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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 15452 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #345 on: 11 November, 2017, 09:35:07 am »
I have to be honest I've enjoyed all the BC sequals with the exception of BC 2002. I'm a big BIG fan of Kano which just feels like a natural extension of the war story tropes which so underpinned the first series. Its a brilliant and typically Pete Milligan take on the old soldier not being able to adjust to civilian life.

I also really enjoyed First Casualties - though I do want to re-read it at some point. People seemed to struggle with the whole everyone is back thing without seemingly getting both the title and the line in the last part (as I recall as I say I do need to reread it) that the first casulty of war is truth is so fundamental to my reading of what Pete Milligan was doing.

Anyway you can often tell great 2000ad stories by the diversity of opinions about them. The bad ones no one really cares about!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #346 on: 11 November, 2017, 10:11:07 am »
Anyway to other matters.

Before I get to my main thing here I just want to quickly ask is Slaine - The Killing Field the best 3 page 2000ad story ever? I mean I accept there's probably not too much competition but its just so effective and beautiful in its grim ugliness.

Oh and I love Steve Parkhouse so and I do like Jim McCarthy* but the last two parts of Full Mental Jacket so that Steve Parkhouse and Jim McCarthy* just doesn't work.

Anyway to my main point. A.B.C. Warriors - The Black Hole ... hmmm .... man I used to love this, I mean really love it, as in think it was better than the original run of the strip. Now... and don't get me wrong I still really enjoyed it... but its really lost some of its sheen. I think a big part of that is I'm 'growing' out of Simon Bisley's art. In the same way as I've grown older I've come to love Jack Kirby or Ron Smith, I've stopped liking The Biz so much as I now can hardly look at Jim Lee's work.

That's cool, tastes change, but what's more signifcent here is the fact that the art is so defining in how I think about the story. Normally I think of myself as more writer focused than art focused. It varies a little and its not as if I don't think the art is important, its just I think great art can't save a naff story and naff art doesn't destroy a great story. Yet here the art is so BIG so significent at times the story can get a little lost.

Which is a shame as its a good one, a very good one. Mills at his best. The A.B.C. Warriors at their most chaotic and interesting before they became all KHAOTIC and dull (they do get better again luckily). Its clear though good as the story is, interesting and atypical as the characteration, probably the most interesting part of the story, the whole plot thing does feel secondary. My option of this story is shaped by my option of the art.

My view of SMS hasn't really changed over the years. Its close but not quite there for me. It has moments of wonder and glory, but at others there's something off about it, the lighting, the way he structures faces, the inking. Nothing quite gells and nothing feels too solid and grounded. Its not bad, not bad at all, but just not as evocative as Bisley's. As I've said already however, Bisley is so of his time, so of my time, that I look at it now and while I still enjoy it, it has nowhere near the impact on me it did back in the day.

I'm really intrigued to see how I get on with Horned God now!

*It is Jim not Brendan as listed on Barney right? I mean that's got to be Jim McCarthy inking Steve Parkhouse surely????

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #347 on: 11 November, 2017, 07:39:20 pm »
I think there are parallels to be drawn between SMS and David Pugh. Artists not seen in the Prog before doing a very good job on a legendary strip being  completely over shadowed by the other artist who is producing work of a level virtually never seen in the Prog before.

It’s kinda interesting the level of reverence the Squaxx show to Bisley given the limited amount of work he has actually done for Tharg. The Black Hole, The Horned God a few Heavy Metal Dredds and a few covers. And that’s about it.

But that’s what happens when what you do do moves the bar so high.

Smith

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #348 on: 11 November, 2017, 07:52:49 pm »
Bisley is a bit like Rob Liefeld.In a sense that hes got a unique style that got aped waaaay too much.
Cant say I was ever really a fan of the muddy-painted art in general,tbh.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #349 on: 11 November, 2017, 08:54:02 pm »
Bisley is a bit like Rob Liefeld.In a sense that hes got a unique style that got aped waaaay too much.
Cant say I was ever really a fan of the muddy-painted art in general,tbh.

Probably not the place for this discussion but I'd say that Liefeld of one of the copiers. McFarlane the original? Your point certainly carries though.

Smith

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #350 on: 11 November, 2017, 09:15:46 pm »
Its hard to say whos the original there,and not all that important after all these years.
All Image founders quoted similar inspirations like: Kirby,Miller,Corben,Bilal...
But thats a different story...As I was saying,my problem isnt so much with Bisley,as with EVERYONE who decided to imitate him.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #351 on: 12 November, 2017, 08:29:12 pm »
Well it is the self absorbed thread so the following self quote from almost 9 years ago now... well I feel no shame!

Quote
Slowly but surely going through my progs in groups of 100 reading the good bits. This weekend amongst many more obvious classics (Zenith Book II weakest of the bunch but still absolutely brillant) I came up to Tribal Memories 580s

I always remember liking this story but my God I hadn't remembered how good it was. So much packed into 4 short episodes. Great characters, great ideas, wonderful art. An absolute classic.

Such a shame that for whatever reason (I must dig out Thrillpower Overload and see if it has anything to say on the matter) the characters weren't used again. Sometimes its fair to say these things are left alone BUT there seems so much more scope to play with in the world Milligan and 'Riot' created here. Such great potential for future stories.

Next time someone bumps into Pete Milligan ask him to sack Marvel and DC for a while and get back into this wonderful world from his past... well you never know.

9 years on from reading Tribal Memories the last time and my opinion hasn't changed. And since Pete Milligan has returned to these pastures I'd love to see more here. Oh and before anyone else says (as they did 9 years ago). Yes I agree it does work absolutely fine on its own and less often less is more BUT in this case I just think there was such potential for at least one more story. Very unlikely to ever happen but hey if it did...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #352 on: 12 November, 2017, 08:42:36 pm »
Oh and criminally I almost forgot, before we get to MORE! to mention 'The No-Go Job' - I remember thinking it was such a shot in the arm for Strontium Dog back in the day and you know what, I still do.

While the strip hadn't been bad it really hadn't ever recovered from the astonishing quality of 'Rage' and 'Incident on Mayger Minor' and had felt like it'd been treading water a little since then. Nowt was especially bad, though there were moments, but nothing was close to the quality of some of series previous highs.

Not sure if it was the shift in art, though surely it played some part. The fact that Alan Grant knew what he had planned and where the series was going? Whatever it was this fun little 8 parter really cranked up the quality and while you'll always miss Carlos maybe Simon Harrison was just what the series needed for where it was going.

Overall a thriumph and I can't wait to revisit and revaluate Final Solution just around the corner.

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #353 on: 13 November, 2017, 01:49:32 pm »
Couldn't agree more on Simon Harrison's art being just what Strontium Dog needed. And I say that despite thinking 'The Rammy' and 'Stone Killers' were both top tier Stront outings, loads of fun characters, good jokes and clever plotting. But the 'No-Go Job' somehow kicked things up a notch, purely by virtue of showing you the same world seen through different eyes.
It probably helps also that Harrison, for all his greatness, didn't spawn an army of imitators, so his work has held up way better than early Simon Bisley in my eyes.

(Oh, and to reply to a question earlier, for my money Rob Liefeld was mostly trying to ape Art Adams. For reasons that only make sense to 12-year-old me, I still find early Liefeld to be super dynamic and exciting to look at, even though I can now see his many flaws with anatomy, perspective and above all, storytelling)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #354 on: 13 November, 2017, 07:53:28 pm »

It probably helps also that Harrison, for all his greatness, didn't spawn an army of imitators, so his work has held up way better than early Simon Bisley in my eyes.


Yeah I think that could well be very true.

Mind who the heck could imitate Simon Harrison? Such a wonderfully unique sense of design and dynamic fresh realisation. I do wonder if folks could have immitated him of they'd tried.

Bit like Bill Sienkiewicz (once he shock off his own influences) you can see the odd person trying but most realise they weren't going to get close!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #355 on: 17 November, 2017, 09:14:38 pm »
Specials 1988

Well with the introduction of the Judge Dredd Special in 1988 its a pretty good year for our bump summer treats. New new Dredd addtional to the holiday bananza is a slim old beast but packs some quality in. 'The Blob' is a solid Alan Grant and John Higgins number, trumped by the wildly fun 'The Fall Guy' by Grant and Simpson, a thrill I've always loved for no real reason than its immense fun. Large swaves of the special though are filled with reprints of the daily Dredds which I remember enjoying at the time but don't quite hold up any more for me, all be it with some fun Gibson art.

The star of the show however - well assuming we don't count the glorious Brendon McCarthy 'Dredd's World' centre spread - it 'Blockers' and while I might not be the biggest Casanovas fan in the work the Wagner story is just such a riot of wonderful ideas and glorious Mega City madness its a delight and packs so much invention, great characters and humour into 5 pages its untrue. Just superb.

Interesting to note as well the Bolland cover is the first 'modern' Bolland image of Dredd. There's something about this depiction of Dredd from the great Bolland that seems a departure from his work of the past on Dredd and more a link to the US cover work he became known for. I can't quite place what but all his future Dredd's seem to stem from this image (or just this is the first of the kind)... that could be complete poppycock but something seems to have shifted.

Over at the bigger brother of the two specials the 2000ad Special also has some real highlights and a lot of filler in its bigger page count. The real star is John Smith's warm us up for Soft Bodies with the more comprehensible Tyranny Rex story deeply embeded in Indigo Prime and features many of its older characters and ones that will appear today. Its a curio these days but a wonderful one.

There are other slighter cute curios, the Zenith 'photo wall'on the inside cover (was this reprinted in the Zenith collections?) real fun. A Brendan McCarthy almost centre spread (again) of Johnny Alpha introducing a solid story, Grant Morrison misfiring in Venus Bluegenes and a couple of fun text pieces, one on the Halo Jones play and another on Comic Marts with then rare pictures of creators.

There's some so so other stuff and I'll be honest I really don't enjoy Phil Elliott on Dredd.

So yeah the Specials, much like the annuals remain a frsutration. They have some really gems in there, but sometimes it feels like they take some digging to find!