2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Prog 226

Groan. It's The Mean Arena and it's back. This time it's not even drawn by Steve Dillon but Eric Bradbury instead. Don't get me wrong, I like Eric Bradbury's art, but at least Dillon's style seemed to brighten this strip up a bit.

A competition from a few progs ago might have gone some way to prolonging the life of The Mean Arena. Readers were asked to design a team uniform for use in future episodes and this prog sees the first by Jez Fabian of Penzance Cornwall. Competition contractual obligation is the only explanation I can think of for this "thrill's" continued presence. In fact, I can't understand why it's still running. Why does everyone at 2000 AD seem so determined to make it work? I can't be the only person who feels the way I do about it, surely.

During the strip's absence, Tharg has been promising that its return would be with added thrill power. Maybe this is the case but, for me, reading comics originally published weekly in a contracted period of time as I am, it's difficult to forget the occasions that I turned to The Mean Arena during the slog and felt my stomach turn. To be fair, I am now interested enough to be able to follow what is happening and, as I say, Dillon's art, when he draws it, lifts it out of the doldrums. Actually, now that I think about it, that is really saying something when you consider that also appearing along side it in recent progs are Strontium Dog, Nemesis the Warlock and the Brian Bolland drawn Four Dark Judges.

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  • Sorry if I missed this in an earlier post, but I've been away and am catching up. Is Mean Arena written by Tom Tully? He did the sport serials and I just read in David Bishop's 'official' history that Tully was a shoe-in for every edition of 2000ad, as part of the Fleetway/IPC old guard. Editors had no choice but to give the old duffer pages to burn.

    By Blogger Stavros, at 2:51 pm  

  • Yep, it's written by Mr Tully. Thing is, I can think of strips that he wrote that I quite liked as a kid, it's The Mean Arena that fails for me.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:30 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:30 pm  

  • Ach I kinda know what you mean. I always had huge fondness for 'Inferno', but I suspect it was Bellardinelli's artwork.

    By Blogger Stavros, at 1:36 am  

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