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Author Topic: How old is Johnny Alpha?  (Read 5836 times)

Steven Denton

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #45 on: 12 September, 2018, 11:29:06 am »
Getting a Colin Macneil cover for Dogbreath is the second highest 'grail' choice of artist for me.

Simon Harrison being the number 1 choice, obviously.

Bolt-01

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #46 on: 12 September, 2018, 11:35:37 am »
It's like you were reading my mind...

Dark Jimbo

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #47 on: 12 September, 2018, 01:13:08 pm »
It could easily have picked up where Peter Hogan left off, done some stuff with Precious Matson's investigations, found Alpha's remains, and then it's off to see the Stone Wizards. Wagner could have written largely the same story without junking the post-Final Solution stories, many of which were pretty enjoyable (they just suffered from the erratic way they appeared in the comic).

As a newer reader, though, who missed out on all the 90s stories, I've encountered Stront through the trade collections. And I want to be able to go from Final Solution straight to ...Life and Death  without having to track down some fairly spottily reprinted stories to fully understand what's going on, meaning a trawl through Ebay for tatty back progs or Megazine supplements (which never even finished reprinting the series anyway!)

As things stand, I don't feel like I'm missing out on a thing. Feral's a character in Final Solution - okay. Ah, here he is again in Life and Death, and the story's filling me in on what he's been up to since Final Solution. Great. I'm on board. Don't feel I'm missing out on a thing. But I can see that the junking of a character/story you liked must annoy.

Robin Low

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #48 on: 12 September, 2018, 02:03:54 pm »
It could easily have picked up where Peter Hogan left off, done some stuff with Precious Matson's investigations, found Alpha's remains, and then it's off to see the Stone Wizards. Wagner could have written largely the same story without junking the post-Final Solution stories, many of which were pretty enjoyable (they just suffered from the erratic way they appeared in the comic).

As a newer reader, though, who missed out on all the 90s stories, I've encountered Stront through the trade collections. And I want to be able to go from Final Solution straight to ...Life and Death  without having to track down some fairly spottily reprinted stories to fully understand what's going on, meaning a trawl through Ebay for tatty back progs or Megazine supplements (which never even finished reprinting the series anyway!)

As things stand, I don't feel like I'm missing out on a thing. Feral's a character in Final Solution - okay. Ah, here he is again in Life and Death, and the story's filling me in on what he's been up to since Final Solution. Great. I'm on board. Don't feel I'm missing out on a thing. But I can see that the junking of a character/story you liked must annoy.

Yeah, I can see that not having read the Ennis/Hogan stuff makes it easy to go from Final Solution to Life and Death. Even many of us who have read the stories are happy to dismiss them. But for me personally, removing them from the story is a great loss. I wish the Ennis and Hogan stuff had been properly collected in sequence - some folk might take a different view of them if they could reread it in a complete and coherent manner.

I'm enjoying the Strontium Dog stories, but they do feel, I dunno, kind of dislocated to me. But then, I'm feeling kind of dislocated from the entire comic at the moment.

Regards,

Robin

broodblik

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #49 on: 12 September, 2018, 03:24:48 pm »
Both Final Solution and Life and Death are stories that never should have been conceived. It was without me releasing at the time the start of the decline. The Final Solution was almost like a door that closed for me on the prog.

I am currently in the process of rereading all the SD stories up until the Final Solution. As a story Final Solution is much better than I can remember. When I initially read it I just hated the fact that this was an end of era. The art of Simon Harrison did not help the overall experience. I just could not get into his art. The latter parts where done by Colin MacNeil. I can see him taking over when Carlos calls it quits.  I am still asking: why did Grant decide on ending Johnny ?

Steve Green

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #50 on: 12 September, 2018, 03:42:03 pm »
Heard a couple of possibles.

Richard Burton said something about SD popularity dropping off and it needed a change.

Creators were looking elsewhere and maybe wanted to kill the characters so no-one took over.

I think it struggled a bit after Rage.

That seemed like a natural end for the strip, with incident on Mayger Minor as a coda.

The Rammy was fun, Bitch seemed to go on way too long, and Stone Killers was fine, but killing Wulf ripped the heart out of the strip for me and it never really recovered.

broodblik

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #51 on: 12 September, 2018, 03:59:01 pm »
......but killing Wulf ripped the heart out of the strip for me and it never really recovered.

Yes that is so true

TordelBack

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #52 on: 12 September, 2018, 06:49:03 pm »
Agreed.  I didn't even like 'The Ragnarok Job' much (really didn't need Wulf to be an ACTUAL Viking),  bar the last episode which was one of the greatest comics-reading moments of my life,  and while I admire 'Rage' greatly,  it also felt (appropriately) hollow.  After the excellent 'Incident of Major Shane Ripoff', it was pretty much diminishing returns for me, a bit like Ace Trucking post-'The Nitelite Flight'. I was actually delighted with the shake-up that 'The No-Go Job' seemed to represent,  for all that I missed Carlos.

It turned out that Wulf was just as important to the strip as Johnny, despite generally appearing to be either the readers' everyman mouthpiece or the comic relief.

I wonder can you draw a parallel with Dredd and MC-1, post-DoC?
« Last Edit: 12 September, 2018, 06:54:54 pm by TordelBack »

Funt Solo

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #53 on: 12 September, 2018, 07:13:57 pm »
I've always found Strontium Dog to be a bit hit and miss.  My reading started with Death's Head - and there was a collection of super-strong stories from there through to Portrait of a Mutant.

But some of the stories just felt like they either didn't have anything new to say (The Kid Knee Caper) or that they dragged too much (Bitch).

Killing Wulf off was a great story but a terrible legacy. By the time we got to The Rammy and Stone Killers I was just utterly bored of it.  So The No-Go Job (and, latterly, The Final Solution) was just a beautiful injection of new creativity that enlivened a once-great thrill that had started to tread water.

Strontium Dogs was a lull.  Gronk as The Terminator?  Like the re-imagined Robo-Hunter, it was just wrong.  I liked Tales from the Doghouse, though (as sort of superior Future Shocks).

I then enjoyed The Kreeler Conspiracy, but ultimately found myself back in the doldrums with things like A Shaggy Dog Story and "Blood Moon".  Design-wise, I could never buy that a bunch of hardened freedom fighters were following orders from a Kiss-reject.

I've just completed reading Mutant Spring (Life and Death chapter 3) and am finding it a bit derivative of Portrait of a Mutant.
fate amenable to change

Dandontdare

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #54 on: 12 September, 2018, 07:14:29 pm »
Getting a Colin Macneil cover for Dogbreath is the second highest 'grail' choice of artist for me.

Simon Harrison being the number 1 choice, obviously.

It's like you were reading my mind...

So if a certain Spanish gentleman offered, you wouldn't be that interested?  ;)

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #55 on: 12 September, 2018, 10:13:16 pm »
Think I might be the only person who liked Simon Harrison on Strontium Dog.  Very different from Carlos, of course, but it suited the weirdness of the Lyrans, the other dimension, Sagan and Stonehenge well, and the dynamism of Feral's sudden acts of violence.
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Greg M.

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #56 on: 13 September, 2018, 06:46:31 am »
I thought Harrison's art was great - on the basis of a recent re-read, it was one of the few good things about The Final Solution. (Particularly fond of his Middenface.) At the time, I found the story quite exciting on a weekly basis, but read as a whole it doesn't hold up particularly well.

Robin Low

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #57 on: 13 September, 2018, 07:17:03 am »
Think I might be the only person who liked Simon Harrison on Strontium Dog.  Very different from Carlos, of course, but it suited the weirdness of the Lyrans, the other dimension, Sagan and Stonehenge well, and the dynamism of Feral's sudden acts of violence.

It's so long ago that I can't remember if I immediately liked it or told myself to be open-minded about it. There's no denying that after years of Ezquerra it was one hell of a shock to the system. The same was true about John Hicklenton's Nemesis after Bryan Talbot, but I loved that.

Harrison's art has (as you note) some real dynamism about it, although I'm not so sure it stands up so well on the smaller pages of the trade collection; I'd have to dig out old progs to compare. However, given that this was going to be (in theory) the final story it was probably a mistake to use something so radically different. Because Harrison's style felt so wrong to so many people, I think it biased a lot of people against Harrison, and that's a shame.

Perhaps a bigger mistake was to use full colour to finish the story, although I know that's how the Prog was as the time. As it stands, Colin MacNeil's painted conclusion is still beautiful (it's my preferred MacNeil style). However, MacNeil had already demonstrated that he could do a very good black and white Strontium Dog, and it might have been nice to finish it off that way.

Regards,

Robin

Robin Low

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #58 on: 13 September, 2018, 07:30:35 am »
I wonder can you draw a parallel with Dredd and MC-1, post-DoC?

You might have a point there, although it's not as blatant as missing a main character. There have been some good stories post-DoC and we have a group of writers who can write Dredd's voice, but it all feels kind of rudderless. But what's really missing is Wagner's voice.

Regards,

Robin

Bolt-01

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #59 on: 13 September, 2018, 08:30:20 am »
Getting a Colin Macneil cover for Dogbreath is the second highest 'grail' choice of artist for me.

Simon Harrison being the number 1 choice, obviously.

It's like you were reading my mind...

So if a certain Spanish gentleman offered, you wouldn't be that interested?  ;)

Ah, DDD- the true San-grail has already turned me down unfortunately. Maybe one day, Grud willing.