2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, June 22, 2007

Prog 135

Disaster 1990 is another example of a strip that I am surprised to find myself enjoying. In it, Invasion 1999's Bill Savage roams around a severely flooded Britain after an accidental nuclear explosion melts the polar ice caps. (You know how it is. You're cleaning the spare room and you accidentally knock over a nuclear bomb that someone has left lying around. "I told him to put that away." Boom!).

There is much that fascinates me about Disaster 1990. For example, how does Britain dry out so completely in time for the Volgan invasion nine years later? How can the distance between the setting of a science fiction strip be further away from the present than the year it was created in? Disaster 1990 is the British version of The Day After Tomorrow set twelve years before and made eleven before that.

I am mostly intrigued as to what happened to script robot Gerry Finley-Day. The last thing I heard was he was no longer writing comics. I am interested to know what it is that led him to giving up comics at a time when many of his peers were making their break in America. More about that in The Slog later, I suppose.

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  • I always figured Findley Day as the reactionary old fart of the 2000ad writers: not much imagination, usually wrote war stories with scifi moves grafted on, and was prone to using and abusing the stereotypes of an older generation of comics, like the cold war stand ins of the volgans or the norts, or in the VCs the geeks who seemed pretty clearly to me even as a kid to be only a vowel away from gooks. The popularity of Rogue Trooper always mystified me and I used to skip over it when reading the progs.

    By Blogger mat_tait, at 2:09 am  

  • Mat, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for the purpose of The Slog. I think that so far, his work seems to sit somewhere between the young guns and more traditionalist writers we saw in 2000 AD. I'm enjoying his Bill Savage tales at the moment :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:45 am  

  • I keep citing these interviews that stick in my mind but Disaster 1990 was referred to as '...bloody Disaster 1980' by Alan Grant, I think - it wasn't popular with 2000ad's readership, and it read like Mat described, a war story with bits tacked on.

    As far as I'm concerned I found the strip drab and unreadable: but that's foible of mine when presented with poor or pedestrian artwork, I find it hard to push through that to a potentially good yarn.

    I loved Rogue Trooper, as it 'looked' so good...

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 9:16 am  

  • Ken, it's not a classic but it's solid, I think.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 12:07 pm  

  • I agree somewhat with the sentiments expressed by Mat. Rogue Trooper seemed never-ending. And that smart-arsed backpack that could store ANYTHING in unlimited quantities with it's pissy wee robot arm to vend with. Grrrr...thirty years later and it still pisses me off...

    By Blogger Stavros, at 10:38 pm  

  • I remember reading somewhere that Finley-Day was contracted to IPC (I don't know why) so they had to use him. The same source also alleged that Dave Gibbons ended up doing a lot of scripting on Rogue Trooper with Finley-Day getting an obligatory credit (but without doing much work). All this is allegedly as I cannot remember the source (it might have been from Judge Dredd Megazine) so apologies to Gerry if I'm wrong.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 1:54 pm  

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