Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 91025 times)

Jim_Campbell

  • 2000AD Creator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12587
  • Letterer to the Stars! (and PJ)
    • View Profile
    • deviantArt Gallery
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #720 on: 10 March, 2019, 09:57:14 pm »
Prog 1100 - Lord of the Beasts

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!

No argument from me — ISTR there was a lot to like about the art, and if this had been a four-partner running as normal, I’d probably be a lot better disposed towards it, but as it is, I’m not 100% sure I actually read this to the end…
Stupidly Busy Letterer: Samples. | Blog
Less-Awesome-Artist: Scribbles.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #721 on: 12 March, 2019, 07:51:56 am »
It came before we got to know it.

Well after a warm up Prog in 1101 with two double sized stories to set the scene - good ones I should note in Wagner + Ezquerra Dredd and Morrison and Fraser on Dante - we get a near perfect line-up in 1102 and 1103.

Get these strips:

Wagner and Ezquerra - Judge Dredd
Mazeworld - Grant and Ranson
Nikolai Dante - Morrison and Fraser
Sinister Dexter - Dabnett and Johnson and then Wigmore
Anderson - Grant and Hairsaine

Man that's strong and just goes to demonstrate while there is a bunch of misfires in this era, there is also a bunch of absolute gems. Okay so Alan Craddock's colouring messes up Hairsaine's art, but really that's a small beef...

... the bigger beef is that Anderson is only a teasing two-parter and next Prog we get Slaine back... though I seem to recall it has a mini return to form with the 'Lost Tales' or whatever they were called... lets see but we are definately at strong times if that's my biggest beef.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #722 on: 13 March, 2019, 10:13:54 pm »
Hey take it back - so okay this isn't the best Slaine its better than its been for a while and sure Paul Staples art isn't great but its servicable.

Wrap that up with the line-up mention below being blinding.

A great four part Sinister Dexter as Ramone thinks he might be a serial killer, but are his eyes decieving him ... a story that starts to develop Rocky and Tracey and their relationship with Finny and Ray. Julian Gibson's wonky inconsistent art aside its a blinder.

Add to that some of the finest Dredd in a sequel - of sorts - to The Pit, with the introduction of a gloriously messy Roffman, the fall of DeMarco and 'Beyond the Call of Duty' is just fantastic.

ADD TO THAT - one of the very best pre Tsar Wars Dantes with the heartrending and action packed Great Game, when the strip in some ways amazes by finding another gear to shift up...

ANNNNNDDDD... Mazeworld Book 2 being better than the first...

Wow Tharg that's some Thrillpower you have on the go for the middle of 1998. I don't remember the Prog sustaining this level for an extended period for some time to come BUT man these are high highs we've returned to and the lows are settled by the holy triumvant and 1998 is turning into the best for some time... still lets watch how the second half handles that mantal...

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #723 on: 18 March, 2019, 09:26:25 pm »
All the Legs Eleven or four Kelly's Eyes - which a few hundred progs ago would have been more appropriate....

Annnywayyyy another in the now regular relaunch Progs. I think in the last couple of years we have pretty much set up the regularity for relaunch Progs that still last today and I've only just realised....

Annnnnnyyyyywayyyy 48 pages and only 4 stories and none of them a newbie, that's not a good return .... not that its a bad Prog. The Slaine isn't great and the Durham Red is fairly mundane BUT the Sinister Dexter is really strong and foreshadows Eurocrash which I think is coming up pretty soon....

Annnyyyyyywayyyy none of that us what I've here for, what I'm here for is to praise the Dredd - The Mega City Way of Death, its a beaut. As it weaves the tail of two star-crossed lovers, a rich socialite and a sky surfer and the cruels ways life in the Big Meg beast them down.

In some ways its similar to the Dredd in this week's (as I type - Prog 2123) Dredd which I'm not a fan of. In that its exposition heavy and plays on a tough and tradegic relationship to pull at the heart strings. The key difference is that Wagner and Staples here, admittedly with  4 extra pages, balance the exposition with some sharp, smart character work that just draws you in and means you care, so much, about what's happening in the exposition parts of the story. Its just a masterclass. As with this weeks story Dredd is a bit part, but because of that Wagner doesn't use him to drive the story, just to anchor as he moves through it. He's unnecessary here to, but Wagner uses that to his advantage.

Sorry I don't say this to beat down in this weeks story, rather to elevate the forgotten (by me) gem.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #724 on: 21 March, 2019, 09:02:55 pm »
So I really want to like Sancho Panzer, I really do. It looks great, the design is great, Dabnett is great... the strip just ain't alas. I don't hate it but I can't bring myself to actually like it either. Its tone is just kinda off and its does work.

Just like Vector 13 - I thought we were done with these Prog 1117 says otherwise alas.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #725 on: 23 March, 2019, 09:48:48 pm »
In the eye of the beholder - the art of Prog 1122

So as we get to the end of 1998 I don't think I've said as much as I might in other years and I'll come to that next time, as I sum up the year. One thing I have mentioned before is art and I want to return to that using Prog 1122, I'm guessing it could be almost any Prog this year.

As the Prog does continue to get better in 1998 (spoilers!) the art takes the baton from being very hit and miss and this really struck me in this particular thrill packed Prog.

The cover by John Charles introducing the Lawgiver Mark 2, while I see what he's going for OUCH that perspective hurts my eyes.

The Dredd that sees that story home introduces Paolo Parente (I think) and I'm not sure we see him much if at all after this. Is one of many sub-Bisley artists we continue to get, I could say this about Jason Brashill same strip next week. It just surprises me how long after 'Horned God' this stuff continued. Its technically... okay... its pushes at having energy, but I find it clumsy and awkward.

Which is a real shame as the story delighted me. I'd completely forgotten how Wagner introdcued the ideas and tension that would lead into 'Doomsday' so early and I'm so excited to read 'The Scorpion Dance' starting soon to build on all that.

Sinister Dexter has David Bircham and I think there's been quite enough said about Bircham's art. I find it difficult to look at and it just cuts away at the story via poor storytelling and murky impenetrable colouring. I could call it style over substance but I really, really don't like the style. Just goes to say though that Pat Mills clearly sees much in his art as he'll bring him on to do the next big Slaine story Secret Commonwealth, so what do I know!?!

Pulp Sci-Fi sees the introduction of Rose O'Rion a surprisingly flat creation by Kek-W. Its co-creator Andy Clarke on art that is of must interest here. See where as Bircham and Parente don't get too much chance to develop, at least in my eyeline and as I recall while Andy Clarke's art here is a little sharp and inflexible over the next few years Bishop has clearly seen something in him and he will become a joy on the eye. Something I wouldn't have predicted.

Sancho Panzer gives us one of the few things I think all 2000ad fans agree on Henry Flint is one of the absolute greats and we all love him. Even here in a lighter, looser earlier style he's magnificent and so easy on the eye, even when showing the horrific. His character's ating is so chasimatic in a way only folks like Carlos have matched, his design so good and his storytelling so simple and effective he is an absolute delight and for me miles ahead of the three who have gone before.

The thing I think other folks will see different here is that I don't think this can carry the strip. I adored the art, but the strip still feels flat and I find it a struggle to get through.

Missionary Man has art almost as good, and which in some ways I prefer. I've long sung the praises of Alex Ronald and here I also have to make special mention of genius colourist Gary Caldwell. I know others, including if I remember correctly the always smiling Gordon Rennie writer of this strip, don't engage with his style and its very devisive. I love it, even if Alex himself prefers he's lovely current computer painted style, I will always adore his inked work here.

So there we are five very different artists and I don't think we'll ever agree about them. 2000ad, even as it settles back into its groove will still find something to divide fan opinion and long may it remain the case.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #726 on: 24 March, 2019, 06:35:33 pm »
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!

Well wasn't far off there at all. 1998 was a great year in thrillpower. As I didn't do last year I'll look at the middle ground to find evidence of this and frankly there's not much of it. We'll go Slaine, specifically as the 'Lost Years' pulls it up from its nadir (which might not actually be a nadir we'll see when we get to Secret Commonwealth). I think we'll put Durham Red in there as well as Mark Harrison's storytelling really lets it down.

Not much there, so what are the extremes then.

Well at the bottom its pretty shallow pickings as well. B.L.A.I.R. 1 makes an unnecessary and but thankfully short return. Pulp Sci-Fi just doesn't live up to its promise and Sancho Panzer, though looking great is just bland. Can't think of much else that was that bad.

Top of the table. Well we have a year of Wagner Dredd, Nikolia Dante really stretching it leg and to develop to levels not seen since its opening story, with in 'The Great Game' we have one of the best pre-Tsar Wars tales. Sinister Dexter is now in (almost) full pomp. I love the series of short stories that have dominated this year. There's a couple of really nice 4 to 6 parters as well. For me the series really hits top form with Eurocrash but its bloomin' good, I mean really good in '98.

What's more heartening is that these three giants of the Galaxy's Greatest aren't alone. They are ably backed up by Mazeworld, an Anderson cameo and personal favourite Missionary Man that really is on blinding form as it lands in the Prog from the Meg.

A slight annoyance is that we get some many extended stories, 10 pages thrown in with gay abandon and even two, yes two full Prog stories, neither of which is much kop. Still the double lenghts slipping the extra size in willy nilly is hard to begrudge too much when more often than not its either Dredd, Dante or S&D, though it is beginning to feel a bit of a crutch.

On the whole however 1998 is a year to be celebrated. The best in almost a decade ... in fact there's a strong case to for it being the best since 1987... if I was less lazy I'd check that and think it through a bit better... as it is lets leave it as a vague guess and salute the 2000ad year of 1998. The year that Tharg really started to get his act together again. It won't be plain sailing from here I suspect, but we're well past the worse. Bishop has a firm grip on the tiller and seems to know what course to steer through any choppy patches. it all looks good for 1999 and by the end I expect to be in for a bumper treat with some real highs on the way.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #727 on: 07 April, 2019, 09:17:32 pm »
Well 1999 starts really nicely. First four episodes have a few weak Pulp Sci-Fi's that never really live up to the promise but aside from that we get double Sinister Dexter (including introduction of Downlode Tales), good Dante and brilliant Dredd. Can't complain. Its intesting the issues I've just read included 1126 and I've just read 2126 so I've now 1000 issues to go.

What actually makes that fascinating is the quality is so good and I'm not sure we'll get much of a dip for 1000 issues ... 1000 chuffin' issues. Oh there will be absolute highs and the odd bump biut 1000s issues ago the quality was already consistantly good.

That's pretty astonishing when you think about it.

broodblik

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 703
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #728 on: 08 April, 2019, 03:53:40 am »
How does Downlode Tales fits into Sinister Dexter ? I have read a few in the Meg but it felt like Sinister Dexter continuing with a new name

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #729 on: 08 April, 2019, 06:13:00 am »
How does Downlode Tales fits into Sinister Dexter ? I have read a few in the Meg but it felt like Sinister Dexter continuing with a new name

Yeah basically that's it. These early ones - pre-Eurocrash - are simply tales set in Sinister Dexter's world but not featuring the two gunsharks themselves.

The later series deals with the fall out of Eurocrash - which I'll not spoil until I get to that part of the re-read - though I've just started it. The fact they are apparently missed out of reprints is a mystery to me!

broodblik

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 703
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #730 on: 08 April, 2019, 02:26:42 pm »
Thank You Colin. Another question, is Eurocrash one of the best Sinister Dexter stories ? So if its collected, should I try to get it ?

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #731 on: 08 April, 2019, 08:17:28 pm »
Eurocrash is a masterpiece ... but not the best I think. There is better to come and I think it benefits from having some history with the strip as it adds to the emotional impact... though I reserve the right to change my mind on this re-read. Some thoughts from last time I read it.

https://2000ad.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/sinister-dexter-has-the-series-crashed-and-burnt/

WARNING HERE BE SPOILERS ....I suspect I've not read it again but scanning through I seem to mark where they start? Read with caution.

That said its collected I believe, though seems to be finally out of stock - you used to be able to buy iy for bobbins? I think it might be part of the Ultimate Collection?

broodblik

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 703
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #732 on: 09 April, 2019, 03:47:32 am »
Thanks Colin I will read the  blog entry.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13666
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #733 on: 09 April, 2019, 09:19:30 pm »
Dredd - Scorpion Dance

There's so much to like about this story. For a start the John Burn art is stunning. The development of the Roffman, DeMarco story is good. Dredd vs Edgar is always a delight. I adore the way Volt stands up to Dredd. ...

... its just the whole Vitus Dance escape and subsequent mischief feels one layer too many for me. It feels a bit like John Wagner had created this villian, set up his importance... then decided he didn't really want to use him so offed him. All be it with a big exciting schebang, just not one that really added anything. Well except kinda leveling up Narcos.

Shame as everything that lead to this had been so much fun and as I say there's much to love here... but its just not quite all working for me.


Jim_Campbell

  • 2000AD Creator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12587
  • Letterer to the Stars! (and PJ)
    • View Profile
    • deviantArt Gallery
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #734 on: 11 April, 2019, 02:48:16 pm »
hat actually makes that fascinating is the quality is so good and I'm not sure we'll get much of a dip for 1000 issues ... 1000 chuffin' issues. Oh there will be absolute highs and the odd bump biut 1000s issues ago the quality was already consistantly good.

That's pretty astonishing when you think about it.

It is! I hadn't thought it about like that until you posted this.

The comic was on a pretty solid footing again by '98/'99 and although we have occasional periods when there's an alignment of strips no one seems to get excited about and everyone moans about the state of the prog, they rarely last more than a few weeks.

We haven't had an honest-to-god bad year in at least twenty years. Remarkable, and a fairly staggering achievement by Matt Smith and Tharg's other helpers in the Command Module.
Stupidly Busy Letterer: Samples. | Blog
Less-Awesome-Artist: Scribbles.