Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 104257 times)

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #810 on: 08 August, 2019, 09:23:14 pm »


Well 2001 starts out pretty well. A lukewarm  Tor Cyan doesn't over stay its welcome at four episodes - though Kev Walker art aside there's worse to come as I recall.

Necronauts while a short thrill, defies my expectations (see below) and at just nine episodes by actually seems about right. Its a fine concept, executed well and doesn't over stay its welcome. I thought this one felt curtailed but read well and man  Fraser Irving's art is a delight and perfect for this story.

All this is backing up some nice Wagner Dredd one offs, soe very good Sinister Dexter and some decent Future Shocks. The star of the show however is Button Man III . Well its just brilliant isn't it. Its just so well crafted. as I've said before down thread I believe (or maybe on a different thread but I think its here abouts) reading it while I can see the translation into telly or film is appealing while it work as well. For me this tale is all about the craft. Both Wagner and Ranson showing what masters of their game they are. Like Harry seeing off multiple button men as they track him down for trying to get out in one deadliy man hunt, none of the other are quite at the races compared to the best. So Wagner and Ranson. There's some great comics snapping away at this, chasing around Button Man III but none of them have the completely mastery as this and while they are very very good in their own right they pale away.

But its about comics masters telling a comic tale very very well. Strip that away and is Harry being tracked down, out thinking and out gunning even thoug out numbers. Laying traps like Rambo and Dutch. Being a stone cold cool hard killer, really going to standout as original? Who knows we'll have to wait and see, if we every do. Me though while I'd be more than happy for John and Arthur to get their pay day I'm more than happy just to have this and the other, Button Man stories as the perfect comics they are.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #811 on: 14 August, 2019, 09:13:25 pm »


Covering long awaited returns

A couple of lovely covers beck in the first relaunch of 2001. Prog 1234 also sorts out a recent issue - that thankfully didn't last long. The new mast head didn't last long a little over 6 months and is replaced by... well the classic logo, the greatest and longest lasting. Oh its been tweaked and played with, its been put back into a mast head of a kind now. but almost 1000 (gulp) Progs later - well 900+, its still there. As Unca Joe says on the cover itself

Quote
If it ain't broke don't fix it creep!

Its a revisit to the logo of old and the cover of old that introduced it and its a lovely piece of work

http://www.2000ad.org/functions/cover.php?choice=1234&Comic=2000ad

When I look at the cover of the next Prog 1235 I wonder if Tharg commissioned this as an option for the relaunch before deciding to go a different direction and celebrate the new logo. Its a glorious Kev Walker Tharg cover with a nice little montage of characters at his feet. Its one of my favourites, but then I've always been a sucker for a Tharg cover.

http://www.2000ad.org/functions/cover.php?Comic=2000ad&choice=1235

Inside there's a bit of a classic feel to Tharg's organ too. Wagner and Kennedy Dredd, modern classics Dante - with a silly and slightly out of tone Tsar Wars side story and Sinister Dexter. Alongside these is a return after a long break of the classic ABC Warriors. Its a set of stories I've very much been looking forward to re-reading, not necessarily cos I remember liking them especially, I have significent problems in my mind with this return to Mars triology (as I recall I'll get) but I'm very much looking forward to re-evaluating them.... they start... okay... glorious Henry Flint art aside, but I'll give this far story some more time before I make a proper assessment.

Still overall good times in the Prog, lets see how it goes and all we need is a little more girth and I'll be well content to go with this classic look and feel.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #812 on: 22 August, 2019, 09:53:38 pm »


A few quick thoughts from Spring 2001.

1. Prog 1236 adds Mike Perkins to Andy Diggle's collection of fine art additions. Mind he won't do much for Tharg as I recall.
2. Robbie Morrison teams up with the glorious and underrated Colin Wilson on Dredd for a mini partnership with a 3 parter (thought double length) that goes some way to show that however good you are and Robbie Morrison is one of Tharg's best Dredd can be hard to land. This isn't a bad story, its certainly rip snorting action fun. Its just a bit off.
3. My quick thoughts can meander sometimes!
4. Does this mean Robbie Morrison counts in Tharg's triple hitters that were discussed a while ago somewhere in these parts? It does if double Dredd counts as 2 a he has Nikolai Dante in Progs 1237 - 9.
5. Liam Sharpe takes over on ABC Warriors and does some very striking work.
6. The Mighty Yeowell finished another Dante interlude in Prog 1239, a four parter, entirely satisfying vampire special. Was 2001 a big vampire year we'll see a few of them as I recall?
7. Mike McMahon is next up on ABC and he's unsurprisingly stunning. Doesn't his Deadlock look like Torquemada though!
8. In Prog 1240 with The Runner, ability abated by Duncan Fregrado Joihn Wagner shows how he can take a simple story and make it fly with Dredd.
9. Is Tharg hitting deadline dilemma's as Carver Hale quickly drops out for a break we get a flood of Future Shocks and Tales of Telguuth... two a Prog and Tales struggles with its multi-part stories I feel.
10. Satannus Unchained with Colin MacNeil painting dinosaurs and dionosaur hunters is as fantastic to look at as it was controversial.
11. Love like Blood kicks off in Prog 1243, a John Smith story that falls victim of the curtailing of tales of this period if memory serves. I'll see on re-read.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #813 on: 22 August, 2019, 10:23:49 pm »
Not able to edit but would like to add:

2.5 But Colin Wilson drawing western environments is one of the greatest things in comics, even if its the Cursed Earth

10.5 There is very little in comics better than Colin Wilson drawing vehicles and machinary, even his drawing of western environments. His second team up with Robbie Morrison on Dredd is a familar story of a Citizen being driven (pun intended) over the edge mistakenly and meeting a Dredd end. Its just this story plays soooo well to Colin Wilson's strengths as an artist its an absolute delight.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #814 on: 24 August, 2019, 09:55:06 pm »


The rocket fuelled collection deal of dread

The history of what I'm about to discuss has been detailed earlier in this thread and is known to inhabitants of this board. Often Andy Diggle's rocket fuel letter is thought of as the reason for shorter 8 -10 thrills. But Jim has pointed out it was more to do with a trade deal collecting stories in bandes dessinees style albums.

Whatever the reason Prog 1249 sees two of the stories I feel most impacted by this format finish. There have been others Rain Dogs another good example, but in Carver Hale and Love like Blood we really do see two stories that suffer. Now as for Carver Hale by Mikes Carey and Perkins its certainly fair to say its curtailed nature isn't its only problem and for me its a blessing. The story of John Constantine crossed with Bill Savage and falls down out of the 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' school that is so revived at this time. It trys just too damned hard to be ... well hard ... and gritty and its just kinda ugly.

Love like Blood on the other hand has the potential to be a finer beast, What now feel like a cliched tale of star crossed lovers who just happen to be werewolf and vampire and the family trouble that brings.

Both stories main issue though is that at 8 epsiodes each they just don't get room to breathe, to grow and explore the ideas and concepts they tease. Both come across as summaries of events rather than explorations and both have endings that feel pushed and forced.

We get quite a bit of filler as well at this time, more Tales of Telguuth and Future Shocks, something we're got used to as we rocket towards a laumch Prog as woth Prog 1250 coming we have change in the air too.

Greg M.

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2907
  • I do mermaid alertness course.
    • View Profile
    • The Beat of His Own Drum
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #815 on: 24 August, 2019, 10:12:12 pm »
I think even with extra episodes (and reinstated dialogue – Diggle chopped out some that he felt was needlessly tasteless) ‘Love Like Blood’ still wouldn’t work because the characters aren’t at all likeable. The lovers are horrible human-slaughtering bastards, so who cares what happens to them? On that basis, I chose not to support the lesser evil, when the best thing in the story was the vampire king, who at least had a brilliant visual design from Irving.

Dandontdare

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 10031
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #816 on: 25 August, 2019, 03:32:01 pm »
Was Love like Blood cliched when it came out? Post-twilight, it certainly seems so.

I don't regard Tales of Telguuth as 'filler' - it was a neat idea to create an open-world fantasy setting that could accommodate any number of short or longer sword'n'sorcery tales, and a lot of them were pretty good.

broodblik

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 896
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #817 on: 25 August, 2019, 03:43:05 pm »
Tales of Telguuth was great and I loved the fantasy setting. Wish we can get more

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #818 on: 25 August, 2019, 04:59:00 pm »
I think even with extra episodes (and reinstated dialogue – Diggle chopped out some that he felt was needlessly tasteless) ‘Love Like Blood’ still wouldn’t work because the characters aren’t at all likeable. The lovers are horrible human-slaughtering bastards, so who cares what happens to them? On that basis, I chose not to support the lesser evil, when the best thing in the story was the vampire king, who at least had a brilliant visual design from Irving.

Yeah but this is exactly what I mean given time and space Smith would have made them fascinatating characters. He vary writes typically likable characters but so often writes fascinatating engaging characters that draw you in and along whatever they do.

Was Love like Blood cliched when it came out? Post-twilight, it certainly seems so.

I don't regard Tales of Telguuth as 'filler' - it was a neat idea to create an open-world fantasy setting that could accommodate any number of short or longer sword'n'sorcery tales, and a lot of them were pretty good.

Tales of Telguuth was great and I loved the fantasy setting. Wish we can get more

I must admit the first half I agree - but these recent ones on its return is how I think I've judged the series as a whole. They lack the depth and variety and feel tired here to my eye.

Greg M.

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2907
  • I do mermaid alertness course.
    • View Profile
    • The Beat of His Own Drum
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #819 on: 25 August, 2019, 05:21:06 pm »
Yeah but this is exactly what I mean given time and space Smith would have made them fascinatating characters. He vary writes typically likable characters but so often writes fascinatating engaging characters that draw you in and along whatever they do.

I take your point about Smith's undoubted talent, but I just think that 'Love Like Blood' doesn't have a particularly interesting or rewarding concept, no matter what Smith did with it. The vampire prince protagonist would undoubtedly benefit from more personality, since I seem to recall him being a bit of a dull, charmless drip, but I tend to think Smith was on a (very rare) hiding to nothing with this one. I'm sure he could have made it better but I dunno if it would have been great.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #820 on: 30 August, 2019, 09:19:36 pm »


Well at least we'll always have Dante - Prog 1250

The problem of Prog 1250 and in some ways the whole Diggle 'Shot glass' period can be seen in two pages in Prog 1250. Well okay aside from the compressed book deal.

Anyway two page. Last page of part 1 of Garth Ennis and Carlos 'Wasn't his house falling down around his ears while he did this' Ezquerra's Helter Selter. Dredd beautifully render by Ezquerra looming large on his lawmaster in a splash page with the single line
Quote
"Take my hand if you want to live.".
.. its a wasted page as while its is beautifully rendered its a bit flat and undynamic and really a page spent just to try to get impact out of a bad movie one liner?

Rigth slap bang next to it is page 1 of a new Tor Cyan story 'Crucible' again is beautifully rendered by Kev Walker in another splash... again a bit flat and with the lines from Tomlinson

Quote
"...blah blah... Yama, a volanic crater off the southern shore of a doomed continent.

Dawn breaks on the ninth day in the death of Tor Cyan"

Ohh its also so brooding, cleaver (it thinks), intriguing (it thinks) ... but in reality its a bit silly and guff really.

Two splash pages writ large for impact and presense and really just holding poor movie lines! They're meant to be a shot glass of rocket fuel, but instead they are cinema cola, slightly flat and lacklustre as the ice has melted and watered it all down a bit too much and taken the edge of its once crisp bite.

Mind next Prog Tor Cyan has the passage

Quote
"And the Sparta-Kurse knows him, embraces him...
Becomes him.
He is no longer Tor Cyan, no longer a soldier, or even man.
HE IS DEATH.
There is no pretence between them, no guilt
It knows what hes is, what he was born to do..."

Jez who let Chris Claremont in?!?

oh yeah and Pussyfoot 5 is added to the rooster - the baffling proof that even John Smith i (backed up by Steve Yeowell) sn't always golden. Alongside Durham Red with Mark Harrison's shiny art masking character and action. Both trying to ooze the sex to back up the action... I feel today I should say Nigel Dobbyns clear, clean lines might have been out of vogue in times of grim and gritty, but by heck he'd have told us this tale so well.

At least we have Dante that does the action and the sexy to perfection set in a work with characters we care about delievered with grim glory by both words and pictures (John Burns this time)

So yeah we have what should be a blinder of a launch Prog and if we had these names now (well if Carlos wasn't saddly taken from us) it'd almost certainly be a blinder. Here its a dud.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #821 on: 05 September, 2019, 09:11:51 pm »


Well its not getting better...

Bit of a rough spell. Between  Prog 1250 and the next jump on Prog 1263 things don't really pick up. Its the weakest spell in thrill power I can remember for some time.

Tor Cyan just rambles on with no sense of purpuse that I can see. Looks lovely mind

Durham Red - Vermin Stars is pretty popular I think, but I just can't get past the storytelling issues with the art and it keeps pulling me out and i just feel disconnected with the whole thing.

PussyFoot Five just doesn't work, its trying to be sexy and intriguing and weird and all sort but its just flacid, which given the creators is such a surprise.

Flacid is exactly how I'd describe Helter Skelter. Ennis' Dredd is just dull, as if handed the toy box there was just too much to play with and he just ended up throwing everything around without really knowing what to do.

When Banzai Battalion replaces Tor Cyan I should be more grateful than I am. Its by Wagner and Gibson after all but while its a fun distraction it feels very disposible to me.

A few  Future Shocks pop up and Tales of Telguuth trashes around a bit buit nothing really catchs hold.

Jez Nikolai Dante really does hold a one man defensive action as the Tsar Wars reaches its brilliant conclusion. Just a wonderful story and the ending is powerful and fitting for the glorious turning point in Dante's saga.

Well at least we get a relaunch prog next... what Tor Cyan's back... oh well what.... and Tales of Telguuth... bloody hell has Tharg been smokin' something... what...oh he has....

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #822 on: 07 September, 2019, 01:42:20 pm »


Thin margins - Prog 1250 and 1251

I often talk about the thin margins in the regular Prog review threads. How slight difference here and there can swing the overall quality of the Prog around. Fine example with Prog 1263 and 1264.

Now Prog 1263 is an odd thing. Its essentially a 'Jump on' Prog disguised as a last issue before a 'Jump on' Prog. Yes it has 5 new thrills, as should always be advertised on the front of a 'Jump on' but three of them are done in ones. Now I assume this was a deliberate choice to let folks experience some complete thrill power if they were just popping  by. The choices though are very, very odd.

Tales of Telguuth - is a staple at the moment and while its an okay example of the second half of this series I don't enjoy the second half of this series. Still its the type of thing I think has a perfect place in a 'Jump on'. A short sharp thrill to satisfy the drifting potential reader.

Tor Cyan The Dead Sorcerors Coachman - is just a bloomin' strange choice. Tor Cyan stripped of the setting that made him interesting just turns into the worse of the 90s grim hard men. The story is convoluted and bound by seeming history, but nothing that matters in reality. To be honest he might as well be brooding on that volcano still. It would be a very odd read to a newcomer and even bloomin' lovely art by Colin Wilson can't save it.

Tharg's Reefer Madness - somehow manages to be an even stranger choice. This represents nothing about the Prog at all except a call back to the horrors of a few years ago when 2000ad made a few misfired attempts to appeal to the Loaded crowd at the expense of remembering what made it cool its and of itself. Here Tharg is cool cos he's telling stories about drugs. Now don't get me wrong drugs are cool. I took enough in my youth to know this. But trying to be cool by telling horror stories - very average one at that - about taking drugs, tongue in cheek as you poke at folks who say weed is dangerous just reads as a little sad. What this was meant to be telling the reader passing by heavens only knows. Even bloomin' lovely art by Frazer Irving can't save it.

Now fair to say all of this is booked end by two beauties with Wagner and MacNeil returning the Chief Judge's Man and Grant and Ranson providing one of my fav Anderson stories (and that's saying quite a lot) and the best for some time opening R*evolution.

Prog 1264 has those two beauties too but much nice company. Sinister Dexter is a much better ongoing series with a done in one than Tor Cyan. The series is designed to do done in ones and tell the casual reader a lot about what to expect from the comic. There's a decent Future Shock by Spurrier and Cook instead of Tales of Telguuth - and kinda trying to be edgy in the way of Reefer Madness by having sex in it but in a far more story based way so I'm cool with that.

Than rather than another done in one it has what I feel is a much need thing in a 'Jump on' the first part of a new series. Now in this case the new series if Killer one of my least favourite thrills but you know what the openning episode is actually not bad.

So yeah not only is Prog 1264 a lot better than 1263. Its a better 'Jump on' Prog too!

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #823 on: 08 September, 2019, 12:40:03 pm »


The final line-up of 2001 shows some improvement. Largely due to Dredd really picking up. We're starting to see less Wagner and new writers are coming in but they are by and large doing a solid job. 'On Chief Judge's Service' does a wonderful switcheroo at the end, one I'd delightfully forgotten. Wagner's other longer form story is 'Lost in Cyberspace' a fun story with Ian Gibson. Around these we have one offs by Wagner, Rennie and Morrison (R) all of which work really well.

So along with an upswing in Dredd we have Dante replaced by Anderson R*evolution which...

Quote
Now again this might be me misreading the tea leaves but I kinda have the impression that people aren't that impressed by 'R*Evolution'. Now its safe to assume that people love the art 'cos quite franky its typically magnificent for Arthur Ranson. Christ on a bike that man is an incredible talent, but what do folk think of the story?

Personally I loved it. It combined many of the same themes that have been running in Anderson for a while, yet felt like much more of a romp as well. It was crammed with great ideas and the script played to artists strenghts like few others do, meaning at times the whole thing was breath-taking. Not just cos of the art in and of itself, but the way the writer used that to create stunning flights of fancy. The space pirates on bikes, Anderson entering the mind of the deformed villian, the apes swinging around and so many more besides. It fair zipped along too, with a wonderful pace. In less skillful hands this might have left it feeling a bit directionless and haphazard, but created by two skilled craftsmen it had the feel an old Saturday morning serial, or even a classic Doctor Who, unhampered by budget.

Ok so I'm kinda predisposed to enjoy stories that have so much gorilla action but I don't think that's it I think sad though I am that Anderson would seem to move exclusively to the Megazine now (damn I wish there was trades of this later stuff) after this the story left 2000ad on a real high.

Fantastical stuff

I've not changed my opinion about since 2010 it would seem.

Sinister Dexter backs this up with some brilliant shorts. There's some servicable one off as ever in 2001.

Finally we have Killer which I think tries to be a great definative 2000ad strip and by doing so just turns into a bit of a 2000ad cliche... oh look 2010 me covers that one as well.

Quote
'The Killers' have split up apparently and I personally rejoice this as I found them such a cliched hackneyed band... which leads me nicely to 'Killer' in 2000ad.

Sometimes I avoid reviewing stuff I just don't like as its all so negative but I think there's points to be made here. Steve Moore over the time of Andy Diggle's editorship has shown time and again that he's awash with ideas. He turns out so many 'Future Shocks' and for me the less enjoyable 'Tales of Telguuth' that its clear the fella is just full of the things. This does leave me to wonder why 'Killer' ever got off the ground therefore.

It feels so cliched and formulaic that its untrue. Every element felt like a 2000ad cliche, every aspect tired and used so often that it was worn to the nub. Its almost as if Andy Diggle and him got together and said lets try to create the generic 2000ad story. Lets take every theme and idea that's been used before and see if we can make a archetype for what a 2000ad story is all about. Its not the worst thing I've read in 2000ad by any stretch of the imagination buts its one of the least inspiring or intriguing which in some ways might be worse?

Maybe its a heroic failure, maybe I'm missing something, or maybe it just didn't work?

So we still have problems but at least we're moving on.... speaking of which 2001 has come to an end and next time we'll be looking at the year and in doing so the end of Andy Diggle's term as Tharg's little helper.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #824 on: 09 September, 2019, 09:07:10 pm »


2001 - A thrill oddity

Before I start I must of course apologise for the bloody awful and I imagine much over used, play on words... I know I shouldn't of, but hey what ya going to do?

Anyway as ever with these things lets look back to what I predicted 2001 would be like at the end of 'last year'

Quote
I think 2001 will be a thrill odyssey in a similar vien. A mixed bag to say the least, no party like 1999, but not a bad year. There will be too many misses to sit alongside numerous hits that I believe will be on the way.

Jez I can't help myself can I!

Anyway not a bad prediction, but I think 2001 is actually weaker than 2000. While it has some very strong thrills, it has a lot of stinkers to and the phase between 1250 and 1262 is a particularly weak period for me.

When reviewing 2001 its almost impossible not to use it as a review of Andy Diggle's tenour as Tharg's little helper. The things is that might be a little unfair. Firstly as with 2000 its a time of massive upheaval. Secondly probably Andy D's greatest achievement in the role was bringing in such a wealth of new artistic talent. He does a magnificent job on that front and one that will serve the Prog well for years to come. Most of that work was last year however.

Thirdly, whether by design our not, the holy trinity of Dredd, Dante and Dexter (Sinister ...) isn't quite as available to him, or not as strong. Dredd starts to see Wagner withdraw from his ever presence. While many of the other writers coming on do a decent job they haven't quite found their feet yet and in Helter Skelter we have a very weak Dredd story.

When Dante is in the Prog its magnificent but its not in as much as it has been. Sinister Dexter is good but lacks one of the big punch stories. These three are still strong and still a great spine, just there's a bit more space around them. And that space is a little hit and miss.

The miss, well Tor Cyan tickles someones funny bone, just not mine. ABC Warriors is beautiful but disappointing, Love like Blood and Pussyfoot 5 prove that John Smith is human. Durham Red is too damned shiny and Killer too damn cliche. The trouble is that's not them all, but it will do.

The highs, well there's more Buttonman so that's a delight, brilliant Anderson and the aforementioned trinity of holy. Dredd has good chunks of delight it should be noted.

There's some middle ground to. Its a real balance and sadly I'm beginning to expect more. What saves 2001 from being proclaimed a bit of a miss. Well its that wonderful bit of design first seen on the glorious cover to Prog 1234. Andy makes up for that horrible mast head by bringing us the best logo the Galaxy has ever seen. Well done that man.

So anyway way Andy D is out the door and what I assume is an impossibly young* Matt Smith steps up to bare Tharg's yoke. He'll bare it well, he'll bare it long, but he'll have to learnt to take the burden. As I recall 2002 will be another mixed bag as Matt Smith finds his mojo. I think Dante all but leaves us and they'll be some rough with the smooth. Mind have to say recent 'Thrill of the Future' give me hope that this might not be as rocky as I remember it in my old addled noggin. Lets find out together huh.

*[Normalsizefont] He must have been young as he still looks bloody young 20 years later... maybe Simon Davis painted a picture of him that hides in an Oxford attic slowly aging and getting bitter? [\Normalsizefont]