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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 88085 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #705 on: 29 January, 2019, 09:33:13 pm »
TOP 2000AD MOMENTS OF THE LAST 25 YEARS

Recently McGurk 76 posted the interesting question what do folks think where the greatest moment of the last 25 years.

https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=45554

I went for a slightly different approach to many, picking Progs rather than actual moments. If I was to pick just one it would be Prog 1066... The Sex Prog... but please bare with me. As I explained at the time.

Quote
Prog 1066 - now this one surprised me, but is perfect for making the point. Its the first issue that I can find that has the holy triumvante of Wagner Dredd, Nikolai Dante and Sinster Dexter. Now it also just happens to be the bloody awful 'Sex' issue. But kinda hammers home the point. For all the crap that swimmed around the Prog at this time having these three in regular rotation really helped stir the Prog back to form.

Let me take that a little further here. See for a while now I've been whittering about recovery of the Prog and that it'd be a long and bumpy ride and this Prog more than any encapsulates that as I said above. More importantly however as I've said here before these three strips saved the Prog. Now I have no actual evidence to back that up. No sales figures, no idea what impact if any they had in real terms. However in my mind its David Bishop having these three together, or variations there of really gave the Prog what it needed to get back on its feet.

This solid back bone meant that for the longest time there was always two or three great stories in the Galaxies Greatest. This meant that while mistakes like Space Girls were being made on an all too regular basis and Vector 13 was boring folks to bits the thrillpower sustained.

Dredd, Dante and Dexter with a little bit of dick for emphasis the most important moment in 2000ad... shame its a pretty rank Prog!

PsychoGoatee

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #706 on: 31 January, 2019, 02:23:42 pm »
Good stuff, and well said.  :D

Funt Solo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #707 on: 31 January, 2019, 06:51:31 pm »
Definitely true to say that Dredd, Sin Dex & Dante were backbone thrills for the prog (for a time).  And while Dredd had been around forever, Sin Dex & Dante were new core thrills when it seemed like there'd been no new core thrills for such a long time.

fate amenable to change

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #708 on: 31 January, 2019, 09:14:47 pm »
Definitely true to say that Dredd, Sin Dex & Dante were backbone thrills for the prog (for a time).  And while Dredd had been around forever, Sin Dex & Dante were new core thrills when it seemed like there'd been no new core thrills for such a long time.

Yeah Slaine was still doing the rounds, though for me past its prime and slipping further from that, but a lot of the 'tent pole' thrills where gone and didn't look like they were going to return (though most did). Rogue Trooper was a confused mess about to get more confused. Strontium Dog had the rest of the world to explore, but always in search of something that could match Johnny and never finding it. Nemesis was long gone and even the teases that stopped so the Prog was crying out for thrill like Sinister Dexter and Dante.

There was a lot of other things going on in later 1997, not much of it good. I like the movie Life Less Ordinary... its not great but I like it enough but it offers nothing to make it a film worth converting a comic strip. It charm is in it leads chemistry. Space Girls I've discussed all I need to and Vector 13 isn't going to change.... which is its biggest driest problem. Then we get to B.L.A.I.R. 1 a classic case of satire not really working when its so on the nose.

So we can see just what it is that  our new 'core' is offering and why they where so needed!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #709 on: 01 February, 2019, 12:48:10 pm »
1997 Annuals and Speci...

oh bugger - I know I've not been the biggest fan of these as the years have gone on, but its weird that there are none at all this year... as I recall we'll have to wait until the 2004(ish) new Creators Winter Special before we get any thing else... and that's just a blip until about 5 years ago?

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #710 on: 01 February, 2019, 12:56:45 pm »
1997 Annuals and Speci...

oh bugger - I know I've not been the biggest fan of these as the years have gone on, but its weird that there are none at all this year...

Quoth Andy Diggle, many moons ago: "Nobody bought them."
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Funt Solo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #711 on: 01 February, 2019, 04:28:27 pm »
1995 Winter Special #07 
1996 JD Mega Special #09
1996 Sci-Fi Special #19
...
2005 Winter Special #08
...
2014 Sci-Fi Special #20
2014 Winter Special #09
fate amenable to change

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #712 on: 02 February, 2019, 07:44:07 am »
If I was less lazy I could have done that Funt Solo - so thanks. One of the blessing / curses if this reread is I'm trying to be good and not look ahead. This allows me to be surprised when some stuff shows up... due to my shocking memory. It also means I can justify not doing stuff like that that which allows me to be lazy!

Anyway onwards to ... well a backwards looks as I sum up - as best I can - 1997.

I always like to see what my predictions for a given year were when I reviewed the previous year. So 'in' 1996 I suggested

Quote
Now 1997... 1997 is possibly going to be the most mixed bag of thrill ever if memory serves. We'll see greats that will save the comic start to develop, while we'll see some of the worst, most lambasted of stories too... it ain't going to be smooth going but heck hard though times are, confused as we may be, we still managed to have some bloody interesting and fun adventures along the way.

Nailed it.

Pretty straightforward year in my eyes. Its the year 2000ad became a Prog of two halves - I live to fuel the use of cliche. I've really enjoyed reading 1997 Progs. Again they've often not been great but for the next few years I strongly suspect we'll be talking about highs and lows and this annual summary will become a needless repetition just collating the things I've said 'during' the year. 1997 genuinely lets that be the case.

Its such an important year in my mind for reasons I've already covered enough. As the trio of Prog saves raise to the top  all hell can break loose elsewhere and the Galaxies Greatest can remain just that.

Elsewhere Slaine stops being good and will stay there for... well lets see. I really like the experimentation that's going on, Space Girls,  Life Less Ordinary B.L.A.I.R. 1, the Sex issue even if the individual stories are terrible I enjoy the spirit of adventure they bring in the Prog. Maybe next year the experiments might get a bit more varied in quality i.e. any of them might be good!

Nice to have Anderson back in the Prog and the middle ground ... actually I think the middle ground is basically Mercy Heights... damn I wish I'd started with that as that provides the best summary of the year with the most original way of saying it! Also worth noting the number of double length thrills that start appearing. Dredd, Sinister Dexter all get goes and I think this thrill lenght variance will become a feature of the coming years and I imagine will help David Bishop directing traffic.

As for my predictions for 1998 - I'm really looking forward to it. 2 to 3 good thrills per Prog all of which are some of my favourite all times thrills can't be bad and some choas surrounding it to keep me on my toes. If we could just keep Slaine in the quiet I'd be loving this!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #713 on: 08 February, 2019, 06:44:42 am »
Short and snappy vs. long a flabby

So as we hit 1998... bloody hell how did we get to 1998... anyway we hit 1998 and have one week tp wrap all the current stuff up for the special Dredd long 1077. So we get an interestingly contrasted couple of Progs.

In 1076 you get a bunch of one offs and a terrible cover. The cover is bad as its a direct panel lift from the Anderson story, the one off 'Danse Macabre', which might be a decent story but I'm struggling to tell as I really don't get on with the art by Angel Unzueta at all. So the cover image is a heavily enlarged image with the tag line '"Anderson is HOT!" ... ouch.

Dredd is the only ongoing stuff finishing a fun robot Frankenstein love tale. Aside from that a Vector 13, yawn and two SInister Dexters which works well to showcase the diversity of the strip, even if one has some pretty shocking art by Clint Langley which I just find harsh on the eye. The other has some lovely Alex Ronald art, showing that he's become the artist he always promised to be, with this inked style I actually prefer to his glorious 'painted' stuff these days.

So yeah the first prog of 1998 is a curious beast that almost shows how 2000ad can pack a real punch with sharp, short thrills... alas it doesn't quite make it.

So in complete contrast Prog 1077 goes to the other extreme with a Prog long Dredd by Wagner and Jason Brashill, well 24 page story with filler advertising what in the year to come from Tharg.

Its an interesting story as we reach 2020 - much to everyones surprise I'd guess - and realise that was the year of Feyy's prophecy of a great doom befalling the Meg City one. And so it seem to come as Dredd sees the Judge Child who transforms into The Mutant and he needs Anderson to get to the bottom of it.

The thing is this story feels unnecessary as we're dealt with this a number of times and the threat has been abandoned, nuked and then time travelled out of existance already in various stories over the years. However Wagner has a neat trick up his sleeve that acknowledges that then gives the story valid reason to exist.

The other problem is the art, I frankly hate it. Jason Brashill isn't my favourite artist, so of the time and his pen and ink work especially exposes him to be style over substance. Here its this curious mix of gritty with his normal clean smooth hyper-realised lines. It just looks odd and I think this is largely as he's just a bad fit for the horror elements this story tries to return to and in trying to modify his art style to move towards this he just makes this odd mis-match that fails on both counts. The result is it sucks a lot of the potential horror out of the story was Anderson's over large cartoon eye emphasize...

...so yeah two very different Progs and they make an interesting contrast. Alas as we are still firmly in recovery here neither is as successful as it might be and neither a particular success.

So to anwser the title "Short and snappy vs. long a flabby" alas at this stage it a rather frustrating 1 : 1 draw and I'm not sure we get the replay I'd be interested to see these days!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #714 on: 10 February, 2019, 08:35:49 am »
The art of telling a story

Bloomin' heck there's really no messing about in 1998 is there. No sooner has the year begun and we're at our first wrap up Prog by the end of February. Given the amount I've got to read in this 'batch of comics' (I refer the loyal reader to the beginning of this thread were I try to explain how I organise my comic reading and how this Prog Slog fits into that) I'm going to take this unexpected opportunity to read the first half of GMozz's JLA run... I digress ...

I actually came here to discuss a couple of things or three.

Firstly I really want to like Durham Red - Scarlet Cantos but Mark Harrison's art really does have storytelling issues alas.

Speaking of artistic issues there's a wonderful Dredd serial in the last few Progs in 'Missing' in which Dredd is kidnapped and sold on to a collector of the world's finest examples of humankind in any given field. In telling the tale we actually spend the first half the story wondering where the heck Dredd is and the suggestion is pushed that he's dead. I wish Wagner had played with this a bit longer as I think it had quite the potential. Still the second half of six resolving the whole thing is fun.

Alas Lee Sullivan's art on the story isn't for me and also has its storytelling problems all be in a very different way to Mark Harrison. While Harrison's hyper-realised glarefest in these issues just simply obsures what's going on with his obsession with detail and exploding lighting at the expense of clarity. In the case of Sullivan's much more traditional style he just makes a few odd choices' and just don't give the reader the elements in place or in relationship to each other in a panel they really need. Both have issues and while Harrison's art is immediately more exciting than Sullivan's its problems are bigger and Sullivan's slightly ungrippng and inelegant style works a little better. Neither is great, but they present an interesting comparison as to when art doesn't work.

Should of course note that these days Mark Harrison has really fine tuned his art and makes far less mistakes than he did in these days... though he still makes them. Alas not seen Lee Sullivan's work for some time so not sure how he's developed.

Finally Prog 1083 suggests that we're at the end of Vector 13 ... please say its so. I've whined before about how the construct that forms Vector 13's way into story limits it and kills much of the ability to engage the reader and the storys more often that not become cold and lack humanity. I know I've gone on about this before but I return to it simply to make clear that its not just artists that can damage a story by poor telling. The very nature of the strip can do that just fine by itself.

In my head this strip lasted longer than this... maybe it just felt so... my none peaking methodology on this slog means I can't confirm if the series is done, but I hope Tharg isn't teasing me!

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #715 on: 11 February, 2019, 12:18:34 pm »
100% agree on both Missing as a Dredd classic rendered ordinary by having non-spectacular artwork, and on early Mark Harrison having too much flash and not enough storytelling.

That said, when I've taken my time over Scarlet Cantos era Durham Red, there are a lot of details in the artwork that are super impressive. It's not a million miles from the Ridley Scott problem - so much effort in the production design, some good character work, but any actual story gets rather lost in the mix.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #716 on: 22 February, 2019, 10:05:27 pm »
Prog 1084 - Its a funny old Prog

Not Prog 1084 but what it said to me. Look at the line-up we have:

Double Length Wagner Dredd with art by Alex Ronald in his glorious pen and ink phase
Double Length Robbie Morrison and Simon Fraser Dante
Double Length Dabnett and Staples Sinister Dexter
Double Length Alan Grant and Simon DAvis on B.L.A.I.R. 1

So yeah it a bit of an odd mix, but its more the way this specific comic exemplifies a phase. The three first thrill should offer so much - and to be frank they do... but... well they fact that they are all done in ones means none of them have the sense of scale all these strips are capable of. B.L.A.I.R. 1 is what its is and so we'll put that aside, but heck we have 30 pages of grade A thrill here ... and yet the forced theme 'True Brit' then sense that the comic still thinks it needs to be 'Loaded' when it could be so much more, just shows that for all the talent on display 2000ad is STILL struggling to find itself. And as I recall this will sustain for some time. We're going to have this sense that while so much is so right, something will be slightly off kilter... something won't be quite right...

... that's what I recall lets knuckle down to finding out shall we...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #717 on: 26 February, 2019, 09:27:32 pm »
So Prog 1091 is as good a Prog as any to discuss this I guess. Its been bubbling up for a while... though I guess its not that big a deal... but it niggles.

So the Prog - well it has a few nice little things worth mentioning too. Oola Blint returns to Dredd as Alex Ronald knocks it out the park with this really fun Wagner story. Speaking of Alex Ronald - well we would be next Prog - Missionary Man lands in the Prog and this prologue with Simon Davis very ably assisting Gordon 'Joy to the World' Rennie is so very welcome. One of my favs, so dark fun.

Oh and we get double Sinister Dexter with some glorious art by Greg Staples who makes this great strip look so damned sexy, so damned damned sexy.

Christ this Prog looks great - okay so I'm no fan of Slaine at this time and SteveTappin's art just does not do it for me - do 4 out of 5 strip look astoni...

...wait what... not it 3 out of 5 strip are a feast on the...

... no hold on that's not right. See Slaine aside there's only really one problem with this Prog and that is its another example of a creeping tread of late - in re-read terms - the 4 strip Prog. Now of course its clurish to complain when we make up for the lack of a fifth strip with a double length Sinister Dexter with art as great as it is here and I have to say its a bloody good story too so really I should have absolutely no complaints...

... but I miss it when there's not a fifth strip. Even a great Prog like this feels a little like its being cut short when we get the double lenght instead of the fifth. Now as the occasional threat to mark a relaunch Prog, now I'm fine with that, it feels fun and different. But here in early(ish) 1997 its becoming a bit to regular and I'm finding it a little irritating... even if in the cases of late its bloody lovely irritation.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #718 on: 04 March, 2019, 08:58:19 pm »
Well as we charge towards 1100 I few things have struck me...

1. Does Julian Gibson give Dredd the BIGGEST chin ever in Prog 1096? Its massive. By Prog 1097 he keeps touching it while in thought. Like he's self consious about it being quite so big

2. More B.L.A.I.R. 1 - bloody hell there was more of this nonsense than I expected!

3. Pulp Fiction seems to loose sight of its remit quickly. Best stories by the best artists... not in  1097 and 1098... I mean its not as if they make me miss Vector 13 or anything but...

4. In Prog 1099 Siku tries to top Gibson, he goes for breadth as well as lenght but he only fingers it once so I call it a miss - fun Dredd mind as he wonders up and down a block with no elevators all for a glorious pun at the end one feels.

5. Forgotten how early that Sinister Dexter 'origin' story appeared. I think I confused it with the later bullfighting one. This one is cute the other is great as I recall.

So to Prog 1100... a Slaine only episode in a period when I don't enjoy Slaine at all... hmmm...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #719 on: 10 March, 2019, 09:27:56 pm »
Prog 1100 - Lord of the Beasts

I'm not a fan of this Prog. A full length Prog story always feels a bit special as its such a novelty the trouble is the story has to be special to mean it doesn't feel like a let down. The story has to be bold and brave and confident as its got nothing else to back it up and a Prog thrill always has that back up. Here the story does and alas much like last time when it felt like the reason for the story was the driver, resolving the storyline that began with a prediction at the start of the Judge Child Quest. The result just didn't work, there was nothing left to cover.

Here I'm not sure why this story was demned special enough to dominate. To my mind Slaine has been on a sticky wicket for some time (and will be for some time to come as I recall). Maybe it was thought the lush art was enough... well the art might be lush but that doesn't mean its good and I don't get on with it finding it unclear and ugly. These things are ever subjective.

So for me this just doesn't deserve the attention it gains and is a waste of a Prog. I suspect some will disagree and at least as ever with the Prog the diversity of opinion will remain!