2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, July 20, 2007

Prog 175

After my initial anxieties regarding the racial under/overtones in the strip, The VCs didn't turn out to be too bad in the end. In fact, I could almost believe that any similarity between the ‘geeks’ and a race or nationality in the real world is purely coincidental. It's as if Smith's father's verbal slip up (as mentioned in a previous Slog entry, he "accidentally" referred to the Geeks as "gooks") might have been script robot Gerry Finley-Day letting us know that the association is something that had never occurred to him before then.

Okay, I sound like I'm trying to convince myself more than anyone but I'm not convinced that the association stuck for most of the thrill's run. When I encountered the VCs as a kid, I thought of the geeks as being a more modern and literal interpretation of the word itself; "other than us"; "less than us"; "those with an interest in and knowledge about something that we're not interested in or knowledgeable about". Basically, alien. In the case of this strip, the Geeks are meant to be the enemy; meant to mean nothing more to us than Doctor Who monsters or Godzilla adversaries.

This isn't to say that the VCs is a strip worthy of being in 2000 AD's Premier League; now that I've read it from beginning to end, I am still baffled on the occasions that I encounter old school readers who refer to it as their favourite strip. But there has been some great artwork by Mike McMahon, Gary Leach and Cam Kennedy, and some great moments where grown up me has got worked up over the ego driven decisions made by those administrators in charge of the troops.

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  • but oh, THAT COMPUTER.....

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 3:10 pm  

  • Yea! What was that all about? :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 7:28 pm  

  • I don't have this issue. What's the deal about the computer?

    By Blogger Stavros, at 1:25 pm  

  • It was a weird hologram thing with some sort of hipster personality. It baffled me.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 3:15 pm  

  • worse than a hologram - the Ship's computer had a *puppet* as it's crew interface - originally a court jester, then it got brain-fried, and went Sergeant-pepper styled-hipster pacifist, and only agreed to work with the crew again when they used a psychotic self-mutiliating crewmember to persuade it that genocidal warfare was the In Thing.

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 11:04 am  

  • I must admit that The VCs is one of my personal favourites. Loved it. Cam Kennedy's art was superb. He's a great war artist. Gave the strip a sense of realism. Gary Leach was great too. I think they both complimented each other. I was really pissed-off when they were replaced by John Richardson at the very end of the story. It was made worse (for me) by the fact he was trying to draw the strip in Kennedy's style.

    Always thought it'd make a good film or TV series.

    By Blogger Crow, at 8:57 am  

  • I think 175 was the first prog I ever bought - on camping holiday in Bodmin when I was 9 or 10. I had read one or two issues previously that kids at school had - we had a comics project once.

    I too had a big crush on Angelina. And gave up on 2000AD in the 90s, after being on/off for a while.

    By Blogger Sean, at 4:23 pm  

  • The reason the VCs worked for me, above all, was the slow build up of the six distinct members of the team and then their sudden, quite ruthless dispatch at the end really gave pathos to the strip. I also liked the way Smith won the approval of his team mates. Perhaps it isn't the most original of stories but it's beautifully paced.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 8:13 pm  

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