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Messages - Greg M.

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« on: 17 August, 2010, 06:07:57 PM »
Definitely horses for courses time, as in many ways, I think this casefile has generally better artwork than the last one.
There's some exceptional work from Colin Macneil, Peter Doherty, John Burns, Cliff Robinson, Glen Fabry and many more.
I'm not so down on Ennis' work either-I'm rather fond of 'Muzak Killer' and there's the excellent 'Twilight's Last Gleaming' as well as John Wagner's rather great 'The Devil You Know', making this a fine collection in my opinion.

In my view, this one's a right mixed bag, whereas the last one I found fairly solid - even the Ennis stuff I didn't like when first published, like 'Return of the King' and 'Death Aid', I enoyed fine this time, though clearly the presence of Carlos helped a fair bit. As you say, the presence of Ennis and Wagner's concluding chapters of the ongoing Democracy storyline are probably the main highlights of Volume 16, whereas Garth's stuff I found to be incredibly hit and miss. Some of the one-offs, like 'One Better' and 'First of the Many' (the one with Dredd's first perp) I really enjoyed. On the other hand, 'Muzak Killer' and most of the other times Garth does a thinly veiled parody of the pop culture of the time (the Edward Scissorhands one, the Twin Peaks one) I thought were awful. The hidden gem might just be Alan Grant's 'The Art of Geomancy', not least 'cos Mr. John Burns makes it look so good.

Books & Comics / Re: STRIP and CLiNT
« on: 17 August, 2010, 05:51:12 PM »
Interested re. Kick-ass 2, though if it's nemisis standard, forget about it.

F boyle material - don't really know if i could give money to anything associated with him; not a clint just a fool

See, I'm a profound non-enjoyer of everything Mark Millar has ever written or been involved in (even if he does seem an awful nice chap when you see him on the telly and such like), but the one thing that would persuade me to go near this is to see what sanity-blasting material Frankie Boyle might dig out of his wonderfully fetid brain. And I mean that as a compliment. He's always on about comics in his autobiography, he does strike me as a genuine fan at heart.

Other Reviews / Re: The Complete Harlem Heroes
« on: 16 August, 2010, 06:08:51 PM »
I went to my local comic shop and picked up a copy late this afternoon and i even rushed all the work i had to do today to get to the shop in reasonable time.

Also and this is good news is that the book was only out on Thursday and the shop i go to [Daves Comic Shop] had 5 copies and now they have all sold out.It seems that they flew out of the shop which is not bad going for a strip thats nearly 30 years old and what i considered to be a minority interest.

It just goes to show that there is plenty of mileage in these old strips that havent been reprinted before and its a curious feeling when something you have waited for so long actually gets reprinted.

As you rightly say, even within the 2000AD canon, you’d think something like ‘Harlem Heroes’ wouldn’t be a big seller, but it sounds like your local comic shop is doing great business on it! Brilliant – the more this sells, then probably the better chance of getting more obscurities dredged from the vault. (Not that HH is truly obscure, given that it has a certain place in history from being in Prog 1.) I am guessing the comparative scarcity of material from ‘Inferno’ in particular has lured a few inquisitive souls out. On the subject of early works of Belardinelli, I am guessing the old Dan Dare strips are probably not reprintable due to issues with rights to the character? Whenever myself and the guy from my local shop discuss how impressed we are with the trades, he always gets nostalgic for the Biogs...

General / Re: This weeks Strontium Dog
« on: 13 August, 2010, 11:39:45 PM »
Whatever became of the Gronk in the SD storyline before final solution etc?

I remember Johnny and Wulf retired to their wee cabin on Brokeback sorry Moondog mountain and the Gronk was definitely not invited.

Did they just cruelly dump the Gronk somewhere and then run away?

Pretty much, though I think his cruel abandonment happens even earlier. He's around all the time through to 'The Kid Knee Caper, but then he's not in the Malak Brood story or 'The Killing'. After that he turns up in 'Outlaw' (in which he has three heart attacks in one evening), he's not in the one with Xen the Brainwraith, and then it's the Smiley's World stories. The impression I get is that Johnny & Wulf decide the Dog's life is not for the Gronk - they pretty much tell him that in 'Outlaw' when he wants to go with them on the run. Personally, if I was moving into a remote cabin on a backwards world, I'd want a hairy gronk for those cold winter nights... but maybe that's just me.  :)

Other Reviews / Re: The Dead Man
« on: 13 August, 2010, 07:21:44 PM »
I thought The Dead Man would explain a little more of the background of the Sisters too, but I guess its quite cool that because of Dredd's amnesia we only get little flashes of what happened out there. I take it when this originally ran they had other unrelated Dredd stories running in the prog alongside it?

Yeah, sorta. If I am remembering right, 'The Dead Man' started in the same prog as 'The Shooting Match', which was of course to prove very related, though it wasn't obvious at the time. And I think 'Young Giant' was running after that, which connects up to 'Necropolis' of course. Apart from that, just routine Dredd one-offs, including a few Alan Grant ones if I recall.

Personally, I always thought the less we knew about The Sisters the better... I am quite ambivalent towards 'Young Death', and the bit which explains how they became undead seems awfully casual in approach.

Other Reviews / Re: The Dead Man
« on: 13 August, 2010, 06:16:45 PM »
As far as I know, this was their first appearance (they certainly haven't appeared in the Case Files before now) and yet when Dredd meets them he cries 'Servants of Evil! I know you!' and starts blasting away. Had he met them before?

You're right, this is their first appearance, and no, Dredd's not supposed to have met them before, I assume he just recognises them as being similar to Death and cronies.

I suspect that you're right, if you know the twist, it seems really obvious (the eyes are the real giveaway) but at the time I (and I suspect many others) were totally oblivious. I remember reading it, walking up the road from the newsagents, and my jaw just dropping when I got to that page. I would have been a teenager by then, I think, but I ran into the house like an over-excited eight-year-old and exclaimed: "Mum! Judge Dredd is the Dead Man!" I don't think my mother quite got the significance. (I think after reading 'The Shooting Match' where Kraken gets a better score than Dredd, I may also have run in and exclaimed: 'Mum, I think they're going to kill Judge Dredd!')

Books & Comics / Re: In the Shadow of The Sun
« on: 13 August, 2010, 05:51:11 PM »

Colin Wilson's - In the Shadow of The Sun.

I recently got hold of the first book 'Rael' in a very old translation and was told, don't get too into it, as they didn't translate the other two books. Superb artwork (of course) could be a good fit for the Megazine?

I've got 'Rael', in an Acme Press edition from 1988, it's pretty enjoyable, feels very European (even though as soon as I see Colin Wilson's art, I think 'Rogue Trooper') I gather from it there are two more parts, 'Mantell' and 'Alia', though I assume they never came out in English? Gorgeous looking stuff though, nice subdued colouring.

Other Reviews / Re: The Complete Harlem Heroes
« on: 13 August, 2010, 04:34:08 PM »

Keep in mind that these were the same management that objected to Judge Cal pickling someone to death for similar reasons…

Oil drum, lots of vinegar, someone's little brother.. you never know. "But Mum, being pickled makes you happy, look, Judge Slocum's smiling!"

Yeah, maybe not.  :)

Other Reviews / Re: The Complete Harlem Heroes
« on: 13 August, 2010, 04:23:11 PM »
Hmm, that controversy is starting to ring a bell, thought I hadn't realised (or had forgotten) it stirred up so much trouble. I suppose it might have been the nature of the violence - I think I recall hearing that the scene where Artie Gruber pours fuel all over a prone Giant and prepares to set fire to him didn't go down too well. Maybe IPC management thought that this was the sort of thing it was easier for kids to replicate, compared to, say, Dredd shooting someone.

Other Reviews / Re: The Complete Harlem Heroes
« on: 13 August, 2010, 02:56:58 PM »
Yeah, Dandontdare, that's the final episode of Inferno all right - where Louis gets shot in the back and is dead in one small panel (after saving everybody!) whilst Moody Bloo is shot in one and dies in the next, which is probably a major triumph for a Tom Tully character (all the Mean Team went in one go, didn't they?)My biggest sympathy is for Zack though... at least we see what's going to happen to Slim, but Zack gets narrated out of existence! Oh and you'll be glad to know that the star-scan you mention is included at the back of the book. For me, the best Artie pic is when he turns up in Giant's apartment in the middle of the night, when Giant's in bed, and propositions him ... sorry, advances menacingly on him.

And another note... Slim's surname is Shafto. Slim Shafto. Oh dear. Never mind, countdown for Meltdown Man starts here...

Other Reviews / The Complete Harlem Heroes
« on: 13 August, 2010, 02:17:08 PM »
I’ve wanted to see this reprinted in full ever since reading the first few parts in one of the 80s annuals, and am hugely impressed to see it in a collected volume. Major thumbs up to Rebellion for some of the less obvious stuff they’re putting out in trades, like this, Flesh, Stainless Steel Rat - can’t wait for the complete Meltdown Man! So, a few observations:

The artwork is superb – twenty four consecutive Dave Gibbons episodes, showcasing all that wonderfully crisp, clean dynamic drawing skill? Yes please! And then Belardinelli takes over and leads Giant and co into ‘Inferno’, and things get, frankly, increasingly insane, with some of the most wonderfully grotesque art of the Italian master’s career. Belardinelli’s take on Artie Gruber is absolutely hideous – Gibbons’s version looks like a fairly plausible cyborg-zombie but Massimo’s  is like something that crawled out of a nightmare.

As for the story... well, ‘Harlem Heroes’ ironically keeps its feet more or less on the ground, and while a bit repetitive (oh, another aeroball game!), is delightfully bloodthirsty and cracks along at a fair pace. ‘Inferno’, on the other hand, is completely mad, and takes all the little eccentricities present in HH and supersizes them till they dwarf everything else. Men in shark costumes, the Philadelphia Freaks, flying robot wolves on motorcycles (!) – it’s all here. Scripter Tom Tully’s trademark seems to be killing characters off in an incredibly sudden and abrupt matter (see ‘Mean Arena’), but I would love to know what was going on behind the scenes in the last episode of ‘Inferno’  – it’s as if Tully loses control of what’s going on entirely, as some fairly major things happen off panel, (Slim and Zack are killed) and Tharg starts narrating halfway down one page!

Very much of its era (love the jive-talk), but great to see it out there. Anyone else picked it up...?

Welcome to the board / Re: Howdy
« on: 13 August, 2010, 02:11:44 AM »
I was gonna add my voice to the welcomes but anyone who thinks Simon Fraser is better on Dante than John Burns is clearly not to be trusted.

Remember - first isn't always best.

That said, Hello, I suppose.   :)

Hello to you too.  :) Don't get me wrong, Burns is a great artist, and I really liked him on Dante. I seem to remember thinking he was knocking it out of the park on the first Tsar Wars book, and was always fond of the way he drew Dante's swords emerging out of his fingers.

But I would be lying if I said I didn't love Simon Fraser's stuff even more. I know, wildly different art styles, obviously, but it's sort of like Carlos on Dredd or S/D - other great artists have worked on the strips, but he breathed life into them.

So now I'm trying to figure out if any 2000AD greats have looked at their best drawn by someone other than their creator...

Welcome to the board / Re: Howdy
« on: 13 August, 2010, 12:20:19 AM »
Thank you guys for the (stunningly rapid) greetings, and the Dante advice, radiator and Emperor. That's a fine comprehensive reading list (and handy set of links) and is very much appreciated, gents. Though it's been a while since I read it, I do agree with your assessment of Dante at that point... I think the last stuff I read involved him hanging around with his ma on a boat, painted by John Burns. (Wait, now I've got an image of Burns with a pot of Dulux and a brush, giving the boat a second coat while Ma Dante says 'You missed a bit!' Oh well, you know what I meant.)

Anyway, very glad to hear Simon Fraser's heralded a new wave of Dante goodness, I liked Burns fine but it's Simon Fraser's character, after all.

Welcome to the board / Howdy
« on: 12 August, 2010, 11:45:32 PM »
Hello all, how’s things? Was a longtime 2000AD reader (and used to post on the old newsgroup) till I shamefully drifted away from the fold maybe six years ago (mostly ‘cos I became a student for the second time and had no money for comics for a while!) Returned to 2000AD very recently, lured back entirely by the new Strontium Dog series. Looks like I missed a blinder in ‘Tour of Duty’ though... oh well, guess the catch-up trades are coming out soon anyway. Now I’ll just have to try and work out what’s happened in Nikolai Dante over the past half-decade...

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