Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!  (Read 1744 times)

geronimo

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Speaking as a failed comics artist & writer.......
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #30 on: 11 September, 2019, 04:20:07 pm »
This might be the writers and artists reflecting what is going on in the real world and I can understand this, but can we not have at least a few stories that reflect a better world, one that we might strive for?
Cherrypicking here, but I'd love to know which classic 2000AD stories you think reflect a better world? There's
 the odd character here and there who thinks they're doing something the right thing - Johnny Alpha or Torquemada, for example - but it's invariably against the backdrop of a fairly unpleasant setting.

Personally I gotta agree with McNulty here, the prog is a downer now compared with the old days. It is so lacking in the irony and wit that made it so much more entertaining then.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13925
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #31 on: 11 September, 2019, 05:05:55 pm »
This might be the writers and artists reflecting what is going on in the real world and I can understand this, but can we not have at least a few stories that reflect a better world, one that we might strive for?
Cherrypicking here, but I'd love to know which classic 2000AD stories you think reflect a better world? There's
 the odd character here and there who thinks they're doing something the right thing - Johnny Alpha or Torquemada, for example - but it's invariably against the backdrop of a fairly unpleasant setting.

Personally I gotta agree with McNulty here, the prog is a downer now compared with the old days. It is so lacking in the irony and wit that made it so much more entertaining then.

Is that a reflection on the Prog itself or on popular culture as a whole and the acknowledgement of an aging audience.

That's not to say someone can't find it too grimdark (is that still a word?) for their tastes of course, but certainly don't think it's the Prog alone that has developed that way.

geronimo

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Speaking as a failed comics artist & writer.......
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #32 on: 11 September, 2019, 05:26:25 pm »
This might be the writers and artists reflecting what is going on in the real world and I can understand this, but can we not have at least a few stories that reflect a better world, one that we might strive for?
Cherrypicking here, but I'd love to know which classic 2000AD stories you think reflect a better world? There's
 the odd character here and there who thinks they're doing something the right thing - Johnny Alpha or Torquemada, for example - but it's invariably against the backdrop of a fairly unpleasant setting.

Personally I gotta agree with McNulty here, the prog is a downer now compared with the old days. It is so lacking in the irony and wit that made it so much more entertaining then.

Is that a reflection on the Prog itself or on popular culture as a whole and the acknowledgement of an aging audience.

That's not to say someone can't find it too grimdark (is that still a word?) for their tastes of course, but certainly don't think it's the Prog alone that has developed that way.

Nah! it's the prog now I think. Recently I reread The Taxidermist and just loved its tongue-in-cheek, self-mocking humour. no one in it was being taken seriously and that as much came from Dillons art as the writing. Absalom had a touch of it, taking the p*** out of it's own genre with over the top silly violence and ridicelous characters in silly situations.
I really cant be arsed to pick up this weeks prog, its 4 grim stories and SinDex; the filler of fillers.

Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8291
  • Pretend I typed IMHO
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #33 on: 11 September, 2019, 05:49:33 pm »
I reread The Taxidermist and just loved its tongue-in-cheek, self-mocking humour. no one in it was being taken seriously and that as much came from Dillons art as the writing

Kennedy/Farmer, bud. Although Dillon provided a cover.

I think we reap what we sow. Carroll took pelters for Paradox Vega riding a giant puppy and Dredd surfing a dead dog, so now he's playing safe by pivoting to downbeat, cynical crime dramas that impress the inner teenage boy of middle-aged readers as the kind of thing that should be taken seriously.*

Williams & Weston just gave us blind Dredd eating a rat and crawling through shit, but then again they also gave us chimps in space.


* I can't remember the origin of the quote, but Charles Lippincott cites the maxim that writers should avoid humour in superhero or science fiction stories because taking the piss out of the reader's favourite character is like laughing at their dick. I suppose that works the other way round, too - when writers put their heart into creating a character they hope readers will love, it must be a wounding experience to see your fictional child rejected or derided. Nobody likes having their dick laughed at

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25283
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #34 on: 11 September, 2019, 06:50:05 pm »
The judges have been baddies for a very long time now. Even Fargo knew it. Callously manipulating a perp (and she is a perp, however unwilling) to bring down organised crime hardly seems like a new development.

Equally, the Southers created several entire subspecies of clones indoctrinated from birth and sent them out to kill and die on a planet they had ruined with chemical warfare,  then hunted the soie survivor as a deserter; almost all the officers we met in the GFD run were bastards (Magnum, Kovert etc). That they have psychotic sadists in the ranks is also nothing new.

Plus Sgt Klaur rescuing his Kapiten against orders and Helix & Syd rescuing a sprog has to count for a positive spin, no?

Which is my way of saying I thought this was a really great well-stuffed prog.

If this Dredd sticks the landing it'll be my favourite Dredd story since 'Harvey'. Great stuff and oh-so pretty.

Really liked the 3riller, brave to go for decompressed action, and it leaves me wanting more. Also confirms my belief that only Willsher can colour Willsher.

SinDex is like a particularly tasty IPA, 6% at Ieast. This is an addictive tale, great to see the long setup knitting together.

Jaegir is Jaegir, may the suns never set on Nordland's finest daughter.

Richard

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2209
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #35 on: 11 September, 2019, 07:00:34 pm »
Yeah, 2000AD has always been different from other comics precisely because it tends to steer clear of happy-ever-after endings and so on. It's always been bleak and cynical. I agree that there wasn't any humour in this week's prog, but there has been recently. Sinister Dexter usually has jokes, Machine Law had the scene in The Unco-operative supermarket, and so on. Even the demon-possessed Margaret Thatcher only last week may have been Kek-W trying to lighten the mood.

Plus as Frank points out, whenever someone tries to do comedy they face a tough audience here. Why should they bother?

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25283
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #36 on: 11 September, 2019, 07:30:13 pm »
Do the final panels of Indigo Prime not count as a gag? Or even microscopic aliens burning Thatcher's final form with a giant magnifying glass? I'm ideologically excluded from enjoying IP, but I thought those bits were pretty funny.

DrJomster

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1002
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #37 on: 11 September, 2019, 10:27:33 pm »
Just having the name Barbarbara is very 2000AD of old. Still loving that, several progs in.

Also. SinDex is just excellent at the moment. I really want see where this goes next. Loving the slow build as each prog progresses. No pressure, obviously... the art’s looking gorgeous too.

The hippo has wisdom, respect the hippo.

norton canes

  • Member
  • Sentient Tea Bot
  • **
  • Posts: 364
  • The leper heart will see you for what you are
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #38 on: 12 September, 2019, 12:02:30 pm »
At last, I get to review the prog in the thread I started a week ago  :)

Dredd cranks up the tension big time, taking the Judges' disregard for the rights and well-being of the common Cit to new levels. Though I can't help feeling they might have been better using someone from the Wally Squad, someone a lot less likely to crack under pressure. Or perhaps that's the point..?

SinDex is a beautiful read, as ever. Long may it continue to fill four-week slots before jumping-on progs.

Rather impertinent of IP to take up so many pages, I thought.

Red Road, hmm... I think it's perhaps asking rather a lot for us to buy into a continuation when we've been given so little information about the protagonists or the world the inhabit. I get that as a 3riller it's run like an action-packed pre-credits sequence but it needed, I think, to at least hint at a little more depth beyond the vague exchange in the final page.

Jaegir - killing it. Literally.

broodblik

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 896
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #39 on: 12 September, 2019, 02:23:02 pm »
The cover rough version:



and the final version without logo:


Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8291
  • Pretend I typed IMHO
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #40 on: 12 September, 2019, 08:08:49 pm »
Red Road ... I get that as a 3riller it's run like an action-packed pre-credits sequence but it needed, I think, to at least hint at a little more depth beyond the vague exchange in the final page.


You're forgetting the non-twist that humans are the real monsters! Page 19 of Al Ewing's Ultimate Future Shock.





Once I got over my disappointment that Red Road wasn't an even more inappropriate 2000ad film adaptation than A Life Less Ordinary, I thought Ewington & Willsher's Mars Max: Fury Red was okay.

I'm either in complete agreement with the Right Honourable Member for Norton Canes (East) or disagree in the strongest possible terms. Maybe I'll have made up my mind by the end of this post.

NEEDS MORE WORD: Shakespeare coined the saying all comparisons are odious, although I think Cervantes made better use of the phrase, and Pat Mills is in every way the equal of both authors.







Similar number of panels per page, twice the number of text balloons/panels, so many words you can't read them in the image above^. Although in terms of characters established and action shown, the balance is broadly similar, the amount of world-building in Comic Rock is significantly greater. 

It'd be a brave modern-day writer who packed panels with characters instructing the reader where to look. explaining what they were seeing and who was doing it, but behold the mileage (pun) Mills gets just from compulsively naming every supporting character, vehicle, and lamp post Brother O'Neill illuminates.

NEEDS MORE PICTURE: I love Ben Willsher's art. Like the astute commentators of ECBT2000ad, I prefer the exaggeration and energy of his previous stylised work, but, unlike the spiteful hatemongers of ECBT2000ad, I like this more photo-referenced, Lee Carterist work almost as much, even if it's undeniably more static.





Hard Boiled #2. Art by Geof Darrow, drunken blether about Islam and Momma's boys by Frank Goddam Miller


Although it's lost in that blurry, shrunken image above^, Geof(rey) With One Eff's occasional stupidly detailed panels have the same effect as Patrick With One Tee's text, slowing the progress of the reader's eye around the page and through the story. Darrow runs the film at Benny Hill speed during simple, boring functional panels ...

... and slows the frame rate down to bullet-time for showpiece action carnage, forcing the reader to take in every tiny detail of those Mandlebrot car wrecks and hyper-crenellated panes of shattered glass - in much the same way survivors of real-life crashes report the brain experiences events at reduced speed and in great detail.

Much as I love Ben Willsher's art and admire the economy of Ewington's prose, I'm not sure either give the reader enough cause to pause and take in each panel in the manner necessary to lend the story the dramatic weight and visual density to avoid skipping lightly across the consciousness of the reading mind like a smooth stone on a still pond.

More of either would produce the desired effect*


* Fooled you, Norton - I didn't make up my mind at all. Equivocation rules.

Woolly

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3977
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #41 on: 12 September, 2019, 08:34:05 pm »
No offence Frank, but I think I've just found a cure for my insomnia...

Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8291
  • Pretend I typed IMHO
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #42 on: 12 September, 2019, 08:41:40 pm »
No offence Frank, but I think I've just found a cure for my insomnia...

That's a pity. I mention you by name at the 800 word mark.



TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25283
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #43 on: 12 September, 2019, 10:05:22 pm »
I dunno how I find myself defending strips that both cruelly benefit from the reader remembering what happened in the last 'book' (or indeed previous week) AND strips that are just one big dozen-page action scene with the plot squeezed onto the last 2 pages.

Something something anthology something.

IndigoPrime

  • Administrator
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8339
    • View Profile
    • http://www.craiggrannell.com
Re: Prog 2148 - Fear of the Machine!
« Reply #44 on: 13 September, 2019, 10:14:25 am »
Quite. There’s this notion that 2000 AD must be X or Y. It’s best when it’s X and Y. Decent anthologies (and also magazines, newspapers, etc.) are about pacing. Five strips packed to the gills with text balloons would be too much. Five strips as light as the Thriller would be borderline ephemeral. I like that in a Prog where you had a fairly dense Dredd, the always wordy Sin/Dex, and the WTF of Indigo Prime that there was a straightforward and decompressed strip. As for the ‘twist’, I didn’t really see it as such, given that she was throughout trying to save an alien in a cage. If anything, it slotted into that grand tradition in 2000 AD that goes back to the aforementioned Nemesis (and continues in the likes of Lawless) about humans generally being awful, thereby echoing modern-day realities on our own planet.