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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 13300 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #195 on: 02 March, 2017, 08:43:31 pm »
1983

Pretty simple year to sum up really. Started slowly with a few real highlights (Skizz in particular) but mainly marked by the passing of once great strips loosing ground and Rogue Trooper going from bad to worse. As the year progresses however things are getting better and better.

By Prog 335 (in September of 1983) the Prog has raised to heights, possibly better than its ever been. Sure Rogue is still stinking the place up, even if it looks fine, but everything else is simply brilliant. Slaine starts really well, Strontium Dog as good, or even possibly better than its ever been, Nemesis Book 3 which is just brilliant and Dredd continuing a real peak.

Staggered endings mean that as the year tails out a few weaknesses creep back in. Alan Moore has moved onto longer form stories so there a few weakish Future Shocks hangin' round BUT that hopefully is a harbinger of the burst to come in the new year. We'll see.

Over all Skizz is an absolute highlight, the slow demise of Sam Slade the low point ... though I'm very much looking forward to his return in a couple (or more) years but over all the year just about sneaks into the positive simply cos the last 3 months or so are just so very, very good.

This view is curiously backed up by the review of the year in the last Prog of the year 349. Tharg seems to skip quickly through the first half and has to cram in the highlights of the second half.

He's to a suitable Orwellian (I hope) 1984...

Hawkmumbler

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #196 on: 03 March, 2017, 09:08:47 am »
Yeowch! You really aren't a Rogue fan are ya, Colin?

And yeah, it kind of goes without saying Nemesis BK III is just about a top 5 thrill for me. It's just about the purest essence of Thrill Power, IMHO.

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #197 on: 03 March, 2017, 10:38:16 am »
If you're struggling to get through Rogue in this period, wait til you hit the interminable Horst segment in the 400s! (Amazing art from Jose Ortiz notwithstanding, it's pretty tedious).
On the plus side, this is without question the golden age of the puntastic cover straplines.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #198 on: 04 March, 2017, 01:46:00 pm »
Yeah I remember when I got into 2000ad again after a break with Prog 431 I was wondering what the hell was going on with Rogue (and Slaine come to that!) which was bang in the middle if the Horst stuff. Then I was too young and ignorant to appreciate Ortiz's fantastic art... mind he wasn't a barbarian running around with lasers which while much better was equally messed up!

ANYWAY no more skipping ahead 2 years, how can I know about that stuff, the Traitor General is still around. The 2000ad Sci-Fi special of 1983 reminds us of an important lesson, one which isn't really 2000ad related but one which I will relate here anyway. That being that John Byrne's greatest Hubris has always been his love of inking his own work. John stop it will ya. Now don't get me wrong I have nothing against John Byrne's inking, it fine, and actually often very good when its done on top of someone else's pencils. Its just John Byrne's inks on top of John Byrne's art is kinda suckie to my eye. Don't ask me why, or too explain. After all I'm on the internet and so I feel empowered to spout my ill informed opinion without  recourse to logic or reason and so can state as fact that John Byrne is John Byrne's worst inker (well after Joe Sinnott and Al Migrom).

It also highlights another thing. After all in 1983 John Byrne is pretty much at the heights of his powers and one of the US's greatest comic book artists. He's not long off his seminal (if very hard to read these days) run with Chris Claremont on the X-Men, I think he's mid Fantastic Four and about to start Alpha Flight (my timeline might be a bit wonky here, he's so prolific its hard to keep track). He's cream of the crop over the other side of the pond. So what does his Dredd show us... well it shows us that 2000ad is really blessed with astonishing artistic talent. If that's the best the US has to off make mine FOOT (as opposed to FOOM for those in the know) Fans Of Old Tharg.

Fungus

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #199 on: 04 March, 2017, 02:36:49 pm »
True. I can remember nothing of that John Byrne tale itself, just that it felt exciting to see his take on Dredd. But that it felt wrong, and made you appreciate the regulars all the more. I'm guessing no mention of this is made in letters pages of the time?

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #200 on: 05 March, 2017, 08:54:27 am »
1984 Annuals

Think I've mentioned this before when discussing the annual last time I read them a few years back. Around this time the quality of the annuals begins to converge. Alas its not because the 2000ad annuals are catching up with the Dredd Annuals, well they are, but not that alone, the quality of the Dredd Annuals is slowly dropping.

We still get a chunk of excellent Ezquerra art but the stories aren't quite as strong and the other material is starting to really drop off the boil. Shame. The 2000ad annuals are getting better, but still riff with filler and while that is certainly getting better, after all they are able to reprint old 2000ad material and if I was reading this in the day those Flesh reprints would have been gold.

Still I'm really looking forward to next years annuals when as I recall quality collides and I'm curious to see which will trimpuh.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #201 on: 05 March, 2017, 08:56:30 am »
Oh and meant to say soon to do one of my favourite parts of this whole re-read process. Digging out the next year of materials from my nerd cave. Its so much fun (well now my bog paper issues are bagged and boarded so they don't flop about everywhere. It doesn't half fire up the thrillpower digestive juices as I flick throught the covers of what's to come.

Yummy thrillpower.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #202 on: 14 March, 2017, 08:22:12 pm »
So 1984 gets off to a fine start. DR and Quinch while not the classic some think it as is great fun. Some wonderful Dredd, some wonderful Strontium Dog, some... pretty lookin' Rogue.

BUT

The thing I want to talk about most is Slaine, not cos its anything other than brilliant, cos it is. Rather the printing. Now I'm not sure if its just my copies, it could be, but from issue 351 Tharg seems to have found the contrast button and cranked it up leaving the subtly of McMahon work too grimmy and dark. It looses so much of its glorious earthy quality. By 354 things seem to be sorted and while the contrast is still turned up it seems the balance is about right and the detail scratches are back to their very best.

When the Progs on this sort of form its in the detail we find things to discuss.

Hawkmumbler

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #203 on: 14 March, 2017, 08:24:33 pm »
Correct me if i'm wrong, but was 1984 well out of the bog roll era? So an printing "errors" over a long period have to be down to editorial misjudgment?...

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #204 on: 14 March, 2017, 08:42:55 pm »
Correct me if i'm wrong, but was 1984 well out of the bog roll era? So an printing "errors" over a long period have to be down to editorial misjudgment?...

No… we had the bog roll for a lot longer than that. There was a minor improvement in paper stock and limited extra colour from the 10th anniversary prog onwards, if memory serves (which it probably doesn't).

But all the McMahon Slaine's were on newsprint.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #205 on: 20 March, 2017, 09:12:18 pm »
So in just two Progs we see what's great and what's terrible about Belardinelli art.

Prog 361 in the opening scene of Dragonheist. Three pages of a man being chased down by a dragon. Watched by glorious nature, seen through his spectral eyes. Its quite the most stunning stuff. His rendition of the forest is stunning, better by the animals watching and then counter by the atypical yet terrifying dragon. Just top class.

Next Prog 362 Slaine fights few chaps, its just... so stilted and static. No movement, no sense of the power of Slaine or the violence he inflicts.

There you go Belardinelli a right old mixed bag of an artist!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #206 on: 22 March, 2017, 10:11:54 pm »
Interesting little phase just creeping up but after a really really nice start to the year we seem to have hit a mini filler phase. As Slaine and DR and Quinch slip out a host of one off and short stories come in. Always like one off in the Prog but seems to be a little too much in the mix at the moment. I wonder if something was delayed?

Couple of big hitter can't be far off and I wonder of one took longer than hoped, or was Slaine meant to be around longer? Who knows.

Oh and just how brilliant is Portrait of a Politician. Among many greats one of my all time favourite Dredd stories. So much packed into just 4 episodes. Ron Smith humanity in Dave is staggering. Its daft funny, sharp funny and satire funny all in one great action strip. An absolute classic Dredd.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #207 on: 22 March, 2017, 10:45:44 pm »
Oh and just how brilliant is Portrait of a Politician.

Very much so. It remains one of my major 2000AD guilt trips that I really didn't appreciate how good Ron Smith was when I was reading this stuff at the time.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #208 on: 07 April, 2017, 09:30:14 pm »
!984 hasn't inspired too much comment and I think I'll reflect on why that is when I get to the end of the year. As we approach that though we get to an interesting phase for the Galaxy's Greatest. Prog's 385 - 387 are an interesting bunch.

385 marks the end of a couple of significent stories. Outlaw the epic Strontium Dog tale blasts to a conclusion and I have to be honest I wasn't sorry. Its not been bad and the art has been exception.... its just been a little flabby. In recent time we've had some tight lean Johnny stories, Outlaw feels a little like its striving for epic status without really the reason for this. Its fun and has some glorious moments... it just feels padded. I think its a very popular story, but for me one of Strontium Dog weaker for a while. It could be a brilliant 10 parter I think...

... a brilliant 10 parter now there's a thought, In 385 one of those finishes. Not much really to be said about Halo Jones book 1 that concludes in the same issue as Outlaw. It gets better with age doesn't it. I always think Skizz is my favourite Alan Moore story in the Prog... I'm wrong. The only problem with Halo Jones is its not padded at all. I'd have loved to stayed longer explore The Loop with Halo and friends. I'm so tempted now get some sort of reprint of this so I can lavish in the art that is so poorly served by the boo paper.

Any recommendation for full sized Halo Jones reprints?

Anyway Prog 385 is a nicely appropriate traditional filler issue. There does feel like there's been a lot of filler this year and between the two progs surrounding it this one actually feels right though.

Prog 386... well there's a launch Prog. Nemesis is back, Helltrekkers still has promise and Ortiz on art, Ace Trucking has started a new thrill with can't be as bad as the last which I really didn't enjoy and starts very well, Rogue Trooper kicks off what should have been its last tale (well I'm clearly being generous there but you catch my drift). Dredd...

... well Dredd has had its ups and downs this year. Some real highs and some pretty average stuff. A Question of Judgement is a stone cold classic. Whats going to be interesting is seeing how each of these strips develops as we end 1984... I thunk its going to be a very mixed bag!

Spikes

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #209 on: 07 April, 2017, 10:10:10 pm »
Ah, 1984. I remember it well. 'Twas the year I left the prog behind, only to return again in 2011....


Any recommendation for full sized Halo Jones reprints?

Well, its gotta be the original 3 TITAN books, hasn't it? It's what I did.