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Spoilers => Prog => : IndigoPrime 17 January, 2022, 11:38:46 AM

: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: IndigoPrime 17 January, 2022, 11:38:46 AM
A rarity this week: a prog without Dan Abnett—well, unless boy count the Feral & Foe III trailer in the Nerve Centre. So how does it all shake out?

Dredd is the prize for me this week, Niemand crafting an excellent, tense, exciting tale that feels very Wagner in its execution. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the protagonist – will she get away and perhaps becoming a recurring thorn in Dredd’s side, or will we next week discover how shit it is to be a single-parent MC-1 courier with a kid?

Proteux Vex further ramps up the world building. Lots of great design work too. I think I’m heading towards “might need a re-read” territory, but deft storytelling has enabled me to keep up so far. Not so much with The Order, which I’m increasingly baffled by. (And I see there’s another not to 2000 AD’s past here. Ho-hum. Not keen on the mining, TBH.

Kingmaker offers an interesting mix of styles and genres, with some great visuals, and Saphir looks like it should be fun. Roach’s art is, as ever, lovely.

There’s a natural downturn for me, in my favourite 2000 AD strip in the modern era having gone away, but the Prog remains strong – as does its anthology nature. Something for everyone, hopefully.

Dredd > Proteus Vex > Kingmaker > Saphir > The Order
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 17 January, 2022, 12:29:55 PM
Cover by David Roach and Dylan Teague:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FI-b7eQXEAI8DX0?format=jpg&name=large)
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 17 January, 2022, 12:30:14 PM
Cover and Logo:

(https://dyn.media.forbiddenplanet.com/6gMzuUjam-88p7KdbkMfEurGZeM=/trim/fit-in/779x1024/filters:format(webp)/https://media.forbiddenplanet.com/products/f6/ce/85380fd701607784ef031e1c3b05ade0115c.jpeg)
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Colin YNWA 17 January, 2022, 08:57:11 PM
I mean it was never going to match last weeks was it. How could anything replace The Out BUT it gives it a good old go and that's to be admired.

Dredd gets us off to a blistering start its thrilling and heart breaking in equal measure as Mina starts to fully understand the cost of trying to make a quick buck in the toughest City on Earth and that end is a horrible cliffhanger.

Proteus Vex keeps up the excellent work as action leads to surrender, but one with a plan. One that builds more intrigue.

The Order a few wurm zobies aside this is a quieter episode that does a decent job of recapping how a few folks have got where and tales Armoured Gideon to almost completely unrecognisable place. If it wasn't for those sky whakes that is...

Kingmaker again a quieter episode as Crixus reflects, or would do if an alien horde isn't dropping on top of him for next time!

So Saphir is the only real issue. Its not bad and its beautifully drawn, it just doesn't really go anyway until on the final page they throw in a seemingly random threat that feels utterly tacked on. Which is a shame as it feels like it could be something but its timing is just shot.

Overall though this is a very good Prog. Just after the last couple its not quite up to that standard so feels a little weaker than it actually is.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: IndigoPrime 18 January, 2022, 09:05:36 AM
tales Armoured Gideon to almost completely unrecognisable place
This is a Kek-W quirk I’m not a fan of. It feels like he undermines his own writing with callbacks. Deadworld was much stronger before it was tied specifically to events within actual Dredd continuity (like the Sovs), which just felt a bit naff and like the ideas well had run dry (which wasn’t the case when you read the one-offs, say). Revere rocking up in Indigo Prime was one of the most unnecessary cameos I’ve seen in comics. And Gideon in The Order… well, I get that it’s at least thematically reasonably sound, but given the terrible rendering (sorry, John—I love the rest of your art) and the frankly bizarre scripting, I just don’t see the point. Why not have any other automaton? Why not have entire new creatures flying through the sky?

I’d be really happy to see a new series of Armoured Gideon. Alternatively, I’m perfectly OK with letting the series lie. These little hints/callbacks aren’t exciting for me—they’re just frustrating and distracting. Oh well.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Colin YNWA 18 January, 2022, 09:20:51 AM
tales Armoured Gideon to almost completely unrecognisable place
This is a Kek-W quirk I’m not a fan of. It feels like he undermines his own writing with callbacks. Deadworld was much stronger before it was tied specifically to events within actual Dredd continuity (like the Sovs), ...

I think its about doing it right and for me the Sovs in Deadworld is a good example of just that. We know we are dealing with a world simialr to 'our' Dredd's and therefore its safe to assume there are other countries out there with Justice Systems just like in Dredd's. It's therefore relevent to the story to see how they react to the collapse of America and the most exciting extreme way to do that is attach it to the idea that the Sovs, always looking to undermine Mega City One would see this as a perfect opportunity. For me that one makes perfect sense.

Others Kek-W has used less so. So Revere in Indigo Prime just never felt validated. Armoured Gideon started off kinda being interesting,as you say it thematically makes sense. However his use of Gideon as a vessel for Clara's disembodied spirit means its just got nothing left to do with Armoured Gideon and so why have done it. The idea itself is fine, but if you are going to use Armoured Gideon use Armoured Gideon and if not don't use him as just a random inclusion.

That said let's see were the whole thing goes as it might pull things back and justify why we are in Armoured Gideon's world and therefore justify his use to establish that. I'll hold judgement for now.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: IndigoPrime 18 January, 2022, 09:32:18 AM
the Sovs, always looking to undermine Mega City One would see this as a perfect opportunity. For me that one makes perfect sense
Perhaps it’s the execution. Deadworld of course gives us a different view of Death’s origins from what went before—it’s a soft reboot. Even so, it felt like a very different (and less—or at least very different) tech-oriented world from the MC-1 era we know. So dropping in Strato-Vs was a bit WUH? It just pulled me right out of the narrative and obliterated the atmosphere and reality that had been built up. (Revere did much the same thing for me in Indigo Prime.)

As for Gideon, I must find it sad. He’s now, what a helmet on a golem? I suspect he gets away with it because Gideon the character was mostly one-note and is also from a C-list series. It just feels so throwaway.

That said let's see were the whole thing goes as it might pull things back and justify why we are in Armoured Gideon's world and therefore justify his use to establish that. I'll hold judgement for now.
If that’s the case, and especially if it backdoors new Armoured Gideon, fair enough. But I suspect The Order is an awful lot of lobbing things at walls. That’s certainly how it reads.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Barrington Boots 18 January, 2022, 09:54:24 AM
I'm enjoying The Order overall, but got to agree on Armoured Gideon. The character was not exactly deep but now is so unrecognisable it should have been an original creation. It doesn't help that it looks nothing like the original character either.

I've seen loads of people saying how the Order is unreadably confusing (not necessarily on this forum) - and I was scratching my head at a few bits in the first episode of this run, but a quick re-read and it all made perfect sense. The problem I think it's pretty easy to follow*if you do that, but because the story zips around a lot and has had such a big cast it can be pretty impenetrable if you don't. For a new reader I think it'd be a nightmare. I think it's definitely one of those strips where once you decide it doesn't make sense to you it would become more and more unfathomable until you're just looking at JMB's lovely pictures and moving on.

I felt a lot more 'with' the story this week especially with Ergo / Browne showing up again which feels like a tie to the previous stuff rather than another new direction but it seems to me the strip is becoming more and more divisive amongst the readership. I know we could have had a League of Extraordinary Gentleman style strip with a rotating cast of wacky characters fighting worms in different time periods (I did like Athos's version of The Order) and what we got was much more ambitious and interesting, but sometimes it does feel like the story is just lobbing ideas at walls and personally I'd like to see it showing that it's at least moving towards a resolution.


* not entirely, as I just re-read it and there's still a bunch of questions over the time-travel stuff

: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Colin YNWA 18 January, 2022, 10:30:21 AM
... personally I'd like to see it showing that it's at least moving towards a resolution.

There's quite a few modern thrills like that. Much as I like many of them you wonder where there are going and is there a sense of were resolution will come from.

I'd moan and miss them when they are gone in many case but it would also be nice to see them complete. Red Seas and Dante are missed but all the better for finishing.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: IndigoPrime 18 January, 2022, 01:20:39 PM
Or: you finish that bit. Kingdom is done, but could continue. Brink finished, but continued. Abnett is really good at providing satisfying pay-offs and having series run over the long term. By contrast, series by other writers are so often left in limbo, or have a feeling of not going anywhere. (This is really frustrating when it comes to strips like Brass Sun, which clearly did have an ongoing narrative, and yet just stopped dead. And although there are promises it will return, well, so too was there for Dan Dare.)
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Colin YNWA 18 January, 2022, 01:45:45 PM
Or: you finish that bit.

That's an excellent point in say Stickleback the reveal of him being S.H. could have been an end point, which opened doors, but wrapped things up for now, if used differently than it was.

GRennie is also very good at giving a series a sense of direction and ending, even if we don't know how long it will take to get there. Well forgiving him that dangling plot thread in Callballisitics Inc!

We know where Aquila is going, we have a sense of what the end point while be and its getting close, but has been building to this point form the off.

We know were Jaegir is going and that actually feels pretty close too.

We had a real sense of where Absalom was headed all the way through that.

He presents a central idea that drive the protagonist through the story. Its often open enough that he's not tieing himself to a specific path and can meander and explore as the muse takes him. Heck I guess he can spin the wheel and take us down an surprise track if he choose But his stories feel like they are progressing to a point.

Brass Sun feels like it should have that as well, with its central quest, but much as I adore the series, never really feels like its driving towards that ending with any conviction. I'm sure it will get there just as Red Seas did in the end.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 19 January, 2022, 03:21:56 AM
A good solid prog again. The Out will be difficult to replace but we will have to life with less sugar in our coffee.


Dredd – The first Dredd series of the year and so far, it has been proven to be great. This feels and read like any classic by Wagner and yes, it is great. Awesome work from Niemand on script duty and Goddard bring the big Meg to life. What a last panel cannot wait for the grand finale. Thrill of the week

Proteus Vex – Carroll keeps adding layer of layer of intrigue as he very much does world building. This episode is all but the setup for what Vex is about the reveal. We should not forget about Lynch has he continues to do the full alien of our visual sensors.

The Order – As the story has now fully shift to another time and space we go back to Armored Gideon (and yes, I agree Burns Gideon just do not do the job). Let’s see where this runaway train is taking is. Ooh, I am still enjoying it although me little head might have to reboot a few more times.

Kingmaker – The story shifts to what is happening ground side and our heroes has a quiet moment before all hell is unleashed upon them. Interesting story so far but this round the art is the highlight.

Saphir – Another 3riller morphing into its own series. Enjoyed the original and this episode starts with some interest ideas and ends with a good cliff-hanger.  A good start with some great art.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 19 January, 2022, 09:34:15 AM
B/W Cover:

(https://i0.wp.com/downthetubes.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/img_7361.jpg?resize=767%2C1024&ssl=1)
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Barrington Boots 19 January, 2022, 09:36:03 AM
That cover is a stunner in B&W.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 19 January, 2022, 09:37:59 AM
That cover is a stunner in B&W.

I know it is early days but I am sure it most be in contention for cover of the year
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Barrington Boots 19 January, 2022, 02:54:10 PM
Just read three progs back to back and I am enjoying the start to this year.

Dredd This story is excellent. I like Dredd as the antagonist here and a threat rather than a chump.  Patrick Goddard draw's an incredible city and in a story that's moving at breakneck speed the action feels very kinetic. Superb stuff and whilst I feel Mona will survive there's a chance it will all end badly for her, looking forward to how this turns out.

Proteus Vex There is a lot happening here. The world building feels very intense and I don't really know where the story is going but that's not an issue. Vex and Ko are not as engaging as Vex and Midnight but that's kind of the point and having her back (assuming that's where we'll end up) will be a good thing. All the alien designs in this are awesome.

The Order Not much to add beyond what I wrote upthread. This episode started to feel more like the story coming together for me but sludgy Gideon is horrible.

Kingmaker Big fan of Kingmaker. I feel like this time the story has gone in an unexpected direction with Ablard and Ichnar ending up where they are now and again I'm not really sure where it's going next, other than that it is all kicking off. Visually stunning from Leigh Gallagher although I found the glowing armour effects in the previous episode made it tricky for me to follow everything.

Finally I'm glad to see Saphir back for a longer run. Looks incredible. I like the concept of the dream baby - the bad guy popping up at the end did seem a bit suddenly jammed on, but the last run seemed very compressed so we'll see where this leads.

: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: The Corinthian 19 January, 2022, 10:21:33 PM
I'm going to defend sludgy Gideon on the grounds that it's bringing him obviously closer to the golem of Jewish folklore.

I don't tend to have much time for the "The Order is too confusing" crowd but it can be a bit exasperating having different sets of disparate characters chasing around in different locations and often dropping out of sight for weeks on end. Inquisitor Brown showing up this week reminds me that the last time we saw him or even heard him mentioned was as a surprise cliffhanger partway through the previous story... that hasn't been followed up until now.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: norton canes 20 January, 2022, 03:10:43 PM
The good news is I'm over my inexplicable thrill-slump of last week. The even better news is that 'Working Girl' continues to ramp up the tension and excitement to almost unbearable levels. This is genuinely a top-tier Dredd that I'd include in any single volume featuring the lawman's very best stories. That panel with the Lawmasters dropping out of the Manta tank is absolutely epic - must've stared in awe at it for at least five minutes.

Have to say I'm on board with the consensus that some of the ongoing strips are rumbling on with no signs of conclusion. If I were Tharg I'd strongly consider imposing a blanket five or six chapter limit on every thrill. A possible exception might be Brink, as it looks like we're going to have chapters told from the perspective of other characters, addng variety and extending its shelf life. I feel that the Kek-W strips Deadworld and The Order particuarly are starting to get a bit directionless - the former has at least gained a new lease of life (or death) with the 'Visions' one-shot format, but the latter doesn't look like it's building to anything and the roster of characters with whom we're expected to be familiar grows longer (and our familiarity lessens with their absence). The first three chapters were some of my favourite thrills ever so it would be nice to regain a sense of momentum. I understand of course that constantly demanding new thrills from the script droids puts them under pressure but surely, it also allows them to fire up their square-one creative curcuits more frequently.

So while The Order withers a little this prog (and that full-length panel of the Gideon golem is awful, sorry), Proteus Vex and Kingmaker hit a sweet spot in their third chapters (they are their third chapters, yes?). PV remains a particular delight, Jake Lynch's slyly humourous art complementing Mike Caroll's baroque script. An intriguing return for Saphir - it looks like this is one strip geared up to deliver its thrills in serial format.

Excellent cover from the Roach Droid. Along with Cliff Robinson he's one of the prog's longer-standing artists whose work I didn't click with for ages, but who've now evolved seriously impressive styles.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: IndigoPrime 20 January, 2022, 03:48:43 PM
I think, for me, it comes down to whether strips work well when they hit breakpoints. Kingdom, for example, is one overarching narrative, but each chunk of it was really satisfying on its own. There have been a couple of natural end points, but Abnett then set off from those again. Proteus Vex looks like it might exist in a similar space.

With Brass Sun, I’d say the individual bits were satisfying, but the threaded narrative was strong to the point it’s deeply frustrating if we don’t get any more. The Order, though, has more of a tendency to meander.

I certainly wouldn’t want a Diggle-style upper limit on chapters. Stories need however long they need. We’ve seen plenty of strips compressed into an arbitrary length to their detriment. Also, inspiration strikes when it strikes and many writers are busy. Others might have little interest in revisiting a past strip but a great idea for a new one. But there does come a point where the number of things being seemingly abandoned starts to mount up.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Jim_Campbell 20 January, 2022, 03:57:28 PM
I certainly wouldn’t want a Diggle-style upper limit on chapters.

Contractually obliged correction: the "shot glass of rocket fuel" memo from Andy, and the ten-episode (?) limit on stories were two separate things. The episode cap was imposed due to a re-print deal in the offing with a European publisher who insisted on a very strict page count for re-packaging purposes. The deal never came off, and the episode cap was duly lifted.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 20 January, 2022, 04:00:35 PM
A strip for me can run forever basically but keeping that up will always be difficult part.  We have some strips that has been out of circulation for long time which I believe needs to be brought back asap: Brass Sun (clone Culbard Tharg if you have too), Deadworld (not Vision but the main arc) and even Jaegir (the cameo did not count). The Order is an interesting one in which it has such a big cast and keeping track of it can be very taxing and some people will stop reading it. I still enjoyed it but yes I also feel like my mind is being questioned.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: The Monarch 20 January, 2022, 04:03:04 PM
i love the order

that is all
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Southstreeter 20 January, 2022, 06:11:36 PM
I love The Order as well. I admit I was a bit confused a while ago, so I reread it in the Ultimate Collection (first 4 series) plus series 5 in the progs, and it pretty much makes sense. I liked this week’s episode as it brought back a few characters I thought we’d lost, and I’m happy to spend a couple of episodes with them before we go back to the folks on the ship. I think we need Ritterstahl back though!
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: sammorgan11@hotmail.com 21 January, 2022, 06:43:33 PM
Check out my full spoilers review of prog 2265 here -
https://youtu.be/HfbyjdrcLeE
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Colin YNWA 21 January, 2022, 06:58:46 PM
Check out my full spoilers review of prog 2265 here -
https://youtu.be/HfbyjdrcLeE

Ohhhh its Comicbook Sam - welcome aboard. Been enjoying the Flusb (spelling???) for some time now. Though would ya read Proteus Vex already its GREAT! Lovely to see you here.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Swerty 23 January, 2022, 11:18:02 PM
I like the new feature on the back page detailing each year from 1977 to presumably this year come December.1979 was in my opinion probably the best run of Progs
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 24 January, 2022, 10:13:41 AM
Here is a good interview with Kek-W and David Roach on the return of Saphir:

https://2000ad.com/news/interview-kek-w-david-roach-on-saphir-liaisons-dangereuses/ (https://2000ad.com/news/interview-kek-w-david-roach-on-saphir-liaisons-dangereuses/)
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 24 January, 2022, 07:10:30 PM
The Order I cannot comment on as it lost me some time back

I've tried to avoid the same fate for Proteus Vex and attempted to read it closely, including a reread of the first story.  Despite that and the general landscape of it being something that should catch me in a Nemesis/Shakara way, it just slips off my brain. 

I'm not a Ken-Rennie conspiracy nut, but recent Niemand tales have had a bit of a tang of Gordon's and I'm not talking the gin.  Perhaps its' just Niemand reacting to comments that his Dredds were getting too upbeat and his Dredd to "nice", but I don't really recognise a Dredd who would say "Counts as a win" when that surfer unexpectedly exploded.  It's also continuing a trend of more verbose story telling, which I felt Niemand did well to avoid in his early strips.

The inclusion of the one page tear reviews is welcome, but I' not sure it puts the Prog as currently formed in the greatest of lights.  I get all the "The Memory Cheats" stuff about nothing being as good as when you were a kid, but I wasn't a kid reading 2000Ad for those first 3 years, and while I would agree the prog is generally of a "higher" standard than most of the content before Tharg really hits his stride circa prog 178, theres a lot to be said for erratically swingy  inconsistency over competent consistency.

we have the definition of "competent" stories currently for - Kingmaker, Vex, The Order, I don't hate any of them - if I could pay attention long enough or remember previous series well enough, I might be able to appreciate them more...

But I really do feel that the comic needs a shake up - I have no clue what are the 21st Century Yearly reviews are going to include, as the comic feels like it has lost that sense of clearly defined "Eras", with each year washing over the last with little by way of "change". 

Maybe that's how you keep the comic going, probably is - we certainly don't need another "memorable" attempt to mix it up ala the Summer Offensive.  Unlike many, I think the main prog needs more of the Regened energy rather than less - not the same style, obviously, but at least a sense of kicking up some dust.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Funt Solo 24 January, 2022, 07:22:03 PM
...the comic feels like it has lost that sense of clearly defined "Eras", with each year washing over the last with little by way of "change". 

Interesting. We could list out some golden age strips: Strontium Dog, Nemesis, Rogue Trooper, Slaine & Dredd. Those five are so definitive that they sometimes appear on the cover even when they're no longer in the prog.

There was a time when Sin Dex and Dante were in the top (or ubiquitous) slots.

So, now: what does define the prog, aside from Dredd? The talking point is often Regened.

Makes me want to restart my stages project (https://2kstages.github.io/progs.html), which has been on a sabbatical since I got to 1995 and, like many before me, felt like a break.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 24 January, 2022, 07:34:34 PM
Yeah, it may be the double "mostly" loss of Wagner and Mills, but the prog feels even more Era-less over the last year- at best, I bet the things you could mostly define the 21st C into are big Dredd events such as Day of Chaos, or Slaine Eras.

It isn't like there aren't good stories - Abnett gives us Brink and the Out - the Devlin Waugh over in the Meg is as good as any Devlin Waugh - Neimand, despite my grumblings above, does "good" Dredd.

Not to sound all Pat about it, but you can't help think he has a point that work for hire is never going to encourage a flood of great new stories - Abnett seems the exception, possibly he is so prolific he just has to
get stories out whatever the terms and conditions!  Neimand and Kot's output are using existing IP.

Spurrier, Ewing, Morrison R... the early 2000s seemed to have a lot more potential, even if it didn't fulfill its promise for whatever reason, and you still had some Wagner and Mills to scaffold any experimentation.

I suppose all it would take would be a single writer with a load of great ideas outside of existing IP, willing to give those to Rebellion....   

 


...the comic feels like it has lost that sense of clearly defined "Eras", with each year washing over the last with little by way of "change". 

Interesting. We could list out some golden age strips: Strontium Dog, Nemesis, Rogue Trooper, Slaine & Dredd. Those five are so definitive that they sometimes appear on the cover even when they're no longer in the prog.

There was a time when Sin Dex and Dante were in the top (or ubiquitous) slots.

So, now: what does define the prog, aside from Dredd? The talking point is often Regened.

Makes me want to restart my stages project (https://2kstages.github.io/progs.html), which has been on a sabbatical since I got to 1995 and, like many before me, felt like a break.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Goosegash 25 January, 2022, 12:42:27 PM
Yeah, it may be the double "mostly" loss of Wagner and Mills, but the prog feels even more Era-less over the last year- at best, I bet the things you could mostly define the 21st C into are big Dredd events such as Day of Chaos, or Slaine Eras.

It isn't like there aren't good stories - Abnett gives us Brink and the Out - the Devlin Waugh over in the Meg is as good as any Devlin Waugh - Neimand, despite my grumblings above, does "good" Dredd.

Not to sound all Pat about it, but you can't help think he has a point that work for hire is never going to encourage a flood of great new stories - Abnett seems the exception, possibly he is so prolific he just has to
get stories out whatever the terms and conditions!  Neimand and Kot's output are using existing IP.

Spurrier, Ewing, Morrison R... the early 2000s seemed to have a lot more potential, even if it didn't fulfill its promise for whatever reason, and you still had some Wagner and Mills to scaffold any experimentation.

I suppose all it would take would be a single writer with a load of great ideas outside of existing IP, willing to give those to Rebellion....   


I think Pat's conveniently forgetting is that, although work-for-hire is far from a perfect arrangement, a lot of fantastic, creative work was done under those restrictions. But what's changed since the "golden" era is that the British publishing industry as it was no longer exists in the same way.

The days when writers & artists would churn out content for a single big publisher are long gone, and basically everyone who provides material for 2000AD now is likely to be juggling multiple gigs & commissions in order to stay afloat. The consequence of basically all the creative teams being freelance means the lengthy runs a lot of strips used to get now tend to be much shorter in order to accommodate differing schedules.

This impacts on something like Dredd, as where at one time there would largely be a single voice defining the character and storylines week after week, now it's divided between multiple writers who often feel like they're writing in their own Dredd universes that don't really interact with each other. Which makes the strip feel like it doesn't real have a strong unifying direction. I think the last time I was really excited about Dredd was Rob Williams' run of stories from Enceladus through to The Small House, but "End Of Days" was...disappointing to say the least.

I don't think you can really criticise Rebellion's approach, as they've kept the comic alive and thriving long beyond the point anyone could've anticipated it would last. They've found a formula that has worked for over 20 years and that's fine, but I feel like there's room in that to maybe take a few more risks with the kind of stories being told. Roll the dice on something that might not necessarily be what the fanbase want or expect, but something that feels "new" and brings back the element of surprise that's been lost.

That's not to say that approach always pays off, for every Revere there's a Soul Sisters after all, but it's good to have some noble failures once in a while, things that at least tried to break the mould even if they didn't succeed.

Basically, I'm saying they need John Smith back. Or someone with the equivalent feverish imagination.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Funt Solo 25 January, 2022, 06:43:46 PM
Basically, I'm saying they need John Smith back. Or someone with the equivalent feverish imagination.

ISTR a recent Tharg Input-response in which he said Smith was welcome back anytime.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 25 January, 2022, 08:05:38 PM
While there's certainly an argument to say its as much a change in the landscape as WFHs fault, I think WFH is reasonably one of the reasons why we have that current landscape.

I recall Pat getting a lot of flak for "end of book X", but that seems tob e all the current prog is - mid sections of stories I have lost my thread with.  There's space for one , maybe two stories at a push doing that in any given prog.  When it is three, it just overwhelms the prog with stuff I can't just "plug in and play".

We have Saphir as the only "stand alone" tale, but even that feels like I need to reacquaint myself with the 3riller....

I think Pat's conveniently forgetting is that, although work-for-hire is far from a perfect arrangement, a lot of fantastic, creative work was done under those restrictions. But what's changed since the "golden" era is that the British publishing industry as it was no longer exists in the same way.

The days when writers & artists would churn out content for a single big publisher are long gone, and basically everyone who provides material for 2000AD now is likely to be juggling multiple gigs & commissions in order to stay afloat. The consequence of basically all the creative teams being freelance means the lengthy runs a lot of strips used to get now tend to be much shorter in order to accommodate differing schedules.

This impacts on something like Dredd, as where at one time there would largely be a single voice defining the character and storylines week after week, now it's divided between multiple writers who often feel like they're writing in their own Dredd universes that don't really interact with each other. Which makes the strip feel like it doesn't real have a strong unifying direction. I think the last time I was really excited about Dredd was Rob Williams' run of stories from Enceladus through to The Small House, but "End Of Days" was...disappointing to say the least.

I don't think you can really criticise Rebellion's approach, as they've kept the comic alive and thriving long beyond the point anyone could've anticipated it would last. They've found a formula that has worked for over 20 years and that's fine, but I feel like there's room in that to maybe take a few more risks with the kind of stories being told. Roll the dice on something that might not necessarily be what the fanbase want or expect, but something that feels "new" and brings back the element of surprise that's been lost.

That's not to say that approach always pays off, for every Revere there's a Soul Sisters after all, but it's good to have some noble failures once in a while, things that at least tried to break the mould even if they didn't succeed.

Basically, I'm saying they need John Smith back. Or someone with the equivalent feverish imagination.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Woolly 25 January, 2022, 09:26:47 PM
Basically, I'm saying they need John Smith back. Or someone with the equivalent feverish imagination.

ISTR a recent Tharg Input-response in which he said Smith was welcome back anytime.

Can't see John Smith returning somehow, considering his two biggest ongoing stories were handed over to other creators. (That's not a knock on Matt Smith BTW, I totally understand the reasons why he had to make that decision.)

Probably best I leave that one there.

As for 'Eras' of the prog, I'd say we've been mid-era for about 10-15 years now. The Matt Smith Era is still onging, and probably the strongest we've known overall, but then that encompasses alot of thrills over it's years so has it's fair share of stinkers too (an anagram of one of them is 'Creak Strip', as is 'Crap Strike'. Have fun with that one!)
Point is, the prog is strong and has been for years. The ups (Trifecta, Titan/Enceladus, The Out) have been such massively awesome ups that they can sometimes make damn good thrills (Sinister Dexter) seems a bit less so in comparison.
I think the Prog's OK is what I'm trying to say!

That said... Dredd needs a shake up.
We nearly had it with Day of Chaos, and the loosening of the Mutant laws, but it's all led to nothing in the long run. I worry that having Dredd running in both the Prog and the Meg at the same time has weakened the impact of any mega-epics, considering that all the crossover epics (Doomsday, Judgement Day) ultimately failed upon publication. I fear that the 'illusion of change' rule is seeping into Dredd a bit too much these days, and would definitely agree that someone needs to be a creative director of sorts with Dredd, try and keep a bit more of a flowing narrative going.*




*Moon on a stick, in purple. ;)

: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: IndigoPrime 26 January, 2022, 02:12:11 PM
I suspect a lot of this again comes down to people being haded. The argument the Prog isn’t taking risks doesn’t seem to align with what I’ve read in recent years. As for WFH, what alternate model would be viable for the magazine? Be mindful that Image works primarily for those creators who make it big. It’s not like people making smaller books are rolling around on piles of money. I’d say the industry itself is the bigger problem: fewer comics are sold; rates haven’t kept pace with inflation. That’s the same throughout. (In my magazine work, my word rates haven’t gone up in 20 years, for example. So I have to either write faster, or seek out alternative work that pays better — something many comics folks do when heading into things like games.)

As for Dredd, I do largely agree there. The Dredd universe, such that it is, was never that coherent. Massive events would happen in Anderson that didn’t even touch on the main strip. But I suspect there’s even nostalgia in the thinking the central Dredd strip was a coherent entity. What we really mean is that when Wagner was the main writer, everything centred around what he was OK with happening. On that basis, I think Woolly is perhaps right that it could possibly do with some kind of ‘showrunner’ of sorts. Either that, or Dredd becomes more like a Marvel strip, where specific runs make sense in and of themselves, but major (if largely illusionary) changes happen when someone else takes over.

Personally, I still think Day of Chaos was a mistake. The city’s population was always too small to begin with. Hacking it down to something like Japan but in an area many times that size always felt odd. MC-1 right now should be a husk — huge areas of nothing. But that doesn’t make for good storytelling, so it’s mostly business as usual, with the odd story about how the city is broke and no longer as influential as it once was.



: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 27 January, 2022, 06:03:33 PM

WFH is a bit chicken and egg though - is the shrinkage of the industry causing WFH, or has WFH shrunk the industry? Is it a vicious circle of each driving the other?

I was sorting through the progs of the early 2000s last night, and I think it stood apart by having a lot more "new names" and those creators working on a lot more shorter self contained strips.  There was always the feeling that something good / game changing could be just around the corner even if what WAS round the corner might have been Stalag 666 or Asylum

Currently, three stories out of five are deep in book X of their respective potentially infinite runs - are any heading to towards an end game, or providing stories that stand alone outside of the wider arc (something Dante did well)? I'd argue not.  "This is the prog now" is never a feeling the comic should inspire. 

Like some Bizarro Anti-FB fan, I applaud Regened, but wish some of that energy would rub off on the spaces inbetween.

The admit the April line up looks a lot better, but that maybe because Brink and Fiends have done a much better job of keeping me engaged in the longer story being told and keeping each story satisfying in and of itself.  Then we should get some light  in both hearted and continuity fun from Intestinauts.  Hope is there to ironically remind me that "This is the Prog now".

 

 

I suspect a lot of this again comes down to people being haded. The argument the Prog isn’t taking risks doesn’t seem to align with what I’ve read in recent years. As for WFH, what alternate model would be viable for the magazine? Be mindful that Image works primarily for those creators who make it big. It’s not like people making smaller books are rolling around on piles of money. I’d say the industry itself is the bigger problem: fewer comics are sold; rates haven’t kept pace with inflation. That’s the same throughout. (In my magazine work, my word rates haven’t gone up in 20 years, for example. So I have to either write faster, or seek out alternative work that pays better — something many comics folks do when heading into things like games.)

As for Dredd, I do largely agree there. The Dredd universe, such that it is, was never that coherent. Massive events would happen in Anderson that didn’t even touch on the main strip. But I suspect there’s even nostalgia in the thinking the central Dredd strip was a coherent entity. What we really mean is that when Wagner was the main writer, everything centred around what he was OK with happening. On that basis, I think Woolly is perhaps right that it could possibly do with some kind of ‘showrunner’ of sorts. Either that, or Dredd becomes more like a Marvel strip, where specific runs make sense in and of themselves, but major (if largely illusionary) changes happen when someone else takes over.

Personally, I still think Day of Chaos was a mistake. The city’s population was always too small to begin with. Hacking it down to something like Japan but in an area many times that size always felt odd. MC-1 right now should be a husk — huge areas of nothing. But that doesn’t make for good storytelling, so it’s mostly business as usual, with the odd story about how the city is broke and no longer as influential as it once was.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 27 January, 2022, 06:47:17 PM
In the golden age of the prog most of the stories running in the prog was one contained story (or storyline) for example you can read Strontium DogIncident on Mayger Minor” and then “Rage” without needing to read the previous arc or the order in most cases. We are in a time where the chronological order of the series has become important, so if you look at The Order you will need to read the previous arcs to get into the story. So, if you stop reading and with the time-lapse between arcs you mostly will get lost in translation. I like both approaches and this is maybe where we are missing something in the prog a series (or two) that has a lot of self-contained storylines rather than one big chronological order.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Funt Solo 27 January, 2022, 07:49:34 PM
We need even more use of "Previously on..."

Remember when Dante did an entire episode* that was effectively a 12-page summary of the previous 1,638 pages of the epic. That was cool. (Also, it rather suggests you could just have told the story in twelve pages instead of 1,638. Boy, I bet they felt silly!)


*The Memoirs of Nikolai Dante, prog 1731
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: IndigoPrime 27 January, 2022, 07:59:34 PM
WFH is a bit chicken and egg though - is the shrinkage of the industry causing WFH, or has WFH shrunk the industry? Is it a vicious circle of each driving the other?
From my vantage point, I’d say the main issue is fewer people buying stuff reduced the amount of money within certain industries, forcing specific decisions to be made. Publishing has been very hard hit, with a lot of people thinking they should get everything for nothing, without stopping to think what that means.

Mills asserts that if 2000 AD left rights with creators, the mag would flourish and be full of breathtaking new ideas. I suspect it would be the death-knell for a comic that in part relies on reprint as part of its business model. As for whether 2000 AD would be in a different place now had the business model changed earlier, who knows? Ultimately, money talks. I suspect most of the creators who buggered off would still have done so, purely on the basis that the Americans have a shit-ton more money.

Currently, three stories out of five are deep in book X of their respective potentially infinite runs
TBF, it’s not like most of these strips have been around forever. Proteus Vex is in, what, its third run? I don’t recall how many Kingmaker has had, but it only kicked off in 2017. There is, I agree, a modern tendency to write stories out in books rather than satisfying standalone chunks, and that is something I’d like 2000 AD to address a little more: learn from the book of Abnett, basically.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 27 January, 2022, 08:59:20 PM

Yeah, I'm more for the longstanding effect of WFH  -if things had changed in the 50s  for Hampson and Baxendale, or the 80s for Wagner, Mills and Moore, would the comics industry (if not necessarily 2000AD) be healthier?

We've had the Generation of creators inspired by the "Golden Age" pass through Tharg's doors now, so I do wonder where the fresh young blood is going to come from.

Neither Wagner or Mills buggered off for more money even under WFH and I may be naïve in thinking Moore buggered off for more Rights not more money. But you can't help but see Mill's point that if the creators were more invested in the commercial outcomes of their work, they might have either more time to put into them, or more incentive to keep working on them. 

You have to wonder if Sanders buy out hadn't been hijacked by a Maxwell Money Laundering scheme, could things have been reversed, or was it too late then?

The "season" / "chunks" style of so many stories really is my biggest bugbear.  They all advance their story somewhat, I'm sure, but for the casual/unhooked reader, it feels we are trudging from a fairly nebulous starting point to an entirely nebulous end point that may or may not ever materialise. 

Abnett has a good grasp of how to apply some hooks, both in the long term and the story at hand. If you can't manage that, then you don't really have any business telling these long form part works - its like the opposite lesson of what the Future Shock apprenticeship is supposed to instill.



WFH is a bit chicken and egg though - is the shrinkage of the industry causing WFH, or has WFH shrunk the industry? Is it a vicious circle of each driving the other?
From my vantage point, I’d say the main issue is fewer people buying stuff reduced the amount of money within certain industries, forcing specific decisions to be made. Publishing has been very hard hit, with a lot of people thinking they should get everything for nothing, without stopping to think what that means.

Mills asserts that if 2000 AD left rights with creators, the mag would flourish and be full of breathtaking new ideas. I suspect it would be the death-knell for a comic that in part relies on reprint as part of its business model. As for whether 2000 AD would be in a different place now had the business model changed earlier, who knows? Ultimately, money talks. I suspect most of the creators who buggered off would still have done so, purely on the basis that the Americans have a shit-ton more money.

Currently, three stories out of five are deep in book X of their respective potentially infinite runs
TBF, it’s not like most of these strips have been around forever. Proteus Vex is in, what, its third run? I don’t recall how many Kingmaker has had, but it only kicked off in 2017. There is, I agree, a modern tendency to write stories out in books rather than satisfying standalone chunks, and that is something I’d like 2000 AD to address a little more: learn from the book of Abnett, basically.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Swerty 28 January, 2022, 02:26:55 PM
I'd llovebto see the centepage double page artwork return.Certainly a standout feature from the early days
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: IndigoPrime 28 January, 2022, 02:48:15 PM
if things had changed in the 50s  for Hampson and Baxendale, or the 80s for Wagner, Mills and Moore, would the comics industry (if not necessarily 2000AD) be healthier?
Possibly. Some sort of co-ownership might have helped more talent stick around. But if we purely look at British comics, the industry would still have to have dealt with the Americans and their money, major shifts in the entertainment industry (including video games and access to streaming telly), where comics sit in society (probably the one most likely to succeed of more independent creativity came to the fore) and the very real problem of people en masse understanding they need to pay for quality content.

I get the concerns about fresh blood, but it’s not like 2000 AD doesn’t have new writers and artists coming through. As for Mills, I suspect what he says often says more about him than “the industry”. WFH reduces reward but also reduces risk. I’m WFH. I work hard, and that gets me more work. I’ve arguably become more despondent about indie things, because I’ve worked just as hard on those and made fuck all, regardless of objective quality.

Again, I agree with the nature of the way too many series are produced (something that, frankly, Mills has also long been guilty of). Series should work as standalone entities. Plot threads might dangle and you might want more, but you should be able to read a series of any strip and not feel like you were missing the beginning and didn’t get an end of some kind.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Jim_Campbell 28 January, 2022, 02:58:57 PM
they might have either more time to put into them, or more incentive to keep working on them.

Equally, the comic might find itself with a breakaway hit on its hands and one or other of the creators buggers off to work for someone else, leaving a hit series dead in the water, or all the creators might just decide to take the whole thing to a different publisher, leaving the original publisher unable to take any reward for the popularity of a series that they took a chance on, commissioned, published and promoted.

Don't get me wrong: I've said repeatedly that work-for-hire is inequitable and it shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to devise a hybrid model that safeguards the publisher's investment (which is non-trivial) whilst dealing more fairly with the creators.

I think most creators would be happy signing a WFH deal if there was a guaranteed decent percentage of all exploitation — merchandise, reprints, translations, film/TV, computer games. I mean, obviously that wouldn't be as generous as with fully creator-owned, where you keep the lot, but you also don't run the risk as creator of losing a pile of money if a project doesn't turn out to be the success you'd hoped.

(I'll mention again that I can think of at least half-a-dozen creator owned books that were well-reviewed, sold OK, and made the creators significantly less money than if they'd just flogged the thing wholesale and taken a page rate. Hypothetical Netflix money's no good unless your mortgage is also hypothetical.)
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Art 28 January, 2022, 04:52:57 PM
If it’s more pages of comic you’re after the history of British comics is littered with examples of creator owned anthologies where everything just crawled to a halt and died. I’m not sure I’d want to say outright they are incompatible models but I’m having trouble thinking of counter examples.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Jim_Campbell 28 January, 2022, 06:17:47 PM
I’m not sure I’d want to say outright they are incompatible models but I’m having trouble thinking of counter examples.

Also true. I'm talking more broadly in terms of Image and the like when I talk about creator-owned projects. Anthologies in general, and weekly anthologies in particular, are beasts that must be fed pages at an incredible rate, but which also need to come out like clockwork. I think those twin demands probably are incompatible with an outright-creator-owned model.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 28 January, 2022, 06:43:19 PM
Well, Toxic is a great example of creator owned not being the sticking plaster it might be - Marshall Law himself is also a good example of having a character that flits about from publisher to publisher.

I'm also a big advocate of the idea that the publisher is the one taking "the risk"  - I kind of see why IPC saw their comics as mass market commodity and hadn't really factored in anyone taking the stories seriously, let alone the creators themselves - they saw it as a place where Tom Tully could genuinely boast at parties that he earned more than the Prime Minister  - stack it up high!


I wouldn't ever have expected Rebellion to spend Millions purchasing the Rights then hand back all the characters.  It's just a shame there wasn't a compromise between those two positions that wasn't hashed out in the 80s or the 2000s. 

I suppose I want the prog to hit me with some favourites and some new stuff and nurture some of that new stuff in a way that isn't just setting it on a seemingly endless conveyor belt of "End of Book x" - as you say, Pat used to get reasonably roasted for much the same thing, but at least I was usually invested in those characters, even if it was coasting on that to a smaller or larger degree
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Funt Solo 28 January, 2022, 07:08:26 PM
I think the vast majority of stories have a coherent, readable arc - but then often end with some continuation breadcrumbs - they don't tend to require a back-read in order to get on board. I suppose I'm arguing that The Order, Scarlet Traces, Brass Sun & Kingmaker are outliers - in that they often end on a serious cliffhanger before a years-long wait for a follow-up.

Even there - The Order does do little arcs but has so many characters that it's difficult to track who's who without a re-read. The most recent gap was 67 weeks between Land of the Free and Fantastic Voyage.

Kingmaker had a serious cliffhanger at the end of Ouroboros, from which we had to wait 127 progs for the follow-up. Brass Sun is 194 progs and counting - it feels like the creators must have lost interest. Scarlet Traces was (only) a 112 prog wait from another tall cliffhanger.

I like all these stories - but waiting 2+ years between instalments is ... quite a wait.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 28 January, 2022, 07:17:46 PM
The wait between series is for me the most frustrating thing and feels like a series killer.  At least my new favourite Vex are getting more love in the release department.

It the latest prog's letter page it was mentioned that Brass Sun will return but due to a certain droid's commitment to other projects that is causing the hold-up.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Funt Solo 28 January, 2022, 07:20:45 PM
The golden age span displayed below had a span of 52 progs with 14 titles:

(https://i.imgur.com/eZonuW2.png)


The most recent jump-to-jump stage from 2021 had a span of 38 progs with 30 titles. (Even removing the Regened strips, you still have 22 titles. That's 14 fewer progs but at least 8 more titles.)

(https://i.imgur.com/UsEVhXQ.png)


So - the prog is more disjointed than it was. More variety, less stability.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Colin YNWA 28 January, 2022, 07:23:39 PM
So - the prog is more disjointed than it was. More variety, less stability.

Small sample size but intuitively that seems right. The question is is that a bad thing?

More variety, less stability leads to more innovation and variation. That's a good thing in a anthology surely?
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Funt Solo 28 January, 2022, 07:28:58 PM
It's a compelling argument - and it's perhaps unfair to place a mirror up to the golden age. Nobody would argue with that Slaine run, but most people wouldn't wish for Skippy-T to have run all the books back to back.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 28 January, 2022, 08:34:54 PM
what happens if you isolate out the REgeneds which by their very nature are offering a smorgasbord of self contained and "new" strips?
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Jacqusie 28 January, 2022, 08:38:02 PM

Scarlet Traces was (only) a 112 prog wait from another tall cliffhanger.

I like all these stories - but waiting 2+ years between instalments is ... quite a wait.

Which prog did we last see Helium? The ending was pretty much written with a second series in mind I seem to recall, but then it was a very long time ago!
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Colin YNWA 28 January, 2022, 08:43:26 PM

Scarlet Traces was (only) a 112 prog wait from another tall cliffhanger.

I like all these stories - but waiting 2+ years between instalments is ... quite a wait.

Which prog did we last see Helium? The ending was pretty much written with a second series in mind I seem to recall, but then it was a very long time ago!

I think we need to let Helium go, it was like 7 years ago almost. For me of more immediate concern are Brass Sun and Kingdom. The former we've been promised back, but half that creative team is currently focusing on Brink it would seem. The later, Kingdom gave what was for me a nice ending, but we've been told there is more to come. Trouble is that creative team is now focused on Feral and Foe and Dabnett has Brink, The Out and Lawless.

So yeah I miss both those thrills and would love to have them back, but look what the forced patience has brought us!
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 28 January, 2022, 09:10:45 PM
The early 2000s avoided this by using multiple artists on Sin Dex and Dante, allowing them to have much more presence in the progs - is part of the issue that strips tend to be tied to certain artists?

: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 29 January, 2022, 02:54:11 AM
As much as I want Brass Sun back I would prefer that Culbard is still on art duties but yes using different artist on a series worked before so why not?
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Jim_Campbell 29 January, 2022, 09:02:54 AM
The early 2000s avoided this by using multiple artists on Sin Dex and Dante, allowing them to have much more presence in the progs - is part of the issue that strips tend to be tied to certain artists?

Yeah… I was going to mention that people tend to forget how many artists worked on Dante in the early days because so much of the run is (rightly) dominated by the Fraser/Burns duo. I mean, off the top of my head, in addition to Simon F, there were stories by Henry Flint, Steve Yeowell, Andy Clarke, Charlie Adlard and Chris Weston, plus some I've doubtless forgotten…

The point being that Dante was a very regular fixture in the prog, which allowed the strip to build some momentum at the start and churn through a lot of the very necessary world-building that paid off so richly in later stories, and I suspect that roster of artists was a large part of what made that possible.

(IIRC, Simon's wife's work took her to somewhere fairly remote in Africa with limited internet access making it hard for Simon to get pages into the Command Module, and it wasn't until someone hit on the genius idea of putting the seemingly indefatigable John Burns on the strip, and Simon moved to somewhere with more connectivity that Dante settled into that familiar two-hander.)
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Blue Cactus 29 January, 2022, 12:45:13 PM
It's a compelling argument - and it's perhaps unfair to place a mirror up to the golden age. Nobody would argue with that Slaine run, but most people wouldn't wish for Skippy-T to have run all the books back to back.

Whether or not I enjoyed Skip Tracer I did like the idea of having a strip with fairly self-contained 8 of 10 part stories turning up pretty regularly. It counteracts the presence of more open ended stories with long gaps between series. I’d happily see this type of semi-regular thing tried again, maybe with a variety of artists. I always enjoy seeing different artist interpretations of a strip, particularly if their styles are quite different.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Blue Cactus 29 January, 2022, 12:50:41 PM
Something like Jaegir would suit that format I think. You’d lose the consistency of Coleby, who is a perfect fit of course, but you’d have a series developing regularly in fairly self-contained chunks. But a new series designed for that kind of slot could be very welcome too.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Jim_Campbell 29 January, 2022, 01:19:14 PM
Something like Jaegir would suit that format I think. You’d lose the consistency of Coleby, who is a perfect fit of course, but you’d have a series developing regularly in fairly self-contained chunks. But a new series designed for that kind of slot could be very welcome too.

Slightly tangential to that, I've thought for some time that a 'Tales of Nu Earth' anthology series would be a great candidate for a semi-permanent resident — you could encompass a wide variety of stories and art styles, and even drop the blue guy in a couple of times a year. If the Rogue Trooper movie ever makes it out of development hell (and I'm not holding my breath on that score — it looks like Duncan Jones might have moved on to other projects) then it would be a neat way to cash in without having to revive Rogue as a full-blown series.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 29 January, 2022, 06:54:58 PM
Skip Tracer seemed very much like the wrong answer to the right question.  A story that had more variable length stories (I think?) that were more stand alone.  The prog definitely needs more stories that like Sin/Dex can have two-eight parters as the main bulk of their run, with the ability to go epic when required.

The Nu Earth Tales ideas sounds good as that would encourage varying lengths of story - you'd need someone to really grab a hold of the setting though, as otherwise, you end up just proving that GFD had a secret sauce that "better" writers have yet to uncrack the recipe for - The spin offs we haave had are at best decent, but I dont think they ever feel like they engage with the settings potential to rival MC1 as a setting in itself - War turned up to 1000.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Funt Solo 29 January, 2022, 11:58:45 PM
Shakara did a good job of managing long gaps between series - I never felt confused about what was happening: each series managed to be both self-contained and part of a longer narrative. That had gaps of 3, 3, 1 & 2 years between the five series.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Tjm86 30 January, 2022, 11:23:53 AM
The spin offs we have had are at best decent,

Jaegir 'decent'?  How can we let such sacrilege stand!!!!!!
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Jim_Campbell 30 January, 2022, 12:32:33 PM
The Nu Earth Tales ideas sounds good as that would encourage varying lengths of story - you'd need someone to really grab a hold of the setting though, as otherwise, you end up just proving that GFD had a secret sauce that "better" writers have yet to uncrack the recipe for - The spin offs we haave had are at best decent, but I dont think they ever feel like they engage with the settings potential to rival MC1 as a setting in itself - War turned up to 1000.

Well, I disagree with this almost completely. I don't believe there was any 'secret sauce' in GFD's Rogue — in fact the best thing to happen to the Rogue Trooper universe was taking Rogue out of it. I think the main reason the original run of the series is so fondly remembered is because Tharg threw the very cream of his art droids at it. For every great idea like biowire there's some interminable slog like Fort Neuro.

In my capacity as armchair Tharg, I wouldn't envisage a 'Tales of Nu Earth' slot as an all-out war strip, since that would literally by running a Rogue Trooper strip without Rogue in it. I had in mind something more wide-ranging — you can run the same gamut of stories you get with Dredd. Humour, tragedy, action, and horror would all work within the setting, so you can just pair up writers and artists whose strengths play to a particular tone and let them loose.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: IndigoPrime 30 January, 2022, 01:23:40 PM
The nostalgia for Rogue Trooper always surprises me. I suppose that’s in part because I don’t personally have a history of growing up with war comics. Bar comics based on toys and telly (Transformers; Zoids), 2000 AD was my first comic that wasn’t a humour one. But also, when I read old 2000 AD strips, Rogue Trooper mostly does nothing for me. When compared to other ‘golden age’ strips, it’s just kind of dull, a bit silly, and meanders.

Early Sláine, up to and including Horned God, still holds up for me (even if the ‘leyser gun’ stuff is a bit… well). Strontium Dog at its worst in the Prog was very readable and at its best is some of the best output from the comic’s entire history. Nemesis was for me fantastic before it got bogged down in itself sometime around book six. Rogue… yeah…

I liked Cinnabar a lot, but that was mostly John Smith letting rip and doing his own thing. Tor Cyan was pretty interesting. Jaegir is superb and my biggest criticism of it is the strip’s infrequent appearances. But Rogue? Nah. Rogue’s world, though? Maybe. It’d certainly be interesting to see what would happen if Tharg commissioned, say, a run of 20 strips, which were at most two- or three-parters.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 30 January, 2022, 02:53:14 PM

I'm not saying Rogue  himself is the secret sauce, though. But if GFD didn't create something compelling on at least one very fundamentally strong level, why have we had so many attempts to keep it going?  Why are you yourself suggesting running stories in that Universe?

Why did the Hit (and Horst for that matter) fail, but Alan Moore and John Smiths Nu Earth set stories succeed?

I say Jaegir is "decent" in the sense that the Dredd 2012 film is a decent rendering of Mega City One - a grim and gritty one that stays true to some core aspects, but doesn't want to be associated with the day glo "silliness" of the previous iteration.  There's some (albeit slight) baby with the bath water for my money.


Like IP, I never really appreciated Rogue - liked it enough (bought the board game!) but thought other strips were just a bit more "sophisticated".

 
When my son was 10 or 11 and started reading through my complete Dredds and best of 2000ADS, I was hoping he would become  a huge Stront or Nemesis fan -sadly, the geek gene has skipped a generation and while he really enjoyed what he read, he didn't become a "fan" of comics - he does remain to this day a big "fan" of Rogue Trooper though, which was his favourite of all the strips - so there's your secret sauce, even if it's one that appeals to casual reading 10-12 year olds... something the prog is actually trying to do with Regened. 

While you disagree with me, weirdly I'm not sure I disagree with you at all!  As you say, run the whole gamut of strips - humour, horror - like Dredd does - Nu Earth as a "war on steroids" setting similar to MC1s "America on steroids" .  Keep Rogue as an occasional guest star or unseen back story.

But make sure you keep the "GFD" factor of trying to make something larger than life - yes, that gets you Fort Neuro at times, but it also gets you Bio-wire, drill probes, decapitators, K for Ken, hard rain, Dream Weavers, Brass & Bland, Scum Marines, The Sun legion - none of these things were made up by the artists - all GFDs ideas.

GFD deserves more credit than he gets - I see Fiends of the Eastern Front is back in April. 

 

The Nu Earth Tales ideas sounds good as that would encourage varying lengths of story - you'd need someone to really grab a hold of the setting though, as otherwise, you end up just proving that GFD had a secret sauce that "better" writers have yet to uncrack the recipe for - The spin offs we haave had are at best decent, but I dont think they ever feel like they engage with the settings potential to rival MC1 as a setting in itself - War turned up to 1000.

Well, I disagree with this almost completely. I don't believe there was any 'secret sauce' in GFD's Rogue — in fact the best thing to happen to the Rogue Trooper universe was taking Rogue out of it. I think the main reason the original run of the series is so fondly remembered is because Tharg threw the very cream of his art droids at it. For every great idea like biowire there's some interminable slog like Fort Neuro.

In my capacity as armchair Tharg, I wouldn't envisage a 'Tales of Nu Earth' slot as an all-out war strip, since that would literally by running a Rogue Trooper strip without Rogue in it. I had in mind something more wide-ranging — you can run the same gamut of stories you get with Dredd. Humour, tragedy, action, and horror would all work within the setting, so you can just pair up writers and artists whose strengths play to a particular tone and let them loose.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Jim_Campbell 30 January, 2022, 03:16:13 PM
I'm not saying Rogue  himself is the secret sauce, though. But if GFD didn't create something compelling on at least one very fundamentally strong level, why have we had so many attempts to keep it going?  Why are you yourself suggesting running stories in that Universe?

I'm disputing the GFD secret sauce — Rogue as published was formulated as the result of an extended brain-storming session between GFD, Dave Gibbons and Steve MacManus, and bore very little resemblence to to the series as originally pitched.

Clearly, there is something strong in there, but both Dave and Steve are talented writers themselves and we have no way of knowing who brought what to the final product, only that the original GFD pitch was considered a very long way short of publishable.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: broodblik 30 January, 2022, 03:25:21 PM
Rogue Trooper for President
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 30 January, 2022, 03:26:24 PM
And Judge Dredd would have been "Jeff Stryker, Futu-Cop!"  if it wasnt for editorial.  The fact is, I doubt Dave Gibbons or Steve MacManus was suggesting story ideas each and every week - all those great things those great artists got to draw came from GFD  - yes, I'm sure his scripts needed kicking into shape, but that long list of ingredients I mentioned?  No evidence to suggest any of those things came from anyone but Finley Day
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 30 January, 2022, 03:29:00 PM
edit - editorial and Carlos. 

: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Jim_Campbell 30 January, 2022, 03:49:48 PM
I'm disputing the GFD secret sauce — Rogue as published was formulated as the result of an extended brain-storming session between GFD, Dave Gibbons and Steve MacManus, and bore very little resemblence to to the series as originally pitched.

I just want to clarify on this point: it sounds as though I'm calling GFD a worthless hack here, and that wasn't my intention… but I've left it too late to edit the original post.

I have a great deal of fondness for much of what he wrote in Battle, but I remain unconvinced that he was ever a great fit for 2000AD. The fact that both Harry Twenty and Fiends of the Eastern Front were extensively re-written, and Rogue was notorious in the editorial office for the amount of works the scripts required every week to get them into a publishable state rather supports that feeling.

Beyond that, I don't really see the point in arguing any further about this.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Leigh S 30 January, 2022, 05:46:49 PM
Agreed and dont take this as me continuing an argument just laying out what I would want from a Nu Earth strip I havent seen in the versions we have had - for me it isnt about who did what, but that those early stories have something that later iterations dont, and I do think theres a tendency for us as fans who have had a couple of decades or more of "talking hat" and "buttplug" jokes to overlook a lot of the things that made Rogue in those early strips a genuine hit character/setting, if only for the more casual reader.
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: JayzusB.Christ 30 January, 2022, 08:36:35 PM
 Sorry for steering the thread off topic even more, but there did the buttplug joke come from? I know I saw it but it's been doing my head in trying to remember where.  Surely not Droid Life?
: Re: Prog 2265: Worlds at War
: Funt Solo 30 January, 2022, 08:49:35 PM
Sorry for steering the thread off topic even more, but there did the buttplug joke come from? I know I saw it but it's been doing my head in trying to remember where.  Surely not Droid Life?

I first saw it posted here on the forum - I think it was art by PJ Holden, and I think it was published in STAK!