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Author Topic: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....  (Read 1693 times)

oshii

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Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« on: 16 March, 2011, 05:41:32 PM »
I've recently returned to the ways of Thrill Power after 15 or so years off (I bowed out around 900 or so).  I'm busy hoovering up back issues, but I've just got a couple of questions I'm hoping the forum might be able to help with:

1) When did Wagner return to Dredd?  It was all Garth Ennis and Mark Millar round here when I last looked.

2) What difference has the Rebellion take over made?  (other than them sorting out all the Casebooks and other reprints)

3) When the hell did the Megazine get so drokkin' expensive?  £5.49!  And half of it is text!  Actually, that's a point.  I've got the first 2 volumes of the Meg. Is it worth picking up back issues of that?  It doesn't quite seem to inspire the love like the weekly does.

Cheers for any help.  Feckin' loving being back!

Colin YNWA

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Re: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« Reply #1 on: 16 March, 2011, 06:13:57 PM »
John Wagner returned to the fold for a good chunk of the 900s and in my opinion this period has some of his finest work on Dredd (which is saying quite something). Since then he has been the primary but far from exclusive writer of Dredd.

Have to say in situations like this Barney is your friend

http://www.2000ad.org/?zone=droid&page=thrills&Field=Writer&choice=johnw&Comic=2000AD

More importantly welcome back to the fold and hope you have as much fun as I did catching up!



Jared Katooie

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Re: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« Reply #2 on: 16 March, 2011, 06:19:54 PM »
Welcome back man!

1) Sadly, this was before my time. I know he came back in the early 90s after some atrocious work by Ennis, Millar and Morrison. Since then it's mostly been Wagner. There are occassional stories by guest writers which have generally been much better received than the work of Ennis etc.

It's important to point out that there have been some truly brilliant Dredd stories since then, and if you're a fan you should definitely look them up.


2) 2000AD is in a much safer position for one. With Fleetway it was constantly in danger of being cancelled as they had little interest in it, or understanding of why it was popular. As regards story content, Rebellion haven't interefered in any way, which is the way it should be.

As you say there have been a huge range of reprints, and a more concerted attempt to break into the America market.


3) The Meg has been through numerous changes in recent years. For a while it had mature content and wasn't available to children. Then the size increased to 100 pages, and they began to include articles.

The increased size was too expensive to maintain, so they reduced it to it's current format and kept the articles, which have proven somewhat divisive. They also give a "free" collection of reprints with each issue, which is a great way to collect obscure stories you enjoyed.

There's no way I can tell you whether the Meg is worth buying as your tastes may differ from mine. If you don't like the articles it'll probably tip you over the edge into not buying it. Personally I only buy it when I want one of the reprints.

radiator

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Re: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« Reply #3 on: 16 March, 2011, 07:04:00 PM »
Pretty much all of my favourite Dredd stories have been published since Wagner returned to Dredd full-time in the mid nineties - The Pit, Total War, Tour of Duty, Doomsday... all amazing stuff. I'd definitely recommend that you try and get hold of the recent reprint volumes - they're all wonderful and will help to fill you in on what Dredd's been up to these last fifteen years.

It's worth noting that there was something of a watershed when Wagner returned to Dredd full time - the stories became a lot more mature and character-led, with a much larger cast of recurring characters being introduced - sort of like a gritty TV cop show but set in the future (while still retaining some of the wackiness that characterised the strips early years - for example Walter the Wobot still pops up from time to time!) and the focus of the strip has shifted to become more of a 'soap opera' - it's harder to define exactly where one story arc begins and ends because in the main overrarching narrative that Wagner weaves, stories feed into each other very organically. That's not to say it isn't still accessible, though.

As others have already said, while Wagner remains the lead writer on Dredd, there are many others who write for the character too, and overall the strip is infinitely more consistent than it was during the early nineties - Gordon Rennie, Si Spurrier, Al Ewing, Rob Williams and Michael Carroll have all contributed some great Dredd stories in recent years. Ewing seems to be the second most prolific Dredd writer at the moment, and he has a much better grasp of Dredd and Mega City than Ennis, Millar or McKenzie ever did.

oshii

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Re: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« Reply #4 on: 16 March, 2011, 10:18:55 PM »
Thanks all.  Some really interesting stuff there. 

I've read the Brothers in Blood and Origins TPB, and am really looking forward to catching up with the rest.

It does really seem that the weekly certainly has picked up considerably since I last read it regularly which is good to see. 

Jared - I take your point about differing tastes.  I might pick up a few and see.  I suspect that personally I'd be happier with a shorter Meg, (or at least with no reprint floppy) with a cover price of about £3.50.  (I really can't see the point of having film reviews in a publication like this. There's a million and one other places you can get film reviews for free)

Thanks again.

BPP

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Re: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« Reply #5 on: 16 March, 2011, 10:31:37 PM »
Meg's been absolutely top value for months now. Can't figure out how anyone who has the cash would pick another comic over it as their next-to-2000AD purchase. Wagner on Dredd? ESSENTIAL.
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SmallBlueThing

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Re: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« Reply #6 on: 16 March, 2011, 10:39:59 PM »
I'd find it hard to honestly reccommend the Meg to a "generic comics reader", but to someone who has a specific interest in Dredd, and John Wagner Dredd in particular, I'd not hesitate.

For me, the backup strips are always a mixed bag- at the moment Numbercruncher is my favourite, Insurrection II is doing fine, but i didn't like Samizdat Squad at all. Thankfully, the MEg's backups tend tend to be shortish, and you're never far from something new: and again, for enthusiastic Dreddworld readers, Anderson's back next issue, in colour.

The film reviews are only a couple of pages (and let's face it, it could be game or music reviews instead!)- the meat of the Meg's features is in the interviews with comic creators (especially when they are UK/2000AD related) and these are the sort of thing you'd consider buying if they appeared in book form, so I appreciate them greatly.

The floppies are a mixed bag... but having been away for donkey's years, you may find them fun in catching up with what you've missed. The next one, for example, is an Ian Gibson Dredd collection. So that's Dredd, Anderson and a floppy of Ian Gibson Dredd, plus all the rest, for your Fiver and a bit. I'd get it if I were you.

And welcome back! Do not go away again!

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W. R. Logan

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Re: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« Reply #7 on: 17 March, 2011, 02:18:10 AM »
I've read the Brothers in Blood and Origins TPB, and am really looking forward to catching up with the rest.

Well at least you have caught up with one of the main changes to Dredd's world and the introduction of Judge Logan.

I wouldnt worry about anything else.

radiator

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Re: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« Reply #8 on: 17 March, 2011, 12:25:08 PM »
Quote
I suspect that personally I'd be happier with a shorter Meg, (or at least with no reprint floppy) with a cover price of about £3.50.

This was the case a few years ago - the Meg was £2.99, had a lead Dredd strip, 2 (I think) backup strips and a big chunk of reprint material - at one point they even started publishing small press (ie unpaid) stuff. As I understand it, the higher price point (which isn't really that high when you consider that most print mags these days tend to be priced between £3.99 and £5.99) means they can have more original material, but they have to balance this with more reprint.

You see, the thing with the Meg is that in order to make it economically viable, it has to include a certain amount of text articles and reprint or 'creator-owned' (cheaper to publish) material alongside the usual strips. It's a very tough balancing act for the editorial team, and they have tried many, many different configurations, some faring better than others. I think the current format makes a virtue of these limitations.

To be honest I didn't really like the Meg when it was at the £2.99 price point - the reprint stuff they published tended to be a bit of a barrel-scraping exercise (Bob the Galactic Bum I just couldn't get into even if it was by Wagner, grant & Ezquerra) and to be honest I just ignored the vast majority of the small-press stuff - it just wasn't up to scratch and it was a mistake to go down that route imo. But now, even though it's more expensive it's much more consistent and shifting the reprint to it's own mini mag (which are a bit hit and miss, but mostly welcome) means the Meg itself is 100% new material.
« Last Edit: 17 March, 2011, 12:26:49 PM by radiator »

Toni Scandella

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Re: Help a prodigal thrill power seeker with a few questions....
« Reply #9 on: 17 March, 2011, 12:51:05 PM »
If you're happy with digital comcs, the Meg is only £1.99 on clickwheel, and that includes the free floppy.