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Author Topic: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!  (Read 2775 times)

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #15 on: 03 November, 2022, 01:54:32 PM »
The regen also feels to mine like a continuous experiment it would be nice to have some stability regarding it line-up as well. I would love to have Pandora as the lead in every regen prog.
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #16 on: 03 November, 2022, 02:44:34 PM »
Mm. Pandora is the only Regened strip that, for me, 1) has been consistently very, very good, and 2) is a new property. But I suppose this is ‘2000 AD for kids’, hence baby Dredd as the lead, baby Tharg as the host, baby Johnny Alpha, and now (rather more literally) baby Ulysses Sweet, etc. I get that tactic: try to draw in parents with familiarity and provide an upgrade ladder. But I can’t help feeling this too often stifles Regened, or gives us strips that are mired in continuity and are neither one thing nor the other, in terms of appeal to new and old readers. Mini-Tharg I can deal with. But mini-Dredd just doesn’t work at all for me.

Some strips manage to escape the continuity issue, with Dept K being the most notable example I can think of. And Mayflies certainly has potential to be its own thing. I also quite liked some of the direct young versions, such as the first Alpha strip. But Pandora and Full Tilt and other entirely new fare has been more successful, for my money.

Natch, none of this is easy. It’s not like The Phoenix arrived fully baked. Heck, one might argue it took an entire failed comic (which, while often impressive, was tonally all over the place) for that to find its feet and go on to great things. Also, Regened is quite often (although far from exclusively) using existing writers/artists/producers who are more familiar with comics aimed at a much older audience. Hence, it’s sometimes quite a jolt to sit down with Regened after coming across from an issue of The Phoenix. (And, yes, I get they are not chasing directly the same audiences. But Regened’s storytelling is far messier, and the stories are, broadly, less engaging than what’s going on in The Phoenix right now.)

In all, I should note that despite my disappointment with this particular issue, I’m still in favour of the experiment continuing. I want Rebellion to have the opportunity to find new audiences for when us old fuckers vanish. I want there to be more choice for kids on the newsstands, beyond the tiny handful of comics of note. I do believe there is potential in both Regened and Monster Fun. It’s just that, at this stage, the execution isn’t doing it for me – certainly not consistently. More importantly, it’s not doing it for my daughter, who’s a voracious reader and yet wasn’t even remotely bothered about reading the latest issue of either publication, choosing instead to delve into a pile of library books and back issues.

Richard

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #17 on: 03 November, 2022, 03:16:28 PM »
I thought this was the poorest Regened prog so far.

Cadet Dredd was okay, and I thought it was the best in the prog.

The Future Shock was okay until the end, which was weak.

Bladders was dreadful. It was just boring.

Ulysses Sweet was dire, it was just like something out of the Beano. If I wanted to read that, I wouldn't be looking for it in 2000AD. I couldn't finish it.

I couldn't even finish Chopper either. I loathe the talking to the reader thing, and his insufferable cheerfulness.  That's not Chopper, that's an imposter.

Max Headroom

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #18 on: 03 November, 2022, 05:18:09 PM »
I really don't like these Regened Progs at all - I understand that it's all about drawing younger readers into 2000ad and somehow securing the future of the Prog (which is a most laudable aim), but I just find them so dull and uninspiring and in total contrast to the violence and craziness I enjoyed in 2000ad when I was a young child (1980s). 2000ad is supposed to be bold, gritty, anarchic and always pushing the boundaries; and long may it continue in this vein.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #19 on: 03 November, 2022, 05:33:39 PM »
What’s strange is that for all the ‘comic for middle class kids’ accusations, The Phoenix does achieve more of that kind of thing. Jamie Smart’s cartooning is gloriously anarchic – far more than anything in Regened and Monster Fun. Corpse Talk can be amusingly subversive, not least when it put Cthulhu on the cover of a children’s comic. Then you have No Country, a daring and brutal glimpse into a future dystopia, where the UK has fallen into civil war.

Comics and tastes have changed. There’s no use in people thinking 2000 AD’s Regened strips should be the same as they were in the 1980s. But Regened too often feels like it’s holding back, and at other times it’s kind of aimless. Partly, that’s down to severe limitations of frequency. That’s why, although it didn’t entirely work for me, I was actually quite glad to see Ulysses Sweet. That was trying something different and anarchic. It didn’t quite come off, but it was good to see the effort.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #20 on: 03 November, 2022, 05:46:41 PM »
Given the risk factor involved in launching a new regular comic, I really hope Monster Fun survives and thrives. But… I dunno. I wanted it to be great. I enjoyed the specials myself and mini-IP enjoyed bits of them. But she wasn’t really taken with the first couple of issues, and I’m not about to throw money at something she just doesn’t care about.

Lew Stringer recently stated on a Facebook post that "the three important things a kids' humour comic needs are clarity of storytelling (both visually and in the dialogue), energy (keep it lively and interesting), and, most importantly, it must be *funny*!"
Monster Fun has been a real disappointment and I think a the first two factors Lew points out are real issues with it. Regened is more action-orientated so a slightly different kettle of fish, but I think clarity of storytelling is something that's really lacking as too many of these stories are being written as though they were for adult readers. I have no children myself, but the ones I know who do read comics don't want crazy panel layouts, stories mired in continuity and ancient jokes (like Nikki Louder in Bladers punning off Niki Lauda, who retired in 1985 ffs, is an awful choice of name for a strip aimed at a young reader). Regened didn't click for them at all.

I'd also like to see a more settled lineup in Regened - I didn't like Scooter and Jynx, for example, but is it now done and gone, or will it be back? It seems like if a story has promise it moves into the Prog for a series and everything else drops out and gets replaced, which I imagine is a good model for experimenting but surely not so if you want repeat readers to keep buying these issues. I really feel like the concept is a tryout in Regened, a run in the Prog, and then a GN which is presumably the desired endpoint.

It all adds up to a very frustrating comic indeed with stories starting and then stopping, weird tonal shifts and a complete confusion as to who this comic is actually for. Is it to get younger readers to pick up old collections of Dredd, SD etc? If so then they're in for something jarringly different when they find Dredd, Chopper and Rogue are totally different characters. If not, then it needs to commit to being a kids comic a little more fully: more clarity, more humour, more excitement and, because it's 2000ad, more craziness.  I understand why Regened exists, and if it's keeping the Prog going then all well and good, but it's hard get behind them with anything other than mild resignation.
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nxylas

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #21 on: 03 November, 2022, 06:56:33 PM »
Regened is more action-orientated so a slightly different kettle of fish, but I think clarity of storytelling is something that's really lacking as too many of these stories are being written as though they were for adult readers.
The biggest problem I have clarity-wise is that the two main characters in Cadet Dredd are clones wearing identical uniforms. Unless their badges are visible, or Dredd says something like "Rico, look at this", it can be hard to tell which is which.
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #22 on: 03 November, 2022, 10:24:55 PM »
Well, that and Cadet Dredd being a killjoy dullard, and the strip going HEY KIDS DO GOOD THINGS. I bloody love Dredd but this is the first incarnation from IPC/Fleetway/Rebellion that I really don’t like. And I just can’t see how it would align with the core audience. Dredd is such a stickler. He’s boring. 2000 AD shouldn’t be boring.

As for what Lee said: clarity, energy and funny. Yes! Pandora has all three. Ulysses Sweet was lacking in 1 and 3 but had 2, which was almost enough. And not everything needs to be funny, but if something isn’t then it instead needs to be exciting or properly engaging.

Fenscape

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #23 on: 03 November, 2022, 11:40:23 PM »
I utterly loathe these stupid jumping on progs, I've stuck with them up till now but I'm going to skip them going forwards. Tooth has a great lineup currently and I'm bored having to wait a fortnight while they interrupt the flow harking back to the likes of Buster et al.

The Corinthian

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #24 on: 06 November, 2022, 09:41:06 AM »
ancient jokes (like Nikki Louder in Bladers punning off Niki Lauda, who retired in 1985 ffs, is an awful choice of name for a strip aimed at a young reader)

But kids won't notice that it's a pun, any more than I knew forty years ago what "Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein" was riffing off.

The Corinthian

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #25 on: 06 November, 2022, 09:45:00 AM »
The Future Shock this time round felt like it could have come from a non-Regened Prog. Until the last page when it suddenly felt like it could have come from a non-Regened Prog from 1977-78 when the Future Shocks hadn't quite found their groove and were still doing "Adam and Eve were space people!" or "the ugly alien is actually beautiful to us!"-type punchlines.

Aaron A Aardvark

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #26 on: 06 November, 2022, 12:42:06 PM »
Except in 1977 it would have been done in three or four pages.

Wouldn’t Cadet Rico be a better fit for the kidz than Cadet Dredd?

Anyway, this could be the first Prog ever where I didn’t like anything. 

Jacqusie

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #27 on: 06 November, 2022, 06:30:27 PM »

Ulysses Sweet was dire, it was just like something out of the Beano. If I wanted to read that, I wouldn't be looking for it in 2000AD. I couldn't finish it.

I couldn't even finish Chopper either. I loathe the talking to the reader thing, and his insufferable cheerfulness.  That's not Chopper, that's an imposter.


I couldn't agree more, I usually get pelters if I dare criticise the Regend Prog, but I'm glad it wasn't just me opening the prog and thinking "what the actual... ?"

I say open, rather than read as that would have asked me to go back to when I was 8 years old with a Beano in one hand and Whizzer and Chips in the other....

IndigoPrime

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #28 on: 06 November, 2022, 06:43:51 PM »
See, now that attitude I don’t really understand. Good comics are good comics. Bunny vs Monkey is primarily aimed at kids but is superb cartooning. And anyone digging into 2000 AD’s golden age is reading comics aimed at the 8+ market. The problem with this Regened is that, for whatever reason, the stories didn’t land with the people who use this forum.

Blue Cactus

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Re: Prog 2306 - Titanic SF Thrills!
« Reply #29 on: 06 November, 2022, 07:03:01 PM »
Except in 1977 it would have been done in three or four pages.

Wouldn’t Cadet Rico be a better fit for the kidz than Cadet Dredd?

Anyway, this could be the first Prog ever where I didn’t like anything.

Reading this Cadet Dredd strip I thought exactly that. Rico seems a far more engaging character for kids here. Dredd himself doesn’t do much and is really boring. . Then once the kids get to like Rico they can ask to see what happened to him when he graduated to full Judge…