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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 138920 times)

Dark Jimbo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #915 on: 09 April, 2020, 12:46:04 PM »
So Prog 1495 sees the end of nuVCs and it ends as well as its been throughout...
VCs also manages to pull off the ending, though for the life of me until about 2 or 3 pages to go I saw no way it could possilby do so. The final episode sees characters that have been central to the series met a fitting end for that emotional punch, has action and violence a plenty for prerequiste thrills BUT also manages a neat trick at the end with a false ending. Selecting to finish at a point in the story that gives just enough of a close to allow us to 'know' where the end is going, without having to take us there in detail now all the flash - bang - whollop is over. We are lead to our own ending, without needing to drag things out. It leaves things open, but allows us to close things off ourselves. Very neatly done.

I love your very charitable reading of that truncated ending! Personally I felt it was a bit more Tharg saying 'Wrap it up now, lads' and a book that was not originally intended as the final book having to be hastily rewritten.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #916 on: 09 April, 2020, 03:25:31 PM »
I love your very charitable reading of that truncated ending! Personally I felt it was a bit more Tharg saying 'Wrap it up now, lads' and a book that was not originally intended as the final book having to be hastily rewritten.

Well that's kinda in keeping with thrills of old then too!

ANYWAY just a quick pop back as I've got a free day off work as a thank you from my powers that be for all the that's gone into setting up remote working (and cos our VC was knackered I think and so wanted to have a break, so felt we all should!). Anyway been investing the time well in doing a little bonus reading and got to 1499 and having one of my a wee breaks to read other things. But thought I'd come here with plenty more to say but...

Thank heavens then for 'Red Seas - The Hollow Land' so Harryhausenly giving full life to a very animated and wonderful story.

Actually says all that needs to be said there. Folks who read my twoddle long before this re-read know what a fan of Red Seas I am and this revisit isn't changing that view a jot. Its one of Tharg's finest and while re-read after re-read doesn't add anything particularly, thinking that's a problem is a bit like thinking there's no point watching Don Chaffney's 'Jason and the Argonauts' again when you see it on telly.

This final preProg 1500 lineup has some decent stuff in Dredd,... and a lot of bits and bats of varying quality filling corners here and there.

Also says all that needs to be said. 'Harry Kipling (Deceased)' is a curious beast that never really becomes a thing of any substance or value (and I think its done now already?) and 'Go Machine' is a fun little distraction. A good 3riller before its time. Red Seas is doing double shifts to get done too, so there's not even too many Future Shocks - though there is one being discussed elsewhere as it happens.

So yeah one of the earlier examples of Tharg peddling a little as he kills space before a relaunch Prog - a skill he has varying success with over the years and with that a quick break and back soon.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #917 on: 18 April, 2020, 01:03:58 PM »


Short tales of big Import

As we head towards probably the most important Prog in the Prog's history... well in self absorbed terms anyway... we get some short little filler... well it not is it we get a pretty weird run of tales that actually while short(ish) 6 episode or there abouts all provide significence in one form or another... oh and Banzai Battalion which has become less and less engaging as its gone on and if I'm honest I find this final tale entirely forgetable (and if I'm honest until I save the cover to 1501 I had forgotten).

The rest of the tales I'll discuss now, just before I get to the self absorb bits later today no doubt, which will deflect from these wonderful stories and they deserve better.

First we have Stone Island, probably the least significent but a tale I really enjoy and significence is found in introducing full frontal male nudity into the Prog. Edgington's story provides a great vehicle for Simon Davis to let rip with wonderfully acted grizzily horror. Its just horrific fun.

Dredd - The Connection a fantastic tale in and of itself by Wagner and Walker set up Origins coming very soon and you can make a case - or I do / will make the case that Origins really sets the foundations for the next 6ish years of Dredd right up to Day of Chaos. Its almost a self contained period in its own way. So this story is to me a bit like 'Letter From a Democrat' in that it - all be it more explicity - is the first step in a much, much bigger tale.

Nikolai Dante - Dragon's Island ends our heroes rather wonderful and I think very underrated high seas pirate adventures. I think sceduling may have damaged the reputation of these fantastic adventures and I'd urge everyone go back and reappraise them. They are utterly thrilling and peel away so much of Dante's past and in this ending set up his future for some time to come. Its brilliant stuff with wave after wave of beautiful and dynamic art by the sublime John Burns.

Finally we get Malone. I said the following about this masterpiece when I first read it 10 years ago.

Quote
Having read the whole thing during my catch-up I kinda got the same impression. Its a great story, it looks great but knowing now what I know now it reads like a fun Sinister Dexter story with the clues slowly dropping into place. I love the way Dan Abnett drops in little hints in the dialogue. I ain't ever going to get that buzz of the big reveal.

That's the problem with a story like this set up really for the twist at the end. Oh they certainly can be enjoyed for themselves but you kinda know you missed something and will never quite know what it is to read it live and I suspect be genuinely surprised.

And I'd stand by that except to say that on re-read of a re-read of a catch - which it is by now - it really holds up. As all thoughts of the surprises its holds in store are gone I can enjoy it fully as the wonderful tale it is. Jez Dabnett sure dropped the clues in to the reveal quite wonderfully. Though with enough guile that my impression is folks reading 'live' didn't make the call. Its simply brilliantly done - but heavens to Betsy folks looking back you must be kickin' ya selves as the clues are there from the smoking lady, to the changing speech patterns, just brilliant.

As well as setting up the next stage for - and I'll not use spoiler tags for a 15 year old story (and more to come so if you've not read this period look away now) - looking away, no really stop reading and come back when you have - Sinister Dexter its the first twist of this type I can remember since Dead Man and starts a mini trend as I recall with other great twists coming in Dead Eyes and The Vort.

So yeah these issues between 1500 and 1506 hold a surprising amount of significence in Prog terms, but as we'll see next time they hold so much more significence in self absorbed terms...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #918 on: 18 April, 2020, 04:25:12 PM »


Messy memory and matters of importance

I always get this wrong. Whenever I look back at this most important moment in my adult life, more affirming than marriage or brith of children and such nonsense I get it wrong. I've been whittering about returning from the wilderness, reborn due to the 30th Annivesary, but that's not true, never has been. My mind twists this most important of times, this supreme event, its sheer gavity maybe spinning it in my head.

The truth of it is.

There I am back in September 2006, now married, safely settled in a new home. I've returned to comics, pretty big time, I'm reading plenty of Marvel for my sins, getting everything Civil War (all since done and gone), The Flash is leading me into DC and in my new home I've made space in my attic display for all my old 2000ad, large swaths filled from the gaps in my previous reading, most issues up to 1000... dusty but happy photographs from the past. Then, one fine day I see a BBC article, a beacon in this fog of spandex about a new Judge Dredd story, my interest is peaked, I'm delighted to see that 2000ad is still there, my once true and only love looking fine. So I call her up and check out how she's doing.

Popping Tharg Organ back on my pull list I actually miss the issue I'd read about, 1505 and the first one to land is 1506, no matter, we've got so much to catch on. Its an awkward first date, so many tales told aren't mine, don't feel complete to me, as I'm looking back from outside, trying to remember exactly what it was that captured my heart so completely in those past days.

Her Dredd is still all lovely and well formed, the its presented here that reminds me how big and exciting Tharg's Dredds are. But aside from that its all quite new. Things I don't remember about her that don't fit into my recollections, Russian pirates that fighting clones... that's not Slaine, but yeah it is a beautiful thing to behold. Tales ending about a man I don't know finding his soul and memories, interesting but at this point it doesn't speak to me. Then there's this new thing, this horror thing all kinda trying to be grown up and brutal, this isn't what I remember. This isn't the comic I left.

Its changed.

But then so have I, so maybe I should embrace that change, not expect this figure of such importance to me to have stayed the same, to have had no life, while I've been through so much myself without it. Of course it should have grown and developed, just as I hoped I had.

And those changes would make it a little tricky at first, it would make the exchanges between us not as I remember, not as simple and instinctive as they used to be, not as natural. But because of that they'd be so much more. The real thrill of discovery, or rediscovery. The tingling joy of exploring again, of learning and embracing the new and different. While finding, reassuringly at its heart, while we both had changed the things that had thrown us together so dynamically, so dramatically, so passionately in our fumbling and callow youths where still there. Those essential bonds hadn't changed. We'd both learnt new things, we'd both grown, we'd even started to dress different, hang out with a different crowd and embrace the new and changing worlds in which we'd found ourselves.

But the most important things hadn't changed and for all the fear and excitment - in equal measure - that clouded my view. For all the superficial and substancial ways we'd both drifted apart, the important thing, the thing that throw us together was still there and I was about to embark on a journey, with all relationships ups and downs - of refinding that very thing...

That me and 2000ad were are for each other.

Fungus

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #919 on: 19 April, 2020, 04:11:05 AM »
Interesting to hear how other folk’s Wilderness ended, cheers.

I returned with 1800 (as some others here did, if memory serves). Wish I could remember if I sought out the prog or just stumbled upon it. Genuinely can’t remember. Beneath a Bisley cover (which I didn’t even register), the stories felt very crammed, very knowing. Definitely adult. A different beast, and I was pleased that the prog was there - it was painfully poor in the 90’s when I just gave up - but it would be some weeks till I ‘got it’. Now, that feels no different to my experience in 1980, and seems quite apt...

Within a few weeks we had Trifecta, and then the incomparable (return of) Stickleback. A return to the fold. Unlike you I was reading *nothing* at this stage. The Prog & Meg led to a US habit and that lasted years. Pull list later gave way to occasional trades, but Tharg remained... As people’s tastes tend to ‘comfort’ in these tricky days, we can be more grateful than ever...?

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #920 on: 19 April, 2020, 06:43:49 AM »
Interesting to hear how other folk’s Wilderness ended, cheers.

Yeah defo - bring your tales of return folks. Thanks so much for sharing yours Fungus.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #921 on: 21 April, 2020, 09:16:06 PM »


So we reach the end of 2006, such an important year for me and Thrillpower. Its interesting to reflect on these early steps in by return to our relationship. The early issues aren't in retrospect that good - especially when you think about the quality just around the corner (in relative terms) but things quickly ramp up and I have a few quicks thoughts on the end of 2006 and the start of my blooming love (again).

1. Prog 1507 has an odd feature Chiaroscuro starts to flicker into action - more on that later - at the start of the Prog, with Dredd apparently relegated to the back. I assume this is a production error?

2. The issues sees Stone Island end with doors open, aliens out a (welcome) return just around the corner.

3. Dante's pirating days also end in the same Prog with quite the cliffhanger,  with an image that has been my phone background for quite some years now. Just love it as Dante, facing almost certain death calmly looks at the reader and "...if you've got to go, you might as well go in style!". John Burns is an absolute master.

4. Prog 1508 has a wonderful tribute to Tom Frame, clearly one of Tharg's greatest and best loved servants, who sadly passed during 2006.

5. It also features another start to a wonderful relationship as Anthony Williams take Finny back to Downlode and starts a run on Sinister Dexter that, unlike many - I'm very, very fond of, as The Many Moses saga really kicks off after many years of build up.

6. 86ers also makes a return... and washes right over me. Its a strip that just doesn't take to the air for me and just skims along.

7. Prog 1509 then sees Harry Kipling (Deceased) return (unexpected) but this one also skims over me and leaves little or no impression.

8. Prog 1511 starts the ramping up big time as the triumvirate that once saved the Prog returns and unbeknownst to me probably cements my return. With Dante becoming the Sword of the Tsar with a return of Simon Fraser. These three thrills on top form just grabbed me...

9... except they didn't really. At the time I was really enjoying Sinister Dexter as its clever word play and simply drawn wonderful character... well character as no Dexter yet just grabbed me. Dante however was an immediate hit. Reading back I can see why, it was fun and exciting but I wasn't yet bought in. Not having the background the emotional impact and importance of this tale didn't yet resonate with me. It was fun but nothing more...

10... Then Dredd. Its Carlos and Wagner on a Mega Epic and felt like a welcoming warm blanket to a returning reader. The welcoming arms of an old love pulling me in to the new things to learn and explore. The trouble is those arms where going through their own things (errr should have dropped that over extended metaphor a while ago shouldn't I - oh well in for a penny... ) and its not quite sure what to do. The mixing of backstory and new hunt for Fargo just don't quite mesh neaty. Its cleverly done but kinda kills the momentum on each. Shame. I really enjoy this but not as much as I might.

11. Chiaroscuro is another sleeper great. I love this now. The way it aptly feels like a movie, how its paced like the Omen (or similar) its just superb. The trouble is I remember not getting on with the art at the time and I wasn't gelling with this.

12. Prog 1513 brings me my first taste of Red Seas, another series I'd come to absolutely adore, but again its got its own things going on stopping us bonding in the way we will. Its a cute aside, as Newton's trail of Roman Werewolves brings Augustus to the story. Its just a bit of daft fun, but lacks the breathless epic charm of the series as we know it.

13. So as the years ends we have Epic Dredd, a wonderful new horror thrill adding something a bit different, and three long form Stone cold classics, two (Dante and S&D) in absolute top forms and Red Seas maybe not at the crest of its wave but still good. Looking back this is almost the dream line up. But to me then it felt like a slightly clumsy ackward mix and we were both a little nervous in our new embraces.

14. As the year end all the thrills (well Dredd aside with a curious schedule) reach very satisfying endings, well okay Red Seas is a bit Scooby Doo, but Dante is brilliant, Sinister Dexter gives us Dexter back... with a damaged back and our horror tale pretty much sticks its landing. Its good times, at least in re-read.

So there we are. No specials this year so next time I'll look back at 2006 and hint at my excitment at 2007 as we both get a bit more confident as we get to know each other a bit better again.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #922 on: 22 April, 2020, 10:50:00 AM »


2006

Well lets set aside the significence of the years, well for now at least and try to look at 2006 objectively. And as ever with these things I'll first look back at what I predicted the year would bring.

Quote
So we're left with my traditional look ahead. I doubt 2006 will be this good, in fact I'm pretty confident it won't be. I'm also pretty confident it will be bloody good though. I suspect I'll be saying this most year and I fear for poor old 2006 it will become one of the first in a number of years which don't get the attention they more fully deserve as they are surrounded by so many other great years.

Yeah its getting relatively easy to make these predictions as the Prog is such a consistently brilliant comic at this point (and indeed now) a few even higher up and a few relative lows aside, so this is pretty much spot on. Except I'd say it wasn't bloody good, it was just good. The reason well there's no absolute stand out stone cold classic (nervously looks back to see if he's contradicted himself by using the phrase stone cold classic over the last few posts - there seems to be the odd 'masterpiece' and such like but can't spot a 'stone cold classic'...) or at least not as many as in an absolute standout year.

Sure there are a number of stories that get very, very close. Red Seas has a belter, Dante is on fire throughout, when he turns up, Malone is fantastic, Lobster Random, VCs and Low Life ll excel... absolute nailed on classics though, well its debatable. These are the standards Tharg is setting himself. Chiaroscuro is a really nice stand alone too, but its no Cradlegrave. So yeah there is some really strong stuff but when we right our lists of top ten stories - not that I'd ever feel decisive enough to do that - not many, if any from this year will get in. Dante has been better, Red Seas... maybe has been better, Low Life will get better... etc etc.

If you use Dredd as a yard stick as well its certianly not a bad year, but not the best. Only a few of his tales have compelled me to stand up and salute the comics finest. Its been background good rather than exceptional.

Add to that there has been a fair amount of mind tier stuff. Some new thrills that haven't really taken a grip. Harry Kipling (Deceased), 86ers, the first Ten Seconders (best of this bunch no doubt) and Pat Mills hasn't had a good year either. So yeah there been a lot of middle and even the occasion low tier story.

So there we go, while its been a momentous for me personally for all the reasons I've gone on about in far to much lenght its not actually that momentous in terms of thrills. 'Self Absorbed' YNWA is flirting with a return to the Prog, maybe its not yet the full blown, passionate love affair I've alluded to yet. Now YNWA is looking forward to see how 2007 takes our relationship forward. I think both Now YNWA and 'Self Absorbed' YNWA will be more impressed in 2007 and we'll be getting it on properly, but I think we're still on an upward trend and the absolute zenith of thrill power will be a year or two off.

After all this talk of passion and affairs I'm going to cool down with some Elephantmen - uh er missus - for a little bit, but I'm pretty excited to get back into 2007 so won't be long.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #923 on: 01 May, 2020, 09:07:13 PM »


Prog 2007

Not been wittering about the bumper end of year Progs for a while, typically waiting until the new line-up has kicked - but I'd like to make special mention of Prog 2007. I think this is a significent Prog, maybe as its a significent time for me (self absorbed time) but this issue has a few notable firsts.

First first - Clint Langley on ABCs - haven't been enjoying ABCs, haven't been enjoying Clint Langley on Slaine but I have such fond memories of this run and this opening episode as Hammerstein amusingly drops Mekquake off at the Asylum and has memories from deep in his own psyche - if robots have psyches(?). Langley's heavy metal, Warhammer art work is just perfect for this strip and I get the sense - right or wrong - that it brings out the best in Master Mills.

Second first - Stickleback debuts in this one, the first of two classics (see comments below) to kick off. I really enjoy the first Stickleback story but while others really fall for this strip it take me a while after that to get into it again. That said it a much loved story and feels like a story that helps define my time back in the Prog and thus has significence all be it of the self absorbed kind.

Third first - and this one is massively significent the first Kingdom also kicks off and this one is a defo bonafide classic (I think in most folks minds not just self absorbed land). I've always seen this as such a definative 2000ad series, so much about it feels so right, a timeless representation of what the Prog is all about. The thing is in saying that I forget how early it appears in my return to the Prog, only about 6 months in. So I wonder now, is this what helps define and reminds me what modern 2000ad is and thus by this shapes my self absorbed view of what 2000ad is in totality. It will be very interesting to read this again with this question in my mind. Though whether I'll be able to untangle it.

MInd this opening episode reminds me of regardless of what it means to me its bloody good!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #924 on: 02 May, 2020, 10:07:55 AM »
Something just caught my eye so I'm slipping in a Saturday morning quickie. On picking up Prog 1518 to start the year proper I noticed that on the cover in the Prog Number box where it normally says 'In Orbit every Wednesday' it says 'Nuking your eyes every Wednesday' Intrigued I wondered if this was a one off treat - but seems to carry on for the year at least.

Looked back (via Barney see previous comments about my laziness) and no this seems to be the first regular issue to do this... I decided not to look any further ahead to see of this carries on for some time. I mean I'm pretty dumb headed not to have noticed this before - if it carries on for some time I'm very dumb headed ... which won't surprised regular readers here!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #925 on: 02 May, 2020, 08:01:32 PM »
Nikolai Dante - Deadly then the male. Dante at his most 'Carry on' but wonderful because of, or inspite of that - depending on your perspective.

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #926 on: 03 May, 2020, 12:20:04 PM »
Nikolai Dante - Deadly then the male. Dante at his most 'Carry on' but wonderful because of, or inspite of that - depending on your perspective.

I remember disliking this silly story when it ran, but re-reading in the Hachettes a wee while ago I actually really enjoyed it. Ditto the equally cringey African story,which turned out to be quite fun, if you like Burns' cheesecakery at least, which I'm afraid I do.

Could this be the shift to the right with age that everyone keeps assuring me is inevitable?  Or just a slide into dirty-old-manhood? 

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #927 on: 03 May, 2020, 08:58:22 PM »
Ditto the equally cringey African story,which turned out to be quite fun, if you like Burns' cheesecakery at least, which I'm afraid I do.

True.



Prog 1525 - Snapping your spine every Wednesday and Millsian Musings

So we have a short spurt to start the year, to allow the 30th Anniversary Prog an (almost) clear plate. Both Kingdom and Stickleback are trimuphs. The former as it is so gloriously 2000ad - not just my 2000ad (see previous comments) high octane action adventure, tough, but engaging lead, a quiet disrespect for humanity and a strong vein of dark humour. Perfect thrill. The latter is possibly more subtle and this might by why subsequent Sticklebacks didn't work for me for sometime (we'll see how that holds this time). I love the way our titular hero villian is kept in the background, adding to his mystery and intrigue. The next couple of taile will pull him to the fore as I recall, removing more of the enigma?

These two are also joined by a fantastic Low Life with babies, bottles and Frank in the led. Also a nice Dredd comes along after some marvelous Wagner shorts to give Carlos a chance to catch up with Origins. 'Judgement' by Grennie has some quite exquisite Ian Gibson art. Its so lush and awash with watercolour and design. I'm very interested to compare his art here with the art in the upcming return of Samantha Slade. I suspect it will lead to the suspision that he puts in a lot more time to scripts he likes? We'll see.

Anyway all of that is secondary to what I want to talk about. I've come on here over the last few years (self-absorbed time) and done some analysis of why I've not liked a number of Unca Pats stories. I've loved his current ABC Warriors, which is particularly interesting since last time I ripped Pat it was on this strip and the time before it was about Slaine with Clint Langley, who joins him on art here. So how come this time I love it. I wanted to give as much thought and explaination, not only to be fair, but also as I find it fascinatating.

The trouble is I can't.

Its much easier, I think, to catch onto the issues that mean a series, story, or even episode don't work for you. Even if I can't quite express it with the clarity I'd like I at least I've got something to try to articulate what the problems I identify are. When something is good its a lot less easy. Or at least there's less to identify, pull out and point at and this story is a perfect example as to why.

When you enjoy a story very often you are just pulled along. The tale, art and energy just zip you through. I don't think too much about why as I'm too busy enjoying it. When there's problems I find myself pulled from the story and when that happens there is an almost unconsious moment of analysis as your brain asked 'What happened there?' before you try to drag yourself back in.

Here with Millsipops and Clint Langley I'm so engaged, so trusting that what the characters do and say, so busy seeing what I learn about them that all the rest just drops away. I've tried to think about it and all I got is - Its just GREAT.

Okay, okay both talents deserve more, but I ain't got much specific. Langley is, by and large creating very similar design and story choices as he does with Slaine. But here the shiny, epic detail, the brutal points and sharp edges make sense to the story and feel in place as to how the story sits in my mindseye. Unlike with Slaine. Its a personal thing, but here the mechanical world feels riveted and oily in all the ways it should. Even when doing people I like that hyper tight, photocrafted (my work not some attempt to use the correct technical language!) which I find so off putting in Slaine. They stand out, look so polished and almost disjointed against the dirt, dark and rust. But that's right for the story and for me. The robots feel tough and solid, metal and manic, human and inhuman in all the right ways.

As for the story it fair flies along and if Patty is telling us things we heard before and hammering themes we've heard him hammer a million times he's doing it with characters that work, with wit that has energy and guile. His heroes and villians of course blur, but not in the way that has felt forced and cliched in the past (cliched for Millsian works, no one elses I think its fair to say). He also takes his 6767697 ideas but wisely scatters them across mini tales within tales and subplots. This mean they don't feel forced and imposed, rather a carriage to carry both story and characters on their multiple journeys via a sensible, planned route, rather than the ideas driving the stories direction.

In short unlike those previous efforts it all just fits together, rather than being numerous elements trying to be forced into place together.

So while recently I've found failings, here I find the fondness I've had for so much of this masters work.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #928 on: 08 May, 2020, 11:29:36 AM »


Prog 1526 - Not 30 years old every Wednesday!

That's true turning 30 is a past, my 30th was a blast all be it few years earlier that 2000ad's and during this period my friends also all started to slowly turn 30 and there were some wide nights - some of my favourites. Trouble is they can also be a ball ache to organise. Back then I was single (for my 30th that is) and so had to organise my party myself with the help of friends, money wasn't plentiful, so it was all a bit ramshackled and rough around the edge. But we were young, free and happy so we made the best of it.

Prog 1526, 2000ad's 30th celebration is a bit like that. Its not quite the extravaganser Tharg had pictured I imagine, it was a little rough at the edges, but all for all is full of charm and there's much love evident. Its a shame that Origins was on hiatus as this means we land towards the end of a decent 6 part Dredd (more on which later). The special features, some okay Star Scans, some fun text pieces and a couple of strips suggest the budget wasn't all it might have been. The strips are a wonky Flesh flashback by Millsbomb and - if I'm being brutal - a clearly past his prime Ramon Sola - and a cute Tharg rythming(ish) history of 2000ad by Robin Smith. They have plenty of heart, they are making the best of what they have, but they lack a certain chic.

Its familar friends and golden moments, but maybe lacking a little substance, though the substance is there in part with chilling openings to Dante - 'Hellfire' and Savage Book 3 'Double Yellow' - so yeah I might have got there 5 years earlier but me and Da Tooth had pretty similar 30ths all told.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #929 on: 08 May, 2020, 09:43:32 PM »


Trigger-happy Takes every Friday

Some quick thoughts on Spring 2007.

1. As the Prog starts its 30th year with Prog 1527 it has a pretty good line up. Savage, Robohunter, Future Shocks, Nikolai Dante.

2. I've misjudge Ian Gibson, while the art on 'Robo-hunter - Casino Royal' isn't quite as good as it was on early parts of 'Judgement' it is pretty lush.

3. As 'Judgement' itself approaches its 6th and final part Ian Gibson starts to lose steam. Its still lovely art, but its not as full and flush as it was. I don't think its that Ian G had a preference for one story over another (speculation anyhoo anyway) it was probably just too damned bloody hard to keep the standard he set himself on the first few parts of the 'Origins' interlude!

4. In Prog 1528 we have a classic line-up of top class thrills as Sinister Dexter drops in.

5. By 1529 Origins is back with a jolt - it kinda just kicks off highlighting the break was a scheduling thing, its return feels clumsy - but I'll whitter more about Origins in the morning I think.

6. That said even with a slightly stumbling Dredd epic by Wagner and Ezquerra is still fine stuff and both Dante and Sinister Dexter are in golden times and the Mighty Trinity being back together is a joy to behold.

7. Prog 1531 sees Casino Royale end and by the end Ian Gibson's art has become a little loose with nicely washed backdrops rather than fully rendered backgrounds. Character moments lean a little to heavily on easy meladrama rather than the precision humanity of his finer moments. Still it a very satisfying frolic of a story, even of Samantha goes bust at the end.

8. Prog 1531 also sees the end of 'Nikolai Dante - Hellfire' its six parts of hellbound classic as Dante plans the long game, plots to get Lula one way or another and has more family drama than is found in 12 years of Eastenders. Its just magnificent and thrilling. When it needs to be it packs an emotional punch as well. Damn its good.

9. That said I think when I read this back in self absorbed time I still think I was beginning to feel it but still didn't quite appreciate it, or what a fantastic line-up I was seeing. I knew this was good and I think it would be here I started to realise I was here to stay. But I don't think I quite realised how good this was.

10. 'Savage - Double Yellow' was a significent part of that. I loved this at the time (I seem to recall) and with this and what with ABC Warriors being back on top form I think Pat Mills had a massive part in getting me absolutely sold again. How fitting given what his work had meant to me in the past.

11. Should also say that 'Savage - Double Yellow' holds up very very well. Charlie Adlard's art plays a very big part in making this so very good, while its awash with clumsy political comment, Millsian tropes and brutal action, like the best of Millipops its all driven by the characters and in this case feels so gritty in a very real action, meladrama way.

12. Prog 1533 sees the end of the Sinister Dexter story that I think was star of the show for me when I first read these issues. Its all so easy to love even if you don't have the back story as all you need is there. Some Irish bloke schemes to bust his broken friend out of jail. Its a jolly caper with certificate 18 violence, supreme dialogue and stone cold cool. Its just wonderful - oh and glorious Simon Davis art at his very peak too. Should have finished with 'And Death shall have ...' my arse!

13. I think that Tiernan Trevallion's first art for Tharg in Prog 1533 - I think - a lot earlier than I expected and its very good already.

14. Prog 1534 sees Detonator X exploded into the Prog with a punchy piece of B-movie explositiony neatly hidden in a truly thrilling monster mash. Its quite the introduction... don't think it will hold mind.

15. Prog 1535 sees Origins end - more in the morning - and take Savage with it. A decent Dante in 'The Beast of Rudinshtein' ends also after 4 beautiful John Burns parts seeing Victor back. So all(ish) change and a good point for me to shut up.

Spring 2007 was a very good time for me to be taking baby steps into getting it on again with Tharg. I was blessed, even if I didn't fully appreciate it at the time.