2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Prog 158

Today I'm talking about Gerry Finlay-Day's Fiends of the Eastern Front that might be interesting to you as I was critical of his The VCs in yesterday’s post. In Fiends, the diary of a young German soldier written in 1944 is found during 1980. Hans Schmitt's unit is fighting alongside a team of Romanians who he has discovered also happen to be vampires. Things get complicated for Schmitt when his unit receives news that Romania has switched sides.

During 1980, I was only buying 2000 AD occasionally so although I remember Fiends I don't remember ever reading it. I think this is partly due to the strip being continuous but, if I'm honest. it was mainly due to me feeling that it had no place being in 2000 AD. This was a science fiction paper, not a war or horror comic. I still wonder if the strip was created with its equal appropriateness for Battle in mind.

It hasn't helped that I've always felt vampires to be an overrated genre idea. What do they do? Drink blood… turn into bats… burn when exposed to daylight… get driven by powerful urges... How can this have generated so many stories over the centuries? However, I genuinely think that that Fiends is a good idea. The recent graphic novel, 30 Days of Night, is about to be released as a movie. Yet in fiends, the vampires enjoying the experience of weeks of nighttime in Antarctica, the premise for 30 Days of Night, is merely a four-paged episode.

Most interesting of all is that the main protagonist is a German soldier. This is quite a challenging and, coupled with the vampirism, dark idea at the time in what is a children's comic after all. It's thanks to strips like this that I find myself wondering if Finley-Day is a better comic creator than history gives him credit for.

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  • I, too, recall thinking Fiends was out of place in 2000ad. I read it in a cursory fashion (after all, money had changed hands for this ink-sodden paper and by Drokk I was going to squeeze every groat out of it) and it singularly failed to engage me. On the strength of your comments I'm going to go back and read it.

    But, I doubt I'll ever forgive Mr GFD for Dan Dare.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 9:51 pm  

  • As you can tell, I'm dealing with my issues for GFD in this blog, Ken.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 12:30 pm  

  • In a moment's weakness I've confused GFD with Tom Tully. Hmmmm...

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 1:28 pm  

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