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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 21217 times)

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #375 on: 08 January, 2018, 01:41:57 pm »
6. Love early Hilary Robinson. I know she doesn't have the best rep as a tooth writer, but I really enjoy Zippy Couriers, like her early Future Shocks (Glaring Anomaly a particular favourite) and LOVE the first Medivac 318 story.

It's odd, isn't it? On a re-read she comes across as a breath of fresh air.  I was always a fan of Medivac 318 and (the underused potential of) Zippy Couriers, but it retrospect Robinson almost seems a bit ahead of her time, not so much in style or originality, but in the type of stories she was telling, and their pacing.  I can't help feeling that a lot of her material would have been warmly welcomed in the current prog in a way that I don't think they were at the time.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #376 on: 10 January, 2018, 03:59:11 pm »

It's odd, isn't it? On a re-read she comes across as a breath of fresh air. 

Yeah always thought about her like this.

I can't help feeling that a lot of her material would have been warmly welcomed in the current prog in a way that I don't think they were at the time.


But never this and now you've planted the thought in my head and reading Medivac 318 I can't help thinking you are right (as ever!). Was she just way ahead of the curve?

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #377 on: 14 January, 2018, 05:28:49 pm »
Well Tharg just can't catch a break. He gets a truly Zarjaz line-up, Zenith: Ohase 3, Slaine: Horned God and Rogue Trooper: Cinnabar, truly John Smith produces by far the greatest of the original era Rogue stories, its just superb, right to its horrifying end... but boy is it choppy waters. Alongside Dredd though these stories truly are in 2000ad's pantheon of greatness, Dredd is on cracking form and the back up strips do okay...

...Tharg seems to be rushing this stuff out to try to fill the Prog. Okay we seem to have ended a run of Future 'Stock' fillers, often written by folk we'll not see again, or draw by artist we will before they are ready... but the three classics we have running though and all fall short of finishing their runs in on got. In Prog 634 Zenith takes a breather, but its okay Medivac 318 and Arthur Ranson's first outing on Anderson in Triad step up. Phew well done there Tharg... Prog 635... Slaine draws breath and Cinnabar finishes and this time we get two shorts of good standard, but still filler in Stontium Dogs and a one off, its good stuff, not great, but good...

Jez its not like Tharg isn't trying here but amazing as some of this stuff is it doesn't half feel like he's constantly sprinting to the line at break neck speed and as such he's stumbling a lot... yet at time he's still putting in a gold medal performance.

Interesting times indeed.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #378 on: 16 January, 2018, 09:11:55 pm »
Well interestingish, see after the previously mentioned ups and downs the Prog begins a continued dip... or does it...

It ain't all bad, some decent Dredd, Final Solution continues well, though if I'm honest art aside not as astonishing as I remember, the story feels a bit forced and dare I say it flat at times.

Elsewhere Hilary Robinson is in full force, which given my earlier praise is surely a good thing... and it is... at times... Zippy Couriers makes an all to brief final (I think) appearance. Medivac 318 Book 2 has some fantastic moments, but other moments that makes you go 'What now? Huh' as in:

The invading aliens disappear because what now... huh?

An episode about putting bombs on a box what now... huh?

The war is over cos everyone is dead, what now huh?

Its a shame as it still nicely done, but lacks a real cohesive feel, which the first story really had. Mind Nigel Dobbyn's art is still sublime.

In another Robinson strip The Survivor returns Henry 'Panther' Moon from Mean Team... one of the great questions of our time what on Earth made Tharg think we needed more Mean Team??? Without much mean and no team. Its such a weird one.... not as weird as the return of Moonrunners (not Hilary Robinson I should point out). I'd completely forgetten this series had a second series, I mean completely. So dulled was my brain my the dull dullness of the first...

... or is it just my brain is rubbish cos I'd also forgotten how stonkingly good Anderson - Triad was. Christ why isn't this in my all time list of Anderson classics. Well to be honest cos Anderson has been so good almost all the time. Bloody hell Alan Grant does some fantastic work on this strip and he's rewarded by such glorious artists. I mean how does Arthur Ranson find a the Block Ness Monster to model for him, goes lets face it these has to be photor-referenced its so authentic... right?

There's still 7 Progs til the big hitters return in 650 and Strontium Dog has just dropped out to be replaced by what I think is that rariest of things a John Smith story I don't like... what will Tharg be serving us over these next few issues???

I'm not sure I like this type of interestin'!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #379 on: 31 January, 2018, 08:50:08 pm »
So I've limbed to Prog 649 (to be fair had a few distractions) and Tharg really has been throwing all he's got into filling the Prog in time for his next big relaunch (I'll come back to that next time), man is he throwing all he's got, not really in a good way.

Firstly there's Issigri Variations, not John Smith's finest, but have to be honest I enjoyed it a lot more than I remember. My big problem is I just don't get on with Mike Hadley's art at all and I think its that, rather than some rather too cute ideas from the mighty Mr Smith. I do wonder if this had a different artist I'd get on with it more.

The only other none Dredd ongoing by this stage is Beyond Zero, which is just not that good. I quite enjoyed Night Zero, quite, but this just feels all over the place and lacks any real sense of purpose. I'm not surprised Tharg is happy to brush it aside for the relaunch, though as I recall its not too long before it sneaks back in?

By this stage the rest of the Prog is being filled with some pretty lower tier filler, Future Shocks of a medium to low quality and Strontium Dogs which has had a pretty dramatic dip in form since some half decent early efforts.

So not the best build up to the big relaunch BUT hell we got a relaunch coming and the line-up for 650 is pretty bloody fantastic... the problem is though Tharg really struggled to keep up with demands of the last relaunch, what has changed to make us think this will go any smoother... truth be told as I remember it doesn't, let's hold hands and find out together hey... well after I read those last three Blueberry volumes, see ya in a bit...

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #380 on: 01 February, 2018, 03:13:15 pm »
I can't help but think that the switch to colour art, and painted art at that, must have taken Tharg by surprise in terms of how much longer it takes for artists to deliver finished pages.

Re: Beyond Zero, I recall that it tries really hard to have something to say about feminism in action movies, without necessarily actually making a point. The sad thing is, I'm not sure things have changed 30 years on. His main joke was having a typical male and female characters swap dialogue, which is what many (female) actors apparently have to do to get decently-written parts!

Dandontdare

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #381 on: 02 February, 2018, 02:54:00 pm »
In another Robinson strip The Survivor returns Henry 'Panther' Moon from Mean Team... one of the great questions of our time what on Earth made Tharg think we needed more Mean Team??? Without much mean and no team. Its such a weird one.... not as weird as the return of Moonrunners (not Hilary Robinson I should point out). I'd completely forgetten this series had a second series, I mean completely. So dulled was my brain my the dull dullness of the first...

The most disappointing thing about both of thee strips is Belardinelli's art - if you compare Mean Team to Inferno, or Moonrunners to Ace Trucking, Massimo was basically phoning it in by this point, his figures were so stilted and lacking in movement.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #382 on: 02 February, 2018, 08:07:17 pm »
Re: Beyond Zero, I recall that it tries really hard to have something to say about feminism in action movies, without necessarily actually making a point. The sad thing is, I'm not sure things have changed 30 years on. His main joke was having a typical male and female characters swap dialogue, which is what many (female) actors apparently have to do to get decently-written parts!

Yeah while Night Zero played with noir tropes, Beyond Zero attempts to play with action movie tropes, the trouble is it does it a lot less successfully... or rather just as well (or not well) but its a lot less conherant and formed in doing that. Where as the cliches in Night are fun, the cliches in Beyond, almost because it thinks its being smart in playing with them, are just ackward and horribly done.


The most disappointing thing about both of thee strips is Belardinelli's art - if you compare Mean Team to Inferno, or Moonrunners to Ace Trucking, Massimo was basically phoning it in by this point, his figures were so stilted and lacking in movement.


I've said many times I'm not Belardinelli's biggest fan and for me his works always looks stilted and lacking movement. For me the big difference is these problems have less to hide behind in Mean Team and Moonrunners than Inferno and Ace Trucking, which played far better to his strengths by letting the crazy rule!

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #383 on: 02 February, 2018, 08:39:05 pm »
The most disappointing thing about both of thee strips is Belardinelli's art - if you compare Mean Team to Inferno, or Moonrunners to Ace Trucking, Massimo was basically phoning it in by this point, his figures were so stilted and lacking in movement.

I know it's just a turn of phrase, but I find it hard to look at Moonrunners and Mean Team and see an artist "phoning it in". I'm not denying I prefer his earlier 80s stuff,  and I'd happily argue that he reached a peak in Dragonheist,  but the amount of detail alone in both strips doesn't seem to me like someone taking the piss - there may well have been someone phoning it in, but I don't think it was Massimo.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #384 on: 11 February, 2018, 08:53:29 pm »
Well Blueberry read - and that a very good read too, I return now to Progs and specifically:

Prog 650

Well the line-up speaks for itself really doesn't it. Dredd, War Machine, Zenith, Dead Man and Slaine Horned God book 2. Its as strong a line-up as you'll see in any issue.

With three strips now in full colour and not just colour but fully painted to a quite fantastic standard the big question is how long does it last. As I recall the demands of painted art take their toll pretty quickly.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #385 on: 12 February, 2018, 08:55:23 pm »
Well okay I knew it was coming but I'd forgotten how quick the breaks came. After four issues we lose War Machine - which if I'm host isn't holding up quite as well as my meory of it.

Still at least uliek the last big launch Tharg has something of quality waiting in the wings as Chopper Song of the Surfer steps up to the plate. The shift in Colin MacNeil's art during the course of this strip is something to behold as I recall.

Next for a break is Slaine only two Progs later... lets see how deep Tharg's reservor of strips is for the big colur push...

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #386 on: 13 February, 2018, 01:27:00 pm »
With three strips now in full colour and not just colour but fully painted to a quite fantastic standard the big question is how long does it last. As I recall the demands of painted art take their toll pretty quickly.

It will be interesting to see what you think.

At the risk of skipping ahead a bit I am doing a bit of a Slaine reread. I remember thinking at the time that the art on the series that followed the Horned God didn’t stack up compared to Simon Bisley’s and that Tharg was scratching around to get someone else to paint Slaine given he couldn’t get Bisley anymore.

In retrospect that’s probably a bit unfair. Fabry does a good job on Demon Killer, although I prefer his black and white. Dermot Power’s is perfectly ok but there is something about his figures I can’t quite put my finger on that doesn’t look right. The stand out has got to be Greg Staples’ work. Dare I say it is every bit as good as Bisley’s.

Jim Murray’s ( the Bowels of Hell) somehow looks cartoony and not in a good way.

That’s as far as I have got in my reread. Interestingly Clint Langley explains in the blurb in the Lord of Misrule TPB how he was forced to draw it rather than paint it and how he thinks Slaine should  always be fully painted.

When I say the comparison of those that followed Bisley was unfair, well it’s not as if Bisley invented painting or sequential story telling using paintings is it? It just we had never seen anything remotely like it in 2000AD before.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #387 on: 15 February, 2018, 08:57:36 pm »
1989

Not quite sure what to say about 1989... well actually maybe I do. When talking about 1988 I said this looking ahead

Quote
Yeah there are some real highlights... just not as many as I've become used to. So 1988 makes it clear that 2000ad grew too fast to quick and needed to take a breather for a moment before learning just what it can do with its new shape and form...

... now in 1989 ... if memory serves... it might just do that... though it won't all be plain sailing either... lets find out together shall we.

I was damned close, but 1989, or at least the bulk of it, is very similar to 1988. Except it might not have so many highlights. There are some great moments don't get me wrong, Triad, the bits of Zenith Phase 3 we get... errr.... some bits of Dredd... some bits of Strontium Dog Final Solution... Horned God, though I'm not enjoying that as much as I did last time.... there's a lot of good stuff too... Medivac, Zippy Couriers... some other stuff... its weird the year just hasn't struvk me as much as some others and Tharg's organ is still having its ackward growth spurt. Its still struggling to find its feet.

Then we get to Prog 650 and the organ really spurts out all over the place. It starts off as a thrilling climax to the year. I mean surely things have rarely felt so good with a line-up like that. However I've avoided talking too much about it as much of what starts in 650 has shot its bolt a little too early and should have taken more time so it could get to its end more smoothly and satisfyingly. As it is as things are already a bit choppy and great strips have to give way to other great strips I have a feeling it all ends in a bit of a sticky mess.

Each of the thrills that starts in 650 (or shortly after) I'll probably say something about at some point but we need to get there. We need to put up with the interruptions and the breaks, the false starts and premature endings. Well except Deadman... but we'll come to that.

All this and Dredd, while having some real highlights is still far off its very best... though that might come very soon.

Yeah Prog 650 came just a little too late to save 1989. Its not a bad year, not by any stretch, but it continues the dip from the magnificence of the mid eighties and when it stinks it really bloomin' stinks.

So I'll guide you through the annuals and the specials and then we'll head into the new decade.... full of fresh hope and A levels (well it was for me!) ... and we might have enough for another classic, or we might still be a little too choppy... I look forward to finding out.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #388 on: 18 February, 2018, 06:33:00 pm »
Annuals and Specials 1989.

I'm throwing these together as I actually think the Specials are better than the annuals this year. Don't think that's ever been the case before?

The annuals have a lot of filler, and while not at all bad as filler goes it does means that you don't get a great deal of bang for your book. The 2000ad Annual probably scraps it over the Dredd annual, okay so Moonrunners rolls its pointless way in we get fun Dredds and Andersons and the text stuff is pretty strong too. The highlight of the Dredd Annual is clearly Arthur Ranson's art, but to be honest it polishes an average John Wagner Dredd and this rest of the new strip are fine, but nothing more. Oh it has some excellent reprints, but you know its reprints.

Now the Specials on the other hand each have one stella strip each. I really enjoy the Sumo story in Dredd and in the 2000ad its the fantastic, and emotionally charged Judge Corey strip, with stunning MIke Austin art (as is his turn in the Dredd special too). Its a wonderful strip and a powerful read with a real impact. The rest of the new strip, well Moonrunners aside, in both are really good. Okay it took me a while to realise the art on the Ratty's son story was Kev Walker, man does his stuff develop but the Tyranny Rex story is another favourite. Actually there's barely a mis-step in the 2000ad special its all good stuff, I also have fond memories of the Crime Blitz game as well!

So yeah the Specials actually did feel special for once and the annuals, well they did what they do every year.