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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 91589 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #735 on: 11 April, 2019, 08:13:50 pm »
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.

Yeah that sums it up nicely. I completely sympathise with folks who say the Prog isn't for them any more and they drift away as its not ringing their bell. That's completely cool, folks have different opinions, the things they like and look for from what they are reading changes. All of that is fine and all if that is a good reason to move on from the Prog. But its them its not the Prog.

Damnit when you have 2000+ of the buggers you might just have reached the oversaturation point of your thrill-buffers and simply have too much 2000ad. I know Mr Muffett the caretaker at my kids school hit that.

The thing is I find it hard it sustain an argument that its 'cos the Prog is objectively bad, or any worse than its been in its history, that just isn't the case. Which is a weird thing to say as one man's bad is another man pick of the pops. But really if you look at the quality of the story telling or the art now, across a year of Progs its fluculated, but not really signifcantly varied - except for a few peaks, rather than troughs - for 20 chuffin' year, 1000 Progs of 27,000ish pages of comics...

... that must take some doing when you think about it and is testament to the anthology format, the flexability of the content and the stable of creators and production Droids that have contributed.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #736 on: 11 April, 2019, 09:22:54 pm »
So its cleaer that Eurocrash holds up to repeated reads. This must be the third time I've read it since first doing say maybe 10 years or so ago and time and agia its works a treat. I've linked to the last time I gave a link to my thoughts on this below and frankly they've not changed.

Neither has my thoughts on Nikolai Dante. I suspected, as I came into this third (at least) read again in ten years that I'd find these earlier stories a little predestian. That as they were building the word, and fleshing out characters they won't sustain the impact of the post Tsar War material when the world's built and the characters fleshed out here go through so much. But then you read the first story and the Great Game and so many others including the delights of early 1999, 'Masque of Dante', 'The Moveable Feast', 'Tour of Duty' and 'The Cadre Infernal' all brilliant and collectively showing the breadth of Dante.  Then you get to 'Hunting Party' and in the first part alone, all be it double length as Dante and family enjoy a hunting trip in the snow set upon by Sinister Dexter and Slaine we I get that full scope in a wonderful 10 pages. Its a personal favourite Dante tale.

So while Mercy Heights once again fails to met its potential - it really worked best when it was a hospital soap in space, with war and murder just there to add Holby Cityeque favour. shame. We are in heady times indeed.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #737 on: 14 April, 2019, 11:43:11 am »
interesting to note... well I say interesting that all about perspective so.... interesting, to me at least, to note how much info was in the 'Thrills of the Future' supplement. Now this came with Prog 1139 cover date 7th April. So lets image (I have not idea) this had to be in place and ready to go end February, early March.

Now I'm sure not everything I'll read over the next 7 1/2 months (re-read time) will be covered in here  - but it does feel pretty comprehensive. Its missing details of both Dante) though it does hint enough at what's to come to suggest that they had this largely bolted down for Courtship into Tsar Wars which starts in Prog 2000ad (right?). It also skips Sinister Dexter in Downlode Tales - but that I guess is for story reason as readers didn't know what to expect at this point. Aside from that though we get

  • Hints at Dredd
    Ball Brothers
    Mazeworld
    Devlin Waugh
    Nemesis

Add Dante and Downlode and I don't expect they'll be too many other thrills to come in 1999 - which speaks a lot of the quality to come!

We even get some pretty spot on details for Prog 2000ad and a few thrills after that in Glimmer Rats and Slaine The Secret Commonwealth (ouch that preview art!). The only misses I spot is clearly it was still hoped that not knowing who will do the art in Slaine in that Prog (is there a Slaine story in there - I don't remember) and still thinking Simon Fraser will start Tsar Wars which we know gets lost in the mix and the mighty John M Burn steps in, possibly the greatest fill-in job of all time!

Anyway why is this interesting. Well firstly as mentioned earlier it speaks to the quality of the Prog to come. Secondly it shows how Tharg has been able to re-build a steady roster of creative talent so that he an line things up for almost an entire year. Third it explains how the transistion between Bishop and Diggle happened and the move to Oxford (that happens during this period right?) as Bishop slowly moved off the comic - it was all set to go!

Funny how the clearest sign of quite the rude health of The Galaxy's Greatest is 16 page supplement. No wonder Tharg looks so proud on the cover!

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #738 on: 14 April, 2019, 12:07:08 pm »
Third it explains how the transistion between Bishop and Diggle happened and the move to Oxford (that happens during this period right?) as Bishop slowly moved off the comic - it was all set to go!

According to Wikipedia, Andy took over as Tharg around prog 1200 (these things are always a bit fuzzy due to lead times). I know that the Rebellion deal was finalised more or less on the same day that Andy took over. The plan was for the editorial office to move to Oxford straight away, but (again, from fuzzy memory) Andy had literally just got a mortgage on a London property and The Powers That Be held off on the office move for about a year (?) and the editorial team moved out of the Egmont Fleetway offices to smaller (cheaper) office space elsewhere in Ole Lunnun Tahn.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #739 on: 14 April, 2019, 12:31:48 pm »
I really need to check this stuff in Thrillpower Overload before spouting!

In my head I have it as Andy D taking over from Prog 2000ad but me and my memory! Now you mention to two moves that also rings a lot of bells... think safe to say there was a lot happening at the time regardless of the specifics.

Thanks for the insights (or at least just checkin') as ever Jim.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #740 on: 14 April, 2019, 12:50:55 pm »
I really need to check this stuff in Thrillpower Overload before spouting!

I'm only going on what I can remember — always a risky business!

Now that you say that, in my head I also had the whole Diggle/Rebellion thing tied up with the end-of-1999 Prog 2000, but a quick google says the Rebellion announced the takeover in early July 2000… so whilst the deal may well have been in the offing, or even well advanced, or possibly done and dusted by the end of '99 but held back to tie up with one or more party's accounting periods, it definitely wasn't official until 6th July 2000, which is when the press release was issued.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #741 on: 28 April, 2019, 09:50:33 pm »
So we come crashing in to Prog 1150 and things might not be quite as rosie as the start of the year. A few quick(ish) thoughts

1. Pulp-Sci aren't a complete bust in the way Vector 13 was, but its pretty sketchy and the hits are far less frequent than the misses.

2. The second long form Mercy Heights has all the worst features of the first, but none of the redemining ones. By its end in Prog 1149 I'm barely reading it.

3. Orlok's return and subsequent capture of Dredd is pretty well put together and looks great with Cam Kennedy's art...

4... But what was Anderson thinking?

5. The Ball's Brothers being a superpowered various of 'Bottom' must have seemed like a good idea...

6. ...in reality all it does is reveal that what works in one medium, doesn't work as well in another. The anarchic violent slapstick that works better (I'm not 'Bottom's biggest fan) on TV doesn't really work in comic form.

7. So all Ball Brothers leaves us with therefore is flat one dimensional characters and cliche without the humour of the slapstick really surviving.

8. Downlobe Tales works a treat and gets away with some character twists and turns that really it shouldn't work...

9. ...yet somehow it does, its great stuff...

10. Though shoulders still get a right old shootin'

11. I'm always surprised by Simon Davis' art in pen and ink, but it works pretty well as Dredd comes to 'The Trial' as Orlok brings him before the remaining East Meg Oners to account for his crimes.

12. Charlie Adlard's colours are a little dark, which almost works for the tone of the piece, but not quite.

13. I'm also always surprised by the fact that we get John Burns' art on Nikolai Dante before 'Tsar Wars' starts but we get his brilliant debut in Prog 1148 on 'Cruel Seas' a fantastic two-part that sees Dante met his mum again and save some folks  sold as slaves from Rudinshtein. A story that really effectively foreshadows the dark times to come and the responsibilities that Dante will be learning.

14. I do however remember how fantastic Callum R Watt's art is on Downlode Tales. Alas I think it might be the last time he's in the Prog, which is a real shame.

15. The prologue for Delvin Waugh: Chasing Herod in Prog 1149 sets up what I recall is one of my favourite thrills of this period and I'm excited to be reading it again soon.

Sorry that was quite a few short things to say, but with Doomsday, Chasing Herod, Downlode Tales and The Courtship of Jena Makarov to come I suspect I'll be having a lot more to say about the second half of 1999.... though I might finish my re-read of Grant + Breyfogle's Batman before kicking off with this very exciting time.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #742 on: 10 May, 2019, 09:20:03 pm »
I think I'll have more to say about this as I review the year but starting the second half of 1999 I'm struck by how much the Prog feels like the Prog. By which I mean the tone in 1999, almost exactly 20 years ago, feels just like the Prog now. There's all sorts of variance when you look at, but over all its the modern Prog.

So I guess 2000ad goes like this - with little thought or editing this is gut take for future reference and consideration

1977 - 1980 = forming
1980 - 1988 = Classic old skool period
1989 - 1996 = Awkward rocky growing pains
1997 - 1998 = recovery
1999 - present = modern Prog

Oh and Prog 1154 - the art on the Doomsday has been great in the whole its been chopping and changing too much - But then we get Mike McMahon strutting his stuff for a cameo - wow I'd forgotten all about that!

 

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #743 on: 11 May, 2019, 04:21:05 am »
What about:

1999 - present = start of the modern period
2010 - present = stabilization period

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #744 on: 11 May, 2019, 06:45:20 am »
What about:

1999 - present = start of the modern period
2010 - present = stabilization period

Its very possible we'll find out. It might also go.

1999 - 2009 = Modern Period
2010 - discuss = golden period.

This may well be refined as we go.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #745 on: 12 May, 2019, 09:15:03 pm »
What need not be refined is my opinion on Chasing Herod . I mean given that John Smith and Steve Yeowell are two if my all time fav comic creators, let alone 2000ad creators how can it go wrong, well Pussyfoot Five will show us comics can be as unpredictable as European semi-finals, and in this one they certainly don't put a foot wrong.

I know that Zenith is considered 2000ad's great super-hero epic. but the three story arch, Chasing Herod, Reign of Frogs and Sirius Rising I've always considered the true super-hero epic in twooth.... well okay the other great super-hero epic. Its structured so like loys of the great stories and particular Moore's Captain Britain. In Chasin Herod we get a squad of heroes assembled, villians are lined up and the great threat destroys our hero just as the Fury does. I've not even got to the end of this story and these two master craftsmen have started to crank up the tension to an early crescendo and then we crash back down, only to see things quickly build again as Eddie Whyteman and Jack of Knives join the tale.

Just one of my all time favourite 2000ad stories and we're not even 1/3 of the way through yet.

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #746 on: 12 May, 2019, 10:32:10 pm »
I’m not sure exactly when it started but I do think we are in a new golden age. If pushed I would say it started with Day of Chaos and Trifecta.

As to 2000AD’s greatest super hero story...well there aren’t many to chose from are there?

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #747 on: 13 May, 2019, 09:09:53 pm »
I’m not sure exactly when it started but I do think we are in a new golden age. If pushed I would say it started with Day of Chaos and Trifecta.

As to 2000AD’s greatest super hero story...well there aren’t many to chose from are there?

Golden Periods aer slippy and personal things. I personally have always said that the lastest Golden period started with the Zombo Cradlegrave combo and ended with Dante... possibly

ANYWAY that's for a much later day. For today we need to reflect on how 1999 can stake a claim for the start of a golden period... okay that might be over stating it BUT as two epics start to wind down in Doomsday and Downlode Tales, each of which I'll talk about more at their respective conclusions I'm sure, one continues in Reign of Frogs and another starts in Courtship of Jena Makarov...

... trying to rank this year amongst the greatest ever is certainly going to make for interesting times...

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #748 on: 14 May, 2019, 06:11:09 am »
For me Doomsday falls short of being in the top tier of Dredd epics. It has some nice elements for sure and some of the build up was great e.g the Scorpion Dance and the DeMarco stuff, but the ultimate take down of Nero Narcos had a bit of a seen it all before feel to it IMO.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #749 on: 14 May, 2019, 08:04:42 pm »
For me Doomsday falls short of being in the top tier of Dredd epics. It has some nice elements for sure and some of the build up was great e.g the Scorpion Dance and the DeMarco stuff, but the ultimate take down of Nero Narcos had a bit of a seen it all before feel to it IMO.

Sticking to my Prog read purity is frustrating, as I really like Doomsday when read as a whole. It fleshes things out and adds to the piece. Read in just Prog form its a little too lean. Though I do like the Nero Narcos come down... though still to read it this time. I like the fact that he's just a mob boss done good and when he wins - unlike say Death, Cal or East Meg, they all had a plan, an aim,  I really like the way Narcos sits there and goes ... "Well bugger... this wasn't as good as I hoped... what now..."

He's like that person in many companies who get promoted beyind their capability and then just sits there a bit lost in my eyes.

Anyway actually came here to quickly say while I really like Mazeworld as a whole Book 3 always reads a bit rushed to me. Nothing really has time to stretch and its too compact. Shame as overall its rip snorting stuff and I do enjoy Book 3, just feels a little short on it potential.