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Author Topic: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters  (Read 48741 times)

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #195 on: 09 September, 2019, 12:20:55 PM »
It does underline what an achievement it is for Matt Smith to run the prog for that length of time and to the quality he has managed. Given the challenges he's faced, he's got a reasonable case for being the greatest Tharg.

It's come up a couple of times recently over on Colin's 'Re-Read' thread — although there's been the odd run between jumping-on progs that seems to have left the Squaxx unenthused, there's rarely been a consensus on which, if any, are the duff strips, and we haven't had an honest-to-God bad year in twenty years… when there were certainly more than a couple of 'em in the 90s.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #196 on: 09 September, 2019, 12:48:00 PM »
It does underline what an achievement it is for Matt Smith to run the prog for that length of time and to the quality he has managed. Given the challenges he's faced, he's got a reasonable case for being the greatest Tharg.

This^^^^ :thumbsup:

This and what Jim said. To have sustained the comic with such consistancy, the only blips being upwards ones! for such a long time I personally don't see how you can argue otherwise...

...well clearly folks who don't look beyond the orginal 'golden age' could, but aside from that.

TordelBack

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #197 on: 09 September, 2019, 01:06:54 PM »
Yep, clearly building on the Diggle/Bishop foundations and with plenty of odd missteps and dead ends, but in aggregate the sustained level of quality over two decades is simply undeniable. It's tempting to qualify this with reference to the comic's most (only?) benign corporate masters over this period, but I think that boon is more than offset by the state of the newsagents' shelves and the post-digital free-for-all of the comics market in general. Never mind having a solid claim on being the Tharg of Thargs, Matt must be one of the most successful editors in all of comics.


IndigoPrime

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #198 on: 09 September, 2019, 01:16:14 PM »
My take is that the entire 2000 AD brand has had some remarkable stewardship since the Rebellion takeover. Remember at the time how everyone was freaking out about “videogame guys” buying the comic? They only want it for the IP! They’ll strip it to the bone while pooing out Strontium Dog videogames! Sure.

Now the Kingsleys own most of British comics history – and are actually doing things with it. Matt Smith has had a remarkable run as editor. The brands are doing pretty well, in a very tough market. Despite all this, so many gripe about pretty much everything, like they’ve rose-tinted glasses glued to their faces. I really don’t get it.

TordelBack

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #199 on: 09 September, 2019, 04:12:50 PM »
After almost 40 years I'm still genuinely excited to get my anthology comic every Wednesday, and I'm very seldom disappointed by what it contains. That's the truest judgement I can bestow on any editor.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #200 on: 09 September, 2019, 04:34:31 PM »
This also. Now and again, there’s a dip; at least some of that is subjective rather than objective. There’s also that very real issue of having got older. We’re not kids any more! That excitement of Prog 359 (or whatever) isn’t going to be the same, not necessarily down to the contents of the magazine, but because your life has changed. But although I’ve had the odd Meg wobble, that’s never really been more than fleeting; and I genuinely can’t think of a time I’ve considered giving up the Prog during the Rebellion era – which is more than I can say for a number of the years that came before it.

*looks at Prog 883. wonders why the hell I was still splashing out 70p per week on that bilge*

Frank

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #201 on: 19 September, 2019, 05:00:19 PM »

One pill makes you Simon Bisley, and one pill makes you Pat Mills.







Officially, this was a Horned God signing tour, but, sometime during their Apocalypse Now-style odyssey, they appear to have become the horned god.



Funt Solo

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #202 on: 19 September, 2019, 07:07:59 PM »
I'd definitely have worn that, then. And been entirely stoned.
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Frank

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #203 on: 29 September, 2019, 09:08:04 AM »
I'd definitely have worn that, then. And been entirely stoned.

Speaking of being stoned, whatever Alan Grant and Steve MacManus were smoking in 1980 must have been good stuff. They weren't wrong, were they?





From BEM #29 - contains lots of other insights into stuff like circulation figures and why Disaster 1990 was crap. Thanks to the beneficent David Hathaway-Price and the huge online UK fanzine archive he's created.



TordelBack

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #204 on: 29 September, 2019, 10:27:09 AM »
Bit rough on Alan having Steve say only Wagner or Mills could write Dredd!

Frank

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #205 on: 29 September, 2019, 11:27:25 AM »
Bit rough on Alan having Steve say only Wagner or Mills could write Dredd!

ARF! Grant says it first^^^ - and as it turns out, Grant the writer's late-eighties solo Dredds would prove Grant the sub-editor right all over again (i). This was just before Alvin Gaunt (ii) penned their first Dredd story, Aggro Dome (183)

Also of interest is the discussion of O'Neill retaining copyright of Wonders Of The Galaxy and the surprising news that IPC page rates were better than Marvel or DC's. The idea that IPC were storing original art in a library (iii) is touching.


(i) I like many of Grant's solo Dredds from that period, but their wildly variable quality proves his point that only Wagner and maybe Mills (of the early eighties) could have launched a Dredd title with enough stories of consistent quality to make it a success

(ii) Pronouns: them/they

(iii) As is the idea that original art was redundant because IPC's film negatives were good enough print from

Frank

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #206 on: 18 October, 2019, 08:00:30 PM »




'With his long, flowing locks, Cal was clearly based on Pat Mills* - who had long, red hair.

It was an act of pure revenge on Brian's part, using his art to get his own back on Pat, who was such a control freak.

Pat had to have his finger on everything and Brian got really pissed off. Pat would often ring Brian, agonising over the artwork and using up Brian's valuable time.

They normally got on like a house on fire, but it all got too much for Brian and that's why he drew Cal to look like Pat.

Mills was furious when he found out and had Cal's look changed. It was hilariously funny to those of us in the know at the time'


Jack Adrian, quoted in Judge Dredd: The Mega-History (1995), by Colin M Jarman & Peter Acton


DOUBLE DUNT


A rare glimpse of Sixgun, the Garth Ennis & Will Simpson cowboy strip that was advertised as appearing in the short-lived Revolver, but never saw the light of day.

Thanks to Will Simpson for sharing. He describes the strip as an early version of something Ennis would go on to do better later in his career, which presumably means Ennis recycled some ideas from Sixgun for Preacher in the same way elements of his Hellblazer run were reworked to provide the origin of Jesse's VOICE.





* In the same publication, Bolland claims the script specified Cal should look like John Hurt in I, Clavdivs, but that he hadn't seen that show so based Cal on Hurt's character in The Naked Civil Servant instead. Bolland claims the reason he hadn't seen I, Claudius was he didn't have a TV at the time, although Naked Civil Servant was only broadcast a year earlier, so who can say where the truth lies?

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #207 on: 19 October, 2019, 05:28:07 AM »
Sure is a good Clint rendition.

++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Frank

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #208 on: 23 October, 2019, 10:13:26 PM »

This is a rare and precious insight into the process of a genius. The level of thought MacNeil invests in every detail of every panel and the dedication to storytelling is extraordinary:



It must be a thrill to work on one of Wagner's scripts?

"Well, I wouldn't necessarily call it a thrill. I think the thrill has worn off over the last 30 years. However, it's a pleasure, and occasionally a pain, to work on one of John's scripts. He can be, at times, quite demanding in his scripts, while also at the same time be quite generous to the artist to do their thing. A good balance."



I love your shots of Hershey in the hospital bed - was it a conscious decision to go for the close ups of the eyes and Dredd hands?

"Yes, it was!

Of those four Hershey pages, only pages two and four look like what John scripted. Pages one and three are significantly different to how John wrote them. I kept the dialogue, captions and general happenings as were in the script.

However, I utterly altered the panels, both in number and content. This is the death of Hershey; it should be emotionally powerful. I reckoned I had better ideas than John, so I went for it.



Page one: This was originally a four panel page. I thought it would be more powerful as one panel. What is the panel, the page? Two hands and a Judge helmet on a bed. Doesn't sound very interesting does it? If one reads the page, both writing and art, it's found to be a really quite emotional scene.

We see Hershey's hand (We know it's Hershey as her name is on her wrist), grasping the bed sheets, so signifying pain. We see a judge's helmet sat on the bed. Who's helmet is this? By the context there is only one answer that makes sense, Dredd.

Dredd never takes his helmet off, but this is an important occasion, his friend is dying. If he can't be himself with her, who can he be himself with?

We see Dredd's gloved hand on the side of the bed. What is the significance of this? Dredd's friend is dying. He wants to help her, ease her pain, but there is nothing he can do to help her.

He finds it difficult to reach out. He's spent all his life controlling his thoughts, his emotions. That's a difficult thing to overcome. Just him putting a comforting hand on the bed is an emotional thing.

Which leads us into page three. Originally a six panel page, now a twelve panel page.

John did have Hershey and Dredd touching fingertips at the end of the page, but I thought a hands theme more appropriate and emotional. It continues from the imagery on page one.

For example, we see Dredd and Hershey holding hands from panel one onwards. In panel one they touch, in panel six Hershey grips Dredd's hand, as well as she can in her weakened state.


Finally, in panel eleven, we see just Dredd's hand. His friend is dead, there no one to take his hand now. I did initially have Hershey's hand dropping limp from Dredd's hand, but I think it works better this way. He'll never shake his friend's hand again - he is alone.

The close up of the hands of the doctor/med tech who gives the lethal dose, echoes the imagery from the interaction between Dredd and Hershey. However, this interaction is not between old friends, but between the doctor and the poison. The preserver of life and the taker of life.


The close up of Hershey's eye is the most important panel on the page, in my opinion. Looking at someone as they die is an emotional experience, looking in to someone's eyes, as they look at you as they die, is a profoundly emotional experience.


I wanted to tap in to that emotion. It's the last time we see her alive, but it also shows the last thing she sees, her friend, Dredd. Dredd in panel ten, is looking in to her eyes too, though I decided not to have Hershey reflected on Dredd's visor. She's gone already.


In panel eleven we see just his hand. In the final panel we see Dredd, all alone. Originally his face was seen, however I blacked it in, as I thought it helped symbolise his isolation.

I could chunter on about these pages, but hopefully folk will get a glimpse into my thought processes in creating them."



What inspired you to create the freighter that goes off into the sun?

"John Wagner. It was in the script. It's just an old freighter, nothing special."



The Poncho robot is very eye-catching - is it difficult to keep inventing new designs and it looks like it is a nod to a comics legend!

"Well, it's as difficult, or as easy as it is. El Presidente came out fully formed from the start, pretty much. He's a standard cliched South American military dictator type... Except he's a robot, who used to be a cook and has real human hair and moustache. In some ways, his look was inspired by memories of baddies from the old Zorro TV series I saw as a kid."



The new characters are brilliant - especially Dos and the Los Humanistas. How easy or difficult is it to come up with new designs and what inspired them?

"Just as old Soviet equipment were sometimes copies of western military equipment and was often found in various dictatorships around the world, then Dredd's world would be just the same. In this case, Dos is a Sov Bloc knock off of an old ABC robot paratrooper. Hence a similarity to Mongrol.

The Humanistas? They're just general jungle freedom fighter types, with hints to the actual location in Guatemala. For example, the blanket over the shoulder of some of them is based on traditional Guatemalan costume."



How challenging is it to keep drawing Dredd and what's the most fun panel you've done this series?

"Like any job, even one you love, it can be a right pain in the arse sometimes. It's a human thing. So long as both Dredd and I are about, then I'll continue to draw him.



Most fun panel?


I have no idea. I like various panels for various reasons. If I had to pick one for “fun,” then it has to be page four of episode four. I always try to put a dog in to every story I do. This is the dog page from this story. A wee pup sat by the fire, tilting it's head at an old man who is cleaning his weapon. That panel, that bit of that panel."



It must have been a thrill but quite sad moment to paint Hershey's end?

"Again, thrill probably isn't the right term. Let's say honoured. I killed Chopper, I killed Johnny Alpha, why not Hershey? Exit wounds and character death is what I do best."



Can you tell me a little about your daily process and how long each part takes?

"I get up, have a mug of tea, a cigarette, faff around for a while, then start drawing. A day, or two, later the page is done. Simples!"



What can we expect from the rest of the series and what are you working on next?

"Stuff and things! :) Next I'm doing an issue of Space Bastards, then almost certainly more Dredd."



Thanks to Kevin Hall for sharing this treasure. Shower him with likes and shares, please.



Funt Solo

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Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« Reply #209 on: 24 October, 2019, 12:47:14 AM »
Sorry to winge, but a spoiler warning would’ve been nice.

Very interesting article.
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++