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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 32506 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #450 on: 12 May, 2018, 11:43:24 am »
As ever with my re-read detours into reading other things can derail me briefly but back on track and storming through 1991's Progs... alas 1991's progs just aren't storming. There is some good stuff, but I find I'm enjoying stuff in another, better period, I'd have been quite dismissive of.

As I enter the 740's here a quick summary.

Judge Dredd - Surprised how many times Jon Wagner pops up during the 'Ennis' run. Always enjoyable but to be fair I have no real problem with Ennis' stuff. Its all perfectly good, if never outstanding.

Millar-Hunter - Well I've discussed the art, just not for me at all. The story is however just so flat and feels to like any purpose. It has none of the charm and wit of the original, yet at the same time nothing to really galvanise it into something different. Its just there, a charmless lump.

Mean Machine - Sorry did not like this at all. Again just felt so superfluous and strangely for John Wagner the humour often missed. Not helped by the fact that talented though Richard Dolan almost certainly is his art looks terrible and another example of the mud years, very possibly largely due to the printing?

Rogue Trooper - The icey one
... christ was that only 12 parts, felt longer. I have problems with the original Rogue which I've blattered on about enough in the past. This has all the lack of character without the interesting ideas to back it up!

Tao De Moto - Man I want to like this so much more than I do but its not quite there. Its such an interesting idea but maybe its the 2 page format, nothing really gets going alas. Still its one of the better things in the comic at the moment!

Killing Time - Okay I really like John Smith and this one is really good... but... damn why is there always a but these days! I really don't like Chris Weston's early art. I mean Chris Weston has clearly developed into an absolute superb talent but here its all awkward and ugly. Which should support the story well, alas it doesn't as it just makes it hard on the eye rather than enhance the horror. Still superb story.

Below Zero - Despite myself I'm really enjoying this. I mean its riffing off so much contemptary stuff, like Total Recall and I'd imagine about 72 episodes of Red Dwarf and Tanner's finger gun always looks so silly and puny BUT I can't help but enjoy it. This is a prime example of a story being well served by the rubbish that surrounds it I suspect!

Bix Barton - Lovesick World - Even though the bloody rugby reference became tricky to tackle again this is my fav BB to date. Not sure why, maybe its another example of something elevated by whats around it but I found it charming and funny, when at times BB can be clumsy and forced.

So there we have a quick recap of some recent waiting / being in for work men reading ... I do wish I was in a better phase of the Prog with so much plastering, plumbing and electrics going on around me!

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #451 on: 12 May, 2018, 04:32:08 pm »
I really don't like Chris Weston's early art. I mean Chris Weston has clearly developed into an absolute superb talent....

Glad it’s not just me that thinks that. For years I didn’t like his art, and I has the impression I was in the minority thinking that.

These days his Dredd especially have a real Bolland like quality. And it doesn’t get any better than that.

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #452 on: 12 May, 2018, 04:51:55 pm »
I really don't like Chris Weston's early art. I mean Chris Weston has clearly developed into an absolute superb talent....

Glad it’s not just me that thinks that. For years I didn’t like his art, and I has the impression I was in the minority thinking that.

These days his Dredd especially have a real Bolland like quality. And it doesn’t get any better than that.

I am in total agreement his earlier work was not my favorite but now his art is top notch

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #453 on: 14 May, 2018, 01:23:01 pm »
I'm with you on finding Weston's early art a bit ropey in his Dredd days doing 'Crazy Barry' and the like - but for me, he stepped into high gear on Killing Time, on of my all time faves. Yes, he'd continue to get better still, but there's something about the colours and somewhat plastic-y people that really works in this inter-dimensional tale.

Is Lovesick World the one with one of Milligan's all-time best throwaway gags - the God of Leaning Against Hot Radiators? But I must say I'd like Bix Barton a touch more if he was a cricket rather than rugby man.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #454 on: 14 May, 2018, 05:20:13 pm »
I'm with you on finding Weston's early art a bit ropey in his Dredd days doing 'Crazy Barry' and the like - but for me, he stepped into high gear on Killing Time, on of my all time faves. Yes, he'd continue to get better still, but there's something about the colours and somewhat plastic-y people that really works in this inter-dimensional tale.

Is Lovesick World the one with one of Milligan's all-time best throwaway gags - the God of Leaning Against Hot Radiators? But I must say I'd like Bix Barton a touch more if he was a cricket rather than rugby man.

Yes (Lovesick World gas the Radiator God) and so YES - I'd be quite happy with Cricket references.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #455 on: 14 May, 2018, 09:20:55 pm »
And so the 700s roll on to their half way mark and the Prog is cleared for a jumping on Prog that will hold much of interest. What is cleared to make way is a very mixed bag.

Muzak KIller is ... okay... the Prog has a real beef with Jason Donovan back in the day. I mean he was fluff nonsense but boy did they give him a hard time... I thought it was cool back in the day, these days its just to soft a target.. I'm not enjoying Ennis as much as I remember I have to admit.

I loved Revere back in the day, this time while I enjoyed it I find this first book a little thin, it gets better as I recall in the later books this one is a little self obsessed but a fun experiment. Is this the first time we're had female nudity in 2000ad?

Dead Meat is... so... there. Its far from the worst, its just not that interesting and I think it could have been... are we meant to know why a ram can last underwater for like 8765 minutes or whatever it was? Anyway I think this one gets a second run and we'll see.

There's some rubbish Future Shocks and Slice is a bloody awful character in a poor story and Tao de Moto ends as its gone really, not quite being as good as it wants to be, not quite having the chance to develop the characters that all seem to have potential that's not realised. Shame, the end in the Prog is pretty good actually, in that the way Sopalco lead the reader and Tao on is nicely done... its just not that satisfying. I'll see how it does when I read the Yearbook.

Oh and the T.M.O. story is really bloody annoying.

I want to find more to say about this stuff... its just not interesting enough on the whole to say much about alas. Still while I'm not sure I get on with everything that we'll get in 750 I think there will be more to say... I can almost feel my hackles rising already at the though of Mrs Mills boy hanging on the street corner with that ne'er-do-well Tony Skinner, trying to look so cool...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #456 on: 28 May, 2018, 09:07:32 pm »
So 757 sees the first of 750 relaunch Prog's stories ending as ABC Warriors Kronicles of Khaos blunders to its silly conclusion. I've given my thoughts on this strip before and it really doesn't improve with re-reading. I do think Mills time working with Tony Luke brought out the worst in him. He comes across to me as trying so hard to be different, alternative and subvert the norms and tropes of heroic storytelling he forget to tell a decent story at all. It lacks the insight and wit he is capable of using. Instead not only trying to bludgeon his point home, but in doing so bashing his point so hard it loses all real shape and usefulness. Its comes across as silly and not in the fun way.

Alas at this time its not the worst culprit of the awkward teenage years 2000ad is going through. At times 2000ad reads like a kid trying to pull of a cocky swagger to prove they can be part of the cool gang. Alas in doing so forgetting very independent streak that made them cool in the first place. New Robo-hunter is the worst of this of course. Just lacking in any style and the humour just falls so flat. Its a poor, pointless story and both Millar and Williams just don't seem ready yet.

Its all starker when you compare these stories with the work of Wagner and Ennis on the Democray storyline which boils to a stunning conclusion in these issues. Everything about Dredd from 750 , Grice trying to force Dredd out to stop the vote for democracy, the vote itself and the so brilliantly underplayed aftermath. It just shows how you can pervert expectation without big guns and nonsense. Just great stuff... oh and it does of course have big guns but only pulls them out to wave about when its the right time and place to do so!

The other two strips form the middle ground between these two extremes. I enjoy Ennis' and Pugh's Strontium Dogs and MacKenzie and Ewin's Universal Soldier. Neither are as smart and different as I thought back in the day when at 19 these strips seemed so vital. They certainly aren't as smart as they like to think they are (Universal Soldier in paticular) but I'm enjoying their raw honestly. so lacking in either ABC or Robo-Hunter.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #457 on: 29 May, 2018, 07:45:14 am »
Actually it could be said that Strontium Dogs pretty much provides the definative story of this time in 2000ad's history. Its not absolutely terrible, has some moments of cool fun and sometimes, not that often the wit works. The trouble is its not quite as smart as it would like to be, hasn't realised that excessive violence and gore isn't an answer to weak stories. Mainly though like many teens Feral, its led is ackward around women and while at times has his moments can also be a great big ugly monster.

So while I am quite enjoying it, its not as good as what its developed from and really just needs to calm down and stop trying so hard.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #458 on: 30 May, 2018, 07:45:35 am »
1991

Is pretty easy to review.

Worst year in Thrillpower - like EVER dude.

There are highlights, but they are very thin on the ground. Anderson bookends the year well with Engram, John Smith while not quite the writer he'll become has two great stories and the best thing is Wagner elevating Ennis as they combine to bring the democrary storyline to a powerful intelligent and still relevent (so much more so in fact) end. It really was the best.

Alas the rest of Ennis Dredd hasn't survived this re-read, I've always been an Ennis Dredd defender... not quite sure why anymore. Its far from terrible its just not that inspiring and falls into the Prog's ever growing field of mediocrity. This is exemplified by Brigand Doom, which I really enjoy and in this year I was about to put into the highlights section, then realised in most year its a middle tier book enbiggened by the rubbish that surrounds it.

And there is so much rubbish. I've bashed most of it already and see no need to add to that here but they really is a lot of crap in 1991.

So yeah a very straightforward year to review really, which I guess is a saving grace.

For so many 'years' a complete re-read seems like a good idea, years like 1991 make it an act of stubborn completist nonsense... entering 1992 doesn't really fill me with much hope either....

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #459 on: 01 June, 2018, 09:19:33 pm »
1992 Annuals

Whoops

Its the all new, all shiny 1992 YEARBOOKS!

Arh man these Yearbooks could have been soooo good. They have such potential, they are such great physical products ... yet then you open them and...

Well to be fair the 2000ad Yearbook looks to have great potential. Okay there's a lot of filler, Dash Decent reprint - huh??? Robo-Hunter (mind has nice Graham Higgins art) Tao  de Moto gets a text ending I didn't even make it through, Rogue Trooper... christ there is a lot of filler... but...

Slaine by Mills and Fabry, Dredd by Wagner and Cam - that'll save things... right... right... right... nah the Dredd is a surprisingly flat year end summary thing, a bit weird and Cam's art isn't up to standard, the Fabry Slaine is cute but a little light and floppie... such a missed opportunity.

The Dredd Yearbook doesn't even tease us with such potential... well to be fair there is a decent long Wagner Dredd, not a great one a decent one... overall its very weak content.

Such a shame, such a great shame and at £5.95 the cost of finding out was pretty steep!

I also read the Specials, but that was a couple of nights ago now and I can barely remember them!

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #460 on: 01 June, 2018, 11:20:27 pm »
You're sliding into the dark now Colin.  Styrofoam's about to get real.

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #461 on: 05 June, 2018, 01:23:14 pm »
1991 was the year when my 2000AD fandom really kicked into overdrive. I'd given up on The Beano and Whizzer and Chips, and hadn't quite made a jump into Marvel comics, so was mainlining all the 2000AD I could find. This did of course include the Best of Monthly, so it's very possible my memories of that year being good are skewed by the presence of reprint material I'd never seen before (I think this included Verdus and a bunch of early Ace Trucking Co). Not to mention all my big brother's back progs, stretching all the way to 439 (seemed like an eon's worth of Progs at the time, that did). At the time, I'm pretty sure I thought 1991 was a step up from 1989 and 1990, believe it or not.

The point is, it's impossible for me to re-read this era without the old nostalgia. Although I'll admit that this includes the 'painful' part of the literal meaning of that word. For what it's worth, Khronikles of Khaos is the one I find most divisive in my own mind. I thought it was silly at the time, but beautifully drawn, but on each re-read I seem to go and forth between loving it and hating it. When I'm in the right mood, the Mills/Skinner hate for authority figures is so naked I find it funny, and they do manage to tread the line of having Deadlock take down Hammerstein's do-good attitude but also make Deadlock himself look ridiculous. Don't think Mills has ever written a character that he couldn't (and didn't) take the piss out of at some point. Maybe Ro-Jaws? 'Cos his main function seems to be to take the piss anyway.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #462 on: 05 June, 2018, 06:15:57 pm »
Well having retrieved 1992 from the nerd cave and flipped through them to get them from on the shelf order to re-read order I have to say its looking like it'll be a step up from 1991, certainly in terms of the highlights. The proof will be in the puddin' but I remain optimistic.

Yeah I know what you mean about it being impossible to seperate re-read from nostaglia. I defo commented here how when we got to 1985 it was very tricky for me to get past how much I loved thos issues and how I knew them almost by heart. That said I do think I landed on my feet as when trying to be as objective as possible that's some good shit there.

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #463 on: 05 June, 2018, 07:31:12 pm »
I definitely think nostalgia plays a huge part in re-reads. I also find it very difficult to judge the true “worth”of the old stuff because of this.

This manifests itself in a few ways:

- there are stories I have convinced myself are the best ever and can never ever be topped. Stuff like Nemesis book 1,3, 6, early Slaine, the Judge Child

- a feeling that new stuff can never be as good. But along comes Lawless and Brink to challenge that. Objectively I know they are as good, but as I’m not ten anymore I don’t get the sheer thrill that I used to get when the newsagent delivered the Prog along with my parents paper on a Saturday morning. But neither am I as disappointed when my subs copy fails to show up, as I have plenty of other things to read and I know it will be there on Monday, Tuesday at the latest.

I also find stuff that I didn’t read in the original Progs when a child, which I have subsequently read just doesn’t leave as big an impression on me. But I do find those I got collections of a few years after they came out, but still a child, I look back on more favourably, but they still aren’t in my top classics. Stuff like The Cursed Earth, Verdus, the Day the Law Died. Whereas Stuff that I have read for the first time as an adult, I have no problems seeing the limitations in: Harlem Heroes, Inferno, Invasion, Dan Dare (which I haven’t even got round to finishing a good couple of years on).

Now it can it be the case that the Prog dramatically I improved in its 3rd year, or is all this a demonstration of the rose tinted nostalgia effect?

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #464 on: 05 June, 2018, 08:54:35 pm »
While I do think nostaglia plays a big part in reaction to read I don't think its everything and I find I can be objective. There's stuff I loved as a kid that I'd don't like now at all. Lazer Slaine and Meltdown Man being an examples that springs to mind. There's stuff I didn't get on with as a kid that I love now... and various shades inbetween and with stuff I hadn't read.

I think the biggest part is my tastes have changed over time and I'm looking for different things, and some stories are so good that they just satisfy. Some however played such a big part in defining what I love, so Flesh and Cursed Earth all but defined what I think is good that the fact I think they are absolute classics is self forfilling ... but I do think objectively part of that is they are just plain good... arh who knows...

... mind one thing I have spotted already is maybe it will be 1992 Ennis Dredd that means I remember it more fondly that I have found in this re-read. The Art of Geomancy into Justice One - now that's good Dredd.