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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 32478 times)

Frank

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #495 on: 01 July, 2018, 04:11:33 pm »
Not a fan of Judgement Day, there are zombies and a supernatural villain (not the best kind) and it drags on and on. While my read was a couple of years back to finally read those old progs, I haven't read the Megazines. Maybe soon. Maybe it would help the story overall(?)

This longterm 2000ad reader isn't a fan:

I don’t think it was a particularly good story or epic. As for the crossover element, I really don’t know. I can remember people complaining about it at the time and I empathised with them completely. Like any crossover, it’s inherently frustrating and probably should have been avoided.

I piled on far too many zombies. I recycled too much material that had appeared in other epics. There’s bits of Apocalypse War all over that story. The art didn’t help. When it was Pete Doherty or it was Carlos, it was spot on. When it was Dean Ormston – well, Dean’s talents lay elsewhere.

There was one fill-in episode that should have been a doozey. It was Dredd kicking the shit out of Johnny Alpha, but it fell as flat as a pancake because the art was by one of these Bisley knock-offs (Chris Halls). Then again, it wasn’t really a very good script to begin with, so who am I to talk?

Writing Johnny Alpha was nice, but I didn’t really take it anywhere interesting. I liked that last page, where Dredd and Alpha walk off together; being able to write that was cool. I would say about 10% of my Dredd stories are good. Some others – bits of stories are good. And a lot of it’s crap, to be quite honest with you.

It was a combination of things. Sometimes getting the wrong artists; frankly, bad editing at the time. The comic was in the hands of Richard Burton and Alan McKenzie, who were not up to the job. I don't think that's going to be a particularly uncommon opinion among people you’ve interviewed – I could be wrong.

The main reason is I was not up to the job. I was too young, just not ready for that level of work. I was writing all sorts of stuff as well as Dredd and still trying to write a weekly strip. The other reason - I can’t do Dredd right because I’m too close to it, too reverential. I like it too much.

The instinct that allows me to go in and piss all over American superheroes and end up writing quite entertaining stories about them - to go in and tear characters apart and come up with entertaining if controversial stories - that just isn’t there for me when it comes to Dredd.

Dredd means too much to me, I am too reverential to it and I can’t take the piss. I can’t tear it apart. And I guess I’ll never really be able to get over that.

Even last year, doing Helter Skelter, which I had a lot of fun doing. I came away from that thinking that isn’t really Dredd. Because at the end of the day, if Dredd is not written by John Wagner or not the classic period where John was co-writing with Alan Grant, then it just isn’t really Dredd.

I can’t get it right. Neither can Robbie nor Gordon. Grant and Mark couldn’t get it right. Alan on his own hasn’t quite got it. He and John in the glory days that lasted up until 1986 – they had it absolutely down pat. John’s pretty much the only guy that can do it; maybe what actually defines Dredd is John’s work on it.

With American superheroes, every character has as many different personalities and takes on it as there have been writers who have worked on it. With most characters, that numbers into the hundreds, but with Dredd, you’ve really only got one correct take, and that’s John's.

There are a few good stories, when the editors kept their mucky paws off it and I was actually getting it right. When they put the right artist on the job and he did a good job. There are several stories I’m very pleased with. There’s a lot of them that are mediocre. There’s a lot of them that I think are downright bloody awful.

http://viciousimagery.blogspot.com/2007/02/28-days-of-2000-ad-171-ennis-talks-pt.html

http://viciousimagery.blogspot.com/2007/02/28-days-of-2000-ad-181-garth-ennis-pt.html

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #496 on: 01 July, 2018, 04:12:21 pm »
In the Mega Collection books they neatly divided the story in two and I read them months apart, so the scenes that appear in both don’t seem like they are retreading ground so much. Indeed the two strands only really come together at the end. At the time, not that I remember it too well now, I am sure it grated a bit. But yes you are right it was done better then than Judgement Day. And to be fair it’s a much better story.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #497 on: 01 July, 2018, 09:05:03 pm »
Is it really 20 issues since 780? My we must be heading for our next launch Prog already... so how is

Road to Prog 800

Well we're well up from the dip at its lowest as we always have at least one MAGNIFICENT strip as Button Man is replaced by Zenith Book IV, a story that is so hung on its twist that I'm always slighty surprised by how it not only holds up each time I re-read it, but gets even better.

Millar's Robo-Hunter finds new lows in Return to Verdus, Jez in this one not only does it entirely miss the point and tone of Robo-Hunter, as all the stories to date, but this one even manages to be even more of a meandering mess... well okay that might in part be due to the fact I can barely bring myself to even skip read it by this point BUT everytime I just look at it, it comes across as a chaotic mass of stuff being thrown at a wall, hard, as breaking and blowing things up BIG is all Millar has left in his tank. Its just exploding badly coloured crap all over the page... I try to read it I just find it hard as it burns my eyes!

So backing up these extremes the road to 800 is actually dominated by a host of one offs. I real smorgasbord of done and gones. Firstly we have a host of okay if not great Future Shocks the highlight of which is Jim Baike's actually great Hot Iron, but then I have a man crush on Jim Baike's art. On top of this we get the interesting experiment Dragon Tales, which unlike Vector 13 has the good grace to realise its format is actually too limiting to sustain beyond about the 6 we get here. Nothing is good, nothing is great, they all just okay, all be it if they all look pretty good. I do wonder if Tharg just happened to have 3 Future Shocks featuring dragons land on his desk one morning, ponder if it was a thing, commission a few more before quickly realising, no, no, this is never going to be much if a thing.

Finally though we have a series of Bradley one offs based on crunchy and childish retelling of Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales... and you know what they really work, or at least I really like them. And I do wander if its these that means I always have a much fonder recollection of Bradley than anything I read to date could have possibly fostered. They seem to form a perfect partnership and give Bradley a more valid reason to exist than slagging of Jason Donavan could never manage. Add to that the stories really bring the best out of Simon Harrison's glorious art work and we really have a winner on our hands... unfortunately just as the series stomps off back to its bedroom if I remember rightly.... which I'm likely not!

Fungus

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #498 on: 01 July, 2018, 10:01:13 pm »
Maybe it's context, but I really enjoyed Bradley on a recent reading. Can't say if that's some revising of taste, since I can't honestly remember how I felt about these at the time.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #499 on: 16 July, 2018, 09:21:09 pm »
Prog 800

A line-up of Dredd, Flesh, Zenith, Journal of Luke Kirby, Robo-Hunter. That's got to be a winner right. I mean each of those is a classic strip in its own right, they each have some genuine stone cold classics in their catelogue... but of course these are different times. You don't need to actually read the stories to realise this though, infact you don't need to go past the inside cover.

In the box 'Some useful, Betegeusian phrases' box we get:

Quote
Borag Thungg: Skin me, Bro!

Splundig vur thrigg: I'm outa here!

Zarjaz: Fab! Gear! Groovy!

etc. I think this last one is meant to be ironic. It's hard to tell.

Okay so two things in that box alone that go a long way to explaining why even a line up like the above has the potential to be a classic, if each of the strips was at its Zen... best...

1. The phrases are like your creepy uncle trying to be cool. Sure he has some cool stories, some of the others are just plain sad.

2. There's an exclamation mark after everything!!! Why!!! There's just no need!!!! Its the embodiment of Ennis Dredd when its bad, Millar Robo-Hunter, or Patisical hangin' with his skinboy on Flesh.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #500 on: 17 July, 2018, 09:52:16 pm »
So I'm streaking through the 800s and its becoming a familar story. There's some good stuff, there's some okay stuff and there's some rubbish. As the good stuff (Zenith Book 4) finishes you hope for better than Wireheads and Finn coming into cover it... but just as you lose hope John Smith comes along and hope is restored.

Remember this line as I think I'll be using it again.

Anyway I come not to discuss this, rather to diss Dredd. As I've said before its been very hit and miss during Ennis' run... since issue 800 its gone for consistancy at least. Alas settling on miss may not be the way to go. So what's my beef. Well frankly the stories have been stunning flat and uninspiring, utterly devoid of anything interesting our fun. Judge Dredd has become The Clown... emphasised by Greg Staples' early art. Worse still Dredd has become that worst of 90s 2000ad tropes, the soulless, blandly aggressive hero, exposed by the lack of redemning features in the stories around him.

Now its fair to say that Dredd can be aggressive and is given to bouts of soullessness from time to time. Written too easily he can run an entire story just to punch out the witty oneliner at the end of the strip. For some reason in both 'The Marshal' and 'Innocents Aboard' the current problems with the strip just seem exemplified... then I turn to 'The Magic Mellow Out' and those problems have the added value of Mark Millar / Alan McKenzie* level humour, I mean its been building for a while. Everytime Dredd bust some perp, one (or more) of them has to pull an oversized firearm to give Ol' Joe an excuse to blow their head off... literally. But man 'The Magic Mellow Out' ... well it could have been a Robo-hunter strip....

This is poor Dredd... I dearly hope to return to apologetically say Ennis has hit form again... come on Ennis...

*I should mention Alan McKenzie provide current (post Zenith) best thrill Summer Magic, which is fine and then some.