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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 40809 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #360 on: 09 December, 2017, 09:14:53 pm »
A few quick thoughts on the late 500's:

1. Kev Walkers fisrt work in 2000ad (I think) a few future shocks in 90s. Man I'd not have recognised it!
2. Moonrunners. Its not bad so much as insanely dull... its as forgetable as Angel!
3. Chris Western's early art, first work in 2000ad (I think) is a couple of Dredds in 90s. Man I'd recognise it but its a mile from the quality of his later work.
4. Soft Bodies still baffles me.
5. Copper - Soul on Fire is a fantastic little short story
6. MORE! is still struggling to fill its pages - as the odd reprint slips in.
7. Whatever happened to portable mini VCRs 598 seems to think they will hit hard... I don't think they did!
8. Torque the Otter. One of the great fan art puns of our time.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #361 on: 10 December, 2017, 09:10:58 pm »
Prog 600

By this stage I am kinda wondering what the heck Tharg has been thinking. I have a feeling that this was covered in Thrillpowered Overload and its something to do with him not being able to replace departing talent quick enough but being committed to the attempt to expand the comic. Makes for all sorts of crazy scheduling. Somewhere between 589 and 600 there's an absolutely stella launch Prog. As it lands in reality it just looks like Thargs throwing things in at random and hasn't been planning ahead.

600 is actually a cracking Prog, in the main. Rogue Trooper, while not my favourite is back, though as I recall this story is a wasted effort. There's a particular fun Dredd as Gods gamble with Mega City One brought to us by Alan Grant and Glenn Farby... much as I love it, it does rather read like it was meant for an annual... maybe Tharg was getting desperate for pages by now! Zenith Phase 2 continues to be glorious and I'll get back to that soon enough, its its deep into its story. Moonrunners drones on. I'm only still reading it as I'm so curious as to how its so dull and poorly executed.

Finally (well first in Prog terms actually!) we have Simon Harrions continue his run on Strointium Dog with the absolutely supreme (at least at first) Final Solution kicking off. I've already said how much I love his work on the strip and this story, as I recall, really plays to his strenghts, as his first dark sinister tale, balanced with some gloriously odd ball co-stars demonstrates so well.

So yeah its a pretty cool Prog, just not as jump on as it might be, as was Prog 589... really need to be reading Thrillpower Overload in conjunction with my read, but it would spoil my attempt to read this as unsulled as possible.

Oh and love the fact that Willow brings the retunrn of the half page movie strip. Thought these little movie 'trailers' were long gone, so chuffed to see this on in here which I'd completely forgotten about.

So lets see how Tharg is able to round of 1988 and whether he starts to get his house in order.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #362 on: 11 December, 2017, 09:07:38 pm »
So a few more things.

Did John Smith just get bored of Soft Bodies and whole - it was a film thing - was just a way to wrap it up asap?

The more I read Zenith Phase II the more I think it might be my favourite and that's as a MASSIVE fan of Phase III. I think its just the most interesting examination of Zenith as a character and so much more cutting than anything thing either side. Its sets up the intrigue that GMozz more than delivers on but does so really, really well. Its also fascinating to see Steve Yeowell develop into the artist at his peak over the course of the strip. Its almost perfect, it really is.

Quote
Common sense dictates that figures cannot always be rght- and if they're sometimes wrong, why, they could just as easily always be wrong
Alan Grant, Strontium Dog,  Prog 604

And almost 30 years later this arguement helped to get us Brexit - damn those pesky facts and experts!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #363 on: 12 December, 2017, 09:08:35 pm »
Where as 1987 was a difficult one for me to judge, certainly in comparison to what had gone in the two years before

1988

is much easier. While its an odd year with so many up and downs, highs and lows its not as good as any of the last 3 years, not close. 2000ad has gone into its teen years (a little early I'll grant you) and its had a growth spurt as I've mentioned before, but here its clear its grown a little too quickly and its all gone a little awkward and uncomfortable in its newly transformed body. Thrillpowered hormones have pushed the comic into all sorts of interesting and challenging new scenarios but its become clear its not quite ready to handle it and at times it seems to just embarrass itself with its pretensions of maturity - sorry Soft Bodies. At times its just plain dull when it tries too hard to be smart and different, Moonrunners that's you.

Oh it does have moments, and many of them, of absolute glory. The sequels are really stand proud, both Zenith Phase II and Bad Company Book 2 probably better than their firsts, ABC Warriors ends well enough. There are some lovely short stories, with Tribal Memories always being one of my favourites and Chopper's first soulo outing a forgotten gem (for me at least). But while Strontium Dog gets its mojo back and Slaine's cameos have much to love a couple of other classics stumble a little. Nemesis Book 9 almost feels like self parody (I'll come back to that when its done). Rogue Trooper, though never a classic in my eyes begins to fumble its reinvention and even Dredd, some highlights aside again lacks the lustre of its best.

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

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

Woolly

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #364 on: 12 December, 2017, 09:40:28 pm »
Quote
5. Copper - Soul on Fire

"Sgt Terry Brixton, newly transferred from the Cotswolds to the force in East Peckham, struggles to cope with the stranglehold of the inner city gangs, until he discovers an ancient text that awakens an immortal Flame Demon within him..."






Sorry...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #365 on: 12 December, 2017, 10:01:39 pm »
Quote
5. Copper - Soul on Fire

"Sgt Terry Brixton, newly transferred from the Cotswolds to the force in East Peckham, struggles to cope with the stranglehold of the inner city gangs, until he discovers an ancient text that awakens an immortal Flame Demon within him..."


I want to see this!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #366 on: 15 December, 2017, 08:46:49 pm »
Annuals 1989

Well not much to say really. A few bits and bobs here and there but these really aren't that good are they.

So much padding and while some is good, nice early interviews with Mills and Bolland in the Dredd annual and creator profile pages I always enjoy - though what with not pretedning they're droids anyone! Its pretty weak so dominated by reprints as it is.

One other shame is found in Ace Trucking. I got the feeling the new status quo, with Feek ruling the roost and more, was meant to go somewhere. Woiuld have been interesting to see his developed.

Highlight was the nice Bad Company short in the 2000ad, particularly pertainent given the recent Bad Company series and the theme there in.

Greg M.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #367 on: 15 December, 2017, 11:01:24 pm »

One other shame is found in Ace Trucking. I got the feeling the new status quo, with Feek ruling the roost and more, was meant to go somewhere. Woiuld have been interesting to see his developed.

To me, it seems the perfect ending to the series - Ace screws up again, and we leave him in isolation, vowing vengeance, only one step away from comically shaking his fist at all those who don't recognise his genius. I've never seen this as trying to set up more stories: more an effective way to put a cap on things and end on a high note after the largely-rotten Dopplegarp stories. (Besides we can all guess what happens next - Ace gets out in twelve months and, with the help of a complicated and foolhardy plan, manages to usurp Feek, only for the plan to then backfire and the business to go down the tubes, resulting in a reset of the classic status quo.)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #368 on: 16 December, 2017, 09:54:56 am »
Yeah actually reflecting on it you are probably right Greg. It would seem an odd place to fit a new introduction to a new status quo. Much more sensible for it to be a wrapping up thing in the annual...

... still doesn't stop me wanting to see the very story you describe. After all it could have been a redemption after the bloody awful Dopplegarp years!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #369 on: 26 December, 2017, 09:10:12 pm »
Early (very) 1989

So a short break and Boxing day sees us enter 1989, a rather glorious article about the return of the console machine thought dead after the rise of the home computer services as a glorious reminder as to why reading the original progs is such a delight.

There's also some other curios that will not see reprint, Prog 608 features a Future Shock by Richard Elson being very unRichard Elson (as I know him now) - wearing what looks to my eye like a Brendan McCarthy influence very much in his shelve. And another by David Anthquist being very unDavid Antiquist - Silo can't be too far off.

In other news I'm not hating Night Zero which I thought I did. It tries to pack too much in but at times its such fun.

Reading Our Man in Hondo I'm minded of comments made in the X-Mas Prog thread about Colin MacNeil... his work isn't quite there yet... love the story - but as I recall it takes Surf 11 for him to really develop as an artist?

I'm also minded now much I enjoy Zippy Couriers, such a fun fresh strip and love the art by Graham Higgins - whatever happened to him?

But the man news is Nemesis Book 9 finishes and as I recall, a couple of mis-fires and false starts here and there that's it for the old Warlock for quite a few years. Do love this story, even if John Hicklenton's glorious art does start to completely breakdown in the old storytelling department. Can't quite remember why the series went onto such a long hiatus from this time. Seems a shame as it had moved into some interesting ground... the trouble is it was tricky ground to get past the whole Nemesis and Torq find a new way to fight. I'm interested too see when the ol' Warlock pops up in the intervening years (11 of them?) to see how the flames are fanned, as I recall they are from time to time.

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #370 on: 04 January, 2018, 03:18:44 pm »
I definitely feel that there's a lost Nemesis book or two that we never got to see, presumably something to do with an editorial argument between Mills and Burton (maybe Burton had had enough of Hicklenton's art?).

And yes, there's no substitute for reading the Progs themselves to capture that delight on reading old tech articles; I remember liking John Brosnan's sporadic film reviews, too.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #371 on: 04 January, 2018, 05:10:42 pm »
Wasn't there something called Hammer of Torquemada or some such that was planned and we saw a preview of but never materialised. I might be mis-remembering things there.

As I recall the Deadlock story doesn't really move anything on except for the relationship between the two characters (Deadlock and Nemesis that is) ... and that might be a couple of years or more off?

Still it will be fun seeing how all this plays out.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #372 on: 04 January, 2018, 06:54:31 pm »
Wasn't there something called Hammer of Torquemada or some such that was planned and we saw a preview of but never materialised. I might be mis-remembering things there.

As I recall the Deadlock story doesn't really move anything on except for the relationship between the two characters (Deadlock and Nemesis that is) ... and that might be a couple of years or more off?

Still it will be fun seeing how all this plays out.

Hammer of Warlocks is a three-part story that's curious for spending two of its three episodes recapping the entire saga to date! This is because, according to Mills, he planned out an epic Horned God-style fully painted saga for which this was to be a prologue. It never materialised (supposedly because readers didn't take to Clint Langley's art) leaving it a curious little thing indeed.

At the end Torquemada is planning an epic jaunt across the cosmos in search of the fabled Hammer; because we never got said jaunt, he just pops up randomly at the start of Book X after 'many years away' having got the Hammer off-screen, as it were - and the Hammer makes little impact in the story that follows. A bizarre narrative dead-end, all told.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #373 on: 06 January, 2018, 09:17:52 pm »
Well Tharg turned 12 in Prog 615, but possibly the issue before 614 represented the biggest turn of events for Tharg's organ. Not the issue in itself but some of its content really emphasize what's been happening as 2000ad finds new and surprising growths and developments as it enters this awkward time.

We get two Jamie Hewlett strips in one issue (well one working as part of a team), David Roach on Anderson continues that strips sharper more 'mature' edge/ A Hilary Robinson and Kev Walker Future Shock seems to hold pretensions too (though its actually quite fun). Another text article arrives - though the arrival of Roxilla and her bizarre selection of music  might be more in keeping with the tonal shift I'm feeling in this issue.

Yeah its all underscored by the Simon Harrison Feral poster, with our brave new Strontium Dog looking sharp, cool and different, almost like the old Alien Sex Fiend adverts we used to get.

It all makes for a heady mix and a good example of the shifts the Prog is going through. Funny we get Night Zero and the curious choice of a Joe Black reprint to remind us we're not there yet!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #374 on: 07 January, 2018, 08:59:09 pm »
So a few quick thoughts on the first 1/3 of 1989

1. Been meaning to ask since the last third of 1988 actually, but why the heck are the colour pages after 'MORE' positioned as they are? Centre spread as before, 5 page pf BnW and then the remaining 4 pages of colour. I'm guessing there's a reason relating to printing?

2. While we're talking printing, why are so many of the page suffering from poor reproduction? It seems to affect one page ever Prog and annoyingly the lose of depth in the blacks always seem to land on Simon Harrison's Strontium Dog, which impacts on his glorious art so much.

3. I like David Roach's art on Helios, but am I the only one who finds his figure work pretty stilted at times?

4. Sooner or Later Too... damnit I always hope I'll enjoy this and I assume I'm mis-remembering now bad it is... alas I'm not.

5. LOVE the various text articles, though that Roxilla is a little up herself at times ain't she!

6. Love early Hilary Robinson. I know she doesn't have the best rep as a tooth writer, but I really enjoy Zippy Couriers, like her early Future Shocks (Glaring Anomaly a particular favourite) and LOVE the first Medivac 318 story.

7. Those Moonrunner Star Scans, who thought we wanted those then!

8. Still it filled up pages as MORE still stretches Tharg to reprint, I'd forgotten how long that lasted!

9. Does anyone else think that the glorious 2 part Dredd about the MoPad that broken down in the wrong part of town was originally destined for an annual? Don't know why but it really felt like an annual story to me.