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Topics - IndigoPrime

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1
Prog / Prog 2314: Out of the past
« on: 07 January, 2023, 11:38:35 AM »
Another Saturday Prog here, albeit one where Tharg forgot to change the black ink cartridge. Alas. Fortunately, the cover has its full gamut of contrast, and Mark Harrison’s artwork looks fantastic.

Inside, we get a new Droid Life and then Dredd. This second part of The Night Shifter ramps up the action and intrigue alike. The dialogue in the final panel was a wonderful slice of understatement and black humour, in a pretty dark Niemand script. I’m sure some folks here would argue otherwise, but the whole thing feels like Wagner being channelled. This is Dredd that feels like Dredd, and is superb.

Next up, we get Pat Mills that feels like Pat Mills in Joe Pineapples. Bisley’s out for Langley, and so it all looks good enough. I imagine fans of his ABC Warriors run will be thrilled to see this last hurrah for the characters. But… it still feels like a re-run of all the things I didn’t like in that dark period of 1990s 2000 AD. Sorry, but I’ll be happy when this is done.

The Out, though, is a strip I’d be happy to see take up semi-permanent residence in the Prog. While this episode is heavy on bridging and dialogue, and has less of Harrison’s imaginative art, it’s still great comics. And you need a change of pace when the thing’s collected. Also: despite being talky, it still deftly moves the story on in key ways.

Hope should in theory evoke the same sentiments. Objectively, it looks great (and different from usual 2000 AD fare). A lot happens. There’s weirdness and a twist at the end. But this lost me some time back and I’m not 100% sure what’s going on.

There are similar issues with Proteus Vex, but to a lesser degree. This strip’s storytelling remains dense. Miss a detail and you can come unstuck. I’m just glad the gaps aren’t monthly. However, Vex continues to intrigue, and it feels like the kind of strip we might look back on in a decade with the same fondness as a Nikolai Dante – assuming the creative team gets the chance to fulfil its vision.

Similar, then, to last issue for me, with three hits and two duds, but nothing here is objectively bad.

Dredd > The Out > Proteus Vex > Hope > Joe Pineapples

2
Prog / Prog 2313: Dead Cool
« on: 31 December, 2022, 02:37:16 PM »
A surprising arrival today, given recent Royal Mail shenanigans. The first Biz cover in yonks is quite nice, and then inside we get a single panel preview of an upcoming Hine/Cook strip that looks suitably weird.

Strips-wise, Niemand kicks off another Dredd in fine style. This one looks much darker than his usual fare. The Out is, predictably, superb – following the Unanima investigation into Cyd – and Tin Man is predictably predictable. It’s not bad in an old-school way, but feels like you’ve opened a time warp to 1993. Hope picked up a notch, primarily because I could figure out what was going on. And then Proteus Vex continued fizzing with its own brand of awesome.

So: three crackers and two not-bads. A solid start to 2023 for the Prog (even if I got mine a little early)!

Dredd = The Out = Proteus Vex > Tin Man = Hope

3
Announcements / Subscriptions and Royal Mail strikes
« on: 03 October, 2022, 03:55:13 PM »
From the Nerve Centre:

Recently the Communication Workers Union, or CWU, have announced a series of strikes by Royal Mail workers over the period of October – November, and as I’m sure you can appreciate the anticipation is that this will lead to a great number of postal delays which’ll undoubtedly have an impact on the arrival of your subscription issues.
 
While this does not directly affect deliveries outside of the UK, it is possible that an increased load on other couriers will cause delays for our international subscribers too.
 
While we will always do everything we can to ensure that you receive every issue of your subscription, please do bear in mind that severe delays are expected and we request patience while Royal Mail deal with any backlog resulting from strike action.
 
If you would like a digital version of any issue that is late to arrive, drop our customer support team a message here https://shop.2000ad.com/contact-us
 
Many thanks for your patience and understanding during this challenging period.
 
(More information available here: https://www.royalmail.com/latest-news)

4
Megazine / Meg 448: Graveyard Shift
« on: 20 September, 2022, 10:06:35 PM »
Well, that was fun. I enjoyed the 2000 AD zompocalypse and this Meg stuck the landing. It is perhaps more serious in nature. It’s certainly more coherent as the random strips give way to a story thread. But I thought as a one-off it was rather good.

Also, the floppy was really something special: a book of Robin Smith cover roughs, with various notes, printed alongside the final art. The only down side was my cover appeared to be on back to front (which confused me for a bit). I’m very tempted to take the mag apart and carefully thread it back through the staples.

Anyway, good work, everyone. This breezy silliness was just what I needed this evening.

5
Prog / Prog 2294: East Wired
« on: 06 August, 2022, 11:38:56 AM »
A suitably grim cover by Alex Ronald and the promise of more Dept. X and we hit the Dredd finale. It all feels a bit muddled to me, to be honest. The final page is a bit of blunt commentary on the present day. Fine.

An Alan Grant obit wisely sits in the Prog rather than the Meg, before Brink ramps up considerably. (Also: part 23? Wow. Nice to see Tharg agreeing to play the long game with this. It’s going to be a chunky collection when reprinted!) Twisty McTwisterson, too.

Skip Tracer is… quite good this week, when taken on its own merits. Sure, it’s cliched, but it’s at least barrelling forward, looks good, and has some solid plotting. My guess, though, is it’s heading towards Blake’s great escape and he ends up going off with his kid. If not, fair enough, but enough with the parent killings, yeah?

Dexter ends well, although AI-Sinister looks deeply weird in the final frame. And then there’s Jaegir, which is also really good, with an interesting last page in all sorts of ways.

Brink > Jaegir > Dexter > Dredd = Skip Tracer

6
Off Topic / Eaglemoss liquidation
« on: 12 July, 2022, 10:44:05 PM »

7
Prog / Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 19 June, 2022, 11:23:54 PM »
The Prog kicks off with a fun Dredd one-and-done by Niemand/Dyer. Hope feels like an expansion episode and is a bit clunky. Things go wrong in Skip Tracer and I realise in the final frame there’s a big reveal, but I’ve no idea who these people are.

Terror Tales is good and grim. Notably, it’s Kek-W, so that shouldn’t be a surprise. Part 24 of Brimful is next, which I only mention because it’s the episode where a certain J Kingsley and M Smith enter the fold. Then we finish with Brink, which feels like it really wants to be a movie. Solid, at least.

Next week, we’re back to Regened, so it’s two weeks until the ongoing thrills continue. In all honestly, I’m fine with the break this time.

Dredd > Terror Tales > Brink > Skip Tracer > Hope

8
Prog / Prog 2284: Inter*sect*ions
« on: 31 May, 2022, 11:14:41 AM »
Right, then. After a brief Nerve Centre OOOH moment (more Devlin incoming), we’re on to Dredd, which remains top-notch. Again, it’s like a Wagner/Bolland strip that’s fallen through a wormhole. Literally the only gripe I have is my usual one, in MC1 being basically full of white men, bar a very few background characters. Anyway, I suspect this’ll wrap up soon, and it’s going to be one of my top Dredds for a long time.

The Future Shock didn’t really do anything for me. Bullying’s a bit of a trigger point anyway, but even beyond that the story didn’t feel that shocking. I’m not sure what the resolution was trying to say, nor if there was anything more meant by that single panel of the bloke with the teeth. So: meh. (Also: is no-one else submitting Future Shocks? It feels like Tomlinson is getting an awful lot of them into the Prog of late.)

Hope has a nice twist, if an arguably fairly obvious one. I think in hindsight that while the atmosphere of this run has been good, I’m starting to align with folks who have said the storytelling isn’t up there with the previous two volumes (which I grabbed as trades—I doubt I would with this run).

Brink is a between beats run, bar the end—a kind of info dump. Something that’ll read better when collected than standalone this issue. And then there’s Fiends, which has two powerful beings kicking the crap out of each other. I’m enjoying it, but I do wonder where the strip has to go after this point if the lead is now so insanely powerful he can survive basically anything.

So, weirdly, I’m missing… Dexter. That trips levity and spark combined with the nature of what was in this Prog made it feel a bit flat for me compared to last week. Dredd is clearly the standout and Fiends is very, very good. Brink is great as a whole, but this particular episode didn’t really grab me. The other two strips were a bit hmmm.

Dredd > Fiends > Brink > Hope > Future Shock

9
Megazine / Meg 442: Hate Campaign!
« on: 15 March, 2022, 12:59:55 PM »
An ominous blood-soaked cover for this Meg, which leads on a quickly improving Dredd story with some intrigue. Death Cap is next, and I just don’t care about this story at all. The protagonist is awful. I quite like the art and the sales guy though. Diamond Dogs has pretty much lost me at this point. It also so often feels more “30 seconds into the future” than what you’d expect from the comic.

A brief break for ‘The droids you’ve been looking for’, which explores some of the creators who only briefly graced the comic. Some interesting bits and bobs in there, and an answer of sorts as to why Tao De Moto just stopped no-one knows where Myra Hancock went or is). I also kind of want to re-read Dead Meat now, just to see how it is with the benefit of hindsight. Then, an Ian Kennedy obit. Good to see three pages dedicated to this. Sad to think this will be a semi-regular event now, given how creators age.

A one-pager on Lowborn High then sits across from Lawless. I’m not sure where this strip is going nor whether Abnett will hit something of a reset switch at some point (with Meta returning to her original position). Either way, it’s great and continues to be a real high point for the comic. Then, Surfer perhaps inevitably goes bad, with a twist we all saw coming but that ramps up the tension significantly.

A bit 60/40 for me this month, but the highs very much eclipse the lows.

Lawless > Surfer > Dredd > Diamond Dogs > Death Cap

10
Lots for sale below. Collect from near M3 J4a or I can ship at cost. Feel free to make offers, especially if you want a bunch of stuff. Everything’s in good condition, unless otherwise stated. I can supply photos of items if anyone wants them prior to making an offer.

Diceman
Diceman 1-5 - £40

Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse)
Usagi Yojimbo vols 1-33 (complete run) + Senso/Space Usagi/Yokai - £350

Al Ewing
Immortal Hulk 1 Deluxe HC (OOP) - £30
We Only Find Them When They’re Dead vol 1 - £4

Humanoids
First Degree: A Crime Anthology - £8

2000 AD trades
Brink 2000 AD Ultimate Collection Hardcover Vol 1 - £8
Button Man: Killer Killer - £5
Hershey: Disease limited hardcover - £15
Lobster Random No Gain, No Pain Rebellion OS HC - £3

2000 AD Progs
720, 721, 722, 724, 726, 727, 728, 729, 730, 731, 732, 733, 734, 736, 738, 746, 747, 748, 749 - £5
Or the above for postage costs alone if you want anything else in this list.

Swimini Purpose by Brendan McCarthy (extremely rare) - £100

Doctor Who
Aliens and Enemies - £4
Monsters and Villains - £4

Mignolaverse (Dark Horse)
Hellboy and the BPRD: 1952, 1953, 1954 - £7 each or £20 set

Mirror group
A Man Called Horace, books 1 and 2 - £5 for both

Oni
Jay and Silent Bob: Chasing Dogma - £4

11
Megazine / Meg 440: Fully Loaded!
« on: 17 January, 2022, 11:45:06 AM »
Ooh – wraparound cover. Alas, no print for me. (Is that the case for everyone?) Anyway, on with the strips…

Dredd returns to McConville’s time-travel shenanigans, which feels a bit like it’s talking place in an alternate time stream from the main Dredd strip, to some degree. (Although, TBF, that’s all Dredd these days.) Nice to see a range of judges (and no insulting stereotypes). The story itself seems good so far.

Death Cap lost me early on in fridging/murdering kids, but this episode is a little better. Nice art (not least the Carlos tribute), but it all feels a little empty to me. I’m not sure I care what happens to the protagonist, which is never a good thing.

Diamond Dogs III has some nice moments. It feels markedly less futuristic than Dredd. Remove the judges and much of it could be happening in a BBC 1 drama. For all that, it’s fine, and I might do a re-read at some point, to remind myself of how everything got to this point.

Interlude: Ennis chats about Hawk the Slayer and Steve White digs into his career on 2000 AD and beyond.

Lawless remains the Meg’s high point for me. I don’t know where Abnett’s taking this, but there’s plenty of intrigue and some wonderful character moments.

Surfer continues to build. Strange to see Wagner hiding away at the back of the Meg, but with this and Lawless it ends well.

Lawless > Surfer > Dredd > Diamond Dogs > Death Cap

12
Prog / Prog 2265: Worlds at War
« on: 17 January, 2022, 11:38:46 AM »
A rarity this week: a prog without Dan Abnett—well, unless boy count the Feral & Foe III trailer in the Nerve Centre. So how does it all shake out?

Dredd is the prize for me this week, Niemand crafting an excellent, tense, exciting tale that feels very Wagner in its execution. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the protagonist – will she get away and perhaps becoming a recurring thorn in Dredd’s side, or will we next week discover how shit it is to be a single-parent MC-1 courier with a kid?

Proteux Vex further ramps up the world building. Lots of great design work too. I think I’m heading towards “might need a re-read” territory, but deft storytelling has enabled me to keep up so far. Not so much with The Order, which I’m increasingly baffled by. (And I see there’s another not to 2000 AD’s past here. Ho-hum. Not keen on the mining, TBH.

Kingmaker offers an interesting mix of styles and genres, with some great visuals, and Saphir looks like it should be fun. Roach’s art is, as ever, lovely.

There’s a natural downturn for me, in my favourite 2000 AD strip in the modern era having gone away, but the Prog remains strong – as does its anthology nature. Something for everyone, hopefully.

Dredd > Proteus Vex > Kingmaker > Saphir > The Order

13
Prog / Prog 2262 – The Spirit of Xmas Future
« on: 14 December, 2021, 08:01:00 PM »
No Zarjaz 100-page mega-special thread yet? Blimey. Then I’ll dig right in:

We’re in perfect-bound territory, as usual, and there’s a nice wraparound cover by Toby Willsmer. A chunky Droid Life offers plenty of laughs before Judge Dredd does the same. This tale delightfully lampoons a certain high-profile tech figure, along with featuring a meet-up between three Judge Dredds. This is skilfully written. I know some people were suspicious of what we’d get, but it’s a lot of fun and a one-and-done.

Next up, Deadworld is gruesome, with Tharg apparently having very odd ideas as to what constitutes a festive tale. A short break for a fun Doug Church interview and then we’re on to the new Kingmaker, which kicks off a second after the series cliffhanger. New readers should be able to catch up easily enough, mind.

Dexter was a mixed bag for me — a nice enough tale in and of itself, but the realisation for the lead is about as cliched as they come. Then The Order comes knocking with some lovely visuals but, I’m struggling to keep up with the plot.

Tales of Mega-City One gives us a tale that neatly weaves through a classic Dredd, and then The  Out provides a little levity after an episode of dread. Proteus Vex rounds out a solid Prog of extra-length thrills, and bodes well for a new year that will begin with a line-up of Dredd/The Order/Kingmaker/The Out/Proteus Vex.

14
Rebellion is proud to announce the Fall 2022 launch of its highly-anticipated new graphic novel series – Best of 2000 AD!

The brand-new quarterly 200-page graphic novel series debuts in September and features a hand-curated selection of the most incendiary and exciting new science-fiction comics from one of the world’s biggest and most influential comic book brands.

Six volumes of the US comic book-size, perfect-bound series will be released quarterly in book stores, distributed into the book trade via Simon & Schuster and the comic book direct market through Diamond Distributors.

Best of 2000 AD is the perfect gateway into the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic – an ultimate ‘mix-tape’ anthology of full-colour stories specially chosen to be accessible to a whole new generation of comic readers who may never have picked up 2000 AD in its traditional format.

Each 200-page volume will be headlined by a self-contained contemporary Judge Dredd adventure, followed by a mixture of hidden gems from 2000 AD’s vaulted history, a classic Judge Dredd case, and a graphic novel length feature presentation featuring global comics legends including Sean Philips (The Fade Out, Kill or Be Killed), Frank Quitely (We3,All Star Superman), Fraser Irving (Batman Incorporated, Die! Die! Die!), Kevin O’Neill (Marshal Law,League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Mick McMahon (The Last American, Batman), Pete Milligan (Enigma, X-statix), Rob Williams (Old Haunts, Suicide Squad), Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk, We Only Find Them When They’re Dead), Alan Moore (Watchmen, From Hell), Alan Davis (X-Men, Batman) and so many more.

Each volume of Best of 2000 AD will also feature newly-commissioned critical essays by prominent comics journalists and popular culture writers, including Tom Shapira, Chloe Maveal, Rosie Knight, Ritesh Babu, Tiffany Babb and Adam Karenina Sherif.

The title boasts brand-new covers from an all-star line-up of New York Times best-selling and Eisner award-winning artists including Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked and The Divine), Becky Cloonan (Gotham Academy), Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), and Annie Wu (Hawkeye), with more to be revealed.

The entire six-volume series will feature design by highly-acclaimed designer Tom Muller (House of X/Powers of X).

“Even in the teeth of the pandemic, graphic novels had one of their best years ever and Best of 2000 AD has been tailor-made to give bookstores a great way to stock the very best of British comics,” said Trade and Special Sales Manager, Owen Johnson. “With eye-catching covers, design, and impeccable storytelling, Best of 2000 AD brings the energy and creativity of Britain’s biggest comics brand to the book trade in a new and fresh way, giving readers curious about getting into graphic novels an irresistible sampling of stories that will appeal to all palettes.”

Following Rebellion’s hugely successful ‘Day of Dredd’ promotion, which reached over 20 million individual social media accounts and saw international sales spike, during which comic stores, libraries and creators celebrated the cultural impact of the fan-favourite character Judge Dredd, Best of 2000 AD is the next step in building a wider international audience, and stands as a major jewel in the crown of Rebellion’s 2022 publishing initiatives.

“It’s called the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic for a reason,” said Rebellion CEO, Jason Kingsley OBE. “If you love your comics dangerous, thrilling and life-affirming but have never read 2000 AD then this is your moment. This new publication is precision-engineered for new and curious readers. We want the Best of 2000 AD to convert a whole new generation into 2000 AD readers for life.”

The first volume of Best of 2000 AD is scheduled for release in September 2022. It will be available from book-stores and comic book stores globally through Simon & Schuster and Diamond Distribution.



---

(Those with long memories will remember this was originally to be a 12-issue comic book series: https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=46131.0 — IP)

15
Prog / Prog 2261 - Never Look Back
« on: 07 December, 2021, 04:30:35 PM »
Well. Two strips bow out this issue but two presumably continue in the end-of-year extravaganza. But before then, this is a masterful Prog.

A quality slice of Harrison art on the cover is followed by a two-part Dredd finale that is completely ridiculous in the best possible way. This feels like a modern take on old-school absurdist Dredd—like a love letter to the best strips of the classic era. That Dredd wasn’t really in it doesn’t matter, because it was so enjoyable.

Then we get some horror in The Out and a YOU CAN’T LEAVE IT THERE cliffhanger (damn you, Abnett), along with a further demand in my head for an oversized Image-style HC of this series. (Please, Tharg.)

Scarlet Traces ends well, except it doesn’t, because, well, there’s a twist—and I honestly didn’t see that one coming.

Which leaves Dexter, bringing up the rear. It’s enjoyable nonsense, although very much filler in a Prog of gems.

Full marks though this week. This was great stuff. Dredd > The Out > Scarlet Traces > Dexter, but it’s all good.

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