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Author Topic: The Burning Man  (Read 1221 times)

Leigh S

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The Burning Man
« on: 27 July, 2002, 02:55:29 pm »
Anybody here remember the Burning Man from the 1994 Yearbook-  By Wagner and Ezquerra, it was about a hitman who finds he has been poisoned and sets out to find the culprit before he dies. The hitmans name is, rather bizarrely, Johnny Goodnight...

The story ends with Goodnight setting out to fnd whos killed him.  Then nothing.  Any clues as to what this was all about - its seems to  be the opening episode of an ongoing story, but that was all there was.  Very srange.........  A question for Logan perhaps?

paulvonscott

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #1 on: 27 July, 2002, 03:27:26 pm »
Oh yeah, I just got that yearbook and read the story, thinking I must look up the rest of the story.  Is it one of those creator owned strips?

Oh and Wagner seems to be obsessed with hitmen.  I suspect he failed basic 'rubbing da guy out' school before turning to writing for a living.

Still it looked good, the commentator came out with a corking line, which I won't spoil for people.

Smiley

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #2 on: 27 July, 2002, 03:56:32 pm »
I think "Burning Man" was an aborted pilot intended for "Toxic", but found it's way into 2000AD instead as filler for an annual.

Interesting half-arsed theory here, maybe "Burning Man" was a prototype "Button Man" before the superior 'killing game' idea took off in Wagner's head? Spotted the title similarity? And "Button Man" was intended for "Toxic" too. I dunno.

Goodnight was a cool looking character though, wasn't he. Typical laconic Ezquerra type guy, with neato venetian blind sunglasses. Class.


davidbishop

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #3 on: 27 July, 2002, 04:36:09 pm »
The Burning Man was a leftover from the junior 2000 AD title that was put together as a dummy in the early 90s by Steve MacManus and a guy called Glenn Rice. Originally called Earthside 8, it featured the Burning Man (Wagner & Ezquerra), Dinosty (Mills & Langley), Tracer (Stone & Peart), a strip called Alternity (can't remember the creators, sorry) and Canned Heat (Wagner & MacNeil). The dummy was researched and then rejigged, taking into account the results. The project was retitled Alternity and a new strip was added - Billy Whisper by Millar & Ewins. One of the two dummies featured editorial host characters drawn by Jamie Hewlett too.

The second dummy was researched but the project did not get the green light. Most of the material eventually saw print in 2000 AD specials or yearbooks. Mills & Langley worked on Dinosty for a couple of years and it eventually saw print as a full series in 2000 AD.

The Burning Man was definitely a post-Button Man project. I remember sitting on the platform at Stowmarket Station after visiting John Wagner and reading the script while I waited for a train back to London. Button Man *was* rejected from Toxic, as will be detailed in Thrill-Power Overload #9, to be published in Meg 4.17.

The story of the aborted junior 2000 AD project will probably be in the same article, or the one after it. I haven't got that far yet, having just finished TPO #8 - from the debuts of Bradley and Zenith to the beginning of Necropolis.

davidbishop

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #4 on: 27 July, 2002, 05:18:53 pm »
Thanks for straightening that out. I always thought "The Burning Man" would have been a bit too bloody for a junior title, and couldn't imagine where else it may have come from.

Leigh S

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #5 on: 27 July, 2002, 05:38:18 pm »
Ah - thanks for the replies - Alternity may well have been by Mark Eyles - he apparently came up with the name, so it would make sense that he wrote the strip of the same name

davidbishop

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #6 on: 28 July, 2002, 12:27:07 am »
Alternity was written by Mark Eyles (who now works at Rebellion). It was based on a strip that was very popular in the Eagle during the 1980s - Computer Warrior. Still can't remember the name of the artist. It was a mixture of painted art and computer generated art - perhaps down by two different art teams. I imagine the CG art would look crude and laughable these days!


Smiley

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #7 on: 28 July, 2002, 03:34:11 am »
Blimey, "Computer Warrior" brings back memories. I'm certain a lot of artists drew that strip, Ron Smith being the easiest to recall. Wasn't it all just an evil plot to sell crappy ZX Spectrum games to "da kids" who read it? Who's got their old 80's Eagles to hand?

Tu-plang

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #8 on: 28 July, 2002, 03:29:43 pm »
Canned Heat and Tracer got reprinted in a 2000ad Winter Special from the early-mid nineties (#5, 1993), and Earthside 8 is mentioned in the editorial, where Tharg (MacManus) gave the oppurtunity to a few readers to get a copy of the dummy to try it out and see if they liked it.  Be worth a fair bit now, I reckon, and interesting too.  Who has a copy?

There was also a 2000ad Winter Special called Alternity (#7, 1995), yet it probably didn't actually have anything to do with the Alternity project because thay were all established 2000ad characters inside, and Sinister Dexter, not really kids stuff.

Guess we'll have to wait until Bish-OP sorts it all out in TPO.

2000AD Online

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #9 on: 28 July, 2002, 03:39:22 pm »
I don't recall Ron Smith drawing Computer Warrior. The artwork was alternated between John Cooper, S. James, and Ian Kennedy when the strip first appeared in the Eagle / Tiger merger, then Mike Dorey took over when readers themselves started featuring in the stories.

davidbishop

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #10 on: 28 July, 2002, 04:36:10 pm »
The word alternity proved popular around the Nerve Centre and was adopted for other projects long after the junior 2000 AD concept was shelved.

John Tomlinson & Steve MacManus used it on the 95 Winter Special, with alt.history versions of the original Rico and a few other strips. As noted, that special also featured the debut of Sinister Dexter.

The following year I used Alternity as the theme for the 96 Dredd Mega-Special, with every story as a What if.../Elseworlds/Alternity version of Megazine characters. Dredd & Rico were done like the Untouchables, Harmony became a cross-dressing female pirate, Shimura homaged the TV series Kung Fu and so on. It was my favourite mega-special and the worst seller ever. But sales on all the specials sucked that year, especially in comparison to the big sales in 95, hyped up by the Dredd movie.

The 95 Dredd mega-special featured all the worst crap imaginable (IMHO), stuff I had commissioned but couldn't bring myself to run in the Megazine - so I dumped it in the Mega-Special. It sold nearly 40,000, thanks solely to the Dredd movie and the improved distribution clout that gave us. V. depressing.

Leigh S

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #11 on: 28 July, 2002, 07:45:44 pm »
It's an interesting point you make about distribution and its impact on sales - i know a previous editor has claimed that they lost something like 20,000 readers overnight due to a change in how the comic was distributed.  I suppose living in a big city means I can always find a prog, but if you're out in the sticks, with only one or two sources that dry up on you, then sales are bound to fall.  I notice distribution is a big thing that Rebellion are trying to sort out - hopefully it might lead to better sales.

Leigh S

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #12 on: 28 July, 2002, 07:45:53 pm »
It's an interesting point you make about distribution and its impact on sales - i know a previous editor has claimed that they lost something like 20,000 readers overnight due to a change in how the comic was distributed.  I suppose living in a big city means I can always find a prog, but if you're out in the sticks, with only one or two sources that dry up on you, then sales are bound to fall.  I notice distribution is a big thing that Rebellion are trying to sort out - hopefully it might lead to better sales.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #13 on: 28 July, 2002, 07:59:04 pm »
"i know a previous editor has claimed that they lost something like 20,000 readers overnight due to a change in how the comic was distributed."

Distribution is massively important, but it's not the be-all and end-all certain former editors would have you believe.

I was living just outside London during the period in question and I distinctly remember 2000AD disappearing from all the local newsagents overnight.

The _real_ problem, though, was that the comic was shite - I was buying it out of habit and because I could get it from the shop over the road. Suddenly faced with a trip into central Lunnun, I really couldn't justify the effort or the expense given the quality of the content!

I suspect that this experience was not unique among long-time fans who stopped reading around this time ...

Cheers

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The Amstor Computer

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Re: The Burning Man
« Reply #14 on: 28 July, 2002, 08:17:49 pm »
---The 95 Dredd mega-special featured all the worst crap imaginable (IMHO), stuff I had commissioned but couldn't bring myself to run in the Megazine - so I dumped it in the Mega-Special. It sold nearly 40,000, thanks solely to the Dredd movie and the improved distribution clout that gave us. V. depressing---

Ha! Your honesty is welcome ;-)

To be honest, if Rebellion cancelled their subsciption service, I'd be utterly shafted. Apart from a handful of comics stores, *nowhere* out here in Oz sells 2000AD. I've seen one six-month old Megazine, but that's about it.
Even comics stores seem to have problems getting 2000AD regularly and, at best, they run around 6-8 weeks behind the current issue.

The situation in the UK wasn't that much better for me. I lived in the north of Scotland, and my local newsagent had delays & missing issues all the time, despite it being on order. If I hadn't already been planning to subscribe for my move abroad, I would have been tempted to do it anyway just to make sure I could get a copy of 2000AD regularly & reliably.

Maybe the situation is better in larger cities, but if fans are having that much trouble getting a copy, how on earth is the casual buyer supposed to find the damn thing?