kennedy's really standout to me for some reason) It Pays To Be Mental. A wonderful introduction to new readers told through a very nice device of our 'mental' led just straight chatting to the reader. Made all the more wonderful by Dredd's supreme straightman act as he too looks out at us, but of course seeing nothing. Love it.

Finally some editorial Fourth Wall smashing give ACE Trucking by far its best episode in a long time as Wagner and Grant decide to have fun with having the one ongoing strip in the Prog have to catch new readers up. How to do it, well do it directly, drop Tharg in giving this instruction and then have Ace and Ace just tell the reader what's happening. Hilarious stuff.

So yeah I don't think its coincidence that the Prog does this so much here. By this strange 2000ad is having such confident fun, is so at ease with what it is and how good it is that its just ready to address us the readings directly in celebration of what it is.

Magnificent.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #238 on: 22 July, 2017, 10:12:55 pm »
So the first of the class of 468 to conclude is Bad City Blue and what a curious beast that is. I enjoyed it much more than I remember. Its mix of 'Escape from New York' and the 70s sci-fi doomsday warnings never quite works but its nice that it tried to pull this off.

I've never been much of a fan of Robin Smith's art and it really lacks the grit I think would have served this story better. I kept wondering how fondly this might be remembered if it was drawn by say Colin Wilson. Mind it would still have that ending. However much I think it was trying to be stark and shocking it just comes off as people running out of steam, not quite knowing what to do with the story and therefore making the most blunt of decisions to satisfy the tone they were going for.

Still its action packed and brave it what it tried to do, if unsuccessful in execution.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #239 on: 23 July, 2017, 05:20:45 pm »
While I'm at it I'm not sure why Anderson The Possessed has the lukewarm rep it does (it does have a lukewarm rep doesn't it) I really enjoyed it. Sure it lacks the scale of the previous story and indeed the next (if I'm remembering my Anderson right - Hour of the Wolf is next right?) but its a really solid story supported by some beautiful art. The moment when Anderson shots the boy is done really well and over all I really enjoyed this.

Meanwhile we have a couple of great Morrison Future Shocks BUT also ACE Trucking - The Garpetbaggers which I like even less than the chicken one that ran before hand. Its not a great ending to this hot and cold strip if you ask me. But I'll leave that here rather than whine more openly about it.