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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 196988 times)

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1140 on: 31 May, 2021, 04:14:53 AM »
I much preferred Counterfeit Girl to any Bad Company we've had this millennium.

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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1141 on: 31 May, 2021, 09:14:10 PM »


Prog 2011 - Back to the Future

So if you don't pay attention you can say that there have been two bumper end (start of) year Prog 2011s, but the first one is of course Prog 2011ad BUT for the purposes of this exercise shall we ignore that.

See as 2000ad charges into its 40th year it does so by not looking back. And sure I've done this before do 2000ad ability to not look back, be it as its namesake, be it at previous 2011s, be it even the last run. No what makes 2000ad the Galaxy's Greatest is avoiding reboots (mainly), not retreading (mainly) but instead drivign forward and therefore evolving, always evolving and growing. No better example than this issue - let's have a closer looks.

Dredd - well okay, but that's always going to happen! 40 year in though and the strip still produce episodes as fresh, exciting and just plain funny as this tale of accountancy gone bad - yep even the Accounting Dept gets into the new fad of corrupted Judging. Still Rob Williams and Chris Weston play a blinder.

New Thrill - Kingmaker and its a corker of an opener in the classic 2000ad tradition of genra mashing. More on this one soon I'm sure.

Ace Trucking Co okay so this one is looking back and is notably the weakest thing for it - lovely Nigel Dobbyn art aside.

The Order entering its third series - this new thrill is still fresh and exciting.

The Fall of Deadworld - a one of for this fantastic series that only got its first ongoing last year.

New Thrill - Hope another cracking opener for this Hollywood magical noir - again more down the pike.

Aquila - okay so you could agrue reboot here BUT its does it very well and his future (in the story sense) looking one off is a beaut.

Kingdom might be looking a little long in the tooth compared to many around if at ten years old but proving already there's life in the old fog yet.

So yeah that's pretty impressive and for fans who live in the past a bit annoying. For fans that want to see a comic that grows and strives for the new and innovative its a boon.

There's also a lovely feature obn Misty. Remember when all this reprinting of old material was fresh and exciting. When it was novel and surprising. Well we can almost take it for granted now. Just showing that while Rebellion have an eye on thwe future they have massive respect for the past and have revived old wonders like no one ever has in the UK comics industry.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1142 on: 08 June, 2021, 09:36:58 PM »


40th - Brink* and you'll miss it

What I admire most about the way 2000ad handles the 40th - at least through the prism of this re-read is it pretty much ignored it... well of course it didn't, but let me explain. In terms of the Prog itself, there were adverts for celebrations and events, letters from the arch-letter writers, mentions in the Nerve Centre, but in terms of story it was handled in the most appropriate way. It was ignored. As the 40th came and went 2000ad was half-way(ish) through the opening line-up of 2017 and so it just carried on, the way it should. It just continues producing a wonderful line-up of great stories. Its wonderfully fitting.

So I'll not dwell anymore here, instead I'm talk about that first line-up. There's really good Dredd as Mike Carroll, with Tiernen Trevallion and Henry Flint return to Texas City. There's another superb Kingdom as Gene is taken onboard the Master's ship, is reunited with 'Leeze' and Leeze, clashes with a kitty and generally tells a glorious story. The Order returns for its third series and its a blinder as Wyrms turn and tales nose into corners unseen. The Order is a strip I love, which is even better on re-read when all the bits you miss, or misunderstand fall into place. Its a masterpiece and that's not just the art.

This stuff is magnificent, but more importantly there are two wonderful new stories. I'll return to 'Hope' at a later date - as it takes a break half way through. I'll pause though to mention its break opens the door to one of my favourite runs on Sinister Dexter as Steve Yeowell joins as regular artist - again something I'll return to.

Instead though I'd like to focus on the other new thrill 'Kingmaker' its a 2000ad masterclass. Its so typical of the Prog and why the 40 years of thrills its produced have worked so well. It takes a genra staple and current media darling - in this case the Tolkienesque fantasy - and spins it. In this case throwing in an alien invasion. I mean that concept is fantastic in and of itself, but it throws another 2000ad staple, made great over the years. It twists the convention of who we are cheering for. Sure we have the world-weary wizard, as much Rincewind as Gandalf, but the stand out character (well at least his equal) is our Orc (well spelling aside). So as well as all this we get a glorious odd couple romp as well.

In doing all this, with Leigh Gallagher producing the best art he has in the Prog I should note, it never forgets to be thrilling, twisting, teasing and tremendous fun. Its just a bloody good thrill. My only concern for it is we've only had one more book after this and I hope it doesn't fall victim to writers Ian Edginton's habit of getting distracted by new shiny things. This is an epic, entertainly thrill and I want it back!

So yeah 40 years in and - in the Prog at least - rather than sit and celebrate Tharg's prime focus is getting the next 40 off with a seamless bang. What a great line up this is, celebrating all that's made those first forty years so fantastic, by looking ahead and constantly driving forward to the new.

...but of course we, and Tharg can't ignore an occasion as significent as the 40th so join me next time as we look at the 40th Anniversary Special a potentially wonderful package, created to allow the Prog to carry on doing what it does best.

*Oh and there is of course no Brink in any of these but errr the play on words pleased me and Brink represents all that is magnificent about new thrills, so forgive me.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1143 on: 09 June, 2021, 09:00:39 PM »


40th Anniversary Special

I said somewhere about some issue / other comic that ...that other comic was a big ol' hug of a comic and that's exactly what the 40th Special is too a big ol' hug of a comic.

It does have a very good Dredd by Wagner and Critchlow - which is cauriously and gloriously out of place in its grim 'Blood' driven intensions as Dredd investigates a mysterious pool of blood and the murder that almost certainly goes with it.

The rest of the comics however is just having such fun. Is embracing us and embracing everything 2000ad (which is why the out of tone Dredd is also very fitting). Its a lovely thing - but there's not much more to say really.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1144 on: 15 June, 2021, 09:16:50 PM »


Just a quickie tonight my dears.

As I've commented before NuYNWA and Selfabsorbed YNWA are colliding and so its hard to distinguish one from the other... normally. But its ressuring that Selfabsorbed YNWA is still capable of being a numb nut... or is that the Selfabsorb YNWA when now Selfabsorbed YNWA was NuYNWA was starting this re-read and thus awash with the type of Dredds 'Get Jerry Sing' is and so didn't appreciate it as much as current NuYNWA whose Selfabsorbed YNWA hasn't had this type of Dredd for a while now too... I think...shit I need to stop with this stuff!

Basically 'Get Jerry Sing' in Prog 2023 is an old school work of genius by the masters Wagner and Ezquerra. It really sings out as different and fresh by being so old and vital. Like a one off Dredd from the 300s but revitalised and modern. Its a simple story of a man scrawling a slogan, that slogan inspiring a fade and a murder... but it was all legal so he got away with it... except this is Mega City One so of course he didn't.

Its short, deceptively smart and oh so much fun. Just a brilliant piece of craft.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1145 on: 20 June, 2021, 07:57:33 AM »


Harvey

I mean I don't have much to say about Harvey, I mean who needs to hear more about another magnificent Dredd by Wagner - YAWN! Same ol' bloody same ol'.

The thing is I can never quite get my head into what the title is telling us about the story. Let's work with the basis that Harvey is a direct reference to the Jimmy Stewart film and work from there. If that's not right then we can forget all this.

So Harvey is a movie about a man who sees an invisible rabbit, but despite folks seeing him as mad, this vision helps him be wiser than everyone who thinks that. So if the rabbit is real, or not I guess doesn't matter in the film - its the insight into life. So in the comic Harvey is clearly not invisible he's a bloody great hulking robot capable of great violence and great compassion (well in terms of Judges). Its Dredd's ability to see things that others don't that the title refers to right? And the fact that he's wiser. Hence - we think - Hershey will trust his judgement regardless of what others see...

...except of course she doesn't. Dredd is unable to see beyond his own prejudice and regardless of Harvey's performance - which is exceptional - fails him and the latest round of the Mechanismo programme (seriously change the name so folks get past previous failures!). So is Dredd actually the folks around Elwood (the rabbit seer in the film) and its him that actually doesn't see the potential wisdom in what Hershey and other are saying. That his fixed views are the problem?

Or is all that a slight of hand and we're meant to imagine the comparison with the film, think that Dredd is being ignored, but as in the film is able to see things others can't and is much wiser. Thus we the reader get a sense of dread of what is to come. Damnit the fools have ignored Dredd and his invisible fear of robots and this will have consequence and as the story rolls on that creates tension, that to this point at least hasn't been realised... maybe Wagner has a long term plan for all this and the robots will become a threat down the road? But to this point that consequence hasn't come to pass and Mechanismo seems to be the saving of the Justice Department.

Or maybe I'm over thinking all this and need to enjoy great Wagner Dredd for what they are, great Wagner Dredd. Maybe I'm seeing invisible themes and ideas that just ain't there and they aren't making me any the wiser and I'm just a crazy drunken bum ?

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1146 on: 22 June, 2021, 09:23:51 PM »


All things Tharg and beautiful

Prog 2033 is an example of what all the Progs of this era, post 40th, do so well. They feel like a colourful celebration of all things. The colours and art is so vibrant - even in muted greys of Colin MacNeil's Defoe somehow shine through. Its a wonderful thing to behold. And really does feel as though the Prog is celebrating, and well it might. 40 years and it still going strong, very strong.

Dredd has a Cursed Earth car race from T.C. Edlington and Brendan McCarthy - which is vibrant and fun.

Brink has opened out its spaces and it palette and its brilliant - we'll come back to that.

Scarlet Traces is violent reds and oranges and feels so much more solid in this second story (in the Prog that is). It ends really well and sets up more to come nicely and I enjoyed this one so much more, not that the first was bad - as I said earlier - just sometimes a story takes a while to gell.

The really focus here though is the brilliant 'Fall of Deadworld - Cursed' in all these explosions of colour it seems strange that the muted red browns and bitter blues are the most celebratory - not that its quite as good a Brink of course! - the fact that Deadworld is soooo 2000ad and visually such a contrast says everything about what makes the comic so great. Things sit side by side that have no place together, yet each contributes to making a whole that is so much more than the some of its parts - even when those parts are brilliant in themselves.

Its not just the visual elements that work so well. Its hard and grim. Unrelentingly harsh. The story cuts away at joy and slashes aside hope. It crushes and grinds and does so gleefully. Its truly 2000ad at its darkest best. Then in the last panel, after all the death and fear, creepy ghost and near zombies, a child reaches out a hand to another trapped lost soul and its a genuinely touching moment. All the more so due to the contrasting horror that has surrounded it.

And that is 2000ad right there. The contrasts celebrating and amplfying the differences and makes those things that should be so opposed elevated.

Oh and as that McCarthy Dredd ends, Chris Weston drops in. As Deadworld falls out, Grey Area rises up, As Scarlet Traces takes to the bench Grennie and PJ Holden take us back to NuEarth. Oh that I had that much in reserve when I reached my 40th!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1147 on: 23 June, 2021, 09:13:37 PM »


Grey Area - Life on Earth

The delights of the contrast in 2000ad where my focus last time and this time its largely the same. 'Life on Earth' is a simple done in one character piece focusing on Resting Bitch Face and Compelling Male Musk Odor and its quite brilliant.

To this point these two Harmonious Free have largely been played for laughs alone the aliens in a strange land. They have played that part perfectly and their off kilter dialogue has made them fun character, really engaging and enjoyable. These five pages blow them open and take them from that into truly wonderful rounded souls.

The Harmonious Free are a hive mind, linked telepathically. So as well as seeing the amusing insights into the way Bitch reacts to different aspects of life on Earth she also reveals the depth of her loneliness isolated from her culture telepathic connection. The contrast of the character played for fun giggles and the depth of this isolation, this contrast, makes this revalation hit home incredible hard.

This is then further emphasized when she mets her one link to what has been and his reality on Earth, the crushing bigotry of squad he has been placed in pushes even that release away. Deeper still it exposes the way life on Earth is crushing and isolating Musk even more. Unable to entrust his sore even with this one connection to the shared experience he has known before.

Its magnificently heart breaking and all the more so as these folks have been such fun in the past, to suddenly be submerged into their sad isolation is just compelling. 

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1148 on: 24 June, 2021, 12:19:29 AM »


Harvey

I mean I don't have much to say about Harvey, I mean who needs to hear more about another magnificent Dredd by Wagner - YAWN! Same ol' bloody same ol'.

The thing is I can never quite get my head into what the title is telling us about the story. Let's work with the basis that Harvey is a direct reference to the Jimmy Stewart film and work from there. If that's not right then we can forget all this.

I can't speak to how the title fed in to the story, but John (McCrea) is on record as saying Harvey the robot is named after his son, and John named him for that because "it fitted the story".

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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1149 on: 25 June, 2021, 09:10:35 PM »
I can't speak to how the title fed in to the story, but John (McCrea) is on record as saying Harvey the robot is named after his son, and John named him for that because "it fitted the story".

Arh damnit - if you e ver needed more evidence that however much I right the vast majoiry will be poppycock!



Skeleton Life

So maybe I should keep this brief then... I came here to talk about Brink Book 2 which raps up in Prog 2040. Such a fantastic story there much be a lot to say... to break down and analyse. Examination of what makes the story quite so brilliant...

...the trouble is sometimes... however affecting the story is. How tense, impactful and powerful. However compelling the characters, however fresh and expansive the art, however perfectly acted it characterisations ... just sometime there's nothing to say.

Well except when you strip it to its bare bones nothing else matters than its fuckin' amazing comics and storytelling and all the rest is just hot air.

Brink is the very best of comics and therefore stories.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1150 on: 29 June, 2021, 09:28:12 PM »


And I don't mean by bitcoin

Its foolish to focus on the negative on the run in to Prog 2050 as there's so much to love. Dredd has some doozies - War Buds is brilliant. However great the story, its the introduction Dan Cornwell an artist I think is so strong that is really the marker this one leaves. I also await the return of Vega a character Mike Carroll created - these days feels a little like the sort of creation the Kenneth Niemand would come up with. The story Ouroboros in which she appears is such fun.

'Hope for the future' comes back to finish its 12 issue run and its darkly superb. Its a shame it lost its momentum with the long lay off, but its testament to how strong the storytelling is, how focused the ideas and characters, how rooted in things we understand and know and yet brings something fresh - that it might have missed a few months, but it didn't feel like it missed a beat.

Grey Area too, another fantastic run of stories with the two parter 'Signal Six Twenty-Four' being an absolute highlight with Bulliet and co getting one (or more than one over) Grell in utterly satisfying fashion that sets up future stories.

So with all that good why am I obsessing over the bad. Well the answer is in how much I've enjoyed Greysuits up to the final story 'Foul Play' and in the line - said as the villian charges into glorious gun battle -

Quote
Blake you need to pay for those snooker tables! And I don't mean in Bitcoins

WHAT??? HUH??? Errr look I think its meant to emphasize that our villain Humphries has messed up priorities. How his establishment views and priorities really distort him from the real world. The fact that its a ludicrous line that makes not a jot of sense be damned. The fact it reads as utter poppycock dialogue in the scenario - for the birds. That it sounds like an aging uncle catching onto a modern term and throwing it into a sentence, even if it makes no real sense here, just to try to sound like he has the finger in the pulse. Well none of that matters. Uncle Pat throws the line in cos it establishes the theme he wants to UN.DER.LINE.

And alas that's this story in microcosm. Uncle Pat is throwing ideas, terms everything at this to punch home how he's attacking establishment ideas. How he's attacking the ruling classes. He's exposing the dark powers that pull the strings and the very strings they pull. He's making it feel real and contemporary.

The trouble is that's everything this series has always said so by SHOUTING. IT. SO. IN. OUR. FACES. he's adding nothing to what the series has to offer and say. He's doing that at the expense of making the story make a jot of sense.

So why can't I let it go. Well in doing so we're robbed of the impact of Blake getting shot up and dying. Its interesting the forefather of this series M.A.C.H. 1 also had a rubbish final story, but it played the drama well at least meaning John Probes death felt important, dramatic and mattered. Here after really enjoying the series we are brushed past Blakes demise so we can have one more extended scene of redundant ranting.

And alas yes here ranting feels like a fair term.

Its as if Uncle Pat has completely lost the balance story and message. Plot and pathos fall foul of his repeated and repeated and repeated polemic.

Such a shame.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1151 on: 06 July, 2021, 09:13:50 PM »


Icon

A three part Dredd by TC Edlington and Colin MacNeil wonderfully carrying on the Sons of booth storyline. The thing that really works here is of course it transends the normal villains that Dredd's blunt force tactics (as some would have it). In fact they use that very reputation against him. The Sons of Booth are a bunch of hick 'hardmen' lead and crafted into similar blunt instrument as Dredd (as some would have it). Not to beat him, rather to expose him.

The fists and violence aren't intended to defeat Dredd, at least not those of others. Instead the media is used to crusade against Dredd's violence. The wonderful irony of the dreadful violence they wish to inflict escaping their camera welding weapon.

Here though the creative team play with the iconography of a fascist state as well, in a way that established the Judges as the established powers that be. Its just wonderful crafted stuff. My fear reading this, even after just 4 years was that it would feel very of its time and the political climiate it was so clearly reflecting. Its doesn't however the ideas and theme still work, and even though its been only four years this tall already feels a little timeless.

There are some folks that insist that if its not Wagner its not Dredd. There are therefore some folks not counting some bloody great comics.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1152 on: 06 July, 2021, 10:21:22 PM »
There are some folks that insist that if its not Wagner its not Dredd. There are therefore some folks not counting some bloody great comics.

This "if it's not Wagner, it's not canon" shit that comes from some corners of fandom drives me insane. I'll confess that there are some stories that I mentally exclude from my personal canon — more or less everything by Millar/Morrison or McKenzie/Steelgrove — but that stuff came from a period when John was intentionally not writing for the prog, due to the editorial stance at that time. In what we might call the 'modern era', when he's deliberately chosen to write the minority of the stories in any given year, we don't get that choice. It's all canon. You can like, it or not like it (and I don't like all of it), but it's all canon.
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SmallBlueThing(Reborn)

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1153 on: 06 July, 2021, 11:11:51 PM »
I think my brain works differently from many others in 'fandom' (or any fandoms) because "canon" means absolutely nothing to me.
Unless we are talking about -specifically- the works of single author's canon (so, ACD's Sherlock Holmes, REH's Conan, HPL's Cthulhu Mythos, ERB's Tarzan, Wagner's Dredd etc) then I get it, and that's fine. But all those properties mentioned above have lives far beyond their originators. So the characters/ worlds' 'canon' is simply *everything legitimately published by the copyright holders*. I have no difficulty incorporating absolutely everything into the story. Sonny Steelgrave Dredd- yeah, fine, Tarzan meeting King Kong- that'll do. Did Strange Tales #130, when Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm met The Beatles, happen? Yep. And it happened at the height of their popularity in '64 or '65, which means the FF have been around since the early 60s- and does that somehow lessen my enjoyment of the comic, knowing it *makes no sense*? Not in the least.
What does make me sad, is when people forcibly try to remove aspects of the 'canon' because they don't like them. Because they 'don't fit' or 'contradict' something later.
They are stories.
I don't need them to 'fit', or make sense in any bigger narrative- other than the one being told at the time. If next week we got a story in which Dredd were revealed to have been a lady all these years, and the story was a good one, that would be fine. The story is all that matters.

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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1154 on: 08 July, 2021, 09:49:17 PM »


Prog 2053 - Lots of Wrath

Prog 2053 has lots of interesting elements to it that have really wind folks up and what interesting is the thoughts on one person on these... and that person is ME... well of course its not me, rather its the fact that I bet everyone reacts to the different things in different ways.

We start as early as the cover.
http://www.2000ad.org/functions/cover.php?choice=2053&Comic=2000ad

Its a terrible but of design to my eye. The central image - a ghost - in the old school sense of a floating sheet - kinda, sorta bursting out of the page at you. And if the ete had been looking at the reader it might have worked, alas they aren't they're, the eyes staring up and right out the top of the Prog. In addition there's a bloody hard box with a different tagline to that which relates to the ghost - why???? The edge of that looks like late 90s word art and is sorted shadowed, blurred... something. Ouch. It really doesn't work for me.

I bet some folks love it!

Then we get to Dredd and more specifically Simon Roy's art on Dredd. I remember much MUCH snarling and rage at his art. Particularly a panel featuring a tech Judge smoking a cigarette. Now its not 'typical' Dredd art, but then what is? Its entirely fine to dislike art, but disliking art in 2000ad for being different just strikes me weird. Its not my favourite Dredd art ever but I absolutely welcomed it as something fresh - which is damned hard to do with Dredd!

I get some folks hated it.

Finally we get to Indigo Prime and Kek-W taking over the writing from the brilliant John Smith. Now I don't want to rake up the ins and outs of why John was replaced, that's well rehearsed and of course folks are welcome to an opinion on the rights and wrongs involved there. Folks are also entirely welcome to not like what Kek-W writes - I must admit here he does seem to be trying a little too hard to channel John rather than take the essence and do his own thing... mind doing his own thing would have got him into an entirely different type of trouble...

No all of that is fine. To not like his writing BECAUSE he has taken from John Smith, or to just blank it and make judgement on an assumption just strike me as weird. And I recall this happening A LOT in various parts of the internet... now how well he uses the other John Smith character he introduces next Prog... well that for a later post

I fret some folks would care either way!

So yeah I have a view on a LOT in Prog 2053 and I know a lot of folks will have likewise. I'd bet it won't be like my view. 2000ad at its very best encourages diversity of fans and that brings a diversity of opinion that I adore. No other comics would have an issue like 2053 - I beat - that would delight and divide, antagonise and appease in equal measure. Some things only 2000ad can do, for good or ill.