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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 160388 times)

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1020 on: 25 October, 2020, 03:48:08 AM »
Red Seas was a great thrill and was allowed to mature and grow over time. What did assist the thrill was that it was published quite regularly and no need to wait years for the next chapter - like many of Edginton stories these days (we discuss this on the Helium thread).
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1021 on: 25 October, 2020, 06:32:35 AM »
Red Seas was a great thrill and was allowed to mature and grow over time. What did assist the thrill was that it was published quite regularly and no need to wait years for the next chapter - like many of Edginton stories these days (we discuss this on the Helium thread).

Yeah I think the upcoming Ultimate 2000ad collection will serve it really well and those that read it again will get a real treat. I recall it came in for a bumpy ride towards its end but it worked as an episodic series of tales but by the end so well as an epic thrill.


SmallBlueThing(Reborn)

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1022 on: 25 October, 2020, 10:04:41 AM »
The thing about Red Seas- of which I was never a fan and which I regularly skipped in the weekly- was Steve Yeowell's art. I have never really warmed to it and Red Seas was when it seemed to become even more impressionistic and lacking in background detail.

However. I recently had call to read all of Black Shuck, another one that I didnt connect with in the prog, and found myself thoroughly enjoying it and gaining a new appreciation of Yeowell's brushwork. (If its brushwork. I have no idea how he draws.) This, combined with my growing to very much like his interpretation of Sinister Dexter, leads me to consider reading Red Seas from the start.
One of the good things about having all the progs upstairs, is that theoretically I can do that without waiting for the collection. However, practicality and the prospect of debagging and then rebagging, probably means I will wait for the collection. Has any of it been Floppied, can anyone remember? I dont have the hardback that was released.

SBT

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1023 on: 25 October, 2020, 10:57:13 AM »
The Red Seas has a complete collection (two volumes) but I think it is only available in digital.
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1024 on: 25 October, 2020, 01:55:45 PM »
The Red Seas has a complete collection (two volumes) but I think it is only available in digital.

Yeah this was never released physically so as far as I know Red Seas has never been reprinted beyond the first 2 books and interlude that followed that (thanks Barney). Such a shame as its so good.

So yeah there are the two digital collections, but if you want physical then collecting the 4 volumes of 2000ad Ultimate Collection is definately the way to go. I don't get many things reprinted as I love reading the Progs (well actually this is getting increasing poppycock... but relatively!) but Red Seas I will definately be getting.

The thing about Red Seas- of which I was never a fan and which I regularly skipped in the weekly- was Steve Yeowell's art. I have never really warmed to it and Red Seas was when it seemed to become even more impressionistic and lacking in background detail.

As for the Might Yeowell's art - well I've never been shy of saying how much I love it - but over Red Seas you get a real insight in how much he plays with his style and the early episodes, the mid phase and the later episodes are really different.

I remember writing a Blog post for the then tolerable ECBT 2000ad about why I liked the open style he used in the latter tales. It gave things an epic open feel and when so much was based on open water and oceans that really worked for me.

I really hope folks pick up the Ultimate Collections and re-evaluate it in the way SBT is suggesting he'd like to. Not to say it will changes eveeryones mind but I hope it does some.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1025 on: 04 November, 2020, 12:00:33 PM »


Three cheers for 3rillers

Prog 1740 has another stella line up. But I'm not here to talk about the magnificence of Colin MacNeil and John Wagner releasing PJ in 'The Further Dasterdly Deeds of PJ Maybe'. Nor the delight in Mills' best recent thrill Savage with Book (gulp) 7. And Sinister Dexter continues on blistering form as Dabnett and Anthony Williams start to play with time and and stability of reality through the prism of roof top gun play and cop chases, but that doesn't dominate my thoughts. Not even Al Ewing and Henry Flints chilling (particularly today) prediction that one day Donald J Trump Jr would be president of the US in the brilliant third Zombo story 'The Day The Zombo Died', a story that introduces Obmoz. No none of these. Though I might come back to many of them.

No the best thing about this run is a quiet piece of Genius from Matt Smith (I assume) in service of Tharg. The introduction of 3rillers. Why are these stories so significent? Well three fold I think.

1) They reduce the use of Sinister Dexter (and similar) strips as filler at the approachs to relaunch Progs. They act as a great way to allow the strips shoved into these gaps freedom and Sinister Dexter has really benefited from this becoming a feathure thrill again... he types just as its been used as an interrupted gap filler in the current Progs damnit. But the principal stands.

2) It adds a nice verity to the self contained stories. So we don't lose Future Shocks, or Terror Tales, b ut we have a nice new platform for different story types that stretch beyond that format but serve a similar purpose.

3) They provide a great platform to try out new ideas. Many 3rillers feel like they are designed to be nothing more than the 3 issues they fill. But some give the impression that they are try outs for concepts and in a few cases we've seen that come to fruition.

That's a potent cocktail that really gives these done in three strips real value. In and of themselves they, like Future Shocks are very variable in success. Some work wonderfully, some work not so well. Its interesting that so many seem to have great opening episodes but the real test seems to be how they sustain that over the remaining two parts. And its there that we find a real mixed bag.

The first 3riller 'The Silver-Tongued Expliots of Cosmo Nibs' - what a great title! - is a story I don't really remember. Which is odd as its a great example of a 3riller at its best. Each episode of this tale of the rise and fall of a con man with a chip implanted in him that allows him to seduce folks to his ways, has its own solid function. Each works as a mini-story in its own right. First episode set and build intrigue with a punchy ending. Second has some explaination and constructs the world we are exploring more completely. Final episode has action and resolution. He its done clinically and so well by TJ Eglington and John McCrea.

I wanted to highlight 3rillers now as I suspect (a few exceptional exceptions I can think of aside) I will drift past them often with little mention. But I wanted to flag how much I appreciate what they have brought to the Prog as an idea. Even if I start to dismiss some in execution.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1026 on: 04 November, 2020, 12:03:29 PM »
Oh and bloody hell. Meant to add I Day of Chaos starts next prog (just read 1742) I will never, ever get over this being more recent than it is I don't think. I refuse to accept it started 9 bloody years ago - and worry I always will!

So soon as Tour of Duty too...

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1027 on: 04 November, 2020, 12:37:46 PM »
I also like the concept of the 3rillers it allows the creators to give a little bit more flesh to the story. The other thing is that it can be used for a proof-of-concept where the water is tested rather than to infest in a full series. Two 3rillers have already involved into full series. Even Future Shocks have involved into 3rillers
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1028 on: 07 November, 2020, 08:40:57 AM »


Oh its another superb line-up - sigh...

I've begun to realise that during this NuGolden Age I'm in danger of taking the excellent for granted and I wonder whether that was a factor in when I think this period ends. Have things been so superb that when the Prog returns to just regular good it can be dismissed as a real dip. Its one to watch for... in the future... well the future of the past at least.

As it is however the run of Progs between 1740 and 1749 a nice tight, self contained run of stories is quite fantastic... damnit. Its so much hard to write this stuff when all you have to say is X is great, Y is superb, how wonderful is Z...

But lets try to avoid taking things for granted and break things down just a little more.

Dredd - so PJ escapes as discussed below in a brilliant three parter and then we get the superb, absolutely superb start to 'Day of Chaos'. Wagner starts to turn the screw tighter and tighter from the beginning. Dropping hints of the scale of whats to come. Building the tension initially on the small scale as a small pocket of Sov sleepers and agents work to kidnap a scientist, expert in chemical weapons. Wagner, as ever the master of his craft very smartly introduces an unreliable, precog Psi-Judge to direct us as to what's to come. Its also allows Dredd to standout amongst his priors as he listens, he acts, he investigates and drives things forward.

Its another masterclass... and then he get shot in the face ... apparently and the bubble bursts. I strongly sit in the camp that says the shooting of 'Dredd' in the first episode if Prog 1749, only to reveal it was actually another Judge riding into shot in the next episode at the end of the Prog is an utter misstep and just explodes the building tension, not Dredd's face. It adds nothing and distracts from so much. Shame, but its a side note and I'll try not to let it distract for two long.

Zombo - The Day the Zombo Died - Zombo has always been dialled up to 11. The amazing thing Al Ewing and Henry Flint do in this third story is realise that if you've dialed to 11 all you have left to do is dial it up to 12... and they find a way to do it. The ridiculous concept of Trump as president. An even more powerful reverse Zombo, so wonderfully called Obmoz to fight. Zombo getting his brains literally shot out and therefore reset... all just amazing... and then the real genius as they build to the fourth book the reveal they have a 13 to dial up to.

Just glorious use of comics to produce funny, thrilling hyper-reality.

Sinister Dexter - Is controversial to many as Inverse Ninjas are introduced and storylines are pushed to an end, as alas id Anthony Williams time on the strip as I recall. Its a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't for Dabnett. Folks had had enough of the Moses War. Dabnett finds a fun smart way to move the series on and folks don't approve of that... well many folks that is. I love it, its superb, action packed, funny, smart and really drives the plot forward with compelling pace.

Savage - the uncredited and under rated Millsian classic. Its his best work as right wing extremist Bill Savage forces Uncle Pat to address things from a different perspective which shifts the strips heart to a less cliched (for Mills) place and makes it work. All the while the playground he has created, dropping early ABC Warriors links into the series means it a fun, rich  holistic and fun world to play in and watch. In 'Secret City' we get an army of Blackbloods from those damned Volgs as Savage races to get some American pilots with impoertant secrets to safety. Its thrilling, wonderfully, wonderfully realised by Patrick Goddard and just great fun.

All this and to add to the mix three fresh and exciting concepts in 3rillers. This is the perfect example of a perfect, self contained line-up.

See nowt to say when its this good for so long!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1029 on: 14 November, 2020, 02:43:11 PM »


Oh its another superb line-up - sigh... (Reprise)

The more things change the more they stay the same during this period in 2000ad's history. I mean jez there is some excellent stuff, some really really excellent stuff.

We had a great self contained line-up between 1740 and 1749, leading to a clearing of the desks in Prog 1750 and a completely new line-up in Prog 1750, well the continuing Day of Chaos in Dredd aside. But you know what nothing has changed the quality is just as good, in fact its better in the line up from 1750 to the end of the year in 1763.

Dredd - Day of Chaos just keeps cranking up the the pressure. Its a slow steady build, that at the time built the tension supremely. It works even better in re-read however as for once knowing where things are going only adds to the impact. You have no false hope, no wonder at how Dredd will pull this one out the bag. Just the grinding acceptance that he won't and you see each mistake as it drops into place. Yet your so invested you still care, you still think, surely not...

... but nothing will change...

Ampney Crucis - The English Assassin - this is the story when this series really clicked with me. It was kinda just there beforehand but here when I first read it I bought in entirely. All the pieces were in place. The stakes felt real and it all just bolted together. I've enjoyed it all in re-read, possibly for the reason stated, as I know already this is coming and am able to enjoy the build - but this one still feels like an elevation. Its probably becuase Crucis himself feels more vulernable and therefore likable.

What is also exciting is I can't remember now the next (and I think?) final story goes and I'm really looking forward to re-read that one.

Indigo Prime -Everything and more \ Anthropocalypse - its billed as two stories, but really its one and an amazing one to boot. Its is also the reason in the recent Art Droid vote I think I'd have voted for Edmund Bagwell over Brian Bolland - no seriously his art he is that good. Don't get me wrong I adore Bolland BUT... well I think sometimes its easy to get pulled into reflecting back on art from your youth more positively as its so formative in what makes great art in your head. But stop, pick up this story and reflect, Bolland would have done an epic job on this I'm sure. Jigsaw Man makes clear he's able to do the incredible and fantastic BUT could he have done the horror as well. Would the design have been as breathtaking. The page layouts as bold and compelling, able to drive the story along as well... could he have done all 12 episodes so they came out in just 14 weeks (I know, I know you shouldn't judge the art by the speed).

I honestly think Bolland isn't capable of doing this story with quite the same astonishing verve as Edmund Bagwell. Go on I dare you go back and judge for yourself...

Oh and John Smith's story is bloody astonishing too! Glorious word play, fanastical ideas and all bound in a deceptively simple plot to elevate both (plot and story) to a different level. Genius.

Angel Zero - An easy one to forget but we don't have enough of these contained done in one go multi-part stories like this. This one by Kek-W with typically brilliant artwork by John Burns is a doozy. Its a driven, high octane thrill ride. The story Maggie Roth trying to escape her past so she can live her future. It just keeps going, driving character and readers forward in such brilliantly unrelenting style. Then BANG its gone and doesn't need to come back... well okay, okay I'd actually love to return to this world to she how the child she is carrying at the end of the story turned out, but there's no real need.

Low Life - The Deal - in many way the culmination of the series, though of course it will be back to such wonderful affect in a year or so. But this stroyline wraps up Aimee Nixon's tale... well of course it doesn't... but it sees Frank reach the end of his tale... well of course it doesn't... it ends the power struggle on Low L... well look nothing really ends here does it. But it could have. This is a magnificent conclusion, even if it continues. We learn so much about Frank and this story really finished the slow and wonderful development we've had of him as a character. Its a fantastic character study wrapped in crazy no holds barred action adventure.

Just wish they hadn't kept doing the shooting him to the point it felt implusible that either him or Aimee were still going by the end!

Oh and D'Israeli's art is sublime.

So all that, 5 great to astonishing stories and a quite brilliant Sinister Dexter tale to wrap up (a little to quickly) much of the Moses War storyline.

Interesting both Dredd and Sinister Dexter will continue into the end of year Prog, but I'll get to that next year, irritatingly as I can't wait to crack on with both.

And so we're done with 2011. I'll be back in the next day or two to review the year. But man the second half (at least) has had two line-up that really have cemented the ideas that this NuGolden Age is as good as any time the Prog has known.

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1030 on: 14 November, 2020, 03:24:54 PM »
Angel Zero was for me one of those  underrated stories.  Would not mind if it returns
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1031 on: 16 November, 2020, 09:35:32 PM »


2011

Blah, blah blah, praise. Yackity splaterty Yack gush. Jabber jabber jabber NuGolden Age. Good grief is it any surprise that I'm always forgetting to do these end of year review thingies these days. Its really quite dull to look at a year and all you can say is again some core classics running through, underpinning Tharg's ability to drop yet more new material to keep things freah. And its another year like that. So last years prediction was of course utterly correct, when I said...

Quote
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.

Yep this again. I've long since given up saying which was the best year in thrillpower but its hard to imagine any two Prog runs as contained and fantastically balanced as the last two of 2011. Which isn't to say the beginning wasn't smackin' as well. It was but those two very contained runs are really  easy to define as brilliant. Next year its not going to be any different is it. So

Quote
And so we go into 2011 2012 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.

BUT, but, BUT, we'll get an ending, a big ending. An important ending. And a question. As Dante goes does he leave leave a hole that even Tharg's form of late can't fill. Do we see a chink in the Golden armour? Are things going to start to weaken. We almost certainly won't get to answer that until the following year, but it will be interesting to see how the next couple of years develop...

... trouble is to get more interesting the Prog is going to have to get worse and boring as it is we don't want that!

Greg M.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1032 on: 16 November, 2020, 09:46:43 PM »
As Dante goes does he leave leave a hole that even Tharg's form of late can't fill.
Less a Dante-shaped hole specifically, more a Robbie Morrison-shaped one in general.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1033 on: 27 November, 2020, 09:17:02 PM »


Early thoughts on great things - 2012 begins

Early 2012 has two of the great stories in 2000ad's history in my mind. That's no mean feat. But they are surrounded by many lovely things so I think its time for one of these short and snappy numbered thingies.

1. Prog 2012ad makes the smart move for pausing 'Day of Chaos' the grinding ill omens it stamps out are not for a Christmas mood.

2. The 'Don't' choose your own adventure of 'Choose your own X-Mas' is a genius choice of sub. Its not as dark as DoC... but it has its own twisted darkness with is just perfect for X-Mas 2000ad

3.Mind if we think DoC is too dark for X-Mas 2000ad what the heck is the superb 'Absalom - Sick Leave' it brilliant but damn its grim.

4. So if one of the great stories of 2000ad's history is paused  the second 'The Wedding of Jena Makarov' begins in 2012ad. With Dante being born and 'bonding'(ish) with his pirate mum. In the 'present day' the line of war are drawn and Dante hangs tortured and beaten... ho ho ho.

5. Don't worry the next just sees the torture and brutal mauling of romans and Britons as Aquila makes its violent and wonderful entrance.

6. But X-Mas is the time for giving and Tharg in these days doesn't - of course - stop short of one great new thrill and wipes out the luxary stocking filler of 'Grey Area; as his next new thrill.

7. But the mood is delightfully lightened by the cutist of Sinister Dexter tales as our gunsharks trip through the dimensions chasing Ms Deeds. The dimensions of course involve JD, Old One Eye, Dante, Johnny and Wulf and Gene the Hackman. Its an indulgence but X-Mas is all about over indulgence and this one revels in it and is a nice capper to the over arching story.

8. Johnny is back from the dead as well... but he's got a banging headache and we'll come back to that.

9. So we enter the new year line-up with Day of Chaos crushing hope in such a magnificent way, Grey Area being much better in its opening than I remembered, Nikolai Dante being precision brilliance, Absalom charging back (after skipping a prog) is dark and delicious form and Strontium Dog of course absolutely brill... well actually compared to the other thrills I find it a bit miandering...

10. See the other thrill and punchy have clear purpose and tone and I find the start of The Project a little drifty as I've found some other longer form Strontium Dogs. With this creative team its of course not bad, its crafted expertly. Its just it lacks the strangle hold the others have on where its going and what its doing. That might not be a bad thing. Johnny is in a similar state, its just it stands out like a sore thumb here against the pure fried glory of DoC and TWoJM.

Still if not quite perfect Strontium Dog is the worst I have to say we're in pretty damned fine shape aren't we!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1034 on: 29 November, 2020, 09:25:58 PM »


All change ... but not all

After two tight lean runs at the end of 2011 things get a bit choppier in early 2011. Not specifically a problem but a interesting point of note. Dante and Day of Chaos form the spine of the first half of 2012. You feel Tharg would have liked the second half of 'The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha' to be a third strand. Alas just as the story finds its steel and direction as The Project stands about to be revealed in Prog 1771 it drifts out. Part 2 of this story doesn't really do anything in an of itself. It bridges the big resurrection line of Chapter 1 and the further betrayals of mutant kind in the later chapters but in itself it doesn't really feel complete alas. Still by the end its gaining momentum that means Chapter 3 can't come quickly enough.

Absalom finishes a great little story. In come two second books, which will have mixed results as I recall. Age of the Wolf and modern Flesh - with the omninous sign of 7 riders of the horizon, a Mills staple riding well trodden ground, but we'll come to that.

Grey Area then ends a superb run of early stories, one I didn't rate too highly at the time, though I enjoyed it enough. The slight shame is knowing on re-read that the excellent twist at the end of Bulliet's reveal as a xenophobe is just a slight of hand. More soon.

In then comes Zaucer of Zilk for something a little bit special as I recall. Ewings clever word play wonderful supporting McCarthy's glorious visuals and ideas. Gaps and filled and the next stories already approach. This kind of zig zagging of stories is standard fare and makes for a good and heady mix. It does however feel curious after the end of 2011. But then a bit of curiousity is of course a very good thing.