2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, July 16, 2007

Prog 167

Comic Rock, the first and, fortunately, last in a planned series of thrills inspired by contemporary pop hits of the day, appears in this prog. It’s the first appearance of Nemesis the Warlock in a beautifully conceived and rendered strip by creator robots Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill. In fact, if you have a copy of this prog, I advice you to dig it out and pour over this comic strip right now. Great, isn't it?

I've always felt that successful mainstream comics are better off distancing themselves from any overt association with pop music. Apart from science fiction, little dates faster than rock and just because on this occasion the strip was inspired by Going Underground by The Jam, which so far seems to have stood the test of time, future episodes could just as easily have been influenced by tracks by Hue and Cry or Fleetwood Mac. John Wagner and Ron Smith had the right idea of how to treat pop musicians when they featured in a recent episode of The Judge Child a more timeless rock satire in the form of Rockin' Rocky Rock.

By, in general, not desperately associating itself with whatever faddish pop trend was occurring at the time, 2000 AD managed to be even more cool for it. It seemed to get more coverage in publications like NME, Time Out and ID Magazine, anyway. It was only later, when it started to run feature pages on house and heavy rock music that it begins to slip towards being embarrassing.

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  • I agree entirely.

    When this prog came out I was eleven years old and the whole enterprise made me feel queasy. 2000ad was supposed to be for smart geeks like myself; there were any number of other (lesser) publications that celebrated contemporary pop and I remember feeling like they were pissing in my pool. And reading it today, it STILL feels like a bolted-on 'trendy vicar' editorial decision to prove that they're down wit' da kids.

    And as for your allusion to the (much) later progs that dallied with house/rock/acid/whatever, that was when I stopped buying 2000ad for good.

    As dated as glow-sticks.

    By Blogger Stavros, at 1:30 pm  

  • Oh - and Hue and Cry...**shudders**

    By Blogger Stavros, at 1:37 pm  

  • Stavros, I thought glow-sticks were back!

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 3:58 pm  

  • that's gotta be the worst logo as well ain't it?

    By Blogger doppelganger, at 6:59 pm  

  • There was another Comic Rock, the two-part "Killer Watt", supposedly inspired by the album "Killer Watts", whatever that might have been. No artist named. I'm guessing it was a compilation of electronic music or something. "Killer Watt" was another Nemesis strip, and the "Comic Rock" angle seems to have been pretty tacked on.

    By Blogger paddybrown, at 8:00 pm  

  • Pop associations notwithstanding, witness the birth of a 2000AD great, with art by O'Neill no less. A great moment in brit comic history!

    By Blogger mat_tait, at 7:42 am  

  • Doppelganger, it's not as good as his other logos, but it's fun.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:16 am  

  • Paddybrown, you might be right about another comic rock strip. Chosing an album that most twelve year olds hadn't heard of might have been what killed the idea.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:18 am  

  • Mat, I just might have another look at the strip later, it's that good.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:18 am  

  • but O'Neill had been working on 2000AD since the planning stage. In fact, IIRC, he threatened to quit if he wasn't transferred to the new project. His boss was not impressed.

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 2:52 pm  

  • I suspect that O'Neill drew the little 'Thrill Number' boxes in the very early progs - the small panels that were replaced with the familiar 'credit card'.

    The lawgiver gun and MACH1 in particular seem to have his hand behind them. Anybody know for sure?

    By Blogger Stavros, at 2:11 pm  

  • I always presumed that O'Neill designed the original logo.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 3:37 pm  

  • I agree - the logo looks like his draughtmanship too.

    By Blogger Stavros, at 1:20 pm  

  • I actually quite like this logo - as a one off, anyway. I now wonder whether occasional readers were confused when comics suddenly appeared with different logos like this - perhaps a few missed out on their usual fix because they couldn't see the usual logo.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 2:28 pm  

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