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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 113686 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #855 on: 11 November, 2019, 09:44:16 pm »


The first relaunch of 2003 is a pretty decent thing. Prog 1336 gives us three strips, Dredd and the trial of Orlok, ABC Warriors and Snow/Tiger. Prog 1337 sees Caballistics Inc and Interceptor join them.

What strikes me is quite the wonderful balance and variety on offer, yet in that classic 2000ad way there is a tone and style that permiates. I'll start with ABC Warriors as the three episodes I've read of this so far are some of Mills best for a while. I can be a bit hard on Unca Pat but its times like this, the beginning of Shadow Warriors remind you this incredible talent and imagination. Accompanied by Carlos, who I mustg admit I've never thought was a great fit for ABC Warriors we see similar themes and ideas just delievered with more precison, craft and energtic fun than so much of 2000ad's father work at this time.

The high tech chaos wonders of Mars are contrasted by Snow / Tiger ... interesting by another ex 2000ad editor I've not always had the kindest words for. But Snow / Tiger starts really well. Its a modern terrorist thriller and feels a little different in tone at first as it feels very contemporary ... but under that its adjacent to the future robots. Its tight, sharp and just like ABCs full of energetic fun.

Interceptor I seem to recall doesn't stay long but the first two part move at a brisk lively pace as alien battle in a hospital and a doctor gets caught in the middle. Again energy and fun drive the tale and it starts really nicely with lovely art by Steve Pugh.

Next Caballistics Inc adds its dark, horror blend to the mix. Again though energy and strong character sass runs through.

It takes GRennie and Paul Marshall's cute Cal opera Dredd to inject some out right humour to the mix in a fun tale. What I like about this line-up is while on the surface these are pretty different there is such a clear and typically 2000ad vein through them all and that's something I love about the Galaxy's Greatest. This might not be a hailed line-up. It wouldn't appear on anyones (well there's always someone - another joy of 2000ad is the diversity of fandom) all time list but its so satisfying solid and enjoyable, so full of that energy I've mentioned often before in this post.

Heck run of the mill 2000ad is streets ahead of the rest.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #856 on: 12 November, 2019, 09:34:37 pm »
Slipping in a quick one tonight. Been interesting to see how the none Wagner Dredd's are coming on. Grennie is coming on a treat and Progs 1339 - 1341 has a very strong three parter by Robbie Morrison - Hard Day's Night. Which sees Dredd take a rookie for his final exam, after just having lost this original examiner. Moreno the rookie is clearly out for revenge... but revenge for what? Its tight, sharp and gripping, aided by some great Patrick Goddard art its a minor trimpuh.

We also see the current line up start to wrap up at this time. Caballistics Inc ends a short story really well in Prog 1340 and the current book of ABC Warriors ends after only 6 episodes in 1341 and it remains immense fun to the end.

So with subs being brought on already can Tharg keep this excellent start to this season up?

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #857 on: 13 November, 2019, 12:22:09 am »
Slipping in a quick one tonight.

And you had the energy to do a quick review too!

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #858 on: 13 November, 2019, 05:12:10 am »
This is the point from where I have all the digital progs. I enjoyed the Dredd vs Aliens story with some great Flint art.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #859 on: 14 November, 2019, 09:18:04 pm »
This is the point from where I have all the digital progs. I enjoyed the Dredd vs Aliens story with some great Flint art.

Is Tharg still scanning or has the digital archive been there for a while?

Anyway its a good place to get on board as this is such a solid period of thrill power.



There's nothing straightforward about straightforward thrills

The only real surprise during this period how short Snow / Tiger is its only 7 parts I thought it was longer... and I don't think it comes back. Does this mark the end of Andy Clarke's time in the Prog too? Shame if so. This is just a straightforward action piece, but pretty entertaining for that.

The other surprise is how long Interceptor is at 9 parts - I thought this one was much shorter like 'Scrap' and that car one, but not so. Its nothing to astonishing, its a fun character thrown into world beyond their comprehension and they have to learn to cope and bash the aliens. Writer Ian Edginton and artist Steve Pugh try to throw in some much needed diversity by making the lead a woman of colour. They do forget that by making her a pretty straightforward hardass action hero they do kinda reduce the impact of that alas. For all that I really enjoyed this thrill and was surprised I didn't really remember it.

As thrills come and go they are joined by more straightforward thrills. Rogue Trooper... which is a great action thriller and is only surprising in that its a really good Rogue Trooper story. We get some straightforward Sinister Dexter as well. But then straightforward Sinister Dexter is of course bloody good comics.

They only thing that's not solid and straightforward is Judge Dredd - Revenge of the Chief Judge's Man by Wagner and Burns. That is simply magnificent. And the far from straight forward Lobster Random which I'll talk more about next time...

...but these exceptional thrills are the exception at this time of solid, entertaining 2000ad stories. The thing is a time of solid dependable 2000ad stories only serves to remind you how lucky we are. See solid, straightforward action adventure from 2000ad is so comfortably ahead of 90% of the comics out there. This period has really done a job of making me reflect on the fact if half these strips (or more) than come out in 22 page format from Image or such I'd be raving about them. The time that Tharg gives us so much great stuff, so often can make us over look how good he is to us and this period mid 2003 has really do a job of making me reflect on that.

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #860 on: 15 November, 2019, 02:55:55 am »
This is the point from where I have all the digital progs. I enjoyed the Dredd vs Aliens story with some great Flint art.

Is Tharg still scanning or has the digital archive been there for a while?

Anyway its a good place to get on board as this is such a solid period of thrill power.


The digital archive has now been existing for at least the last 5 years. They started releasing it per year on almost monthly basis and stopped when they reach 2003. It is a pity since I would like to go back to the point where I stopped buying the prog in 1995.

Yes this was a great time to get on board some solid thrills and the years to come was even better.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #861 on: 15 November, 2019, 09:59:39 pm »
So this excellent run comes to an end. Couple of points of note. I'm already wrong about Andy Clarke as here he is again introducing Kal Cutter in Sinister Dexter and now I think we get another story (at least by him) featuring Kal. Another surprise in this story is the introduction of Charon. For some reason I really wasn't expecting him so soon. Always felt more could have been done with him. Still that's a ways off.

Anyway that's all preamble. Welcome to


And as we head into a relaunch Prog at 1350 there is really only one thing to talk about... well given I kinda covered how good 'Revenge of the Chief Judges Man' is already and that's new thrill

Lobster Random

I love this thrill. Its quite brilliant and if I could get one creator back to finish a story in 2000ad it could very well be Si Spurrier to give us more of this glorious thrill... well maybe a beardo mage and this artist partner might edge it... anyway its great.

What has struck me is how this story of a aged expert torturer, with two additional lobster limbs grafted onto him and his fettish for robot lovin' is actually another example of a solid, dependable thrill...

...well okay its not is it, but there is a link I'll get to.

First though lets just revel in how this story offers something so untypical. Fair to say we have some of the characteristics of our lead already setting that up. But we have more. The story mianders quite wonderfully. From the simply magnificent opening episode when our led is rescued from a regression death that gives us possibly the best introduction to a character's past ever in the Prog. From here it quickly turns into an imaginative heist caper. Before ending as a bitter revenge thriller. All of these are balanced perfectly.

Si Spurriers bold and pulsating story maybe the star, but its brought so magnificently to life by Carl Critchlow's art. He seems almost born for this strip. I mean I love his work at the best of times, here though his tight earthy angles hold the story firm and keep it grounded and seemingly impossibly real. The chaotic and kinetic edges and shapes also push the story effortlessly to all the imaginative and mind expanding places it takes you to.

This glorious combination of art and story is no better exemplified than in the story's eighth episode when Lobster Randon loosens his connection to his dimension so he can pass through a wall. He has to hold himself together and pays the price for doing so as he loosens his grip all the pain he hasn't felt since being turned into a super solider is shaken loose too. The whole thing sounds extraordinary and in its delivery its superfically surreal and psychodelic. Yet so perfectly crafted its easy to follow, has emotional impact and feels natural and grounded.

Its just brilliant.

This combination of the extreme and 'crazy' and plain expert delivery makes it all so human, humourous and humunously good is also why it has elements of a 'typical' 2000ad thrill. For all the things Lobster Random is as described above he is also such a typically wonderful 2000ad character. In the stories of the 90s he'd have been a shallow badass. All clinched buttucks and crappy hard dialogue. Here he's from the leftfield where Tharg finds his best, but also a typical action bad ass, with a gloriously sharp line in wit and twisted wisdom. Yet he's also human and real hidden behind the kick ass fun. He's typically atypical in that way only a typical 2000ad story can manage.

This strip will be back relatively soon as I recall and I for one can't wait.

For now though after a short break we'll get back to some really typical 2000ad characters as 1350 brings us an all a list line up of Dredd, Slaine and Strontium Dog.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #862 on: 27 November, 2019, 09:24:37 pm »


Dearth and taxes - Prog 1350

Well I think I'll be slightly out of tune when it comes to the latest relaunch line-up based on Prog 1350. I seem to recall that Slaine - Book of Invasion is seen as a bit of a hit for many. A resurgence in the form of this classic series. Its doing nothing for at all. I'm just not a fan of Clint Langley's work on the series,  but I've been there and the second story 'Golamh' starts exactly were we left off and with the same issues.

On the other hand I seem to recall that 'The Satanist' by Wagner and Adlard before the was Adlard of course - is seen as that rarest of beasts as Wagner Dredd misfiring. I've really enjoyed it on past reads the start seems to support that view. But lets hucker down and talk about that in a bit when we're farther into it. I'll say now though I seem to find its boldly original attack on Joe a refreshing change.

Luckily I think there's something we can all agree on and Strontium Dog 'The Tax Dodge' is just an immensely fun story and plays delightfully into both Wagner's and the strips irreverent strenghts.

The issue with Prog 1350 is something I've whined about before. Just three thrills, all be it a classic, a really classic line-up just means that a launch Prog lacks that vital - well to me... and maybe not vital that's me over emphasizing for effect -  new thrill to fire the juices. The fact that these are such stonewall pillars of 2000ad gives the Prog a stayed feel, regardless of the strips qualities.

Mind Tharg makes up for that next time in a ... big ... way, but we'll come to that...

I, Cosh

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #863 on: 28 November, 2019, 08:09:13 am »
The issue with Prog 1350 is something I've whined about before. Just three thrills, all be it a classic, a really classic line-up just means that a launch Prog lacks that vital - well to me... and maybe not vital that's me over emphasizing for effect -  new thrill to fire the juices.
Definitely agree on this. I can see the logic - give readers a bigger chunk of the new story to get their teeth into - but the "not enough variety" trade-off is too much for me. Every jump-on should have five stories. Ideally including a Future Shock or other one-off to highlight Tharg's infinite variety.
We never really die.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #864 on: 28 November, 2019, 09:14:08 am »

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #865 on: 28 November, 2019, 11:38:00 am »
Dearth and taxes

Nice!  :lol:

Well I'm foolishly inspired by Funt Solo's genius 'Phases'... and trying to match those... its a mighty high hurdle and one I'm going to enjoy being tripped by, as I try to clear it many, many times I suspect.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #866 on: 29 November, 2019, 09:33:44 pm »


Altared Images

I'm tired and that's the best I can do. So unless I can get a Claire Grogan pun in here I'm going to be struggling. Anyway I'm here to discuss The Satanist . To my understanding one of the least popular Wagner Dredd's out there... Is that right?

Either way I quite like it. Its no classic and I find Charlie Adlard's art a little out of place in colour and on Dredd. His cover to Prog 1356 one of the 2000ad cover that always sticks in my mind when I think about misfiring covers. The flatness of Dredd's helmet is too tight to his nose on interiors... devil's in the details I guess... damn why didn't I... anyway I'm really looking forward to seeing his art develop inot Savage when that lands soonish I think. Here I'm just not convinced yet.

The story - for the first two thirds at least I really enjoy. I love the totally different feel it has - which may have rubbed some folks up the wrong way? The psychological toying with Dredd via Vienna finding a weakness few have explioted and while it made this read odd I get that as being the point. Cleverly Dredd is moved out of Mega City One to further emphasize the difference, having to let crimes slip by as it not his patch. He's a fish out of water and this makes the threat and his clear unease so effective and plausible.

I think the final act rather rushes things. The degree of ambiguity of Satan's actual nature is quite effective and plays well into the tone of uneasy generated into the first two thirds. Alas it ends with Dredd being as indefatigable as ever. Breaking chains with a force of will right left and centre. Lightening strikes with too much easy as the end and Vienna's fate could have been teased longer?

Still its a great Dredd sort for all, and because of all it atypical choices and a story I really enjoy for all its imperfections.

Elsewhere Bec and Krawl finish without ruffling feathers, or engaging me in any way. Slaine slams past like a screaming car, over bright headlights blinding you to the detail of what's going on. Still we get Sinister Dexter back with Simon Davis which starts to shift the balance back.

In Stontium Dog the story is such good fun as Johnny gets bound to his tax burden. Its joyous. The only downer is do you think the villains were going to be more Stix until John or Carlos decided otherwise. The Unrighteous Brothers seemed almost entirely interchangable with them?

Greg M.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #867 on: 29 November, 2019, 09:45:45 pm »
I think The Satanist has some great individual moments, buried amidst a story that, broadly, doesn't quite work.

But it's certainly no 'Awakening of Angels' or 'Star Drekk'.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #868 on: 03 December, 2019, 09:26:14 pm »


Big fish and small fliers

When I first read Leviathan about 10 years ago I pretty much nailed it. I was thinking I'd have a post here discussing it. The fact that its one of those glorious done in one masterpieces that 2000ad does so well. They aren't too common but when they land do they land. Anyway looking back at my previous thoughts I pretty much said all I want to and being a lazy chuff I'll do the ego filled self quote.

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Lets get it said right off the bat that Leviathan was bloody brillant, absolutely superb. It had a fantastic opening with the pan out to show the scale of the ship and from there we get a beginning, middle and end that as it stands needs to be left alone. Its a fantstic thrill and I'm very glad we have it. When people talk about how to package Cradlegrave since its too short for its own trade normally folk discuss adding other John Smith tales for obvious reasons. I think I'd rather see some kind of 2000ad Horror stories trade and have this and Cradlegrave sit together. While they are very different stories they both are so good that they'd sit really nicely together?

Anyway the question. Could Leviathan have been longer? I enjoyed my visit there so much and the characters we meet were so engaging I wanted there to be more and feel there could have been. As I say as it stands it needs to be left alone but if from conception it'd been planned as a longer thrill I'm sure there could have been more tales to tell to allow further exploration of this wonderful world.

Heck in my mind this could have been a four book story, each Chapter set in a different class. 'Leviathan: First Class', 'Leviathan:Second Class', 'Leviathan: Steerage' and 'Leviathan: Engine Room'. Essentially telling the same tale but giving it more time to explore the dark corners of the vessel and the people who inhabit them. As Lament pieces the clues behind the ships mysteries together. Cos lets face it Lament is such a great character he needs to be the glue that'd hold all this fantasy strip together.

Am I being greedy and should I just be grateful to have this fantastic strip as it stands or could we have seen the bolts and girders that constructed this most majestic of tales? Would this have stretched things too far and become a drag?

So having saved time and energy there I realised I could move onto another, smaller done in one masterpiece. Again like others on occasion Tharg's droid nail the small short form story. Again one I read for the first time 10 years ago and commented on here. There was no way I was going to be lazy enough to just self quote there to was there. After all in my festering older whittering I don't even mention its written by Si Spurri-o-so-good. That the story uses Frazer Irvings art to its magnificent best, all dark afterlife and meladramatic expression that just work perfectly. Its a delight. I'm even not sure I felt like I'd missed something thing this time and just rolled with it as the story it is. So there no way I'd just slop in my past dripplings is there...

...never underestimate how lazy I am.

Quote
I hate it when writers say that 'You just don't get it' when you don't like their story. I've done enough research into the reading experience to understand that writing is a shared experience. If the reader 'Just doesn't get it' its cos the writer 'just ain't told them' in a way that reader can understand. Whatever the writer intends is nothing until a reader has read his work and placed their understanding on it and only then do you have a story. However in the case of 'From Grace'...

...I just don't get it.

Kurt Vonnegut is my favourite author but I always suspect when I've finished one of his books I've missed a whole load of subtext. They're still a joy to read with the bits I do 'get' but I suspect there's more in there. I kinda think that might be the case here.

On my reading this is an incredibly simple story were the title says it all really. Its lush to look at, a pleasure to read and constructed in a really interesting manner that alway kept me interested.

It's just that having finished I felt there must be more to it that I was missing. This didn't hamper my enjoyment of it but left the experience feeling a little empty.

So at least that will leave me some time to mention a few points of note from the Progs leading into 2003's last relaunch Prog. Like

1. Leigh Gallagher's art first appears (I think) and while not quite there yet is pretty good.

2. There's a GREAT Sinister Dexter 6 parter with lush, absolutely lush Simon Davies art. In 'Junk Bond' Rocky is about to wed Wendy when Mangapore villians and therefore of course Carrie Hosanne get included and swords are drawn in such a fun way.

3. Grennie does a great job on a series of Dredd shorts. Suggesting that he could have been the Wagner elect he seems to have drifted from.

4. I can't believe 10 years ago I didn't mention the fun Burt and Ernie cameo in Leviathan - mind its sooo out of place!

5. The cover of Prog 1360, The Leviathan demonically looming over the read, is one of my all time favourite. So simple and so stark.

6. Past Imperfects really don't make good filler.

...but as I say I'm lazy and so since I can't be arsed to do any of that I imagine this will be a very short post...