2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Annual 1980

This is the third annual and I am beginning to think that there is no excuse for getting things incorrect now. Just look at the cover, for example; Judge Dredd is painted all wrong. Did the people putting together these annuals think; well it doesn't matter if Judge Dredd is wrong. We're aiming for a different market, anyway. A general feel, that's all that matters.

Inside, the wrongness continues. None of the established acts gets any of the colour pages. Some of the strips have a second colour, red, which almost obliterates the black and white art underneath. There's an Invasion story in there; the strip having finished in the weekly a year ago. Judge Dredd strolls the sun kissed beaches of Mega-Miami, smiling at the law-abiding citizens enjoying their leisure time. A direct contradiction to a recent story that appeared in the weekly where the bad tempered Dredd falls into the Black Atlantic and has to have all the poisons pumped from his body. And Dan Dare? I have no idea what is happening there.

My favourite strip is the Future Shock styled, Benny's Tale. In it, dumb Benny receives medical treatment to make him very intelligent. In the end, he is so smart that, when he sees a car hurtling towards him, he stands still, analysing the situation, instead of leaping out of its way. My favourite moment however, is when, halfway through the course of treatments, Benny's brain gets so big, that he is pictured relaxing with a group of bikini clad babes, all of which are impressed by his big forehead muscles.

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  • God, was I disappointed on Christmas morning when I read this annual. It truly is tripe. The previous two at least had some interesting little one-offs, and half-decent reprints - but 'Phantom Patrol'? To be frank, I don't know why the charmless thing is still sitting on my bookshelf, where even my desire for completeness fails to conjur up even the vaguest of warm feelings for this cardbound horror. Thank Tharg things do improve...

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 8:01 pm  

  • Thing is Ken, I don't understand why it was so crap. The weekly had been consistantly good for over two years by this point.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:58 pm  

  • I'm pretty sure your idea that the editorial team was different, is correct. Certainly, DC Thompson used to try out their junior staff on the annuals before letting them loose on the weeklies, surely IPC was the same? Also, again I recall an interview with a 2000ad editor droid where he said there was no budget allocation for the annuals aside from print - hence the massive use of reprints, and low-order creatives. I can only assume that in 1980 the tea ladydroid did the annual.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 9:30 am  

  • Oh, I remember Benny's Tale. When I first read it as a youngster, I thought it was terrible, but it's only when you're much older, you appreciate the irony and sly black humour of the story. That last page with the calculations is inspired brilliance.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 1:44 pm  

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