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Author Topic: Last Comic Read  (Read 8909 times)

Professor Bear

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Re: Last Comic Read
« Reply #45 on: 05 May, 2019, 05:58:29 pm »
From 1979 - the year everyone in the UK jinxed it by saying "thank God this decade is over, at least the next one can't get any worse" - comes The Crunch #1-9.
The Crunch is, I suppose, best described as a DC Thompson version of Tornado - not quite as brutal as Action or as blatantly sci-fi as 2000ad, it's still got its moments here and there, and even the letters pages are worth a gander for the well-meaning agony aunt advice which was likely progressive for the time but is nowadays probably referred to as pure "Yer Dad".  I especially liked the readers' opinions which were sometimes brutal in their appraisal of the work, like the kid who took the time to pen a rant against one of the strip artists' ability (or not) with likenesses, which is definitely very open and candid for a letters page, but just made me think that it was a dick move by the editor to publish it, and completely at odds with the warm, encouraging environment I've been led to believe DC Thompson was.
As a twooth fan of many years, I should naturally gravitate towards the Running Man trappings of ARENA*, a dystopian tale about a journalist fitted-up by the government and forced to fight to the death in televised gladiatorial matches - if only for the blatantly gratuitous multi-bear rampage through the terrified audience - but the sensationalist claptrap of the rest of the book is often far more entertaining, be it the not-as-racist-as-I-expected exploits of Native American bounty hunter Bear Paw Jay aka The Mantracker which reminded me a lot of the later One Eyed Jack stories, or the "IT WILL ALWAYS BE TOO SOON" approach of name-first-story-later fodder like Hitler Lives! (an ex-Nazi searches for Hitler through post-war Germany) or Who Killed Cassidy? (two journalists punch their way through an investigation into the conspiracy surrounding the assassination of US president Jack F Cassidy).  I can't say I'm a big fan of The Walking Bombs (an evil Irish scientist develops a device which turns people's hearts into nuclear bombs), and there's probably some Opinions to be expressed about the not-even-subtext of Clancy And The Man (a white cop gets a black partner who isn't allowed a gun - their first meeting has him kicking the (undercover) black guy in the face while exclaiming "have some "SOLE" music, Man!"), and the whole thing is rounded out with The Kyser Experiment (an evil British scientist creates footballing supermen, for not-yet apparent reasons), a footy story that flip-flops between genres and is just a sequence of daffy twists and its lead character thinking "Blimey!" a lot.  Lots of articles about cutting-edge science or adventurers of the day that I can look up on my phone and see if they ever amounted to much, and there were a surprising number of people who ended up getting decapitated in the course of doing something they arguably shouldn't, although some have ended up growing old and fat and inventing their own line of skis for use on sand.  Okay.
Mostly it's just old-school and I shall decline to infer bad intentions to the racial stuff and simply call it a bit cringe, but yeah, I quite enjoyed this and think I'll spring for a job lot of the full run the next time I see one on Ebay, as I'd quite like to see how a lot of this nonsense pans out.

* Bear Alley Books brought out a collected edition of the ARENA strips in the last few years, now sadly out of print but worth tracking down if you're a fan of 2000ad tales of a similar vintage.

Professor Bear

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Re: Last Comic Read
« Reply #46 on: 05 May, 2019, 06:02:14 pm »
Tch.  Should have done "The CRUNCH?  More like THE CRINGE."