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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 204207 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1185 on: 08 September, 2021, 09:15:42 PM »


Raising the dead

The brief return of Fiends of the Eastern Front in 1812 is so perfect that it almost cruel that its so short. The art David Taylor is stupendous the story sharp and chilling (as well as chilly). The set up of Constanta as romantic 'hero' is so 2000ad. The set up of Babba Yaga as supreme villain is deft as it is short lived and animals will never creep out the forest this well again... well until Thistlebone... which is quite soon... but the fact that 2000ad has two such majestic animals creeping out the woods moments so soon is testiment to what it does so well... and its not just the animals... or the creeping.

Its does tone, tension and atmosphere wonderfully, across a range of story type. That this thin sliver of genius standout amongst the glories that surround it - and they are glories in The Small House, Kingdom and Brink ... and Skip Tracer is great too ... is a small wonder...

Wayhey see what I did.

This line-up is quite something.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1186 on: 09 September, 2021, 09:14:34 PM »


Small Change

So what makes Skip Tracer - Legion work when the previous story didn't. Well the story builds around Nolan, it give us a hook to care and move - or at least give the illusion of moving him forward as a character. It doesn't really - but it creates that illusion for the story at least. Nolan's brother is held captive and used by the titular Legion to ... do stuff. Nolan is moody and grumpy but given something to care about that seems to work. It makes sense and so creates an illusion of change that masks the strips weakness in other tales. It makes this story work.

The other change is the tale ejects The Cube, this environment, this massive city in space that's meant to be such a thing. In only the second story of the series, this starring place is cast aside. This opens the way to mindscape and frankly a fair more interesting space and situation. It really works, in a way The Cube, doesn't. So yeah this story is made much more fun and entertaining with only small changes, and I really liked it. Alas these small changes don't amount to anything in the long term.

Over in Dredd - Small House we see an example of how small changes over time, carefully constructed and work can have impact. Smiley is a character dropped into the big world of Mega City One and while he shakes things up its the shifting patterns on the characters around him that have the impact. The final small pieces that 'end' Dirty Frank's story. The shift in Gerhart's tale, the small shift in the way we percieve the Apocolypse War ... okay okay. The Small House isn't a story of small shifts and change. Its a mighty smash of lots of blockbuster moments crashed together ... but I wanted to try to link these two and we had the word 'small' so I tried to go for it.

Its bloody brilliant fun though. Oh and it does have a lovely hommage to a place that truly is a character in tale in a glorious moment when Sam sees the wonder of Mega City One, in the way we have yet to see any wonder in The Cube!

There is another small link I can crank in as Intestanauts get a cute little 3riller. Its of little consequence, but that no big deal when the story is this much fun.

I'm getting out of here on that as there's only a small chance of me pulling this one together!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1187 on: 10 September, 2021, 08:58:08 PM »


Ending on a high and sneeking in a start

I've been whittering away about the closing line-up 2018 for a few posts now and that's because its great. I mean when you need filler so we get double lenght Sinister Dexter at its modern peak we are in a good place.

I've talked a lot about the stuff I've loved and I've not really mentioned the two best strips.

'Brink - High Society' is superb but is only half way through as we get to the X-Mas issue so that one will have to wait. So the star turn goes to Kingdom - Alpha and Omega which brings Kingdom to a very satisfying end, even though we've been promised its not - just like Brass Sun it been almost three years and nowts come back and all creators are busy on other, typically wonderful, things and so who know. Brass Sun we need back as that one doesn't end well. If this is the end of Gene's tale its a good ending, well and ending about none of the struggle ending. Just the opponents evolve and that leads onto the next phase of their endless war.

Gene's time is done and he walks away to continue his endless struggle, simple to survive, we don't need to know more. Humankinds endless struggle against the animal forces of 'nature' moving past Gene and his kind. A perfect ending to the futile Gene that started Gene's time in the Prog... I mean don't get me wrong I'd have it back in a heartbeat, I love this strip. But if it must end let's end it here, it works really well.

Oh and another note about Prog 2110, that ends 2018, Kingdom (for now?) also slips in a start I completely missed. Did you lot all know Judge Kirby (from Department K) appeared in a one-off Dredd in this issue ... me I missed it... and in typing that and the way Kirby is introduced here, Dredd saying

Quote
Should've known you'd be involved in this, Kirby.

Suggests I've missed another appearance? In the Meg maybe? Anyway she appears, burns brightly for a page and then disappears awaiting a Regened in a good few issues time. Worth the wait, great character but if this was an introduction, damn is it a curious one.

What have I missed?


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1188 on: 11 September, 2021, 01:53:23 PM »


FCBD and Special 2018

2018 was a pretty momentus year for specials and FCBD in terms of innovation and change.

Firstly the Sci-Fi Special was an all female creators issue - the fact that this needs to be done is a massive shame. The fact that there are so few woman who have worked on the Prog is something Tharg is still having to work on and a blight on the Galaxies Greatest. So while efforts like this are to be applauded, the fact that it was so necessary is a crying shame.

Mind even if it wasn't it needed, it would still have been worth it to see the gammons exploding in rage that there little boys club was being invaded by 'stinky girls'. And falling over themselves to prove how unsexist and blinkered they were, while very often showing just how small minded and sexist they actually are.

The comic itself, like so many specials, was hit and miss. Some great stuff, some not so great.

The FCBD was immense fun, I think lots of folks found it immense fun, as Regened was born. From tiny acorns do great oaks of derision grow.

The fun experiment was so successful (or was it predestined already???) that Regene have been a thing ever since and another thing the more conservative (small 'c') of 2000ad fandom get all explodely and annoyed and furious about. Chests are puffed out, cheeks are flushed as folks proclaim WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO GET THESE. Or rage on all parts of the Internet about the fact they've been reading the comic since Prog 1 - when it was a... child's comic... why are they having to read this comic for children now. Once that is out the way ... if not resolved ... there is stamping of feet and tantrums about the child's comic 40 years after they were reading children's comics having changed and where do those fools at Rebellion get the ideas that kids today might want something different to what they were reading 40 years ago. After all nothing has changed in those 40 years and Angry from Dullard is pretty sure the Kids all still love Pink Floyd and Swap Shop.

All this and folks forget how bloody amazing 'Chet Jetstream - Escape Hell Island' by Henry Flint was. how Matt Smith and Neil Googe nailed cadet Dredd - NuYNWA erroneously pointed out that this strip works best when examining the relationship between Dredd and Rico. Re-reading this today NuYNWA is reminded that Self absorbed YNWA (even the very recent version) knew better than him and Cadet Dredd works best when young Joe smacks bloody dinosaurs about the head! Everything in this  new fangled Regened pretty much hit the nail on the head and while the subsequent issues may have been more variable in quality they have been more good than bad.

So what do these issues teach us. Well yes 2000ad did used to be rebellious and anarkic. It did have a punk attitude and buck the establishment. And why do we know its still doing so under its new owners. Well of course 'cos all these new things they are doing are really bugging the more stayed elements of the establishment of 2000ad 40 year serving fans.

Long may it continue.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1189 on: 18 September, 2021, 09:16:00 PM »


2018

Quote
in 2018 that isn't going to change. The comic will start to lose strips from one of its masters. The king may be dead (well not yet!) but long live the Prog as the strenght and momentum its established under Rebellion drive it forward to what I think will be more and more great thrills. the big difference in 2018 over older Golden stuff is we've got used to the quality and take it a bit for granted and I'll try to look at 2018 with fresh eyes, however much it buffers against the now and review it for what it will be... which I think will be great.

So those fresh eyes didn't get around to being opened on time and once again I miss my review of the year when I actually finish reading that years Progs. Still the short distance in time between then and now makes it hard to specify now good, or great.

The Prog in 2018 is in fine form. Strips are coming and going... and in the going we should have a problem, but we don't. As Kingdom and Brass Sun roll out Fiends and Durham Red roll back in. So its always been. 2000ad is about flux and change, as is about up and downs. I guess judging 2018 (and indeed any modern year) as a year in thrillpower is about judging Skip Tracer. Why Skip Tracer, well maybe rather than looking at the highs and there are many, we need to examine the lows and see how much differential is.

In 2018 Skip Tracer is a mixed bag. The first story is pretty bland, the second story pretty good... and this is the low really, well along with the lower end of Uncle Pat's range. Is it really as bad it was in the old days. Is Skip Tracer and the worst of Uncle Pat's stuff really as bad as the lows of previous times. Well no, no its not. Its difficult to judge though as the comics and indeed comics in general are so vastly improved in terms of the developing craft that the comparison is difficult. The same is true in other media. Entertainment has grown, tv is smarter, sharper in its writing, has nicer production values... but is it better? Objectively yes it is, in terms of entertainment, well I guess that depends in where your heads at and how you are able to detach nostaglia and the foundations of what you find entertaining... and there's where objective view is almost impossible to get, a clear view so baffled by noise.

So you ask simple questions, take it back to basics, is Skip Tracer better than Dry Run, or Grudge Father, Angel, or Mean Arena, or Mean Team or...well the list goes on and the answer is yes. Is Kingdom or Brink or... any number of others as good as Bad Company, or Halo Jones, or Leatherjack or... well any number, well that's trickier but if the answer isn't yes its damned close and the question is worth asking.

So the highs are as high, or near as damnit. The lows are no where near the lows and the Prog is still in a constant state of change and development. Its flux and change is based on an upward trajectory and I think 2018, and the eb and flow mentioned above, the fact that Brink is embedding and The Out is a couple of years off, just as Kingdom and Brass Sun 'rest' exemplify that. 2018 demonstrates that 2000ad is about as good as it ever been. The fact that entertainment and craft in the industries that create them have evolved and learnt from what's come before mean its probably better. The comic changes and sometimes change is hard, but when it is if you learn it is worth it and takes you to a better place.

So will 2019 be a better place as well, will the positive trajectory continue to drive up as the change continues. Well I think the answer will be yes. It won't be massive, it will be continual, subtle development, but I can already think of the good things that are coming and its hard to draw out the bad, aside from what have already identified. So yeah 2019 is going to be just another great year!

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1190 on: 19 September, 2021, 05:08:55 AM »
Skip Tracer is some way has become one off the most “controversial” strips in the modern prog by simple being there. It is one of those series that splits the audience in half you get the group that outright hate it and others that do not mind it. I have even read a reviewer that talked about Skip Tracer as the “excellent” Skip Tracer but in most cases, it is just too generic.

As I already said I do not mind it. It certainly in my mind it does not match some of the 90s stuff, but I do not want it every second week. That is where my problem comes in with the strip since it has been publish too frequently the last few years. Nothing really stands-out that I want it every week. I would rather have other strips getting the opportunity to grow or even have a more regular run. Skip certainly has been the strip apart from Dredd that has the most appearances since its debut. 

I am still trying to figure out why the strip in general does not work, maybe the main protagonist is too much of a nothing character with no real personality (or in most cases he is a complete d**k). If you have a well-defined likable main lead, then I do not mind a generic sci-fi story.

Heavy is the Head (2018) prog 2081-2089 (9 eps)
Legion (2018) prog 2100-2108 (9 eps)
Louder than Bombs (2018-2019) prog 2111-2122 (12 eps)
Nimrod (2020) prog 2171-2180 (10 eps)
Hyperballad (2020) prog 2200-2209 (9 eps)
Eden (2021) prog 2238-2249 (12 eps)
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.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1191 on: 19 September, 2021, 07:09:25 AM »
I am still trying to figure out why the strip in general does not work, maybe the main protagonist is too much of a nothing character with no real personality (or in most cases he is a complete d**k). If you have a well-defined likable main lead, then I do not mind a generic sci-fi story.

Yeah I think there's all sorts of factors and these things are hard to define, but I do think this is the main one. He's like so many of the characters in strips that don't work from the early 90s. Junker, Trash etc - just a genric hard man. Hence the strip work when another character, family or someone under his protection is introduced as it gives you something to care about.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1192 on: 19 September, 2021, 07:22:02 AM »


Prog 2111

The bumper end of year (start of year) prog from 2018 into 2019 is well worth special mention. Mainly as it does a great job of feeling like a really special issue, not just because of it size. I mean it does the job of intoducing the new year very well and setting up the new line-up - or indeed ongoing line-up in the case of Brink with does that rarest of things these days of straddling the years - but it offers more.

For example in setting up the new year it gives us 20 pages Fiends of the Eastern Front - it been a long time since we've had a strip that long in the Prog. The introduction of Black Max justifies the sense of occasion and its a wonderful strip.

If Slaine's your thing seeing Chris Weston have a play in the Celt's garden is mighty fun.

The headliner is of course the strip that wraps up that plot thread in Caballistics Inc, introduced at the end of the final story. I'd settled with the fact that the zombie raising from the ground, threatening revenge at the very end of the final episode, when all other plot lines were resolved was a nod to the fact that when one danger is sorted it doesn't necessarily mean a neat ending and other things will be happening elsewhere, new threats will raise, new priorities come to the fore.

As it was with the publishing of 'The Complete Caballistics Inc' it seemed a fly in the ointment and so a tale to wrap it up was introduced. And it a neat, if slight one. What is great is its not just slotted in the the trade collection as a way to encourage sales. Rather presented on the Prog as an X-Mas gift for fans and included in the trade as well.

Nice touch Tharg and by doing that you underline the lovely vitalness of these bumper issues.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1193 on: 19 September, 2021, 09:07:58 PM »


Nobody top Kenneth

Prog 2113 marks one of the most significent addtions to Tharg's arsenal for sometime as Block Buds marks the enigma that is Kenneth Niemand's debut on Dredd. Its a superb, confident tale. Both classic and fresh as Niemand, with pitch perfect art from Jeff Anderson, introduces giant holographic AI friends to every Block in a test area, designed to help keep the mood of the citizens calmer and safer. It, of course all goes wrong but it such fun.

Its a great Dredd on anyones terms, but from a debut writer on the series... well we're coming back to that aren't we... Niemand had only done the Starlord strip in the 2017 bumper Prog ... unless you believe the conspiracy theroiests that is...

See much as its been a delight to see Niemand so quickly develop into one of the best Dredd writers for years it been as much fun trying to guess who Kenny Who really is. Some remain convinced it Grennie. Other refute the writing style make that a possiblity. If it is a known Droid an appearance on the Thrillcast by the erstwhile radio scripter under a nom-de-plume mean Tharg has gone to extreme lengths to dispell the guesses.

What fun.

Put what matters most is the Prog has gained a wonderful writer and for that Prog 2113 needs to be celebrated.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1194 on: 20 September, 2021, 08:58:22 PM »


Beyond the Brink

The thing about Brink is that it defies expectations. Its a slow paced procedural. It doesn't drip in thrillpowered action, rather close conversation. Its sources of tension aren't obvious, its the closely observed characters and their grinding dialogue building up their threat. The unknown, the close environments, the sense there is no escape. Then the unknowable scale of the cults beliefs and the har evidence slowly revealed. The unshakable belief of zealots though is all too knowable in this day and age.

None of this is typically 2000ad (which I suppose I have reflected is so very 2000ad).

All of this is in Brink - High Society and it does it so well, as it always does. The other thing is does, almost as if its pushing expectations to the Brink just to test things is give us a false ending. The double-sized conclusion in Prog 2116 as Kurtis fights against hallucinogenic gas, cultists and possibly unknownable powers. It dramatic and thrilling in true 2000ad style and of course in true Brink style therefore it can't be the end. It has the epilogue of Kurtis being filled in what happened in the 'showdown'. But no what the 'showdown' is the end is it. This is Brink and it takes us beyond. Rather than wrap up at the moment of maximum action and tension Brink pushes beyond and in the last episode, two episodes after the conclusion, just like Mercury vanishing in Book 1 it drops another intreging element. The possiblity that the enemy isn't the Old Gods (or is it?) rather the aliens from innerspace. Co-habitors on a microscale... or is that more bunkum?

The point is Brink once again defies our expectations to build into something even better than we expect. It just plan brilliant. I mean to be fair it would have been just plain brilliant if it had ended on the 'Showdown' but for this thrill that is now enough. It has to take us to the brink and then... push us over the edge.

Funt Solo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1195 on: 20 September, 2021, 10:27:45 PM »
Brink really is brilliant - I was expecting the series after this to start with Kurtis as some kind of super-investigator, but it instead presents her as having being demoted. There's a sense that greater powers are always frustrating solutions - whether that be the cultists or the corporations that are running things.

We're all this way into the story and still don't know why Earth is uninhabitable. I realize it doesn't require explanation - because it's so obvious to the characters we're witnessing that they don't need to go over that with each other - but it's also part of a wise narrative that knows the monster you don't see creates the biggest fear.
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1196 on: 21 September, 2021, 09:00:51 PM »
Just a quicky to say I've just finished Prog 2122 which contained the conclusion to a great Jaegir story as Jaegir sacrifices herself to allow the troops freshly under her command to escape a Souther army. A great Grey Area as Grell's black ops team is  exposed and Bulliet goes for breakfast. Tooth and Nail which I still don't get. And the wonderous Dredd story Machine Law - absolute fast moving perfect (well except that one page I didn't like but I'll not drag up that discussion - go check the Prog review threas for Prog 2122). It really is a fantastic bit of craft by Wagner and MacNeil magnificently moving on the wider story, continuing the mechanismo uber-arc and having some tremendous small character moments.

The Skip Tracer finishes its third story .... and after over analysising the previous one I've forgotten this one already and can think of nothing constructive to say... fascinating in its blandness. 

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1197 on: 22 September, 2021, 06:15:07 AM »
The Skip Tracer finishes its third story .... and after over analysising the previous one I've forgotten this one already and can think of nothing constructive to say... fascinating in its blandness.

The third one was the worse of them a real nothing story.


Jaegir is for me the best out of the Rogue-verse stories.
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norton canes

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1198 on: 22 September, 2021, 10:31:28 AM »
Tooth and Nail which I still don't get

'Tooth and Nail', I was trying to think of that the other day when trying to remember the better recent 3rillers. Intriguing concept but a slightly confusing resolution IIRC? Didn't Andi Ewington come on the forums here to explain it? Great art by Staz Johnson too. Would still love to see another chapter of this, it was intriguing stuff.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1199 on: 22 September, 2021, 12:04:26 PM »
Tooth and Nail which I still don't get

'Tooth and Nail', I was trying to think of that the other day when trying to remember the better recent 3rillers. Intriguing concept but a slightly confusing resolution IIRC? Didn't Andi Ewington come on the forums here to explain it? Great art by Staz Johnson too. Would still love to see another chapter of this, it was intriguing stuff.

Yeah the basic premise was clear. We're meant to think there's to folks in the story, a hard man and a younger 'accomplice' press ganged into taking out some gang members so the hard man can gain access to the mob boss type. Inh the end its revealed they are one and the same person. What's not clear is whether that due to them always being the same person and the young man being beaten after the mob hit is just the product of the story and deception. OR whether there's some sort of my mystic element with the hard man some how 'absorbing' the young apprentice so he can become him to fool the mob types. There's lots of reference to being hungry, and the hard man having 'eatten already' does that allude to him 'consumning' the innocent teen?

Oh and there's a yappy type dog... I'm not sure what they yappy type dog represents?

It was a fascinating story, just frustrating. As you say great art mind.