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2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Prog 86


I’m back at 2000 AD and this time I’ve bought with me Star Lord!

As a kid, when comics amalgamated together which was common place during the seventies and eighties, I totally bought into the hype that this was something to be excited about. It never occurred to me that this was happening because either or both of the titles had under performed in some way. To me, the best of both titles would be preserved resulting in a single, stronger comic and there was now space available in the newsagents, left by the cancelled weekly, to be filled by something exciting and new in the near future. It was natural selection at work before my very eyes but with comics.

As an adult in 2007, if a comic starts at all, when it fails it disappears without a word never to be heard from again. Or it lasts to go on and on and on, surviving on the fond memories of its current readers’ parents or the stagnant buying habits of loyal customers.

7 Comments:

  • I remember reading somewhere that with 2000ad it was *always* the case that the other 'incoming' title was substantially weaker commercially. There was never any indication that this was ever even a 50/50 situation. If I recall correctly we had Starlord, then Tornado subsumed into 2000ad. the latter freaked me out a bit - you had all this non-SF stuff coming in, suddenly given a fantasy or SF slant. Or perhaps that was just Blackhawk.
    This kind of merger happened with Battle and Action. And going further back - Whizzer and Chips! However, with these comics the commercial position was fairly even - ie. both titles going down the pan.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 10:04 am  

  • Ken, I think that you're right. My memory is that the general look of 2000 AD had more appeal to me than Star Lord did. I don't imagine that I was unique.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 10:30 am  

  • Yeah, I definitely preferred the 'look' of 2000ad. The best thing about Starlord was Carlos Ezquerra's colour stuff, which reminded me of some of the Heavy Metal stuff I'd glimpsed at the time. Aside from that, a lot of the artwork seemed unexciting, done in an odd latin american journeyman style that didn't have the appeal of 2000ad's star artists. Also, even I could see that the covers were sorta crappy facsimiles of painted sci fi book cover artwork.

    By Blogger mat_tait, at 12:54 am  

  • Mat, the covers used to remind me of the sci-fi books my dad had on the shelf that he told me I was too young to read. The Kevin O'Neill covers were great, though.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 12:36 pm  

  • Yeah, O'Neill's were great, otherwise they were kind of bad I thought, with the exception of a couple that Ezquerra did.
    I wonder exactly what the idea behind Starlord was, all I can think was that they thought there was enough of a market for sci fi stuff to accommodate both papers, with Starlord appealing to more 'sophisticated'(?) readers with a bit more dosh in their pocket. If that was case then it fell pretty short, and I say that despite having a lot of affection for it.

    By Blogger mat_tait, at 1:15 pm  

  • Apparantly, Star Lord was meant to be a monthly originally. The publishers changed their minds at the last minute which explains a lot about the look of it I think.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 3:16 pm  

  • It's funny thinking back to how you look at comics merging as a kid. My reaction was a bit different from yours, Paul. I always noticed that there was a big hype thing the week before comics merged, telling you that this was going to be amazing etc. However, I quickly cottoned on that, if you loved the comic being merged (as I did with Tornado into 2000AD and Hotspur into Victor) that I felt, hold on, this isn't good. I'm losing my comic! I always hated mergers for this reason but, like you, I don't think the commercial reasons for doing so struck me at the time.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 2:52 pm  

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