Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Lawless  (Read 610 times)

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 18948
  • testing testing...
    • View Profile
Lawless
« on: 07 September, 2021, 07:01:20 AM »
Over a weekend away and while at a very long swimming session last night* I've read the three Lawless trades currently available. And the first thing to say is why the heck are these trades? Why, oh why can't we get an over-sized hardback(s) of this wonder? Its a simply amazing strip and never has art more deserved the big page and quality paper to pull out magnificence in all its glory. That's not to say that Phil Winslade's art is my favourite art - I mean its damned close but maybe not my absolute favourite - rather that its intricate, precise linework deserves a platform on which it can be admired in all its exquisite detail. Its astonishing stuff and his ability to retain such life, energy, character and movement and not have it drown in its own detail is incredible.

Then you get to the story. Now its fair to say this one plays with things that exactly hit my wheel house. Never in Tharg's world has a western been so western. No not Strontium Dog, not even American Gothic. No this is the most western of strips. The tone, the dialogue, heck the art makes things feel dusty - all play towards this perfectly. The mysterious stranger coming into town, initially a lone gumhand all play with this. Even when it becomes all out war it becomes The Alamo. And I adore westerns.

Add to that talking apes and you have the perfect set up for me.

Put its so much more than that, its the characters. Metta Lawson is a hardcore delight, the real star of the show Nerys Pettifer is a refreshingly charming un2000ad wonder. Both so richly realised. Then add a supporting cast, each, even if only appearing for panels, well crafted, beautifully rendered it really is the character driven piece so many comics claim to be.

Then add to that the action and events are just drop dead perfectly timed, and this really comes to the fore in the trades. In the Megs as it came some of the momentum is lost a little, but read in trade the timing is seen in all its glory, particularly in the buildup to Munce's epic attempt to wipe out Badrock - which speaking of character really achieves that elusive trick of making a character of place - it just build and builds, holding the tension driving things up. Then when the battle strikes its realised in a way that is rarely achieved in any medium.

There's another level as well with this larger overarching story there are the episodic moments - that Dabnett does so well in Brink - that stand alone and build onto the whole. A prime example being the moment Pettifer goes into the mec-church to stop a hold-up and gun a man down. Pettifer coming of age in this western frontier, but that moment, hard and edifying as it is has impact and importance down the line as the seeming moment of transition has a much deeper impact as the story develops. Just brilliant.

So yeah I love, LOVE this series.

To be honest the only question that remains is whether its my favourite ever in The House of Tharg (can't say the Prog). That begs the question is it better than Dante? Can Brink top it when read as one, The Out when it has more time... you know what the advantage Lawless has in being a true western, the consistancy in the art mean I think I might call this now (and regret that at my leisure) Lawless is the greatest comic ever from Thargs Organs.

There said it!

*Clearly I wasn't swimming my daughter was - I'd never get my comics wet!

broodblik

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3853
  • watkykjy?
    • View Profile
Re: Lawless
« Reply #1 on: 07 September, 2021, 08:27:08 AM »
Lawless is one of the best comic series ever to grace any publication and if you have not read it then you are the one that is poorer for it. Lawless since its first run became the backbone of the meg and carried the meg. Lawless is simply put superb.
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

wedgeski

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 645
    • View Profile
Re: Lawless
« Reply #2 on: 07 September, 2021, 09:04:39 AM »
Those three trades literally dropped through my letterbox this-morning! I have set aside the requisite number of tea bags for a riveting couple of hours this weekend.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 18948
  • testing testing...
    • View Profile
Re: Lawless
« Reply #3 on: 07 September, 2021, 09:35:22 AM »
Those three trades literally dropped through my letterbox this-morning! I have set aside the requisite number of tea bags for a riveting couple of hours this weekend.

I'd give yourself four hours and luxuriate over it. It was an absolute pleasure.

Some other things I forgot to wax lyrical about in my stream of consiousness 'love in' this morning.

1) How much the art reminds me of Cerebus. I think in the main due to Phil Winslade's inking style really having echos of Gerhard's tight inks on the backgrounds of that series. Amazing thing being the way Phil is able to carry that forward onto the characters. - which became a bit like latter Cerebus (which I've not seen much of due to... well thoughts for another thread there) and the little bits I've seen of Sim's work on Strange Death of Alex Raymond. Either way its quite the artistic feat.

2) How funny it is. In many ways this gets lost in the action/adventure elements, but damn its a hoot at times. The comedy perfectly weaved into character exchanges rather than being anything thrust upon situations. There's somethig very natural about it that works really, really well and the humour helps carry the of emotional beats behind it. So humour born of anger or frustration, indignation or even arrogance at times. Its just so well included, you don't really notice how funny it is. Its like your friends down the pub being funny, no one is telling jokes, just your sense of humours chime naturally and it all works without being forced.

Jim_Campbell

  • 2000AD Creator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13896
  • Letterer to the Stars! (and PJ)
    • View Profile
    • deviantArt Gallery
Re: Lawless
« Reply #4 on: 07 September, 2021, 10:23:26 AM »
Why, oh why can't we get an over-sized hardback(s) of this wonder? Its a simply amazing strip and never has art more deserved the big page and quality paper to pull out magnificence in all its glory. That's not to say that Phil Winslade's art is my favourite art - I mean its damned close but maybe not my absolute favourite - rather that its intricate, precise linework deserves a platform on which it can be admired in all its exquisite detail. Its astonishing stuff and his ability to retain such life, energy, character and movement and not have it drown in its own detail is incredible.

I think I've mentioned before that Phil draws at actual page size, not the standard 'half-up' size that most artists working traditionally use (Fabry was working 'two-up' for most of his Slaine run, I believe). I swear that man has microscopes where other folks have eyes.
Stupidly Busy Letterer: Samples. | Blog
Less-Awesome-Artist: Scribbles.

sheridan

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6505
    • View Profile
    • Wilde Wood
Re: Lawless
« Reply #5 on: 07 September, 2021, 10:30:47 AM »
Add to that talking apes and you have the perfect set up for me.

No love for the mechs?

Quote
A prime example being the moment Pettifer goes into the mec-church to stop a hold-up and gun a man down.

Here it comes out - you only mention the robots when there's trouble!

IndigoPrime

  • Administrator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 10724
    • View Profile
    • http://www.craiggrannell.com
Re: Lawless
« Reply #6 on: 07 September, 2021, 10:49:59 AM »
Why, oh why can't we get an over-sized hardback(s) of this wonder?
Because no bugger buys them. I wish there was a market for 2000 AD output akin to Image deluxe HCs. That would be an ideal format for a lot of 2000 AD output (albeit hopefully with better constructed books than the disaster that is Kill or Be Killed).

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 18948
  • testing testing...
    • View Profile
Re: Lawless
« Reply #7 on: 07 September, 2021, 11:35:52 AM »
Add to that talking apes and you have the perfect set up for me.

No love for the mechs?

Quote
A prime example being the moment Pettifer goes into the mec-church to stop a hold-up and gun a man down.

Here it comes out - you only mention the robots when there's trouble!

I read from the Bible of Dredd!

Though please be aware I can't be mechist, some of my best friends are mechs and the fact that when I talk to my simian breavren about mechs and how they should all go back to the factory they came from and not steel our jobs I hang onto that statement to allow my self-delusion that I'm not mechist to persist...

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 18948
  • testing testing...
    • View Profile
Re: Lawless
« Reply #8 on: 07 September, 2021, 11:37:34 AM »
Why, oh why can't we get an over-sized hardback(s) of this wonder?
Because no bugger buys them. I wish there was a market for 2000 AD output akin to Image deluxe HCs. That would be an ideal format for a lot of 2000 AD output (albeit hopefully with better constructed books than the disaster that is Kill or Be Killed).

Oh I know, I know but seen when has reality ever bumped heads with the fanboys fantasies of comic forums / social media... also I want it... ME ME, I.

sheridan

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6505
    • View Profile
    • Wilde Wood
Re: Lawless
« Reply #9 on: 07 September, 2021, 12:49:10 PM »
I read from the Bible of Dredd!

Even Dredd is coming around to the mark (whatever-it-is) Mechanismos - recommending a judge take a mech with them in a recent story.  And it was by Wagner, so nobody can say it isn't canon!

Quote
not steel our jobs

I see what you did there!

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 18948
  • testing testing...
    • View Profile
Re: Lawless
« Reply #10 on: 07 September, 2021, 01:26:17 PM »
Quote
not steel our jobs

I see what you did there!

And for once my typo was deliberate... though it didn't start off as such, but no one need know that - I just liked it when I saw what I'd done!