2000 AD Online Forum

2000 AD => General => : JayzusB.Christ 28 February, 2021, 09:07:57 PM

: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: JayzusB.Christ 28 February, 2021, 09:07:57 PM
Just discovered these, which I've never seen or heard about before. 
https://comicvine.gamespot.com/zenith-phase-ii/4050-60466/ (https://comicvine.gamespot.com/zenith-phase-ii/4050-60466/)

While I do like the style of cover art - which presumably led to Bisley's cover run on Doom Patrol - I'm also moved to wonder what the actual feck.  Zenith smoking a fag?  The utterly unrecognisable lumpy face on the second issue?  And, weirdest of all, Zenith's dad is Donald Trump? 

Also, I thought they weren't allowed to reprint Zenith back then.  My brain is reeling.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: The Legendary Shark 28 February, 2021, 09:38:52 PM

That Zenith smoking a fag looks awfully familiar - is it a homage to a Modesty Blaise cover, or something like that?

: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Funt Solo 28 February, 2021, 09:47:37 PM
Reminded me of Jonni Kiss.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Richard 28 February, 2021, 10:45:28 PM
Why shouldn't Zenith smoke? He seems like he would.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Funt Solo 28 February, 2021, 10:56:48 PM
I'm trying to think if any of the 2000 AD characters from that era smoked - apart from Robo-Hunter with Stogie - but then part of the plot was that Stogie was helping him quit. I suppose the other thing would be that Zenith doesn't smoke in the strip itself - although he does drink, of course.

And Ukko is smoking a doobie on that poster, that time. Or did I imagine that?
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: JayzusB.Christ 28 February, 2021, 11:00:23 PM
No, Ukko definitely was smoking a spliff.  Was it last year's Thrillcast where Dermot Power was talking about it?
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: O Lucky Stevie! 01 March, 2021, 12:32:03 AM
Morrison didn't contest the rights to Zenith until Titan went to reprint  the series following  the appearance of Zzzzenith.com appeared in Prog 2000.

TSo after he met his wife, who is a lawyer.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Colin YNWA 01 March, 2021, 06:14:15 AM
Never seen those pictures thanks for sharing. Very curious pictures and that first one particularly is so of his time. Reminds me of Doom Patrol covers of the time, thougn curiously not necessarily the Simon Bisley ones, rather the ones by Tom Taggart.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: JayzusB.Christ 01 March, 2021, 07:56:49 AM
Never seen those pictures thanks for sharing. Very curious pictures and that first one particularly is so of his time. Reminds me of Doom Patrol covers of the time, thougn curiously not necessarily the Simon Bisley ones, rather the ones by Tom Taggart.

Yep, I see exactly what you mean.  Though there are the usual Bisley rippling muscles in the second one; which again is very jarring - under the bulky biker jacket, Zenith for me is a skinny, fey metrosexual type, despite the super strength.

I love Zenith and I love Bisley, but they go together like ice cream and toast.

: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: IndigoPrime 01 March, 2021, 09:59:08 AM
From the era where Quality Comics entirely dispensed with quality as far as its covers went.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: james newell 02 March, 2021, 11:30:59 AM
that cover is credited to Bisley on the site, but it's not a Simon Bisley cover.

wonder who it is?
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: james newell 02 March, 2021, 11:38:11 AM
Dave Devries is credited here on Barney

http://www.2000ad.org/?zone=reprint&page=usprofiles&choice=zentwo02 (http://www.2000ad.org/?zone=reprint&page=usprofiles&choice=zentwo02)


: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: ming 02 March, 2021, 11:39:56 AM
that cover is credited to Bisley on the site, but it's not a Simon Bisley cover.

wonder who it is?

Yup - after applying 2 minutes of web-fu, the third of these at least is definitely by Dave DeVries...  The style also fits for the other ones, and he's done more by the look of it.

(https://storage.googleapis.com/hipcomic/p/ce3b230efd638209db2d7fd8c3b81bec-800.jpg)

: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: IndigoPrime 02 March, 2021, 01:08:09 PM
I mean, it’s better than the shockingly bad covers on the Quality Nemesis run I once had, but…
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Colin YNWA 02 March, 2021, 01:49:36 PM
Here's a gallery of the 3 Phase 1 covers.

https://www.comics.org/series/24983/covers/ (https://www.comics.org/series/24983/covers/)...
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Colin YNWA 02 March, 2021, 01:54:38 PM
and the Phase 2

https://www.comics.org/series/24982/covers/ (https://www.comics.org/series/24982/covers/) - with one credited to Bisley (issue 2) but with a ? against it.

Doesn't look like they made it to Phase 3 - not listed on Grand Comic Database at least.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: I, Cosh 02 March, 2021, 02:08:39 PM
For what it's worth, Demon Dave is claiming at least three four of those (including the one credited to Bisley) on his own site and the signature looks the same on the others. Dave DeVries Comics Gallery (https://www.davedevries.com/comic.html).

And the originals seem to be more Mckean/Sandman influenced (at least in terms of layout) but that's all been chopped off for the final product.

(https://www.davedevries.com/images/comic/z5.jpg)
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: IndigoPrime 02 March, 2021, 02:21:32 PM
I get what he was going for, but it’s like he’s doing covers for an entirely different story that’s in his head rather than the one that’s in the actual comic.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: The Corinthian 02 March, 2021, 02:28:55 PM
While I do like the style of cover art - which presumably led to Bisley's cover run on Doom Patrol - I'm also moved to wonder what the actual feck.  Zenith smoking a fag?  The utterly unrecognisable lumpy face on the second issue?  And, weirdest of all, Zenith's dad is Donald Trump?

Bisley's first Doom Patrol covers were in 1989, presumably before this.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: ming 02 March, 2021, 02:35:20 PM
I mean, it’s better than the shockingly bad covers on the Quality Nemesis run I once had, but…

For honesty's sake they should have gone with Quantity instead of Quality.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: JayzusB.Christ 02 March, 2021, 04:29:19 PM
Bejaypers. So none of them are Bisley at all?

That Masterman cover is just very wrong too. Vampire possessed by a dark god he may be, but he's supposed to look like a white supremacist's wet dream, not a superzombie from a metal album sleeve.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: ming 02 March, 2021, 05:34:28 PM
Bejaypers. So none of them are Bisley at all?

That Masterman cover is just very wrong too. Vampire possessed by a dark god he may be, but he's supposed to look like a white supremacist's wet dream, not a superzombie from a metal album sleeve.

No, not Bisley - and now I'm really wanting to see how he might have approached Zenith back in the day... 
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: The Corinthian 04 March, 2021, 11:14:59 AM
There's a pretty good feature on the US reprints in Comic Archive's 'Beyond 2000AD', which goes into some detail about how they went from featuring lush new Brian Bolland covers to... this.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Link Prime 04 March, 2021, 12:43:53 PM
I mean, it’s better than the shockingly bad covers on the Quality Nemesis run I once had, but…

For honesty's sake they should have gone with Quantity instead of Quality.

Latter ones weren't great, but I loved the few that Sam Keith drew.
I know he's an acquired taste, but I've been a fan for as long as I've been reading comics.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: IndigoPrime 04 March, 2021, 01:30:45 PM
I had a slightly different view. The first cover looked really moody and cool. I was: OOH. Issue 2’s throne was fine and 3’s Nemesis vs the giant was funny. And then I’m not sure what happened. The quality of the imagery nose-dived, took a brief turn towards sexism (I mean, WTF, issue 10—although #18 is arguably even worse?) and then went to shit towards the conclusion, where the covers didn’t even attempt to align with the stories inside. Mind you, at some point, the signature switches to Flint rather than Keith, and so I assume he didn’t do the entire run.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: pauljholden 04 March, 2021, 04:28:09 PM
From the era where Quality Comics entirely dispensed with quality as far as its covers went.

I don't know for sure, but one of "qualities" other habits was to weirdly uncomfortably the interior art to fit the dimensions of a US comic page, so it's likely the interior had also dispensed with any quality too.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: IndigoPrime 04 March, 2021, 04:55:03 PM
I do recall a lot of stretched/cropped/hacked art when I later saw the originals.

I liked Quality a lot in terms of getting me access to a lot more 2000 AD than I otherwise would have been able to read as a kid. But in hindsight, it was total shit compared to Best of 2000 AD Monthly, and I’d have been better off trying to fill the gaps with back issues—even though they were MUCH harder to find in those days.

I also recall feeling ripped off by Quality’s tendency to pitch a series as a ‘complete’ thing, but inexplicably miss out chunks of it. (I vaguely recall ABC Warriors #1 starting part-way though the run, for no good reason.)
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Link Prime 05 March, 2021, 12:28:51 PM
Had a look at that on Barney out of curiosity - Keith did the first 12 covers, have to say I like them all!
http://www.2000ad.org/?zone=covers&page=artist&choice=samk&Comic=usreprints

Crazy that his style is still so instantly recognizable after all these years.

a brief turn towards sexism (I mean, WTF, issue 10)
Never for fun!  ;)

The real truffles from this Barney rummage were the Tom Grindberg Nemesis covers for 'Spellbinders'.
Sweet effin jeebus;
http://www.2000ad.org/?zone=reprint&page=usprofiles&choice=spell08
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 05 March, 2021, 12:43:45 PM
I'm sure this is well-known and I've just missed it, but why was Cursitor Doom renamed "Amadeus Wolf" for the Quality reprints..?

SBT
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: IndigoPrime 05 March, 2021, 01:15:16 PM
What’s going on with the cover of issue 11 of Spellbinders, which features inside Nemesis book 6 and Fiends of the Eastern Front?

(http://www.2000ad.org/covers/usreprints/mediumres/spell11.jpg)
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Swerty 05 March, 2021, 01:23:55 PM
Im no artist but i could draw a better cover than that.
Behind the dodgy covers are some hidden gems.The Mind of Wolfie Smith in colour although cant remember which title.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Link Prime 05 March, 2021, 01:24:49 PM
What’s going on with the cover of issue 11 of Spellbinders, which features inside Nemesis book 6 and Fiends of the Eastern Front?

(http://www.2000ad.org/covers/usreprints/mediumres/spell11.jpg)

Grindberg's interpretation of the Candida and Nostradamus (almost) smooch?
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: TordelBack 05 March, 2021, 01:55:56 PM
Keith did the first 12 covers, have to say I like them all!
http://www.2000ad.org/?zone=covers&page=artist&choice=samk&Comic=usreprints

Crazy that his style is still so instantly recognizable after all these years.

12 is particularly T-shirtworthy. What we have there is a real artist interpreting the material in his own style,  and it's different but good. Elsewhere...
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Rogue Judge 05 March, 2021, 03:19:46 PM
Those Tom Grindberg covers are truly awful! But he has become a really great artist, it's well worth looking up his recent Tarzan work.

I actually met him at comic convention a few years ago and asked him to do a sketch of Dredd, his response was "hell no"...understandably, it looks like he didn't even know what he was supposed to be drawing back then. (I did get a great Daredevil sketch from Tom that day, however).
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: The Corinthian 05 March, 2021, 03:24:50 PM
I'm sure this is well-known and I've just missed it, but why was Cursitor Doom renamed "Amadeus Wolf" for the Quality reprints..?

SBT
I have no idea either but IIRC he'd previously been renamed 'Septimus Drood' in some mid-1970s reprints.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: JayzusB.Christ 06 March, 2021, 11:13:30 AM
What’s going on with the cover of issue 11 of Spellbinders, which features inside Nemesis book 6 and Fiends of the Eastern Front?

(http://www.2000ad.org/covers/usreprints/mediumres/spell11.jpg)


Grindberg's interpretation of the Candida and Nostradamus (almost) smooch?

(http://www.2000ad.org/covers/usreprints/hires/spell11.jpg)

To be fair, he's totally nailed the 70s Country and Western bar costume design that the series was famous for.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Link Prime 08 March, 2021, 11:34:06 AM
What’s going on with the cover of issue 11 of Spellbinders, which features inside Nemesis book 6 and Fiends of the Eastern Front?

(http://www.2000ad.org/covers/usreprints/mediumres/spell11.jpg)


Grindberg's interpretation of the Candida and Nostradamus (almost) smooch?

(http://www.2000ad.org/covers/usreprints/hires/spell11.jpg)

To be fair, he's totally nailed the 70s Country and Western bar costume design that the series was famous for.

Top of the world, ma!
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Bad Andy 10 March, 2021, 04:20:22 PM
(http://www.2000ad.org/covers/usreprints/hires/spell12.jpg)
What?
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: IndigoPrime 10 March, 2021, 04:28:08 PM
Perspective is hard.
: Re: Bisley does Zenith - all very odd
: Jim_Campbell 10 March, 2021, 04:33:29 PM
Perspective is hard.

As are cloven hooves, it would seem…