2000 AD Online Forum

2000 AD => News => Topic started by: robert_ellis on 13 September, 2017, 06:53:38 pm

Title: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: robert_ellis on 13 September, 2017, 06:53:38 pm
I'm guessing it's just a pin-up or starscan. The face looks like Steve Yeowell - but is it? Great line up on the strips. Tharg's mighty organ swells with thrillpower!
The full line-up for Prog 2050:

JUDGE DREDD // ICON by TC Eglinton (w) Colin MacNeil (a), Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
ROGUE TROOPER // A SOLDIER’S DUTY by James Robinson (w) Leonardo Manco (a) Simon Bowland (l)
GREY AREA // HOMELAND SECURITY by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SLÁINE // ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
INDIGO PRIME // A DYING ART by John Smith, Kek-W (w) Lee Carter (a) Simon Bowland (l)
SINISTER DEXTER // DOWN IN THE DUMPS by Dan Abnett (w) Steve Yeowell (a) john Charles (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
THE FALL OF DEADWORLD // HOME by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: james newell on 13 September, 2017, 06:58:55 pm
My guess is, (and i have no inside track here) Zenith will appear in SINISTER DEXTER as Steve Yeowell is the artist on it?

what do you think
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: robert_ellis on 13 September, 2017, 07:07:47 pm
That makes sense. And would explain the image framing of Zenith.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: dweezil2 on 13 September, 2017, 07:16:43 pm
I guess it's too much to ask for another series from Morrison and Yeowell?   :-\
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: IndigoPrime on 13 September, 2017, 07:48:56 pm
Seven strips? Blimey.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jimmy Baker's Assistant on 13 September, 2017, 07:51:17 pm
Was really excited when I saw the promo image, but then i found this thread and saw those terrifying words "Sinister" and "Dexter".

Really? That thing is *still* running? Jeez, way to totally burst my bubble.

Call me when Phase V is out.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JLC on 13 September, 2017, 08:17:56 pm
So its a guest appearance? Was hoping for a new story.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Hawkmumbler on 13 September, 2017, 08:57:33 pm
Until Phase V is commissioned by the mighty Wizard Grant and Ye-Owl droids this will do just fine, anything to see the cocky bastard back in the prog.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Rara Avis on 13 September, 2017, 09:01:25 pm
This thread is cruelly misleading.

(https://i.giphy.com/media/YGtxUpseb0WDS/giphy.webp)
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Colin YNWA on 13 September, 2017, 09:02:28 pm
My guess is, (and i have no inside track here) Zenith will appear in SINISTER DEXTER as Steve Yeowell is the artist on it?

what do you think

That would be cute. When I saw the advert I figured it would be a poster or some such.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Fungus on 13 September, 2017, 09:29:39 pm
Looks like a PR droid in a T-shirt.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: 8-Ball on 14 September, 2017, 11:50:04 am
Looks like a PR droid in a T-shirt.

Yup! :think:
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Link Prime on 14 September, 2017, 12:00:35 pm
This just in;

2000AD PR Manager gives personal "F*ck You" to former employee Grant Morrison by commissioning artist Steve Yeowell to portray him cosplaying as Zenith. 

;)
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Magnetica on 14 September, 2017, 01:09:14 pm
I for one don't want a new series of Zenith.

Now I absolutely love it, but it's done. Let's not do a "Robo-Hunter" on it.

Always glad to have Sinister Dexter in the Prog. I think it would be fun if the boys are engaged to deal with a middle aged, slightly overweight, balding, washed up former pop star.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jim_Campbell on 14 September, 2017, 01:15:54 pm
I for one don't want a new series of Zenith.

Zero chance of that. It's either a pin-up, or a throwaway gag in the Sin/Dex that Yeowell is drawing.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Magnetica on 14 September, 2017, 01:27:26 pm
Zero chance of that. It's either a pin-up, or a throwaway gag in the Sin/Dex that Yeowell is drawing.

I refer the honourable gentleman to the second part of my post.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: jabish on 14 September, 2017, 01:41:37 pm
With Indigo Prime by Kek-W, Devlin Waugh by Rory McConville & ACE Trucking by Eddie Robson all happening maybe it's possible you might see a new Zenith series written by someone else. We are seeing that, as house characters, if it is felt there is worth in bringing these stories back, not having the original writer-creator is no longer a deal-breaker.

I don't think it is a new series, but who knows in the future. I wouldn’t want to see it either. But...
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Magnetica on 14 September, 2017, 01:56:30 pm
I'm not too keen on the new Ace Trucking either.

I'd much rather see new characters than classic ones given to new writers. When a strip has had its day, when it has said all it can, then it is time to move on.

My recent re-read of Nemesis highlighted this for me. Even the very best strips can only go on for so long before they start repeating themselves, with ever diminishing returns.

It's a very rare strip that can endlessly keep it going. Arguably 2000AD has only two three of those: Dredd, Stront and Sinister Dexter.*


* stands back and waits for the rocks to be hurled in my direction
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: jabish on 14 September, 2017, 02:14:50 pm
I'd much rather see new characters than classic ones given to new writers.


It's interesting after reading Pat Mills' 'Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave' and hearing his views on copyright ownership in British comics. It strikes me that that could be one the reasons why we're seeing classic thrills return rather than new characters. If you have what you think is a shit hot concept and characters you may be less inclined to give that to 2000ad than to seek another way of getting it out there which would give a better ownership deal especially when more and more it seems that comics are becoming the go-to ideas factory for TV and Film. I don't know, I'm not in the business, I just look forward to the prog hitting the mat every Saturday. But its an interesting situation.

And in support I still like Sinister Dexter too. Dan Abnett is having a bit of a golden period the last number of years in the prog. Nice one.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: 8-Ball on 14 September, 2017, 04:14:10 pm
I'd much rather see new characters than classic ones given to new writers.

If you have what you think is a shit hot concept and characters you may be less inclined to give that to 2000ad than to seek another way of getting it out there which would give a better ownership deal especially when more and more it seems that comics are becoming the go-to ideas factory for TV and Film.

I find that kind of thinking to be the death knell of creativity. Writing "for the Trade" is bad enough but creating stories/characters specifically so that they can be adapted for TV/Movies at a later date is even worse. That's what killing Marvel Comics at the moment. It's no longer a publisher, merely the caretaker for an extensive IP farm.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Hawkmumbler on 14 September, 2017, 04:33:35 pm
I'll drink to that, as cute as a Zenith cameo is and part and parcel of 2000AD's grand tradition of subverting tropes and expectations, a full on return is not for the best.

I feel the transfer of john Smiths properties has...hidden reasons we are probably best not prying upon if what i;ve seen elsewhere indicates.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: The Monarch on 14 September, 2017, 04:38:36 pm
where is this darn pic you speak of xd
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: jabish on 14 September, 2017, 05:02:40 pm
I find that kind of thinking to be the death knell of creativity. Writing "for the Trade" is bad enough but creating stories/characters specifically so that they can be adapted for TV/Movies at a later date is even worse. That's what killing Marvel Comics at the moment. It's no longer a publisher, merely the caretaker for an extensive IP farm.

I agree with all that completely. Mark Millar is a big example of that and Millarworld being bought out by Netflix is the proof in the pudding. I think he's an extreme example though. I don't think every comic creator sets about coming up with a story/character with the express intention of making it an attractive property for screen treatment. But who will actually own it going forward must be in the back of people's heads when considering what to pitch to different companies. Especially when we see more and more properties having a life after the page.

Sorry if this is turning into a creators rights debate, there's been many of those I know. I guess Zenith is the kind of character that brings it up. Looking forward to prog 2050.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jimmy Baker's Assistant on 14 September, 2017, 07:09:25 pm
I completely do want a new series of Zenith. I wouldn't even quibble if Rebellion decided to call him a house character and assign a new writer. I'd be more inclined to object if Yeowell wasn't involved.

What I really don't want is more zzzzenith.com

Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 14 September, 2017, 07:45:48 pm
I wouldn't even quibble if Rebellion decided (Zenith was) a house character

Thanks to that old cheque and docket system, every 2000ad character is a house character.*

I agree with Jabish: the length of time a strip or character holds the interest of their original creators turns out to be a pretty good proxy for how long they're fun to read.


* Except Harry Exton, All Bestardi, and Hilary Robinson's pantheon of heroes - but y'all know that
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jim_Campbell on 14 September, 2017, 08:13:30 pm
I refer the honourable gentleman to the second part of my post.

It was such a good point, I thought it would bear repeating!
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: sheridan on 14 September, 2017, 08:33:10 pm
I really loved Zenith books 1 - 4 (or is it phase I to IV?) but it was a complete story, with a beginning, early middle, late middle and end.  zzzenith was okay as a landmark prog highlight, but didn't add anything.  If there is a new one-off then it may be amusing enough but similarly I doubt it would add anything of substance (even if TMO managed to convince Mr Morrison to write it).
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: 8-Ball on 14 September, 2017, 08:33:56 pm
Resemblance to a certain PR droid aside (as well as off-topic talk about creators' rights, old thrills being dusted off) I always get a kick out of seeing Zenith's fashion choices through the years - the brief appearance of his acid house/baggy look in Phase IV being a particular highlight. Is he an elder statesman of rock these days? Living it up with a leggy blonde half his age on some Caribbean island?
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 14 September, 2017, 10:26:38 pm
I always get a kick out of seeing Zenith's fashion choices through the years - the brief appearance of his acid house/baggy look in Phase IV being a particular highlight. Is he an elder statesman of rock these days? Living it up with a leggy blonde half his age on some Caribbean island?


Zenith struck me as more Bros than Def Lepard.

In Zzzenith.com he was Robbie Williams, so today he'd be bumming round LA, waiting for fat Iok Sotot to take a break from judging X-Factor and get the old gang back together to squeeze one last pay day from the nostalgia circuit.

One reason Zenith 2017 would be a bad cover version of previous hits is that music's no longer central to popular culture. The strip's distinctly British tabloid concerns were all that distinguished it from thousands of other flying/punching strips.

I know you all think Phase III is the best, but I was waiting for the US comic in-jokes to finish so we could get back to The Hitman and Her, politics, and recent history.


* shit tattoos, soul patch, cheeky grin
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: 8-Ball on 14 September, 2017, 11:06:07 pm

Zenith struck me as more Bros than Def Lepard.

In Zzzenith.com he was Robbie Williams, so today he'd be bumming round LA, waiting for fat Iok Sotot to take a break from judging X-Factor and get the old gang back together to squeeze one last pay day from the nostalgia circuit.


The nostalgia circuit sounds about right actually. Somewhere at the bottom of the bill at REWIND, behind Level 42, Billy Ocean and The Human League
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: The Adventurer on 15 September, 2017, 01:50:28 am
Now I absolutely love it, but it's done. Let's not do a "Robo-Hunter" on it.

I'd have been way more excited for the return of Samantha.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: robert_ellis on 15 September, 2017, 08:41:49 am
...Samantha Slade looking like Molch-R?
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: I, Cosh on 15 September, 2017, 10:29:36 am
I know you all think Phase III is the best, but I was waiting for the US comic in-jokes to finish so we could get back to The Hitman and Her, politics, and recent history.
I was about to splutter that literally nobody thinks Phase III is the best but then I had a better idea.

At which point I discovered that it's not possible to create a new poll on this forum (even though there is a little "poll" icon at the bottom of the screen) so I've made my own to let us settle this once and for all.

It's science, yo! (https://goo.gl/forms/8txJYs9bOdyW8mjo2)

Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 15 September, 2017, 11:15:29 am
I was about to splutter that literally nobody thinks Phase III is the best but then I had a better idea.

At which point I discovered that it's not possible to create a new poll on this forum (even though there is a little "poll" icon at the bottom of the screen) so I've made my own to let us settle this once and for all.

It's science, yo! (https://goo.gl/forms/8txJYs9bOdyW8mjo2)

Brilliant idea! I'll miss you when you quit the forum, in five posts time.

I'VE VOTED, HAVE YOU?


Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Tomwe on 15 September, 2017, 11:39:43 am
voted phase 4 as I had read that originally in the prog & so I recall it most. Need to grab the slipcase and re-read. I for one am glad it didn't make it into the Hachette series yet.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Magnetica on 15 September, 2017, 11:49:24 am
Phase 1 for me. It was just so fresh and exciting with fabulous art by Yeowell.

The first episode especially was a master class in introducing a new series.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Greg M. on 15 September, 2017, 11:55:42 am
Phase III is the best - and also the blueprint for most of the rest of Grant Morrison's career. I was reading the collected 'Multiversity' the other day - it's Zenith Phase III all over again (but more meta and less Meta-Maid.)

Yeowell's Phase III art is a career high.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Hawkmumbler on 15 September, 2017, 12:05:39 pm
Phase III. It has Robot Archie beheading an Eldritch Abomination.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Arkwright99 on 15 September, 2017, 12:59:11 pm
Phase III, especially for Steve Yeowell's wonderfully chiaroscuro artwork, which he's never bettered since (imho).
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: karlos on 15 September, 2017, 01:44:13 pm
Phase III for me, too.

Remember the FA magazine interview (conducted by one "M Millar"), when Morrison simply said "Crisis on Fleetway Earths"?

Wonderful stuff and yes, probably the very best art Yeowell has ever blessed us with.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: jabish on 15 September, 2017, 02:01:13 pm
Phase III absolutely. Huge in scope and ambition and with all that it's exciting funny and entertaining and works in weekly chunks. And that art, just stunning.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Link Prime on 15 September, 2017, 02:05:48 pm
Like most of us, I re-read all of it recently via the new collections.
Phase III has unarguably the best artwork (as pointed out, probably Yeowell's best ever artwork), but I can't say it's my favorite chapter.
It seemed just a little overindulgent for me, for lack of a better term.

I'll go against the grain and choose Phase IV as my preference.
It's a very fine conclusion, and the twist(s) blew my mind at the time of publication.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: The Monarch on 15 September, 2017, 02:17:56 pm
phase 4 robot archie on a hippie dinosaur nuff said
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: The Monarch on 15 September, 2017, 02:24:29 pm
phase 3 ffs man  :D

oh yeah newsarama IS reporting this is a new one off written by matt smith
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: karlos on 15 September, 2017, 02:36:43 pm
I'm surprised yet not surprised (if that makes any sense!) that an IP (ugh!) like Zenith has sat untouched for what, 25 years, nigh on?

BUT, for me, and I suspect a fair few others,  the story was essentially finished and it will always be very much a creators creation rather than a character that can be passed around to others.

But hey, good luck to all involved and, obviously, I hope it's a decent read.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 15 September, 2017, 02:49:54 pm
I was about to splutter that literally nobody thinks Phase III is the best ...

https://goo.gl/forms/8txJYs9bOdyW8mjo2

Listen to the Phase IIIers, Cosh. More horrifying than a child's doll driven mad by the things it has witnessed or looking up to see the sun turned black.

What have we unleashed upon this world?


Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: I, Cosh on 15 September, 2017, 03:05:23 pm
I was about to splutter that literally nobody thinks Phase III is the best ...

https://goo.gl/forms/8txJYs9bOdyW8mjo2

Listen to the Phase IIIers, Cosh. More horrifying than a child's doll driven mad by the things it has witnessed or looking up to see the sun turned black.

What have we unleashed upon this world?
I definitely did not see this coming. Phase fucking IV currently has more votes than 1 or 2!
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Satanist on 15 September, 2017, 03:38:19 pm
I voted phase 2 as that's still my fave after a recent re-read - He fucks his mums clone, fights his da and the villain is Scorpio from the simpsons, whats not to love?
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 15 September, 2017, 04:29:26 pm
I definitely did not see this coming. Phase fucking IV currently has more votes than 1 or 2!

I think Phase III probably conforms more to US comic sensibilities.

I came to 2000ad straight from the Beano and Asterix, and the things I enjoyed most in mainstream culture were Top Of The Pops and Spitting Image, so universes colliding and armies of superheroes seemed like a puzzling diversion from the good stuff.


Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Colin YNWA on 15 September, 2017, 04:48:17 pm
Yeah I'd always go Phase III it's GMozz's Crisis on Infinite Earths before he knew he'd get to play Crisis on Infinite Earths with the original DC characters. It's all the better for the fact it's not bound by DC's IPs and so he gets to go for broken and the shackles are off cos he can go all 2000ad on its ass.

Looking forward to seeing if I stick to this view after my current re-read. Having just finished Phase I I'm really looking forward to the more intimate Phase II.

But yeah good as Phase IV is better than I or II nah that's crazy talk to me!

Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 15 September, 2017, 05:28:49 pm
He fucks his mum's clone

Every rational person's dream. Also, if you know what's good for you, just pretend I typed the correct phase number in my previous reply.


Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Greg M. on 15 September, 2017, 05:41:47 pm
I think Phase III probably conforms more to US comic sensibilities.

I suspect that some people embrace Phase III not because they're familiar with US comics sensibilities but for the exact opposite reason - because they're not familiar with them, and hence the story gains an increased freshness for them.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jim_Campbell on 15 September, 2017, 06:47:15 pm
I love Phase II, if only for the startling leap Yeowell's art takes from Phase I. In the first book, the Owl seems to be channelling an odd (but appropriate) hybrid of Davis and Leach, but with Phase II, he's suddenly his own art droid, dragging in influences from all over the place, creating this thing with great angular slabs of black and an astonishing sense of movement.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: sheridan on 15 September, 2017, 06:48:43 pm
I know you all think Phase III is the best, but I was waiting for the US comic in-jokes to finish so we could get back to The Hitman and Her, politics, and recent history.
I was about to splutter that literally nobody thinks Phase III is the best but then I had a better idea.

At which point I discovered that it's not possible to create a new poll on this forum (even though there is a little "poll" icon at the bottom of the screen) so I've made my own to let us settle this once and for all.

It's science, yo! (https://goo.gl/forms/8txJYs9bOdyW8mjo2)


How did you decide which stories to leave out?  There's the interludes, three or four annuals and specials stories and I think that's it.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: karlos on 15 September, 2017, 06:53:46 pm
Here's a link to the story, with pic:

https://www.newsarama.com/36398-morrison-yeowell-s-zenith-returning-to-2000-ad-with-new-story.html

(Scarily, I have the same beard).
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jimmy Baker's Assistant on 15 September, 2017, 07:10:13 pm
Phase III is undoubtedly the weakest of the phases, with the weakest art.

Phase I is the best, Phase IV and then Phase II.

Glad this new Interlude is not part of Sinister Ted Dexter. Annoyed it's a one-off and not Phase V. Really want a Phase V.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 15 September, 2017, 07:47:13 pm
Phase III probably conforms more to US comic sensibilities.

I suspect that some people embrace Phase III  ... because they're not familiar with (US comics sensibilities), and hence the story gains an increased freshness for them.

It's as good a theory as my own.

I think Phase III might have represented a hurdle because it introduced me to the idea that one series could build upon the last. The afore mentioned Beano conditioned me to strips resetting each week. Asterix stories had call back gags, but nothing you'd describe as continuity.

From my limited experience*, Dredd seemed like Dennis The Menace, resetting every week. Sometimes, like Strontium Dog, it would have stories that lasted for more than one episode, but then the next story would give you a different villain and setting.**

Now I can see that Morrison foreshadowing and slotting individual stories together to form his own fictional Omnihedron was smarty pants stuff, but to someone for whom Oor Wullie sitting laughing on his bucket represented a satisfying narrative conclusion, it just seemed like recycling old ideas and characters that had been used up already.***


* In 1989, I'd been reading for less than two years

** Although I thought both stories were the dog's bollocks, I remember being incandescent with rage when I realised that Hitman followed on directly from the final episode of Oz. This Wagner guy was obviously a hack - none of the TB Grover stories I was reading in 2000ad Monthly relied on cheap stunts like having anything to do with the story printed in the previous issue.

*** To be fair to my pubeless self, he had a point. Even then I could see the problems that having Dredd age in real time would cause, as well as the mess that would result when a new writer found themselves inhibited by something his predecessor had written a decade ago
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Fungus on 15 September, 2017, 11:44:46 pm
Barely remember Zenith, but read part 4 on the catch-up recently. The colouring didn't do it any favours.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: TordelBack on 17 September, 2017, 07:02:37 pm
Phase II for me, because it's clearly the best.  Tight story, buckets of plot development, amazing art, invocation of Beatrice Dalle.  Like 'em all though, even the colour bits.

As to Phase III, the US comics tropes Morrison employs/mocks were still pretty fresh - we had yet to have our enthusiasm beaten to death with biannual ragnarok - and the bleak horror spin he puts on proceedings had only barely been touched on (by Moore, of course).

Also:
One reason Zenith 2017 would be a bad cover version of previous hits is that music's no longer central to popular culture.

Frank man, when did you get so old?  Aside from accusations of today's music just being noise, that's been the most common refrain of the geezer since we were hitting antelope bones together on the savannah.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Colin YNWA on 17 September, 2017, 07:44:49 pm

Also:
One reason Zenith 2017 would be a bad cover version of previous hits is that music's no longer central to popular culture.

Frank man, when did you get so old?  Aside from accusations of today's music just being noise, that's been the most common refrain of the geezer since we were hitting antelope bones together on the savannah.

Ha! So very true. Even though she's only 8 I keep congratulating my daughter when she doesn't like my music and I hate whatever pish she's listening to. As it ever been and ever should be.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 17 September, 2017, 08:41:59 pm

I'm old and hopelessly crusty, but I wasn't wailing why can't Fifth Harmony make proper music, like The Prodigy. I'm saying the biggest pop stars on Earth (Swifty, 1D?) no longer impinge on the mass consciousness in the way Thriller-era Mike Jackson once did.*

Most kids no longer construct their personal or tribal identity around listening to particular kinds of music. That's probably a good thing, but it has fundamentally changed what music means to them and - where this is relevant to Zenith 2017 - what it means to be a pop star.

Pop Star is now just one of the types of celebrities kids grow up wanting to be. Zzzenith.com hinted at this loss of cultural import by making him some kind of .com billionaire with his own Osbornes/I'm A Celebrity show. Maybe Matt Smith's story will go further down this route, but I no longer care.


* Partly because there are no longer four TV stations and two national radio stations. Even if you despised Deeelite or the latest Stock Aitken and Waterman project, you (and probably your Mum, via Top Of The Pops) knew who they were and had some kind of opinion on them.

People can now filter out anything they don't like, which might be a good thing but - again, relevant to Zenith - it changes the status and role of the pop star in the culture.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: robert_ellis on 17 September, 2017, 09:13:09 pm
I always loved Phase IV - genuinely creepy & full of atmosphere. I quite liked the colouring. Steve Yeowell seemed to be moving away from large areas of black & I liked the new look. Much like Watchmen it's a complete story - it doesn't lend itself to more tales.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: matty_ae on 17 September, 2017, 09:19:00 pm
BEFORE ZENITH: CLOUD NINE
If Grant wrote it, I'd buy it.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 17 September, 2017, 10:55:31 pm
... like Watchmen it's a complete story - it doesn't lend itself to more tales.

Zenith doesn't have the horological precision of Moore's Magnum (space) Octopus, but it is all about structure. And that structure is a closed loop.

From first panel to last, Zenith was all about the Lloigor - who they were, where they came from, what their plan was. Even Phase II, which initially seemed like a detour.

Which takes us back to my point about the difference between Zenith and episodic strips like Stronty Dog. If every Stront story was about the Stix bros, it would be boring. If Zenith isn't about the Lloigor, I'm not sure what the point is.

And their story is done.


Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Steven Denton on 18 September, 2017, 03:22:55 pm
I don't think Zenith is Limited to or by the Lloigor at all. He's far more of a swipe at pop culture then he is a clockwork deconstruction of the superhero genera (Watchmen). Zenith is a prism to view the modern world not a meta-critique of a medium or genera. 
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: matty_ae on 18 September, 2017, 03:44:50 pm
I've re-read Frank's opinion and it is very accurate and well-thought through.
The story - the Llogior's story is done.

You could still use the character to hold a prism up to modern culture but it would be nothing really more than a bit of a two dimensional use of the character = Zzzzenith.com
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Steven Denton on 18 September, 2017, 03:55:15 pm
I think it's like the first few Strontium Dog Stories being about the Stix then realising, maybe they don't always have to be and there is more to the idea then one limiting antagonist.

I got board of the Lloigor well before the end of book 3 but I didn't get board with Zenith. I think the only thing limiting him is peoples fear of bad writers and lack of imagination. Zzzzenith.com is not a proper story, it was an awful throw away 'gag' with about as much subtitle as Big Dave.

If you are going to dismiss Zenith as being a way of commenting on modern culture with fiction, you are by extension saying it's impossible to make a story that comments on modern culture because Zzzzenith.com exists. which is ridiculous. one unimaginative strip does not prove there is no such thing as imagination.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: TordelBack on 18 September, 2017, 04:12:47 pm
Hmmm, this is a bit of a puzzler.  Zenith (Robert McDowell himself) is less of a protagonist and more an eye-catching element in other people's plans, all of which circle around and depend upon the Lloigor: so there's an argument that the story that his world exists to tell is done, but it's not really Robert's story. This may be one reason why I like Phase II best, which is the one where (despite sitting around a lot) Zenith appears to have awareness of his situation and some semblance of control over it.  For the rest he's just going where he's sent (or not) and doing what he's told (or not).

The character himself probably does have more to say, but it would be a very different strip. 
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: dweezil2 on 18 September, 2017, 04:49:26 pm
I could definitely see Zenith continuing as a character as I still think there's milage in him, not sure I'd want it without Morrison or Yeowell's involvement though.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Proudhuff on 18 September, 2017, 05:59:42 pm
SLÁINE // ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
INDIGO PRIME // A DYING ART by John Smith, Kek-W (w) Lee Carter (a) Simon Bowland (l)
SINISTER DEXTER // DOWN IN THE DUMPS by Dan Abnett (w) Steve Yeowell (a) john Charles (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
THE FALL OF DEADWORLD // HOME by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

So there's over half the Prog I'll be skipping... Why Tharg? Why? let it go! Stop milking a dead horse...
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 18 September, 2017, 08:53:09 pm
... the only thing limiting (Zenith) is peoples fear of bad writers and lack of imagination.

Well, yeah.* There are dozens of stock plots into which you could chuck Zenith ** but trying to fight against the loss of an author with such a distinctive voice and the strip's defining villains calls for Hotspur-like levels of suicidal self sacrifice.

We're talking as if Tharg's announced a new 24 part epic, but he might just want a new strip to bung in the back of another book repackaging the old material.

Letting Yeowell recoup some of the cash he missed out on during the decades when Zenith was out of print seems like the best justification for this strip or any future continuation of the story. I can't get excited about Zenith 2017, but that image looks fucking deadly. ***


*  Although Tharg could entrust the boy McDowell to Rob Williams or/and Al Ewing - two talented, imaginative authors who have demonstrated the ability to take on established superhero characters and deliver witty commentary on pop culture - and still end up with a pony. Come to think of it, Zenith is probably the only non-Dredd IP Tharg owns that might tempt those two back.

** As TordelBack points out, Zenith's only real function is spouting snark from the sidelines. He's the comic relief - the Ukko, Walter, or Grobbendonk of his own strip. He could crack wise through any number of Bond/Marvel movie plots, but I don't see the point. It would just be more for the sake of more.

*** Yeowell would win my vote for most misused artist on Tharg's books. Not The Mighty One's fault, I suppose - I doubt he's inundated with scripts that call for stylishly rendered monochrome depictions of contemporary humans in real world settings, but that's what Yeowell was born to do
 
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JLC on 18 September, 2017, 08:54:05 pm
SLÁINE // ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
INDIGO PRIME // A DYING ART by John Smith, Kek-W (w) Lee Carter (a) Simon Bowland (l)
SINISTER DEXTER // DOWN IN THE DUMPS by Dan Abnett (w) Steve Yeowell (a) john Charles (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
THE FALL OF DEADWORLD // HOME by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

So there's over half the Prog I'll be skipping... Why Tharg? Why? let it go! Stop milking a dead horse...
Which ones will you be skipping?
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: The Corinthian on 18 September, 2017, 08:59:56 pm
Barely remember Zenith, but read part 4 on the catch-up recently. The colouring didn't do it any favours.

I remember a 'Comics International' interview with Richard Burton from mid-1991 - i.e. a few months after Tooth had gone full colour but a year before Phase IV was published - where he said that Phase IV was one of the forthcoming strips that would still run in black-and-white.

Obviously something changed in the subsequent year, and it would be hugely ironic if it was because Fleetway thought it would be easier to sell a graphic novel that way.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Fungus on 18 September, 2017, 09:15:29 pm
SLÁINE // ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
INDIGO PRIME // A DYING ART by John Smith, Kek-W (w) Lee Carter (a) Simon Bowland (l)
SINISTER DEXTER // DOWN IN THE DUMPS by Dan Abnett (w) Steve Yeowell (a) john Charles (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
THE FALL OF DEADWORLD // HOME by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

So there's over half the Prog I'll be skipping... Why Tharg? Why? let it go! Stop milking a dead horse...
Which ones will you be skipping?

 :-*
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Steven Denton on 19 September, 2017, 09:37:46 am
... the only thing limiting (Zenith) is peoples fear of bad writers and lack of imagination.

Well, yeah.* There are dozens of stock plots into which you could chuck Zenith ** but trying to fight against the loss of an author with such a distinctive voice and the strip's defining villains calls for Hotspur-like levels of suicidal self sacrifice.

We're talking as if Tharg's announced a new 24 part epic, but he might just want a new strip to bung in the back of another book repackaging the old material.

Letting Yeowell recoup some of the cash he missed out on during the decades when Zenith was out of print seems like the best justification for this strip or any future continuation of the story. I can't get excited about Zenith 2017, but that image looks fucking deadly. ***


*  Although Tharg could entrust the boy McDowell to Rob Williams or/and Al Ewing - two talented, imaginative authors who have demonstrated the ability to take on established superhero characters and deliver witty commentary on pop culture - and still end up with a pony. Come to think of it, Zenith is probably the only non-Dredd IP Tharg owns that might tempt those two back.

** As TordelBack points out, Zenith's only real function is spouting snark from the sidelines. He's the comic relief - the Ukko, Walter, or Grobbendonk of his own strip. He could crack wise through any number of Bond/Marvel movie plots, but I don't see the point. It would just be more for the sake of more.

*** Yeowell would win my vote for most misused artist on Tharg's books. Not The Mighty One's fault, I suppose - I doubt he's inundated with scripts that call for stylishly rendered monochrome depictions of contemporary humans in real world settings, but that's what Yeowell was born to do



You keep assuming that new stories would be generic crap. That's what I take issue with.

I Absolutely loved zenith when I first read it. it blew my 11 or 12 year old mind but nostalgia aside. Grant Morison has his ticks (which you could call a distinctive voice) but Zenith is NOT a staggering work of literary originality. it's not Samuel Becket or James Joyce, It's a knock off Alan more with a little HP Lovecraft, brilliantly repackaged for the Stock Aitken and Waterman generation.

It's fashionable these days to assume the only people who can handle a property are the original creators. how did that work out for the Phantom Menace and Rouge One?
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 19 September, 2017, 12:35:53 pm
You keep assuming that new stories would be generic crap. That's what I take issue with ...

It's fashionable these days to assume the only people who can handle a property are the original creators. how did that work out for the Phantom Menace and Rouge One?

Star Wars is a good example of what I'm talking about. If you like Force Awakens and Rogue One, good for you - but nobody thinks they're great.

I don't think they're awful, I think they're average - which is what I expect more Zenith, more Devlin Waugh, and more Indigo Prime to be. More for the sake of more.

I'm basing that assessment on 30 years of Tharg giving writers a crack at house characters. Some were okay, others were awful, none of them were great.

As you point out, Zenith wasn't so special that it needs resurrecting. A novel voice combining ideas in new ways is what means Zenith is remembered as great.

If Rory McConville, Nigel Long, and Matt Smith have great story ideas, I'd rather see them create new strips that might turn out to be great in their own right.


Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Arkwright99 on 19 September, 2017, 01:40:56 pm
...Zenith is NOT a staggering work of literary originality...It's a knock off Alan more with a little HP Lovecraft, brilliantly repackaged for the Stock Aitken and Waterman generation.
Phase III, in particular, also owes a sizeable debt to Mike Moorcock (the Multiverse, Conjunction of the Million Spheres, 93 Mantra's Chaos symbol, etc.), an author Grant has ripped off 'paid homage' on more than one occasion, as well as the aforementioned Moore and Lovecraft.

Of course, it's not so much whether a work is especially original or not - there's an argument that originality is very rarely viewed sympathetically but rather it's the refinement of existing ideas that garner the most plaudits - but whether it does anything interesting. I think Morrison's Zenith was certainly interesting. Whether any non-Morrison originated material can also be interesting will be down to the specific creative teams involved (although I would say Yeowell's involvement in any future projects has to be pretty much essential for them to have any sort of validity).
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Steven Denton on 19 September, 2017, 01:44:02 pm
I think Rouge One is the best Star Wars Film. as A story I found it to be more complex, with better characters and stronger writing and acting then any of the other film. I think it's great as do a number of people I know. (85 and 87% fresh would suggest my friends and I don't hold this opinion in isolation)

None of my Favourite Batman Stories are by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, none of the X-Men stories I likes were by Stan Lee. My favourite ever Rouge Trooper story is Cinnabar.

Zenith is fondly remembered with perhaps a degree of nostalgia inflating how good it is in our minds, the thing is new Zenith, good or bad wouldn't diminish that, it's not a Jewel to be displayed untouched and pointed at to show what comics could be, it's a good story that was well executed. If Rory McConville, Nigel Long, and Matt Smith have great story ideas for Zenith I'm as happy to see that as I am Rory McConville, Nigel Long, and Matt Smith's great story ideas for new characters.



     
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Dark Jimbo on 19 September, 2017, 01:53:36 pm
I don't think they're awful, I think they're average - which is what I expect more Zenith, more Devlin Waugh, and more Indigo Prime to be. More for the sake of more.

In fairness, Indigo Prime is mid-story; arguably, so is Devlin (his last story was a prologue for something yet to come). Zenith is a bit of a narrative closed loop, and would feel like more simply for the sake of more.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 19 September, 2017, 05:30:24 pm
None of my Favourite Batman Stories are by Bob Kane and Bill Finger

That's not my argument, Steve.

My argument is that, based on the available evidence*, a Zenith rehash would be okay at best.

I'm not sure what's lost by just trying something new instead.**


* Thirty years of it.

** Something new by the same creators would probably just be okay too, but it would at least add something different to the world and stand a slim chance of being the kind of thing readers are still discussing in thirty years time.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: TordelBack on 19 September, 2017, 06:17:53 pm
Kingdom could have been a Rogue Trooper story, Shakara could have been a Nemesis sequel, Harlem Heroes could have been Harlem Heroes... isn't it better that we have both (apart from that last one)?
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Woolly on 19 September, 2017, 06:20:34 pm
Maybe we should just let creators create and judge the results when they're printed?  :|
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: I, Cosh on 19 September, 2017, 06:45:55 pm
Well, we're back after the weekend break with the answer that absolutely nobody demanded. We can immediately see that one wag spoiled his ballot paper but the big surprise is that I am hopelessly out of tune with the British electorate for the third time running as it's a runaway victory for Phase III.

(https://i.imgur.com/xjykqdZ.jpg)

I should mayeb nail my own colours to the mast. I think the first three phases are all fantastic and four is only a disappointment in comparison.

Like Star Wars, the first is still my favourite as it contains seeds of the others but remains self-contained and has so many standout moments. Two opens out the world and the backstory while Three smashes it gleefully to smithereens and probably shades the best art: there are a couple of individual panels of Mandala and Maximan, hewn from a couple of blocks of thick, black ink which have stuck with me since it was first published.

While thinking about the spurius Crisis on Infinite Earths comparisons, I came across this insightful post (http://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=19322.msg420327#msg420327) where the writer points out that
Quote
It's not setting out to unify or rationalise everything, but setting up a threat worse than the end of a world and it's using a whole load of forgotten and invented characters to provide texture and context for that threat. It's closer to Luther Arkwright [or Moorcock] than Crisis.

It just occurred to me that the whole time Eddie, an ordinary human, is able to outsmart and handle the threat posed by Zenith in much the same way that Peter St. John is able to defeat the Lloigor. As above, so below.

... like Watchmen it's a complete story - it doesn't lend itself to more tales.
Zenith doesn't have the horological precision of Moore's Magnum (space) Octopus, but it is all about structure. And that structure is a closed loop.
Nah mate. It's an omnihedron.

Although I pretty much agree. We need more Zenith the way we need more Dante.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jimmy Baker's Assistant on 19 September, 2017, 06:51:32 pm
Whenever I see the "I wish the'yd just do something new instead" line, I tend to read it as "I wish they'd just do something new instead so I wouldn't hear about it wouldn't read it and wouldn't be interested."

Zenith is an incredible character and I want to see more of him.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Steven Denton on 19 September, 2017, 06:56:00 pm
None of my Favourite Batman Stories are by Bob Kane and Bill Finger

That's not my argument, Steve.

My argument is that, based on the available evidence*, a Zenith rehash would be okay at best.

I'm not sure what's lost by just trying something new instead.**


* Thirty years of it.

** Something new by the same creators would probably just be okay too, but it would at least add something different to the world and stand a slim chance of being the kind of thing readers are still discussing in thirty years time.





New Zenith would be something new, that's why it would be called new Zenith and not Zenith that already exists.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Dark Jimbo on 19 September, 2017, 07:38:11 pm
It's fashionable these days to assume the only people who can handle a property are the original creators. how did that work out for the Phantom Menace and Rouge One?

Or - closer to home - the recent (awful) return of Bad Company?
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 19 September, 2017, 07:41:04 pm
Zenith is an incredible character

I'm not sure he is. See discussion above.

I'm unconvinced by the idea that characters are the main draw, although I can see why it suits publishers to promote that agenda.

When a character has a great line or does something surprising, it's because the writer had a good day at work, rather than anything intrinsic to the fictional shade.

Good creators can produce a great story about a dud character, but the reverse is never true.


Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Hawkmumbler on 19 September, 2017, 08:47:21 pm
It's fashionable these days to assume the only people who can handle a property are the original creators. how did that work out for the Phantom Menace and Rouge One?

Or - closer to home - the recent (awful) return of Bad Company?
That was written by Milligan though, only Ruffus stepping up to fill a role there.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Dark Jimbo on 19 September, 2017, 09:55:49 pm
It's fashionable these days to assume the only people who can handle a property are the original creators. how did that work out for the Phantom Menace and Rouge One?

Or - closer to home - the recent (awful) return of Bad Company?
That was written by Milligan though, only Ruffus stepping up to fill a role there.

Yes, I know, that was my point - written by the original creator, and yet it was terrible.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 19 September, 2017, 10:01:33 pm

I think Jim was citing Kano & Co to illustrate that the original writer doesn't always shit gold - which, once again, for the record, isn't an argument I made.*

Props once again to The Cosh for conducting a poll to prove himself wrong and me right. The subsequent posts suggest the reason for Phase III's overwhelming popularity is indeed that it looks a lot like what readers expect a superhero event story to be.**

Since we're sharing our feelings, only my initial reading experience - particularly the lengthy intermission and dodgy repro during Phase III - allows me to grade the different phases.

Morrison's on fine form throughout - at the time, I had no idea he was helping himself to the fiction-stuff of others, but now I do I'm impressed by the wit and verve with which he does it - and Yeowell makes like a Tibetan monk at Joan of Arc's barbeque too.***


* The ability of humans on the internet to participate in lengthy discussions solely by refuting points that only they have ever made is almost reassuring in its familiarity.

** even if, as Cosh explains, it's something a little more interesting

*** I agree that something's gone from his art by Phase IV, but I blame that on having to alter his style for The Invisibles. Just as the Ghostbusters learn never to cross the streams, Yeowell should never close up those allusive lines and destroy that wonderful negative space.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 19 September, 2017, 10:29:46 pm
I agree that something's gone from (Yeowell's) art by Phase IV, but I blame that on having to alter his style for The Invisibles.

Nobody google that to make sure the chronology checks out. Trust me, it's fine.


Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Arkwright99 on 20 September, 2017, 01:30:41 pm
I agree that something's gone from (Yeowell's) art by Phase IV, but I blame that on having to alter his style for The Invisibles.

Nobody google that to make sure the chronology checks out. Trust me, it's fine.
There's a lot to like in Yeowell's art, even if Phase III is the *ahem* zenith of his career but I confess I never got on with Steve's work in 'The Red Seas'; it was too 'open', had too much white space, and whenever I looked at it the lines just slid off the page. Like the bottom four panels in the page below, I find my eye doesn't know where to focus and I lose the sense of narrative:
(https://futureshockd.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the-red-seas-art-steve-yeowell-copyright-rebellion.jpeg)
Doubtless it's just me but I feel had 'The Red Seas' been a coloured strip, a la Phase IV, I would have enjoyed it more.  :-\

But I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't like the recent Milligan/Dayglo 'Bad Company' strip. Some thing's are better left in the drawer.  :(
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Dash Decent on 20 September, 2017, 01:58:09 pm
Good creators can produce a great story about a dud character, but the reverse is never true.

Dud characters can never produce a great story about good creators?  I'd have to agree!
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Satanist on 20 September, 2017, 02:45:22 pm
Good creators can produce a great story about a dud character, but the reverse is never true.

Dud characters can never produce a great story about good creators?  I'd have to agree!

Bad creators can produce a terrible story about a great character - see Robohunter  ;)
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Frank on 20 September, 2017, 05:32:13 pm
We're talking as if Tharg's announced a new 24 part epic, but he might just want a new strip to bung in the back of another book repackaging the old material.

Not even that!

Michael Molcher ends the latest Thrillcast by asking Yeowell if he's read the piece Matt Smith has written for prog 2050. It sounds like Yeowell may only have provided a generic illustration for a text feature, which would explain why Zenith doesn't appear in the list of strips returning next issue.


Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JLC on 20 September, 2017, 05:52:55 pm
We're talking as if Tharg's announced a new 24 part epic, but he might just want a new strip to bung in the back of another book repackaging the old material.

Not even that!

Michael Molcher ends the latest Thrillcast by asking Yeowell if he's read the piece Matt Smith has written for prog 2050. It sounds like Yeowell may only have provided a generic illustration for a text feature, which would explain why Zenith doesn't appear in the list of strips returning next issue.
Oh, really? Damn.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jim_Campbell on 20 September, 2017, 06:27:58 pm
Oh, really? Damn.

I'm slightly stunned that the prog's line-up conspicuously didn't list Zenith as a strip and yet fans have worked themselves up into a frenzy over a new series, or even a one-off, when it was really quite obvious that wasn't what was happening…
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Dandontdare on 20 September, 2017, 08:13:25 pm
Oh, really? Damn.

I'm slightly stunned that the prog's line-up conspicuously didn't list Zenith as a strip and yet fans have worked themselves up into a frenzy over a new series, or even a one-off, when it was really quite obvious that wasn't what was happening…

Agreed, but that's the fault of a certain PR droid who wasn't averse to giving that impression in the Thrill-mail
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Dandontdare on 20 September, 2017, 08:14:22 pm
Oh, really? Damn.

I'm slightly stunned that the prog's line-up conspicuously didn't list Zenith as a strip and yet fans have worked themselves up into a frenzy over a new series, or even a one-off, when it was really quite obvious that wasn't what was happening…

Agreed, but that's the fault of a certain PR droid who wasn't averse to giving that impression in the Thrill-mail. cf the gay Dredd "controversy - all publicity is good publicity (not)
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Dandontdare on 20 September, 2017, 08:15:27 pm
bollocks,meant to edit rather than quote myself but that function seems to come and go 'randomly'
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Hawkmumbler on 20 September, 2017, 08:20:05 pm
bollocks,meant to edit rather than quote myself but that function seems to come and go 'randomly'
Ready a Kook Cube, Dan's talking to himself again...
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: TordelBack on 20 September, 2017, 08:41:12 pm
I'm slightly stunned...  [that] ...fans have worked themselves up into a frenzy over a new series, or even a one-off, when it was really quite obvious that wasn't what was happening…

Very slightly, one imagines.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JLC on 20 September, 2017, 09:36:18 pm
Oh, really? Damn.

I'm slightly stunned that the prog's line-up conspicuously didn't list Zenith as a strip and yet fans have worked themselves up into a frenzy over a new series, or even a one-off, when it was really quite obvious that wasn't what was happening…

Agreed, but that's the fault of a certain PR droid who wasn't averse to giving that impression in the Thrill-mail
Exactly.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: pauljholden on 21 September, 2017, 11:52:11 am
Oh, really? Damn.

I'm slightly stunned that the prog's line-up conspicuously didn't list Zenith as a strip and yet fans have worked themselves up into a frenzy over a new series, or even a one-off, when it was really quite obvious that wasn't what was happening…

Agreed, but that's the fault of a certain PR droid who wasn't averse to giving that impression in the Thrill-mail

Couple of things:

1) If you're talking about Molcher, it's unlikely he saw that particular thrill mail.
2) ISN'T THE JOB OF PR TO GET YOU EXCITED ABOUT SOMETHING?

I'm with Jim, pretty clear if you read the tea leaves* that there isn't a zenith strip in that prog, but what would you have the advert lead with? "Look at this cool picture of zenith, no before you all go off half-cocked, there isn't a zenith revival coming or anything..."

(*By which I mean, just look at the full description)

-pj
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: TordelBack on 21 September, 2017, 12:11:58 pm
Well I haven't felt so betrayed since we were lead to believe that Dredd was gay, or dead, or filmed beating someone to death; I forget which one - but the outrage never fades!
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Hawkmumbler on 21 September, 2017, 12:23:11 pm
Well I haven't felt so betrayed since we were lead to believe that Dredd was gay, or dead, or filmed beating someone to death; I forget which one - but the outrage never fades!
Erm, excuse me, trigg-I mean spoiler warning!
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Steven Sterlacchini on 21 September, 2017, 03:03:14 pm

1) If you're talking about Molcher, it's unlikely he saw that particular thrill mail.
2) ISN'T THE JOB OF PR TO GET YOU EXCITED ABOUT SOMETHING?

Can I be the first to congratulate Mike on his graduation to 'one name celebrity' status.

Prince, Beyonce, Cher, Elvis and now Molcher.

Well done!

 :D
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: TordelBack on 21 September, 2017, 03:21:02 pm
Can I be the first to congratulate Mike on his graduation to 'one name celebrity' status.

Oh it's his actual name? From context, I thought it was a sexual verb used as an insult, along the lines of Felcher.

 ;)
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Steve Green on 21 September, 2017, 03:31:12 pm
It'll be a squiggle next, or maybe just the sound of a sigh.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Hawkmumbler on 21 September, 2017, 03:57:13 pm

1) If you're talking about Molcher, it's unlikely he saw that particular thrill mail.
2) ISN'T THE JOB OF PR TO GET YOU EXCITED ABOUT SOMETHING?

Can I be the first to congratulate Mike on his graduation to 'one name celebrity' status.

Prince, Beyonce, Cher, Elvis and now Molcher.

Well done!

 :D

Interesting that you never see any of them in the same room at the same time though...hhhmmm
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jimmy Baker's Assistant on 21 September, 2017, 07:49:50 pm
I commend the PR shenanigans, but as a well and truly lapsed reader of the weekly comic it's a bit harder to lure me back than that. I am going to flick through prog 2050 in WH Smiths and then either purchase it if there's a Zenith comic strip included or else return it to the shelves if not.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: pauljholden on 22 September, 2017, 07:25:34 am
I commend the PR shenanigans, but as a well and truly lapsed reader of the weekly comic it's a bit harder to lure me back than that. I am going to flick through prog 2050 in WH Smiths and then either purchase it if there's a Zenith comic strip included or else return it to the shelves if not.

What an impressive f**k you to everyone else’s hard work in the comic. Well done.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Bolt-01 on 22 September, 2017, 08:55:43 am
I commend the PR shenanigans, but as a well and truly lapsed reader of the weekly comic it's a bit harder to lure me back than that. I am going to flick through prog 2050 in WH Smiths and then either purchase it if there's a Zenith comic strip included or else return it to the shelves if not.

Lapsed? Sweet Grud- you should fix that. There is no excuse.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jim_Campbell on 22 September, 2017, 09:06:25 am
There is no excuse.

We should have a weekly roll-call thread: every forum member has to post a picture of themselves with the current prog in their hands, or get banned. Unless they have a note from their mum.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Steve Green on 22 September, 2017, 09:20:49 am
Or you have to do your posting in your pants.

What do you mean, nothing new there?
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Hawkmumbler on 22 September, 2017, 09:27:34 am
What about us Ipad wanke....'readers'? :P
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jimmy Baker's Assistant on 22 September, 2017, 10:21:38 am
What an impressive f**k you to everyone else’s hard work in the comic. Well done.

I'm sorry if you took it like that. My main issue with the prog is that I don't like them as physical objects, it's nothing to do with the creators involved. Indeed, I have plenty of PJ Holden books in my collection.

Surely the point of this Zenith thing is to make some extra sales. Would be a bit hard if everyone who might be interested was already slavishly purchasing every possible Rebellion product.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: dweezil2 on 22 September, 2017, 10:30:27 am
There's no excuse to be a lapsed reader, the Prog has been on excellent form for longer than I can remember, Zenith or no Zenith!  ;)
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Magnetica on 22 September, 2017, 01:29:41 pm
Maybe it’s me, but I have never understood why you would be a member of a forum for a comic you don’t read.

But if it brings someone back into the fold, whether that is buying the weekly Prog, some TPBs / GNs or the Mega / Ultimate Collection, then I guess that is a good thing.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Steven Denton on 22 September, 2017, 03:30:23 pm
Not reading the prog and not buying collections and merchandise are two entirely different things. Would be a bit weird to comment on the new prog thread though.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JLC on 22 September, 2017, 06:34:32 pm
There's no excuse to be a lapsed reader, the Prog has been on excellent form for longer than I can remember, Zenith or no Zenith!  ;)
:lol:
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: The Amstor Computer on 23 September, 2017, 01:02:58 pm
Just received prog 2050 in the post, and it's interesting to see the Zenith piece which is a one-page faux magazine interview accompanied by Yeowell's Zenith pinup.

Not quite the Matt-Smith-as-second-coming-of-Alan-McKenzie I've seen suggested elsewhere, presumably based on this and the Indigo Prime/Devlin Waugh situation...  :)
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JLC on 23 September, 2017, 01:41:38 pm
Just received prog 2050 in the post, and it's interesting to see the Zenith piece which is a one-page faux magazine interview accompanied by Yeowell's Zenith pinup.
Thanks for the warning!
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: pauljholden on 23 September, 2017, 01:52:41 pm
What an impressive f**k you to everyone else’s hard work in the comic. Well done.

I'm sorry if you took it like that. My main issue with the prog is that I don't like them as physical objects, it's nothing to do with the creators involved. Indeed, I have plenty of PJ Holden books in my collection.

Surely the point of this Zenith thing is to make some extra sales. Would be a bit hard if everyone who might be interested was already slavishly purchasing every possible Rebellion product.

I was grumpy, for which I apologise.

I disagree with your characterisation of the motive behind the zenith piece. More likely Matt thought it would be fun and the pr droids decided to maximise its exposure.

-pj

Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Richard on 23 September, 2017, 05:36:21 pm
It is a Zenith story. It's a prose story rather than a comic strip, but it still counts. I liked it.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Eric Plumrose on 23 September, 2017, 06:28:01 pm
Maybe it’s me, but I have never understood why you would be a member of a forum for a comic you don’t read.

2000 AD has a forty-year publication history. Why should someone's squaxxship be dependent only on what's being published currently?
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: TordelBack on 23 September, 2017, 06:56:40 pm
Being a reader of one of this forum's earlier incarnations (alt.comics.2000AD) was what got me back into reading 2000AD in the late '90s after a 4 year break.  Posts from guys like David Bishop and John Smith hooked me in, and it was there that I read that Cam Kennedy and Colin Wilson were returning to Dredd for Doomsday, and on the strength of that bought a copy of Prog 1141  And here I remain.

But even saying that, financial circumstances prevented me buying the prog or meg for much of 2011, but the forum sustained me through all that and out the other side. 

So I can well understand the various reasons that a fan might read a forum, and not be currently buying the comic.  2000AD is bigger than any one year.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JamesC on 23 September, 2017, 07:14:06 pm
I find it hard to understand why, if you're interested in 2000ad and its characters, you wouldn't be buying it currently.
It's as good as it's ever been and if you even read a 10th of what's posted on the forum surely your curiosity would be piqued? And it's not like it's hard to find a copy.
I rarely post in the prog thread these days (I buy my copy on a Weds and most people have said what needs saying by then) but rest assured, I'm a paid-up current era Squaxx and proud!
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Eric Plumrose on 23 September, 2017, 08:23:08 pm
2000AD is bigger than any one year.

Quite. And even being a leap year, the year 2000 itself still managed only a paltry 366 days. As compared to the 14,819 days* Tharg's magnificent organ's been doing the rounds** .





* As of 23 September, 2017.

** How does he keep it up, you wonder? Plasticity.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Eric Plumrose on 23 September, 2017, 08:38:09 pm
I find it hard to understand why, if you're interested in 2000ad and its characters, you wouldn't be buying it currently.

In my case, disenchantment with comics in general. Which doesn't negate the not insignificant factificance that 2000 AD remains my favourite comic to this day*.





* As of this post, still 23 September, 2017.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Arkwright99 on 23 September, 2017, 11:49:51 pm
My main issue with the prog is that I don't like them as physical objects...
Good News! You can now buy the prog in a digital, non-physical, format (https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/SUBPRG1MD). And, as a reward from the benevolent Mighty One for not participating in the weekly felling of the Earth's tree population, a digital subscription is cheaper than the print edition. :D

Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: moly on 24 September, 2017, 08:11:22 am
I thought the zenith piece was a nice touch and enjoyed it
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Jim_Campbell on 24 September, 2017, 08:49:04 am
Good News! You can now buy the prog in a digital, non-physical, format (https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/SUBPRG1MD). And, as a reward from the benevolent Mighty One for not participating in the weekly felling of the Earth's tree population, a digital subscription is cheaper than the print edition. :D

With the added bonus that a much greater share of the Galactic Groats expended goes to Tharg's mighty organ than a high street/newsagent purchase.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Colin YNWA on 24 September, 2017, 11:27:17 am
I thought the zenith piece was a nice touch and enjoyed it

This.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JLC on 24 September, 2017, 04:33:38 pm
I find it hard to understand why, if you're interested in 2000ad and its characters, you wouldn't be buying it currently.
It's as good as it's ever been and if you even read a 10th of what's posted on the forum surely your curiosity would be piqued? And it's not like it's hard to find a copy.
I rarely post in the prog thread these days (I buy my copy on a Weds and most people have said what needs saying by then) but rest assured, I'm a paid-up current era Squaxx and proud!
I've been buying it again for a couple years & disagree. About to give up again, not enough good content to justify me buying it regularly.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: robert_ellis on 24 September, 2017, 04:37:41 pm
That Zenith interview was great. I enjoyed the previous (grant Morrison) one from years back which has never been reprinted. This was far more poignant & touching than I could have hoped for!
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Colin YNWA on 24 September, 2017, 04:49:03 pm
Seriously why is anyone worrying about what other folk choose to spend their money on? If someone isn't enjoying the Prog at any one time why on earth would they continue buying it*? It doesn't make them any less of a fan of the stuff they do enjoy. The fact that they come and hang out here is surely a good thing as by keeping in touch they become aware of all the other stuff they can pump into Rebellion's coffers, trades etc AND they may well see something about the Prog that gets them reading again.

*Why on earth that would be at the moment escapes me the Progs on sparkling form at the moment and has been for some time - mind that's the way with the Galaxy's Greatest diferent people enjoy different things in it. Been discussed elsewhere of course.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JamesC on 24 September, 2017, 08:11:28 pm
I find it hard to understand why, if you're interested in 2000ad and its characters, you wouldn't be buying it currently.
It's as good as it's ever been and if you even read a 10th of what's posted on the forum surely your curiosity would be piqued? And it's not like it's hard to find a copy.
I rarely post in the prog thread these days (I buy my copy on a Weds and most people have said what needs saying by then) but rest assured, I'm a paid-up current era Squaxx and proud!
I've been buying it again for a couple years & disagree. About to give up again, not enough good content to justify me buying it regularly.

Fair enough if you're not enjoying it. I think it's really good at the moment though - can't remember the last time I skipped a strip.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JayzusB.Christ on 02 October, 2017, 10:26:44 pm
Haven't read all this thread (or indeed much of anything on the forum lately) but I liked the Zenith piece a lot. Always wondered what he was up to these days.

Also don't quite understand why Phase 4 wasn't held in high regard. It blew my mind twice in the space of twenty years. https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=38501.0
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Richard on 02 October, 2017, 11:07:07 pm
Phase IV is one of the best stories ever to appear in 2000AD in the last 40 years.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Richard on 03 October, 2017, 12:06:21 am
Just read that thread you linked to, and it's brilliant. I'll have to re-read Zenith soon.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: IndigoPrime on 03 October, 2017, 09:25:56 am
I agree: Phase IV was horrifying and a really solid ending to a great series. The only negative for me was the decision to have the thing in colour.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: I, Cosh on 03 October, 2017, 09:41:32 am
Also don't quite understand why Phase 4 wasn't held in high regard. It blew my mind twice in the space of twenty years. https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=38501.0
That's a great thread! For me, I think Phase 4 is a great ending to the story but it's just not as engaging a story in itself. The shift of focus to the distanced narrator telling us about the Lloigor and what happens makes everything less immediate than the other three. That it's the weakest of the four certainly doesn't make it bad.

Plus, you know, the colours. Actually, maybe that was a deliberate decision to try and give the reader a taste of the impossible horrors visited on the unprepared human mind exposed to creatures from outside space and time.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Greg M. on 03 October, 2017, 05:15:22 pm
Phase IV is, effectively, the Virtual Reality Prison story that all Future Shock writers are told to avoid.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Rara Avis on 03 October, 2017, 06:18:14 pm
I just want to pipe up and say I loved Phase IV.

Felt the same way reading that as I did reading the end of Use of Weapons.

Maybe it doesn't stand up to repeat readings but I remember that feeling.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: JayzusB.Christ on 03 October, 2017, 08:21:33 pm
I kind of liked the colour, personally - the flat day-glo primaries were perfect for the post-baggy / rave scene that the pre-Lloigor-victory story centred around.  Though I suspect, now I think of it, the post-apocalyptic black sun scenes may have worked better in black and white.
Title: Re: Zenith returns in Prog 2050!
Post by: Richard on 04 October, 2017, 12:03:52 am
That's okay, we see those same scenes in black and white in a premonition in one of the other Phases (probably 3 but I can't remember). I liked Phase 4 in colour, but I suppose it's a matter of taste. It's not as if it was coloured badly, like that Dredd story Yeowell did not long before.

Off topic now: I totally agree about Use of Weapons. It's one of my all-time favourite books, but I think I can never read it again because knowing how it ends means it will be impossible to recapture that feeling of reading it for the first time. It's rather like watching Se7en or Reservoir Dogs for the first time. Or, indeed, Zenith Phase IV.

P.S.:-
Quote
Phase IV is, effectively, the Virtual Reality Prison story that all Future Shock writers are told to avoid.
  :D :D :D