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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 104414 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #795 on: 18 July, 2019, 09:20:46 pm »


No, no Hot Space is not acceptable on any visiting!

Anyway enough of this Queen talk lets get back to the king of thrills... all be it a king not at the height of this reign as we discuss Prog 1204.

We're well into the relaunch stories by now and in being so some problems are exposed for 2000ad in 2000 eerrr AD. See after the delights of 1999 JUST having Wagner Dredd, Dante and Sinister Dexter doesn't feel like enough. I know, we have gorged on Tharg's delights that he needs to pump more from his organ to satisfy these days and these early Diggle era comics mysteriously fail to deliver that.

I say mysteriously as we have Missionary Man, which I loved by now AND with the normally brilliant Jesus Redondo onboard.... yet Mark of the Beast, casting Caine against sub-terranian bomb worships doesn't serve as a fitting farewell in the Prog itself. It all falls a bit flat.

As does Red Fang that tries to be an intrigate sci-fi crime drama, but alas lacks characters that feel three dimensional, they too feel flat. Even worse they feel like they're really trying to be more and just failing. Makes them feel a little pretensious. Like Redando on Missionary Man, even the normally reliable Mighty Yeowell can't save this one.

So yeah Its hard to call these bad Progs, they aren't, there's wonderful Dredd, spectacular Dante, good Sinister Dexter (not sold on the art of much of this here) but 2000ad is back at full strength these days and so we demand more. Put these Progs 7, 8 even 3 years ago and they'd have been great. Here we know better.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #796 on: 19 July, 2019, 09:31:11 pm »


Diggle in New Blood


I can give Andy Diggle's time as editor a hard time, and I do think it has many miss steps, fueled by shot glasses or not (I think this book deal thingie Jim has mentioned a couple of times explains a lot), anyway what is undenible is in these early days quite what he does to boost the artist roster - the following could all be wrong by the way so I stand to be corrected.

Prog 1205 - FraZer (aways get the S and the Z wrong so I looked it up!) Irving springs on the scene and elevates to a Dredd by Prog 1206

Prog 1207 we get D'Israeli's debute as an artist - he's been colouring for a wee while but I think this is his first pictures?

Prog 1208 Diggle somehow cranks up the pace even more. Boo Cook appears - all be it looking more like Phillip Bond or Glyn Dillon that Boo Cook I think of. AND Richard Elson ... doesn't make his debut... but since his art has changed so much since Shadows and a cameo in Deus Ex Machina it might as well be.

I might have missed some as well before I started to notice his turn around.

DAMN that's impressive and these folks will grow immensely as artists over the coming year its really testament to some talenting spoting that so early in his time as Tharg's little helper Andy D has found so much talent.

Leigh S

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #797 on: 19 July, 2019, 09:49:20 pm »
yeah, I've always said Diggle was great with artists and was just the eye needed - Bishop did good in many ways, but Diggle had the eye for both new talent and for winkling back out the old guard - Colin Wilson!

Frank

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #798 on: 19 July, 2019, 10:35:54 pm »
Bishop did good in many ways, but Diggle had the eye for both new talent and for winkling back out the old guard - Colin Wilson!

Old Dark Days was in the big chair when Wilson was rehired for Doomsday (alongside Kennedy & McMahon), although I suppose Diggle was sat at the desk opposite, so who knows how much influence he had over any of those decisions.

The Megaverse group is doing a series of cover retrospectives and it's noticeable how much the quality of the covers improves - in terms of choice of artist, choice of image, and overall design - after the Bishop era ends and the Diggle era begins.

Correlation is not causation, and there may be a host of reasons behind that other than the change of Tharg, but the chopping up of art and compulsion to add so much unnecessary cover text that it swamps the image were trademarks of Mr Space Girls' covers all the way back to the Megazine days.




                                BEFORE                                                          AFTER



TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #799 on: 19 July, 2019, 10:57:39 pm »
Old Dark Days was in the big chair when Wilson was rehired for Doomsday (alongside Kennedy & McMahon), although I suppose Diggle was sat at the desk opposite, so who knows how much influence he had over any of those decisions.

This killer combo of Kennedy and Wilson on Assassin/Doomsday was the single thing that got me buying 2000AD again, after I'd long given it up for dead. Pretty sure it was Irving, Fraser & D'Israeli that kept me there: sometimes it's D'Israeli that still does. Never underestimate the power of good artist choices. So if we could work out who's responsible, you'd all know who to blame for my endless wittering on lo these past two decades...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #800 on: 23 July, 2019, 09:13:16 pm »


Add Ben Oliver to the list. In Prog 1210 (I think his first) looking like a strange, and wonderful combination of Steve Parkhouse and Jock to my inexpert eyes.

Anyway we come to the end of this run of Prog and while Red Fang hasn't improved, except for a nice twist at the end, Dredd too remains  at the same level, all be it  at the other end of the scale. Ben Oliver (with John Wagner) entry into PJ's sage is fantastic as Maybe fails to change his face and loses his heart to Banana City.

Some mediocre Future Shocks and Road Kills keeping the middle of the road alive we are left with Sinister Dexter being the bright light supporting Dredd.

The six part 'Shrink Rap' is one of my favourite as Dexter goes all Tony Soprano on us and takes to the analyists couch. The openning episode where he day dreams of killing his doctor is just genius. From there we get the partnership's origin story. Its all action and insight. Dabnett, ably aided by Andy Clark does his damnedest to justify the actions of our deadly duo via the shrink. Doesn't really hold up to close examination - really though I've been through all this in a lot more detail in the past - but its easy enough to get past as the whole thing is so thrilling and charming. Its a glorious story it really is.

New line up 'next week' and the year is going to end with some interesting if not entirely successful stories it would seem.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #801 on: 30 July, 2019, 09:43:14 pm »


We rattle along to the end the year 2000 the year that 2000ad didn't change its name.

The end of the year naturally starts to bring with it the end of a number of stories, some of which I'll cover over the last couple of posts. First to go, in Prog 1219 is Vanguard. The series does feel like its a big set up. We get a standard military officer doesn't approve of their harsh, overbearing commanding officer and their bully lackeys. Then it all kicks off, the Captain of the space vessel Cirocco gets into big trouble. Tactics used to repel aliens storming on board are extreme and we get MUTANY, kinda lead by our titlual heroine Vanguard. The mutiny is successful and the Captain is cast adrift, with commentry from a trial we never see as at this point Book 1 ends...

...never to return...

Just as it gets really interesting as I recall we never get the pay off from the set up. Which is a shame as its good set up and this one had some potential and placed itself and hero in a really interesting place.

Prog 1220 see another battle ship based story conclude with the end of Dante's  Battleship Potemkin. In some ways there are parallels between this and Vanguard. Conflicit, horrible leader and reaction to the cruelity of war. While I enjoyed Vanguard I adore Battleship Potemkin. During the Tsar Wars we've seen Dante harden, here Dante having heard Lady Jocasta's tale of the past between her, Vlad and Dmitri shows with the declaration 'Heroes be damned' quite where he has fallen to.

This story is just brilliant and a highlight in the Tsar Wars which is in itself highlight in 2000ad's history.

By Prog 1220 Deadlock hasn't ended, but since I most likely won't be be arsed to comment on it when it has I'm quickly comment on what a shame it is. Its has such potential, Termite after the fall of Torquemada, an ABC Warroir (all be it one whose got increasingly annoying over the years), Purity coming to terms with political necessity, a serial killer, beautiful Henry Flint art.... it has it all and yet.... is all so dull.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #802 on: 30 July, 2019, 10:12:34 pm »
1212 was my first ever prog, and I genuinely get a warm glow to read/talk about those progs. Objectively I know that many stories from around then weren't perhaps the best, but... Oh man, I still love 'em.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #803 on: 31 July, 2019, 09:00:49 pm »


And so Prog 1222 end the years line up* and it kinda exemplifies 2000ad in 2000ad.

Firstly there is some magnificent stuff and the end of Dredd - Sector House is as tight, bold and thrilling as the rest of this story. I'm amazed this one is only 8 episodes long, Wagner and Ezquerra pack so much in. Its a wonderful look at Dredd as a youngster via Rico and how his hardline puts noses out a joint, one hard one in particular. By doing this and having Dredd dominate in the background we learn even more about Dredd and what he's become, compared to his younger self. Its just brilliant.

Rain Dogs, like Deadlock looks amazing, with art by the superb Colin Wilson, why he isn't hailed more escapes me, and the story has much potential... it just doesn't really live up to it. It never really becomes anything, never really gets a grip of what its trying to be. Its fun action but nothing more and feels a bit of a waste of Mr Wilson's immense talent.

We get some fun Sinister Dexter with hit and miss art. The art in Prog 1221 reminds me of the thing that Andy Diggle is getting so right as Patrick Goddard is another addition to the ranks... okay he has a Future Shock in Prog1220 but its his wonderful western take on Sinister Dexter that caught my year to the fact it was him.

The year end* as the year was a mixed bag.

*[normalfontsize] I know I've gone on about this before and I do try to keep my re-read pure. But before it can be pure, before it can behave, it must be self-absorbed and having looked at the contents of Prog 2001 I'm calling the year here (back in the morning I suspect). Off on my jollies and while clearly chronolically Prog 2001ad belongs in  year 2000ad story wise much more than Prog 2000ad its all about the relaunch. Nothing rolls into it and everything rolls out of it.

So damn being pure, damn behaving, this is all about the self-absorbed and so Prog 2001 is going to be include in year 2001's write up. [\normalfontsize]


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #804 on: 05 August, 2019, 09:26:44 pm »


Oh my rascally memory I came here to do a quick write up of Prog 2001 and released I'm still to review 2000ad (year in Thrillpower that is).

Mind I pretty much summed things up a few post ago when I said

Quote
New line up 'next week' and the year is going to end with some interesting if not entirely successful stories it would seem.


A line that would nicely covers things.

Still before I get carried away lets see what my prediction was form my 1999 review...

Quote
Now I'm a little concerned 2000 won't quite sustain these levels [those levels being 1999 being proclaimed my best in thrillpower to date]. Andy D sends his letter*, soon as he steps up to the plate and I have significent issues with his tenor. I don't think he takes over officially until 1/2 through next year, but from putting the Progs in order ahead of reading them I see the marks of his philosophy write large. It wouldn't be bad, but it certainly won't be the saving of the Prog David Bishop has done that already.

This by and large is right. Lets look at the evidence shall we, and there is some great stuff in 2000, there really is.

Dredd - has some blinders, its not quite the best of Dredd but Dredd is up there, particularly when Wagner really starts to play with Dredd's history either directly in 'Blood Cadets' or indirectly in 'Sector House'.
Dante - is in the middle of Tsar Wars and therefore prime classic stuff.
Strontium Dog - has a stone cold classic in Kreeler Conspiracy
Sinister Dexter - while not as consistantly strong as 1999 just holds onto top tier by having some of my favourite short to medium stories of theirs. Particularly 'Mission to Mangapore', 'Life Behind Bars' and 'Shrink Rap'.

There's not much else. Now in saying there's not much else there is a decnt middle ground. I'm still a fan of Missionary Man 'Promised Land' - though its not quite the top tier I remember it to be, Vanguard was great and Rain Dogs close. Badlands is also there.

Trouble is there's also a lot of weak stuff. Slaine is horrible and I'm afraid for all the good Henry Flint art I'm going to out Deadlock in here too alongside... to many really, Pussyfoot 5, Red Fang, Glimmer Rats.

So yeah while 1999 saw a real peak and 2000 was always going to struggle to maintain. It was after all a year of much upheaval, changes in office, owner AND editor is a lot for one comic to handle. All this and a none too promising format change - that luckily I don't think will last too long... Its not late 80s early (to mid) 90s bad but its a long way from 1999. Still as I've mentioned the change to Andy Diggle really does flesh out the artistic compliment and there's a LOT to be said for that. Alas much of it was so good it won't last too long before getting snapped up to richer shores.

I think 2001 will be a thrill odyssey in a similar vien. A mixed bag to say the least, no party like 1999, but not a bad year. There will be too many misses to sit alongside numerous hits that I believe will be on the way.

Anyway enough of this back tracking lets get to the future and discuss Prog 2001ad...

*[normalsizefont] Note to say while Andy will indeed send his letter in 2000, as Jim has pointed out a couple of times - and this time I will remember - the letter and its contents can be conflated with the impact of a book deal that meant thrills were kept to a compact and tight 8 - 10 parts to produce continential style albums rather than being a part of Andy D's deliberate mantra [\normalsizefont]

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #805 on: 06 August, 2019, 08:06:16 am »

 Prog 2001

So this was of course the cap end to thrillpower in 2000, the equivalent of the end of year annual christmas threat, but here its a bit more than last time. Yes its celebration, a mighty roar in honour of Tharg and all the lovely he scatters into our lives, but its also setting up the year to come in a way its not finishing the year that has gone.

So its got nothing to do with the year 2000's thrillpower... well aside from being part of it!

Anyway nothing rolls into it from the previous run. We get some nice standards. A solid Dredd by Wagner and Kennedy. All be it a slightly easy feeling take down of then massive Big Brother (damn I feel so old!). It has a glorious Tharg the Mighty story by T.M.O. and Henry Flint which looks simply beautiful and in some ways is a celebration of 2000ad. We get a really nice Sinister Dexter in Bullet Time as the bodies fall and the shells are counted. And we get heartening news that Strontium Dog is here to stay as 'The Sad Case' gives us a fun one off featuring the failings of Kid Knee. Nikolai Dante also gets a fun one off, in a little break from the Tsar Wars main feature.

We get celebration of all that is Thrillpower. The Tharg story mentioned above fits into that category quite nicely. Zzzzenith.com does too... though maybe not nicely. Do love the way he (Zenith) introduces Eddie as if he'd passed and Peter St John as William Hartnell. We also get a Bad Company one off, but in many way this is setting up the thrill to return later in the year (is it this year?). We get some posters and factfiles reminding of thrills past too.

Then we get to the meat on the bones, the budding new remit to come for these squarebound delights, they become all the above and launch Progs as new thrills are started and the new year is set up. Here we get Button Man III and I'm sure I'll return to that later but man its good. Necronauts also kicks off, beautifully rendered by Frazer Irving but in reality another example of the rocket fuelled book deal and a thrill that will be too short and feel a little hampered as it bursts forth and ends too soon with no room to breathe its fullest. One of the lost opportunities of this time. We also get...

...oh that's it for the thrills bridging into the new year. So while its certainly not cap ending the year gone, its also not yet fully the beast it will spring into. At the moment these Progs are in fact more like the annuals of old and are all the more wonderful for that.

Rately

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #806 on: 06 August, 2019, 09:35:25 am »




Firstly there is some magnificent stuff and the end of Dredd - Sector House is as tight, bold and thrilling as the rest of this story. I'm amazed this one is only 8 episodes long, Wagner and Ezquerra pack so much in. Its a wonderful look at Dredd as a youngster via Rico and how his hardline puts noses out a joint, one hard one in particular. By doing this and having Dredd dominate in the background we learn even more about Dredd and what he's become, compared to his younger self. Its just brilliant.

 [\normalfontsize]

This sounds fantastic. Your description has me wanting to leave work and go hit up the wee shop in Belfast that does a run on 2000AD back issues.

I'm a recently returned lapsed reader, and knowing I have more Wagner / Ezquerra Dredd to look forward to is an absolute privilege.

Love this thread, Colin. Thanks.

Dandontdare

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #807 on: 06 August, 2019, 10:12:04 am »
Trouble is there's also a lot of weak stuff. Slaine is horrible and I'm afraid for all the good Henry Flint art I'm going to out Deadlock in here too alongside... to many really, Pussyfoot 5, Red Fang, Glimmer Rats.

I never really got the admiration for Glimmer Rats at the time - it didn't really do anything for me

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #808 on: 06 August, 2019, 10:50:27 am »
Colonial marines, meaningless slaughter, Harrison art and Bladerunner references, what's not to like? I was never a big fan, but while it wasn't high art it was perfectly fine SF action nonsense.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #809 on: 08 August, 2019, 09:09:15 pm »
Colonial marines, meaningless slaughter, Harrison art and Bladerunner references, what's not to like? I was never a big fan, but while it wasn't high art it was perfectly fine SF action nonsense.

Its the art that does it for me. I just don't get on with it and the storytelling is weak, as is often the case with earlier Mark Harrison, I struggle with his Durham Red as well a great deal. The rest isn't strong enough to justify the fight for me.

Love this thread, Colin. Thanks.

Well shucks its a pleasure. I'm always amazed that folks put up with my seemingly endless typos, grammatical errors and poorly constructed sentences to get any meaning from the pap I spout... hence this is really self-absorbed as I always write it assuming I'm the only one who can make head or tail of what I'm saying!