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Author Topic: 2000 AD in Stages  (Read 4098 times)

Dark Jimbo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #120 on: 18 September, 2019, 09:26:57 am »
If you don't like Ronald Reagan (see: any even slightly left-leaning British person who grew up in the 80s), then you'll struggle to enjoy watching him dropping the soap in the shower with Johnny Alpha, or getting sucked off by Durham Red (prog 522, page 2, frame 3), or saying "goshdarned", or "ulp" for ten more episodes on top of the fifteen (count 'em) from the previous stage.

I read this for the first time in the recent Ultimate Collection book, and you know what...? Bitch is better than I expected. As more a child of the 90s than the 80s I have only the haziest understanding of what Reagan was like as either a person or president, so all the potshots sailed over my head - but then, the satire's all pretty broad stuff, so I still felt like I was getting it. A really interesting read in 2019, with Trump in the White House - Reagan seems like the most harmless, amiable old buffer imaginable in contrast!

As to the story itself - well, read across 25(!) weeks I cannot imagine how it must have dragged, but read in one go, it fair zips along, and only gets noticeably decompressed towards the end, with everybody hiding in the jungle. And it very much feels like the last part of Johnny's post-Wulf rehabilitation. Red constantly needles and annoys him, refusing to take him as seriously as he takes himself - and by the end, he's smiling again, joking, shooting Reagan with a catapult. She's the distraction he never knew he needed.

sheridan

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #121 on: 18 September, 2019, 12:59:02 pm »
Mean Team
 (It turns out that Keller is completely immune to damage, which you think someone would've noticed when he was involved in the galaxy's most violent sport, but logic, she does not live here.)
More (?!) in the next stage...


More importantly, how did he get the facial scar? </continuity>




It's been a while since I read it, so perhaps the field that stops technology working is also the thing that makes him heal?

sheridan

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #122 on: 18 September, 2019, 01:02:09 pm »
If you don't like Ronald Reagan (see: any even slightly left-leaning British person who grew up in the 80s), then you'll struggle to enjoy watching him dropping the soap in the shower with Johnny Alpha, or getting sucked off by Durham Red (prog 522, page 2, frame 3), or saying "goshdarned", or "ulp" for ten more episodes on top of the fifteen (count 'em) from the previous stage.

I read this for the first time in the recent Ultimate Collection book, and you know what...? Bitch is better than I expected. As more a child of the 90s than the 80s I have only the haziest understanding of what Reagan was like as either a person or president, so all the potshots sailed over my head - but then, the satire's all pretty broad stuff, so I still felt like I was getting it. A really interesting read in 2019, with Trump in the White House - Reagan seems like the most harmless, amiable old buffer imaginable in contrast!

As to the story itself - well, read across 25(!) weeks I cannot imagine how it must have dragged, but read in one go, it fair zips along, and only gets noticeably decompressed towards the end, with everybody hiding in the jungle. And it very much feels like the last part of Johnny's post-Wulf rehabilitation. Red constantly needles and annoys him, refusing to take him as seriously as he takes himself - and by the end, he's smiling again, joking, shooting Reagan with a catapult. She's the distraction he never knew he needed.

I first read it as a child (not even the teenage variety) and if I knew who Reagan was, it would have been almost entirely from Spitting Image (if I'd managed to stay up late enough to see any episodes of that show).

I certainly agree that as bad as he seemed at the time, by the time George W came along it seemed like halcyon days.  The experience has been repeated with both Ron and George with Donald...

I wonder how people who lived through Tricky Dicky feel the presidenthood has fared since?

Dark Jimbo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #123 on: 18 September, 2019, 01:10:59 pm »
...And of course Wagner did the same again, much less memorably, with Bill Clinton and Dredd - the ending is almost exactly the same to Bitch, with the President telling his incredible tale and the minders and First Lady all agreeing it'd be better to pretend it never happened.

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #124 on: 18 September, 2019, 03:24:06 pm »
If you don't like Ronald Reagan (see: any even slightly left-leaning British person who grew up in the 80s), then you'll struggle to enjoy watching him dropping the soap in the shower with Johnny Alpha, or getting sucked off by Durham Red (prog 522, page 2, frame 3), or saying "goshdarned", or "ulp" for ten more episodes on top of the fifteen (count 'em) from the previous stage.

I read this for the first time in the recent Ultimate Collection book, and you know what...? Bitch is better than I expected. As more a child of the 90s than the 80s I have only the haziest understanding of what Reagan was like as either a person or president, so all the potshots sailed over my head - but then, the satire's all pretty broad stuff, so I still felt like I was getting it. A really interesting read in 2019, with Trump in the White House - Reagan seems like the most harmless, amiable old buffer imaginable in contrast!

As to the story itself - well, read across 25(!) weeks I cannot imagine how it must have dragged, but read in one go, it fair zips along, and only gets noticeably decompressed towards the end, with everybody hiding in the jungle. And it very much feels like the last part of Johnny's post-Wulf rehabilitation. Red constantly needles and annoys him, refusing to take him as seriously as he takes himself - and by the end, he's smiling again, joking, shooting Reagan with a catapult. She's the distraction he never knew he needed.

My distaste for Ron blinded me to the subtleties of the story: in particular I think it's a great point you make about the rehabilitation following Wulf's death.

The weekly read vs. collected read being two very different experiences crops up quite a lot and I think it's fascinating the difference that makes to the experience (of many strips). Rogue Trooper (say, the first year) was a great experience for me as a weekly reader, but I've heard that as a sit-down it seems too repetitive.
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Tjm86

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #125 on: 18 September, 2019, 06:58:11 pm »
Mean Team
 (It turns out that Keller is completely immune to damage, which you think someone would've noticed when he was involved in the galaxy's most violent sport, but logic, she does not live here.)
More (?!) in the next stage...


More importantly, how did he get the facial scar? </continuity>

It's been a while since I read it, so perhaps the field that stops technology working is also the thing that makes him heal?

This is it.  I always took it as unique to earth.

Frank

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #126 on: 18 September, 2019, 07:12:56 pm »
If you don't like Ronald Reagan (see: any even slightly left-leaning British person who grew up in the 80s), then you'll struggle to enjoy watching him dropping the soap in the shower with Johnny Alpha

In 1985, if you'd asked me to name my favourite TV show I would definitely have replied Spitting Image. Grant & (the uncredited) Wagner were shamelessly copying that show's characterisation of Reagan as affable but dumb and psychotically hell-bent on Armageddon.

I don't remember feeling Bitch outstayed its welcome, but it had a break of several weeks because of the change from squareish pages to A4-ish proportions. In retrospect, I wonder whether Tharg asked for an extra few episodes, so it wasn't just returning for 3 or 4 parts after the change to tall, narrow format?



Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #127 on: 18 September, 2019, 07:16:58 pm »
It's been a while since I read it, so perhaps the field that stops technology working is also the thing that makes him heal?
This is it.  I always took it as unique to earth.

This'll be another case of me not paying enough attention. What was funny was that when Bad Jack was figuring out that Emerald Eyes was his sister, and probably also immune, he tested the theory by shooting her in the back with a crossbow.

Someone else recently pointed out that it was unusual that Jack basically wore a Henry Moon codpiece the entire time as well...

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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #128 on: 18 September, 2019, 07:23:10 pm »
In 1985, if you'd asked me to name my favourite TV show I would definitely have replied Spitting Image. Grant & (the uncredited) Wagner were shamelessly copying that show's characterisation of Reagan as affable but dumb and psychotically hell-bent on Armageddon.

I don't remember feeling Bitch outstayed its welcome, but it had a break of several weeks because of the change from squareish pages to A4-ish proportions. In retrospect, I wonder whether Tharg asked for an extra few episodes, so it wasn't just returning for 3 or 4 parts after the change to tall, narrow format?

Wagner & Grant are fairly subtle compared to the depiction of Reagan in Diceman #5 (You are Ronald Reagan in Twilight's Last Gleaming) in which, whatever option you choose you end up burning innocent Nicaraguan villagers as part of the Iran-Contra affair.

(Bitch didn't have a break: it ran for for twenty-four episodes straight through progs 505-529.)
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Frank

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #129 on: 18 September, 2019, 07:33:21 pm »
Bitch ... had a break of several weeks because of the change from squareish pages to A4-ish proportions.

Bitch didn't have a break: it ran for for twenty-four episodes straight through progs 505-529.)

Right you are. That'll teach me to check my facts before commenting.



sheridan

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #130 on: 18 September, 2019, 10:59:53 pm »
Someone else recently pointed out that it was unusual that Jack basically wore a Henry Moon codpiece the entire time as well...

So what you're saying is, it isn't normal to wear a portrait of your best friend over your groin when you go out?




















I guess I'd better buy some new clothes then...