2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Prog 139

ITEM: My theory that the annuals are produced well in advance of their publication and even further ahead of the intended Christmas market seems to have been confirmed in last prog's Nerve Centre. In response to a letter from a reader about Brett Ewins, Tharg comments that he is currently working on a colour Judge Dredd strip for the 1981 annual. This is November 1979, but let's say that the deadline for this issue was six weeks earlier. This means that they are currently putting together the 1981 annuals at least ten months ahead of publication. No wonder they seem grossly out of step with what is happening in the weekly.

ITEM: This prog sees the end of the ABC Warriors run. In it, the giant robot with five bickering brains, George, kicks the hell out of BioL's head quarters (BioL being the corrupt corporation that grows synthi-meat and has been setting fire to the farms of their competitors). Working for a huge, corrupt organisation myself, I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for all the office and factory workers that were trampled to death, especially when you consider that the bosses, the real bad guys, probably work remotely from home or are visiting a tropical planet on "business".

The characters don't return for several years, and when they do, it's as members of the supporting cast in Nemesis The Warlock. Considering the Mars story is left unresolved and the popularity of the strip, this seems a little odd. I remember hearing rumours that script robot, Pat Mills, was in dispute with the editors, possibly over other writers working on his characters, which might explain his low profile in 2000 AD over the coming months.

ITEM: Talking of characters created by Pat Mills that are written by other people; Disaster 1990 starring Bill Savage finishes this prog. The story ends with it snowing in London and a caption informing us that, within three years, everything is back to normal.

If I could be assured that the ice caps would refreeze this quickly and easily then it makes continuing to use underarm deodorant and not bothering to switch the telly off properly seem not such a big deal. I just fear for future Britain, where Glastonbury Festival goers are the most experienced to survive the flood.

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