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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 156210 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1005 on: 25 September, 2020, 08:57:23 PM »
https://i.imgur.com/GDUBOyR.jpg

Bring out your dead

Red Seas - Hell and High Water just superb and continues this series high octane highjinks. It does inspire too much discussion as its straight forward adventure comics at their best.

Savage - Crims just superb and continues this series high octane high stajes. It does inspire too much discussion as its straight forward action comics at their best.

Strontium Dog - Life and death of Johnny Alpha is fascinating and while I'm not 100% sold on it does really deserve a bit of thought. Its a shame I'm not inspire more by the fun stuff sometimes and it can make strips like Savage and Red Seas feel a little journeymen like. Its not that, its just they are pretty straightforward. And that's the last thing 'Life n Death' is. If anything its a little awkward, a bit unwieldly.

It uses the idea of unreliable narratives that has been used before in the series relaunch. Here though it weaves the idea wonderfully into the story. As Feral's tale of Johnny's demise is called into question, exposed and then corrected. The trouble is in unravelling the story it can be a little dense in its telling, a little 'and the this and then that'. Its as if John Wager and Carlos are forcing their way through a necessary evil to get to the destination they need to. In this case its certainly not the journey that's important.

The other thing I find awkward is the way Feral is treated. I mean its fine not to like the character, its of course fine for them to use him as they will. It just comes across a little vindicitive at times. LIke the creative duo are pissed and the very idea and rather than shrug and work past it they have to destory Alan Grant and Simon Harrison's creation, to, I guess, do to him what they think Feral did to the strip back in the day.

For all that its still a good series and one that does its best to wrestle past the roadblock they see in the series. The series is at its best when its dealing with Middenface's drinking and fall from... well grace might be over stating it. His relationship with Precious is also wonderfully played out. So while I do think it has problem these masters of their aert show that even with barriers they can make great comics. And what a way to end the story!

And so we clear the decks and we get another line-up. Can it maintain the excellence so far? We'll see.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1006 on: 26 September, 2020, 03:38:55 PM »
With regard to the 'LADOJA', I feel that the final fate of Feral is very much at Middenface's feet. I haven't read the book for a while but I'm fairly sure that even Middenface himself acknowledges that if the boot was on the other foot, Johnny would have found a way to save him.

This is, to me, an indicator of why John & Carlos are telling the tale -- Johnny is the hero, he needs to be around.

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1007 on: 26 September, 2020, 04:31:34 PM »
I did not like the way Johnny was brought back. It never worked for me. I would personally preferred the SD stories where told when both he and Wulf was still around. Johnny should not have been resurrected.
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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1008 on: 26 September, 2020, 09:13:44 PM »
With regard to the 'LADOJA', I feel that the final fate of Feral is very much at Middenface's feet. I haven't read the book for a while but I'm fairly sure that even Middenface himself acknowledges that if the boot was on the other foot, Johnny would have found a way to save him.

This is, to me, an indicator of why John & Carlos are telling the tale -- Johnny is the hero, he needs to be around.

This is such an important point: Life & Death is a story and a world without a real hero, that's why it's so important to Precious and Middenface to find Johnny, even though their stumbling journey itself is far from heroic.

In the end, it means Johnny is there to confront the sterilisation plot (for all the good it does).

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1009 on: 26 September, 2020, 10:27:42 PM »
With regard to the 'LADOJA', I feel that the final fate of Feral is very much at Middenface's feet. I haven't read the book for a while but I'm fairly sure that even Middenface himself acknowledges that if the boot was on the other foot, Johnny would have found a way to save him.

This is, to me, an indicator of why John & Carlos are telling the tale -- Johnny is the hero, he needs to be around.

Yeah this is certainly true and Middenface does indeed make it clear that the way he scarifices Feral is something he wishes he had the ability to avoid. Its why Middenface's fall is so marked and works so well. It also suggests why they are so hard on Feral. Since he was the new, 'edgy' hero supposed to replace Johnny his fall, I suppose, is seen as the one that needs to be hardest? Maybe, but is the same idea not better served by leaving Feral relatively unmolested and still fail, thus evelating Johnny not above marked failures but above folks with something about them? He still galvanises them to better things, but its not so absolute, its more real?

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1010 on: 02 October, 2020, 08:02:07 PM »


Howling amongst the gold?

Even golden ages aren't perfect. The sign of a good ol golden age, or indeed a good nuGolden Age (TM) is that when you hit a rough spot it ain't that rough it picks up soon enough. So for me the post 1700 is a bit of a bump.

We get a Wagner Dredd I'm not bowled over by in 'The Skinning Room'. I just find it a little pedestrian, by Wagner's high standards and a couple of the other Dredds that follow it aren't that great. And Defoe rambles on. Every time I see this thrill I try to get into it. It should work but its appeal just bounces off me. I know some folks love it, for me it has nothing to offer and I struggle to get through it.

There is some great stuff. Dante continues to be excellent and is really helped by being almost ever present at this time being the overarching tale real sense of momentum and urgency as we dash towards an ending. And Low Life continues to be superb  with Hostile Takeover a tale that really brings to a head what has gone before and sets up whats to come after quite brilliantly and at a high cost to our cast. At this point its apparent that Frank is the unshakable start of the series and this one reads as if Rob Williams and D'Israeli want to rid them of the ties that bind and shake the past to open the future?

But what I really want to talk about is Age of the Wolf. Its so close to be excellent but doesn't quite live up to the potential it has. In Prog 1708 as the series reaches its conclusion there a 'Behind the Thrills' (short lived series of one page text pieces covering the ideas behind certain new thrills) were Alec Worley and Jon Davis Hunt open up about the ideas that led to the series. To be honest the ideas they want to explore are great. London crashing as werewolves take over as an antidote to zombie apoclypses. Breaking the shackles of prophecies. Sacrifical maidens doing ti for themselves. All rich grounds.

Its just doesn't quite make it in this first series. It gets close but reading the ideas behind the thrill I feel fustrated that the story itself felt a little strained and constrained. Maybe it need a couple more episodes to allow the werewolf invasion to truly grip. Maybe the mysterious magical ways needed space to brew and bubble, rather than be carried by dense exposition? For me it just doesn't quite come together. Which is a shame as the final part is fantastic and carries the theme of ripping out from destiny really well.

I have to be honest the art doesn't quite work for me either. Jon Davis Hunt does one of my all time favourite cover with Prog 1700 - a glorious Tharg based piece. In the strip itself though I find it a bit fussy and fiddley and the character don't quite punch enough. Mind he's gone onto great things so hats off to him.

Yeah if this is the weak spot in this period we're doing alright and while I might not have enjoyed this as much as I wanted I'm interested enough to look forward to the next two parts (I think it is).

So yeah the post 1700 line-up isn't the best but lets see how we bounce back from an admittedly not very low dip.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1011 on: 03 October, 2020, 09:28:58 PM »


Small but perfectly formed

I've said before (or at least have intended to, who knows if I actually got to it?) that you can tell the quality of an era of 2000ad by how well it is able to fill those awkward bits in the run in to relaunch or end of year Prog. And after the slight bump we have just had we also get an oversized run into Prog 2011. Six issues, too much for filler, to slight for a real run of 'typical' series these days.

Its testament to Tharg's arsenal therefore that these last 6 issues of the year are such a triumph. There's a lot of short stories and since I've not done one of these for a while I think its time for some quick thoughts.

1. Dredd over these issues has some blinding tales setting off, in Prog 1709 with 'The Beast of the Bay' by Spurrioso and Patrick Goddard. A tale seeming told of a mutant whale fish beastie, but really a satire of this countries views on immigration. Its superb but for some reason (well a shoddy memory) I really didn't remember if at all.

2. Defoe ends in this Prog so we are left with a line up of Sinister Dexter (and we know how positive I am about this phase of that series), Slaine and we know how negative I am about this phase of that series and Dandridge which I'm not a massive fan of (well we'll see about that) and as Low Life finishs its excellent run discussed below we get a series of done in ones. So it feels like its going to be a mixed page, in a similar vien to what's gone just before... but...

3. Slaine -The Exorcist is one of my favourite Slaines for a long time. A four parter, which I'm not sure why, but it really works for me. Its plays the old idea of a dansel in distress a little easily but as a local witch is 'exorcised' by Ukko she releases Cyth to Slaine's axe before hitting even more trouble in the form of Guledig. Clint Langley's art really works with here, where I've not enjoyed it on this series at all to this point (as oft discussed). The green hues of Ukko's parlour really creating a perfect atmosphere. The simple story doesn't vex or stretch, its simplicity is a virtue. In so many ways this feels more like a story from older times in Slaine an for that I really enjoyed it. Nice surprise.

4. This aren't too short are they!

5. Sinister Dexter - Are you being severed continues the War of the Moses in absolute glorious fashion as Charion loses it, the boys plans begin to faulter and The Movers enters politics. Superb stuff.

6. The first of the Future Shocks My Heaven in Prog 1710 features fantastic art of Inaki Miranda and Alec Worley's story of sibling rivalry is a blinder.

7. Speaking of Alec Worley I really enjoy the opening of Dandridge as clothes are tailored, puns are planned and Dandridge must escape his fate as a trapped ghost. Warren Pleece is always a delight, but I don't remember liking this particularly...

8. Prog 1712 see another superb Dredd as Brendan McCarthy joins Al Ewing for the classic easy charms of Doctor What.

9. And another great Future Shock, this time dealing with crankt competitive cooks in Universal Masterchef by T.C. Eglington and The Mighty Yeowell.

10. Hmmm... Dandridges easy charms continue as he escape his trap with his fantastic servant Shelley (guess who) and runs to get dressed. This is much better than I remember...

11. Prog 1713 and another great Futu... well this one is a Terror Tale by Arthur Wyatt and Graeme Neil Reid in Menhir as a boy makes a sacrifice to escape from a pit, only for it to come back to haunt him in later years. Genuinely chilling.

12. Arh that's why Dandridge goes wrong the Packman pun, while working as of course he's chasing ghosts just stretches things a little too much.... but you know...

13. Another fine Dredd in The Convert as Spurrioso and Mike Collins take a barbed but effective stab at Grud and his followers, as the Future Shock - Boxes by T.C Eglington and Robin Smith is pretty good.

14. Actually by the end I've decided even if Packman rather stretches my patience I really rather enjoyed Dandridge certainly more than I remember and while Alec Worley might have Dandridge rather hammer home his point its a fair point and this is delieverd all with wonderful art and fun, brisk enthuiasm its hard not to be sweep along.

So while the end of year is an extended run of filler, when the filler has this many highlights in just 6 Progs there's much to celebrate.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1012 on: 04 October, 2020, 08:20:37 AM »


2010

I didn't make a prediction... so wrapped up in celebrating the start of the NuGolden Age (TM) and the changes in Self Obsessed YNWA's life...I forgot to look ahead and predict what was to come in the year ahead...

...which I guess is kinda fitting 'cos there isn't much to say anymore. Each year for a while now has been building on what's gone before and adding more to the roster of thrills in rotation and its a pattern that will continue. So while Self Absorbed YNWA was stumbling through early fatherhood and having a rough time at work as the College he worked at went through a major restructure and he had to let people go for the first time ever (significently worse for those folks of course, but this is self absorbed after all) the Prog is a shining example of how somethings in the world are right and provide stability.

As I've said Tharg doesn't rest on this laurels, you get the sense that everyone involved is caught up in the moment and there's a sense of the creative juices just oozing out everywhere.

There's even a case for saying 2010 is better than 2009, after all we get 'Tour of Duty' one of, if not my, favourite, Mega Epic ever. You get Dante almost every present and building towards its stunning conclusion, Sinister Dexter in a phase I (if not many others) absolutely love. New thrills come in, its all brilliant. So much so that its become clear, as I said last year, that there's little point anymore trying to work out which is the greatest year, it all just blurs now into one big mass of wonderful.

And that is all the evidence you need that we are in the NuGoldenAge (TM) as before when there's been a standout year its been clear and distinct. Not to say there isn't good stuff around them, just they've stood out as highlights. Here that's not longer the case. Its all just magnificent.

And so we go into 2011 and I strongly suspect its going to be much the same, just as this year and the year prior, building on what's gone before and creating new thrills to add to the pot.

Bring it on, the less I have to say the better!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1013 on: 15 October, 2020, 09:52:35 PM »


Starts with elevens

You know you've had a good time when you start with elevens. Its means you've had so much morning sleepy that you've missed brekkie and need food enough to survive to not be able to wait until lunch.

Why am I telling you this. Well cos I could think of naff all to call this post so just went with that and then forced myself to justify it...

...I'm wasting your time UNLIKE the start of 2011. 2011 wastes no ones time cutting to the good stuff. After a couple of Mike Carroll short Dredd which show exactly why John W trusts him with the comics lead we get a really tense thrilling Al Ewing story of Devil's Island escapee and criminal desire for revenge.

Alongside that we get

'Kingdom - His Master Voice' in which we get added origin to our high octance classic 2000ad violence and thrills

'Ampney Crucis - The list of Ten' in which we get added Christine transforming into our Lovecraftian Edwardian thrills.

'Necrophim - Civil Warlord' in which we get less twists but more brilliant endings to our hellbound and heaven sent thrills

'Shakara - Avenger' in which we get added turbo thrusting World Engine in our hyper-realised space slaughter.

All the strips looking STUNNING in utter different way. Each provides thrills in utterly brilliant ways AND then the first switch we get we get more dinosaurs back (aside from the Flint realised space assasin dinosaurs we get in Shakara) as FLESH returns. WOW... well actually we might have to look at that one a bit closely. but we'll come to that.

For now just look at those silly little summaries above and thank Tharg that you fine folks have found his might organ cos no other comic would provide you that. And we've only just started.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1014 on: 19 October, 2020, 09:18:24 PM »


World's end

Kingdom - His master's voice ends with Gene walking into the sunset, his world opening as the backstory sees a world about to end. Its great stuff, but not earth shattering.

Shakara on the other hand has been earth shattering from the very start and in Prog 1727 the series reaches its conclusion. From the off its been high concept sci-fi of the highest concept. It started with a relatively simple revenge premise delivered with over the top verve and imagination, fueled by Henry Flints astonishing art. By the end it could be argued that its much the same. But its taken the idea of revenge to world shattering Kirbyesque dimensions. No longer a simple revenge story rather a mind melting, thought snapping revenge story so high in its concept that its pulled up to glorious levels. As worlds collide. Its a story that has no fear, knows no boundaries and as such lets its concept, even the relatively well trodded one of a revenge thrils explode into new depths.

Its just brilliant.

But all good things come to an end. And we'll have a of that coming up in the next couple of years alas. But we'll also get new beginnings. Flesh returns to the pages of 2000ad and I have to say I'm intrigues to see how I find it. The opening episodes are the best and worse of Mills. It dallys over old ground yet still throws a million ideas out a minute. Sometimes I wish rather than throw so much at the wall Mills would take his time to explore the good ones a little more fully and find new ways to stretch them. Still there's some good honest dino action and this makes it a good, thrilling read and a decent opening.

A new begining that starts a journey to an end sees Red Seas take Shakara's slot. I've said so many times its the strength in depth that makes this period stand out and the beginning of 2011 underlines that point...

...oh except I really don't like that nod of the head to the old chrome logo on the new masthead. Its looks sadly dated already!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1015 on: 21 October, 2020, 09:17:20 PM »


So then Dante rolls back in. Its bloody seamless.

But lets talk Flesh shall we. 'Texas' seamlessly jumps on as a very direct sequel to Book 1. Which isn't necessarily a good thing? Uncle Pat seems to blend the ideas he had in 'Legend of Shamana' and wrap them back into the original. Thus striping the charm from that earlier, magnificent story without adding anything from the poor Shamana... buit somehow it works. I know its not a popular option but I like James McKay's art on the strip. If dirty and hard like the world it paints so vividly and his dinosaurs are full of life and character.

I was nervous about how Carter would work. I know she was seen as anacaronistic, but I found her a plusible character, who made perfect sense as a woman whose father was Claw Carver. Paster Sunday, now him I find clumsy and cliche, but we know Pat has beef with the clery for very understandable reason... but his early ideas that science (as if it a thing rather than method of discovery) covers up inconconvient truths is just irrirating. The very thing about the sciencitifc method being missed by Pat by hey ho I forgive me the former so i should forgive him the latter.

This story is far from perfect. Does suffer from some Millsian problems but heck I still enjoyed it and it was over far to quickly.

Oh and while this was going on we also get a little strip called Absalom starting... its not bad round here is it!

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1016 on: 22 October, 2020, 04:43:10 AM »
Flesh is not my favorite and Mills's weakest entry in the prog.  It felt like any of Mill's stories but with dinosaurs.
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Dark Jimbo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1017 on: 22 October, 2020, 03:57:28 PM »
Flesh is not my favorite and Mills's weakest entry in the prog.  It felt like any of Mill's stories but with dinosaurs.

That's the trouble with latter-day Mills all round though, isn't it?

Whether you're reading late-era Flesh, Slaine, Defoe or any of Greysuit, it's just a sequentially-illustrated rant about organised religion, government or the upper classes. The only variables are who is delivering the rant, and who they're fighting while they do it.

Funt Solo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1018 on: 22 October, 2020, 04:51:18 PM »
It's interesting, because those themes have always been in the work - but in the early days (especially) there was also a wonderful mix-in of big-hearted themes featuring metaphorical orphans (Charlie & Big George, for example) and a joyful, playful whimsy threaded in amongst the polemic. The battle between Mek-Quake and Torque-Armada, or the shenanigans of Grobbendonk, allow us a respite.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1019 on: 24 October, 2020, 08:35:47 PM »


New beginnings and impending ends

So 6 months into 2011 and the thrills have just kept coming. It not until June and Prog 1740 we get our first jump on. Until then we get Tharg showing off his ability to add more thrills to his arsenal, just as we get the build to the ends of two long running stories.

Both Dante and Red Seas have excellent stories building to their respective ends in this run up to Prog 1740. Red Seas - Gods and Monsters slips in more christian mythology and ends the Cradle of Filth story in fitting high adventure style. Its wonderful stuff.

Dante - Bad Blood is a key story in the closing arc as true colours are seemingly revealed and Lulu returns to type we think. Or are piece falling into place.

At the same time Absalom is introduced. It took Self Absorbed YNWA a while to get into this thrill, while many found it immediate. Its interesting reading it back for the first time (christ I'm now entering a time when I've never re-read many of the upcoming thrills, though they are almost 10 years old now, they were relatively new, 4 years ago when we crafted NuYNWA for this re-read. I'm not quite sure what happens when NuYNWA and Self Absorbed YNWA actually collide. I hope its okay...

...anyway I'm getting distracted...

Yes Absalom is much more immediate this time and while both Dante and Red Seas are putting their pieces into place for the conclusion. Absalom is putting its core pieces into place and the set up is utterly satisfying in retrospect. We're also finding new shorter form tales. Cadet Anderson arrives in a solid story of Cass's past. and next Prog we will get 3riller's starting.

It would seem Tharg is getting his pieces into place too.