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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 129513 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #900 on: 15 March, 2020, 08:25:09 AM »
I seem to remember reading somewhere that that might have contributed to him quitting Dredd?

Oh that would make sense and be a bit annoying. I seem to remember he went to video games for a period, as many did. Its a shame as he's definately amongst the best none Wagners.

Anyway just a quickly this morning me dear to start the endings. As Samantha Slade - Stim is the first of the post 1450 stories to wrap in Prog 1456 and its been a delight. Fast, funny and in so many ways the true continuation of the old series. All helped by the fact that Ian Gibson seem to up his game and produce his best work on the series since its return. Maybe the story is elevated by his exceptional art, maybe he elevated this art for the exceptional story. Who aside from Ian Gibson knows? But then who cares if it makes for great thrills.


TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #901 on: 15 March, 2020, 08:35:46 AM »
I have a lot of time for Rennie's Dredd, my only objection being that he stopped when his long-running threads were getting good. Even back then he was a craftsman of structure, pacing and dislogue. But even I thought Blood Trails was pretty poor fare.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #902 on: 15 March, 2020, 09:01:12 AM »
But even I thought Blood Trails was pretty poor fare.

Oh what so is 'Blood Trails' poorly regarded? I thought it was pretty great.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #903 on: 15 March, 2020, 05:31:49 PM »


A post of two six parts

Part 6

Well you'll have to excuse me as I'm back already. Mainly cos this is such a rich period for 2000ad, bit I'll cram two posts into one to save you coming back twice.

Firstly so Grennie gives us a masterclass as to what you can do in 6 pages of Dredd and Wagner of course strikes back to show you quite what you can do with 6 episodes in the first half of Mandroid. So what does he do I hear you cry, why he sets up a new aspect of the MC1 military systems and sets up our leds. He then drops them back in MC1 and sets up what a cruel city it is, even for war hardened folks. He makes these war hardened folks both bleak and harsh yet sympathetic and rounded. You care about them... a lot... but as said Wagner has set up the brutality of MC1 and so he also has space and time to make that pay... twice... in frankly emotionally draining ways. You feel the pain, you live the grim reality. Oh man do you feel it.

But he's not done, on no. So having done all this he turns the story down a new path and it naturally migrates into a bitter, thrilling vigilante action piece.

And in all this I've not mentioned Dredd, but needless to say Wagner hasn't and while all that is going on he's been providing some wonderful character work on Dredd. In a back drop so terrible he manages to make Dredd the figure of compassion to so yet more sides to our often mischaracterised one dimensional law machine. The story has some of the finest Dredd character moments I can remember, Joe that ol' softy!

All of this is rendered quite superbly by Kev Walker. Who someone completely captures the dark reality we are being presented, the vicisous cutting tale, yet making it feel effortlessly easy on the eye. Its an absolute masterclass.

Part 2

While Dredd is in rich form we have two other thrills finishing. Firstly the decent 'Breathing Space' its a tight, engaging thriller by Rob Williams before the was Rob Williams I guess. Only slightly let down by the dark art by Laurence Campbell and L (?) Townsend with colours by Peter Doherty. It all looks great but at time the storytelling gets a little to up close and personal and it can lose its clarity. Still this tale of a good cop trying to break shake the broken system has a brilliant sting in the tale (deliberate for once) and is gripping.

Secondly the brilliant Savage Book 2 - Out of order quite wonderful fleshes out a Britain post Invasion and the actions of our terriorist hero, the authorities he rallys against, the brutality of a people and indeed family, under this rule and the madness it takes to fight it. Never has Bill Savage looked so broken and unbreakable. Its gripping, thrilling and while Uncle Pat does fill it with his 'typical' political dogma (well it is dogma by this point) he shows when he does it with guile and not at the expense of story it has far more impact than when its hammered home. Brilliant story.

So with all these good stories falling away we're in trouble right, well no that couldn't be more wrong as Sinister Dexter '...And Death shall have no dumb minions' and one of the best Red Seas stories 'Underworld' fill the gaps. Well 2005 really is a time of riches and more than the sum of its magnificent parts.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #904 on: 19 March, 2020, 09:08:09 PM »
And Mandroid finishes with a blast as well doesn't it. A dark and emotional blast but a blast all the same.

Times are so good that once we end some thrills as 'filler' we get decent Rogue Trooper and chuffin' excellent 'Tales of the Leviathan'.

Tharg is smearing us all over with the lovely juice of his organ here he really is.

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #905 on: 20 March, 2020, 03:40:35 AM »
Mandroid is one of my favorite Dredd stories of all time.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #906 on: 20 March, 2020, 09:27:43 PM »


Alls well that ends well

I've reviewed Leatherjack before on this good ol' board and when I did it was as much a conversation about John Smith as the story itself. No shame in that but this really is a brilliant peice of work. Paul Marshal is on top form and some of his designs are exquiste and hideous in equal appropriate measure.

Mr Smith is on the finest of forms as he explores story and words and identity and all sorts. But for all that, all the ideas and concepts John Smith wordsmiths his way into, for all the themes and illusions he crafts with letters that I know are that I glimpse out the corner of my eye, half realising before I move on to the next bit of genius. For all that what I don't think I say often enough is that John Smith rights a bloody cracking yarn.

Strip away the word play, strip away the high concept, strip away the compelling themes and metaphor and you still have a blistering thrill ride. A tale of fascinating characters, brutal hideous villians, alien worlds that feel real as hyper-real combat, bombast, dialogue. Yeah strip away all the good stuff and you are left with, well all the other good stuff.

And so Leatherjack marks a real highpoint in 2005... but its surrounded by other greats 'And Death shall have no dumb minions' is absolutely fantastic Sinister Dexter, just fantastic. Ray and Finny once again fall to their lows when they seperate and here the cost are dear and the stakes once again feel high. The consequences real and the drama (mela) just wonderfully timed again as a perfect build to a truly thrilling conclusion is weaved and then blown open.

Another great story in a much loved (by me) ongoing series is Red Seas 'Underworld'. The story itself lacks some of the punch of previous tales of Jack and crew, but what it does so well is open the story up and make you realise this will be more than a series of loosely connected tales. Or at least it adds real emphasis to this and for that makes the story as a whole really grow.

So 2005 end... except we have a Special again... one that's not so special but then we'll look back on 2005 and I think we have a decision on just how special a year in thrill power this has been...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #907 on: 22 March, 2020, 09:30:39 PM »


2005

So 2005 was an interesting year. I'm not dating my wife and she's already asked me to marry her, what can I say I'm a keeper. Okay so I've not get cuddled back into Tharg's arms again but I'm reading comics again in a big way, but drinking and smoking less (I actually quit smoking in 2005 yah me). I'm still a dunderhead, but I'm started to fill the voids in my life with positive things and soon that biggest void will be filled. And no I'm not talking about marriage and kids that's for sure.

In the Prog we have an important question to answer and I'll tell you why I'll not answer it at then end of this post. As ever lets start with what I saw was coming at the end of 2004.

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So all that's left is predictions for 2005 and frankly things will slowly and steady get better as will life. We'll have some of the best Sinister Dexter and Sweden, we have our last Glastonbury and Caballistics Inc (I think), we'll be in full ATP swing and we'll have Red Seas and Leatherjacks. It will be a good year and I'm looking forward to reliving it.

And rather than answer it now noticed the other day - when wondering what I'd said about Leatherjack in the past - I stumbled across a review of this year I wrote back in 2010 when I first(ish) joined this forum and had read these issues for the first time. As I was pretty on the nose back then.

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I normally review individual stories or a couple grouped together [Now Mr YNWA here - I did back then I joined the forum while doing a Prog slog in 2008 and by this stage I was catching up with the Progs I'd missed during my wilderness years] but I think 2005 deserves a bit of a special review as its quite possibly one of the best years in Thrill-Power's history. I've enjoyed these progs (2005 and 1420 - 1468) so much and they've been up there for me with the Progs of the last couple of years.

They've been so damned consistant. Sure there's been a few things I've not enjoyed but you can count them literally on the fingers of one hand. I think the thing that's really made this year work is that a lot of the regulars have been on fire and Tharg now has so many of them in the pot that even if strips like Sinister Dexter (which will get a special mention elsewhere) and Dante don't get as big a showing as they have in previous years there's enough other stories now strong enough to keep the comic going at an absolute amazing standard.

Newer regulars (or semi regulars, or regulars in waiting whatever) like Red Seas (I loved Underworld and learnt more about Jack's crew in this story than I have in everything I've read before and since), VCs, Invasion, Robo-Hunter, Shakara, Low Life, Atavar, Caballistics Inc. carry the Prog up to heights its not been at for a while, not because its been bad the last few years, far from it in fact, just that's it was all so good in 2005, so very good.

The new stuff while not always perfect has added a lot of difference styles and story types to the mix as well, while all being very much in the 2000ad mold, American Gothic, Breathing Space, Second City Blue, Tiger Sun, Dragon Moon had verying degrees of success but all added something to the Galaxie's Greatest. You also get your stone wall classic in the shape of Leatherjack too.

Finally Dredd has been on top form. Some of the best none Wagner Dredd's I can remember, ones that hold their heads high in the company of Dredd's best, the Wagner's speak for themselves of course.

2005ad The Galaxies Greatest Comic.

See nailed it - 2010 Mr YNWA rocked and knew his stuff (nah still a dunderhead but less so). Now Mr YNWA doesn't have much to add to that at all fair to say.... well except one thing 2005 was such a good year it leaves a awkward question. If 1986 and 1999 are competing for best year in thrillpower does 2005 join in that conversation. I do have an answer to that and its yes. 1999 was a glorious anomaly in that it sprang fully formed from some rough (if slowly improving) times and while the Prog was good since a year hasn't got close to it. 1986 is the very Zenith of the comics growth and development the perfect counterpoint between what the Prog was coming from and what it was going to. 2005 is the first year when it feels like the modern Prog is absolutely in place. So completely. And that one reason why it so good.

The answer I won't give however is whether its the best yet and the reason its getting to hard to call and always the one you've just read will get it. There's no need for a definative list of the best years - in order - its pointless and fliud - won't say that'll stop me doing it, but anyhoo its pointless defo. But the mere fact that I'm talking about this year in that company says so much.

So we're left with my traditional look ahead. I doubt 2006 will be this good, in fact I'm pretty confident it won't be. I'm also pretty confident it will be bloody good though. I suspect I'll be saying this most year and I fear for poor old 2006 it will become one of the first in a number of years which don't get the attention they more fully deserve as they are surrounded by so many other great years.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #908 on: 23 March, 2020, 09:12:00 PM »


Winter Special with a chill not a thrill

Well the Specials have increasingly become about giving new talent a break... or had they have of course disappeared for a few years now, in Selfabsorbed land. The 2005 Winter Special , the first special in 9 years at least has the honestly to but that remit front and centre. Alas it takes things a little too far. Not only does each strip have at least one new creator most of them are new concepts to and its all a little too much. I guess testiment to the problems is the fact that none of these stories and not many of the creators have come back to the Prog and certainly not to any great degree.

Even John Wagner's scripts for some competition winners aren't... well winners.

We do get a Rogue Trooper story by Grennie and Richard Elson to tie into the recently released (or was it soon to be) Rogue Trooper game, but its nowt outstanding.

The writers and artists guides are fun mind.

Alas while the sentiment is to be applauded the reality is a little to raw.

So with that done at least we can go to pastures new with 2006.