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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 184152 times)

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #75 on: 17 September, 2016, 09:15:27 AM »
I get that GFD's work isn't close to the level of sophistication as Wagner, Grant or Mills, let alone any of Tharg's more modern droids, but there's something about his work that zips along. When you're working with great artists, a fantastic idea can be enough to stretch a long way, although I've no doubt editorial input was pretty key for a lot of stuff (I think MacManus did quite a bit on VCs, for example).

On the racism in RoboHunter, specifically the Verdus bit. Now, of course it's indefensible, but here's a darker reading for you...

In the future, when people are busy constructing all these robots and imbuing them with bizarrely human personalities, imagine someone deliberately designs and creates golliwog robots so that lazy white masters can recapture dreams of the 'good old days'...

Hawkmumbler

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #76 on: 17 September, 2016, 09:56:15 PM »
I'm just rereading Robohunter:Verdus and there's a horribly racist sequence when Sam falls asleep and dreams about "how the world should be" - two robots with golliwog style negro fetaures kiss his feet while calling him "Master Sam, sure enough", whilst the asian company man who sent him to verdus starts speaking like an old Fu manchu film, addressing him as "the gleat lobohunter". It makes "Blakee Pentax" look positively PC!
I've never read classic Robo-Hunter, don't have time for shite like this!

Frank

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #77 on: 17 September, 2016, 11:40:53 PM »
.
That's a pity. I've just reread Robo-Hunter from Verdus through to Play It Again, Sam, which confirmed those stories as some of the best work Wagner, Grant and Gibson ever did. I was crying with laughter during National Song Week.

I'm not urging you to read it*, but it's a pity Robo-Hunter's only ever mentioned here in this context. You'd be forgiven for forming the impression it's a vicious race hate tract that just happens to feature some comedy robots.

Without disputing the excellent Dan's reading of that dream sequence, "golliwog" might be reaching a little**, and the dialogue reads "mister Sam", rather than "master". There's a lot to be said about context, but that's a can of worms.


* I'm fairly certain the stuff mentioned above means you couldn't enjoy it

** One looks like Boushh and the other has the same big eyes and ooh-shaped mouth as Cutie and the other anthropomorphic droids

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #78 on: 23 September, 2016, 10:37:08 PM »
Over half way through 1980 and things have taken an interesting turn and not exactly for the better.

Two of the best things in the Prog are on a bit of a downward trajectory. Dredd which has been so good, for so long has bit a bit of a rough patch... what you cry, what am I talking about you demand... well I'm up to Prog 169 and while 'The Judge Child' started really well, once it blasted off and lurches off into space I've found it a little ... unrestrained. It still looks magnificent and while the strip is not as good as Dredd has been for a good long time its still pretty bloomin' good comics. Its just not great. Its lacks some of the grounding that has made previous run of shorts work... which okay sounds nonsense when you think of some of the stuff that has gone before, but for me the out and out space type sci-fi (please Butchy Frank lets not turn this into some what is sci-fi and what isn't discussion) just doesn't feel quite right.

Hard to justify and qualify why I feel like this and while Judge Child follows essentially the same formula as Cursed Earth for some reason its lost the rugged challenge, the desperate journey of the first epic so viseral and real as Dredd and crew get slowly more and more ragged. The quest for the spacey soothsayer spice feels a little forced and tacked on. The craziness lacks the harsh landscape that provides a counterpoint in the earlier epic... or maybe its the fact that it is just following the same structure as Cursed Earth, a story I regard so very highly... I don't know its just not working for me... well not as well as Dredd has of late. Its probably still absolutely brilliant and probably still the best comics out there in 1980, just not as good as the standard Dredd has set itself.

Similarly the second half of Day of the Droids has fallen from its very high peak. Its all got a bit chaotic and again unrestrained. Its becoming wacky. Ever since Sam hit Robo-Park or whatever its called its been all bets off, hell for leather crazy and for me that's just not work as well as the more measured (well again measured in the context of a comic like Robo-hunter!) stuff that's gone before. Again like Dredd its still really fun stuff, just its lost that absolute wow factor of the first half.

Elsewhere the Prog has proved richly varied, GFD stuff still kind stinks up the place and M.A.C.H 0 is cruelly and crudely cast aside after a wonderful first solo story some time ago. BUT Wolfie Smith is on absolute fire with his return ably abetted as he is driven down a road of crime by simply perfect Jesus Redondo art. Stainless Steel Rat has made a welcome and so far entertaining return, and we had our first taste of Nemesis. So the balance just about remains in the positive. Its a close run thing though.

On a side note the Prog as an artifact is on an absolute high. One of the joys of reading the progs rather than collections is the context and world reading the originals throws you back to. The adverts in these bog paper comics create the perfect nostagia time machine, which really aids the reading process and reading these stories in their orignal form is so evocative. Its making me want to get to eBay and track down some Pocketeers... though I suspect my memory of them is best left unfettered by reality!



TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #79 on: 24 September, 2016, 03:01:16 AM »
This is interesting, because I far prefer Judge Child to Cursed Earth.  There are a few different segmemnts (Limpopo Quince never did anything for me and biochip/wild alien stuff is a bit business as usual), but these are more than compensated for by Filmore Faro, Aggross, Murd,  Bedlam, the hungry planet, Dredd's new improved supporting cast, and the Angel Gang themselves: some of the greatest set pieces in the strip's history, and some of its most enduring characters.

Plus, Dredd actually dies, none of your modern cliffhanger fakery here.

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #80 on: 24 September, 2016, 03:02:38 AM »
That's 'a few duff segments', kids: don't drink and post.

Frank

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #81 on: 24 September, 2016, 04:45:09 PM »
Butchy Frank

You post this now, after the deadline to change user names has passed?!

Agree with you and TordelBack: The Judge Child is clearly a very good eight to twelve part story [1] which has had a couple of month's worth of filler material shoved in the middle to make up the numbers.

Except the 'filler' includes some of the most beautifully illustrated, inventive, and funny one/two parters in the strip's history. It probably doesn't stand up to reading as a continuous narrative [2], but then it was meant to be read in weekly instalments.

Like The Apocalypse War, you can tell Wagner [3] was writing it to the required length, rather than with a specific ending in mind, but I like the way the old epics just suddenly wrap up because that's enough for now and it'll not be this in the morning.



[1] About the baldy kid being kidnapped by some truly brilliant original characters and Dredd searching Texas City and the Cursed Earth to find them.

[2] Although I can't remember ever trying to do so. For me, a Judge Child re-read entails starting with the Angel gang's hilarious cruelty when torturing Old Joe Blind and then picking out random episodes in no particular order.

[3] And, towards the very end, Grant

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #82 on: 25 September, 2016, 10:20:50 AM »
I will limit my comments in this thread to stories I have actually re-read recently as I guess the whole point is how do we view them now years later as adults. So sadly that means I can't comment on Robo-Hunter or The Stainless Steel Rat or Wolfie Smith.

As to the Judge Child- it was the first Dredd mega epic I read and as such it will always be special to me. Maybe, Colin, how one views it against The Cursed Earth does very much depend on which one you read first. For me the Judge Child is far superior and The Cursed Earth is a less sophisticated trial run.

The Judge Child also features some of the best 1 or 2 partners and individual sequences in Dredd ever and some of the most memorable villains ever - it's Pa and Junior for me over Mean all day long.

(Being pedantic I have never actually read the Cursed Earth in its entirety in the correct order, given that I don't have the Progs and didn't have the banned episodes until recently. When I got my Uncensored edition all I did was read the banned episodes and then look at the colour spreads. So maybe only having read an incomplete tale in black and white and being a bit miffed about it has had an impact on how I view it. Glorious Bolland art though).

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #83 on: 27 September, 2016, 09:06:24 PM »
Maybe, Colin, how one views it against The Cursed Earth does very much depend on which one you read first.

Yeah this is almost certainly the case. Its really hard for me to detach myself from how special Cursed Earth felt to me as a kid. That said trying to be objective I still feel it has a much stronger central thread AND the smaller story elements are superior to those in Judge Child. And ya know SATANUS!

Anyway some things we learnt on our way to the big Prog 178.

1. Stainless Steel Rat leaves us with a timey whiney cope out (which of course might have been very original when first told, but feels tied now. Thats very possibly unfair) and we were denied a climatic show down with He.

2. The cover to Prog 175 is the exception that proved the rule I whittered about elsewhere being that Dave Gibbons is just SOOOOoooooo Dave Gibbons. There's no way I'd say that cover was Mr Gibbons if he hadn't signed it. So unGibbons.

3. Wolfie Smith is wrapped up cruelly quickie, with a very odd comedic little ending... well okay somewhat saved by the mauling of baddie by a pack of rats.

4. No one, I mean NO ONE draws Wolfie Smith like Jesus Redondo. Its a strip that's perfect for him and he really elevates. Wish we'd got more...

5. Although hopefully if we had Wolfie would have got a little more imaginative than winning a teddy by cheating at bingo to pay for a fish supper....

6. Though yeah if he had it would have removed the charm of the series.

7. The Great Human Rip-off lets you know all you need to know about why Tharg stories always felt so special when I was a kid

8. I'm far to excited about the return of Strontium Dog, I always forget how long it was out the Prog after going to Hell.

9. I can never remember number 9.

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #84 on: 27 September, 2016, 10:36:45 PM »
Prog 178 ...just one of the most important Progs of all time for me. But on the way up to it, there is surely one of the biggest moments ever in the Prog. Though I guess no-one would have realised it at the time. At the time it was merely a very cool story with amazing art.

What am I talking about?

Just Comic Rock - Terror Tube in Prog 167.

How I love that story both as a stand alone and as a lead into one of the most iconic 2000AD stories of them all.

I never tire of reading it , nor indeed Killer Watt in Progs 178 and 179.

PsychoGoatee

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #85 on: 28 September, 2016, 05:09:33 AM »
Cursed Earth (and the double bill with The Day The Law Died) are what really sold me on Judge Dredd, and I read them for the first time in maybe 2006. I do like both of those better than Judge Child, which is also great, granted I read them in chronological order.

Just saying for the record, Cursed Earth still rocks if read for the first time these days too, or something like that.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #86 on: 28 September, 2016, 06:37:23 AM »
Prog 178 ...just one of the most important Progs of all time for me. But on the way up to it, there is surely one of the biggest moments ever in the Prog. Though I guess no-one would have realised it at the time. At the time it was merely a very cool story with amazing art.

What am I talking about?

Just Comic Rock - Terror Tube in Prog 167.

How I love that story both as a stand alone and as a lead into one of the most iconic 2000AD stories of them all.


You know I was desperately trying to think of something to write about Killer Watt but I just couldn't work out what to say. It kinda goes back to what you said before about personal perspective on stories. I just couldn't work out quite how special the story was in the context of the rest of the Prog. Was it was mind blowing or was it just what it meant to me knowing whats to come.

After all Ro-Busters had kinda done a warm up for it, yet its clearly more then just a good Future Shock or similar.

Ended up saying nowt, but very glad you did!

Magnetica

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #87 on: 28 September, 2016, 08:12:15 AM »
So totally agree about what it means personally. You see I hadn't read the 2000AD Robusters at the time, so it was Comic Rock that introduced the Termight Tube system to me.

Stuff from this era falls into 3 categories for me:

1) stuff that I read at the time in the Prog

2) stuff that I read in Titan editions a couple of years later: Cursed Earth, Day the Law Died, Robo-Hunter Verdus, 2000AD Ro-Busters.

3) Stuff that I read years later in Extreme Editions and Trades (Flesh books I and II, Invasion, Harlem Heroes, Dan Dare (er haven't actually read it all yet!!)

and it is pretty much that order in which I love them. There is just something about having read them weekly at the time.

Even with the stuff I read only a couple of years later in the Titan editions - I still have a feeling of having "missed out on them" even though I read them as a child, just not at the time they came out.

Tjm86

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #88 on: 01 October, 2016, 02:29:20 PM »


9. I can never remember number 9.

That's because you forgot why 6 was afraid of 7.

chiefy2shoes

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #89 on: 01 October, 2016, 03:55:50 PM »
Ro-Jaws' Robo Tales Various progs between 144 and 196 - It's doubtful but I'm hoping these get collected in the second volume of the new Ro-Busters books. Great little one-off stories akin to future shocks but all robo centric with a very high hit percentage.

Blackhawk 127-128, 130-161 - Belardinelli art so it looks amazing and the story starts off okay as well. A Roman gladiator is whisked through time to fight in some futuristic games but soon turns on his captors. Unfortunately it's way too long and veers right off course into strange weird happenings that don't really fit the story.

Captain Klep 127-159 - These are one page superhero parody strips and after reading the first couple I skipped the rest.

The Mind of Wolfie Smith 127-134, 136-145 - I didn't get on with this at all. Wolfie is a young lad with some kind of psychic powers that are never really explained. He battles an evil sorcerer then stumbles onto a film set, gets a job and discovers a wendigo creature. It's a shame the great art by Redondo is wasted on the rubbish story.

The Mind of Wolfie Smith Book 2 162-77 - Skim read it and again it appeared poor.

The Stainless Steel Rat 140-151 - Really enjoyed this. I've not liked any of Kelvin Gosnell's strips prior to this but it was a cracking fast paced adventure story.

Timequake 148-151 - This strip is a loose version of Chrononauts except it's better.

The V.C.s 140-143, 145-165, 168-169, 171-175 - Smith is a newly recruited V.C (Vacuum Cleaner) and he joins the standard host of varied misfits as they struggle to push back the alien Geek invasion. Hmm, on the one hand we have art by Cam Kennedy and Mike MacMahon and on the other we have a series of sci-fi war stories that are sometimes good and sometimes poor.

Robo-Hunter: Day of the Droids 152-174 - Having not really liked the first Sam Slade outing I found this much better.

Fiends of the Eastern Front 152-161 - Ezquerr'a art seems to have gone up a notch here, if that's even possible, and this tale of vampire soldiers in a WWII setting has plenty of intrigue. It's by Gerry Finlay-Day so that means we get great action scenes with quite a bit of clunky exposition and overall I'd say it's somewhere between hit and miss.

M.A.C.H. 0 162-165 - Spinoff from an earlier series, this can't hold it's own and I largely skim read it.
The Stainless Rat Saves The  World 166-177 - Following on from his previous appearance, James now works for the good guys but that doesn't mean he's all good. It's a time travel caper and again I really enjoyed it. Ezquerra art always helps.

Dash Decent 178-198 - One page parody strips that are best avoided.
The Mean Arena: The Southampton Sharks 178-180, 182-187, 191-194, 197-202 - This is a Mean Team light tale and isn't very good. That is all.