2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, September 28, 2007

Prog 235

ACE Trucking Co is only four weeks old and it’s had two covers already. Although not really head table material it is memorable strip; I would say it’s more an usher or someone close enough to the bride and groom to be asked to read a reading. (Am I over labouring this wedding analogy that I started with Prog 231 the other day? Okay, I’ll stop).

It’s a space version of those trucking films that were popular during the early eighties that I never wanted to see. The closest exposure to Citizen Band Radio I had prior to the start of this thrill was an Eddie Yates storyline on Coronation Street. The Ogden’s lodger buys a CB Radio and uses it to meet his girlfriend with who, if my memory is correct, he later leaves the show with.

ACE Trucking Co is written by the seemingly unstoppable team of John Wagner and Alan Grant (using the moniker of Grant Wagner, this time) and drawn by Massimo Bellardinelli, whose wrist must still be hurting from his marathon fifty part gig on Meltdown Man.

At this time, I’m not reading 2000 AD. I’m too busy frolicking with American comics like Frank Miller’s Daredevil and John Byrne’s Fantastic Four. When I do return to the Squaxx De Thargo, it’s over two years after the start of this thrill. With its hard core CB jibber jabber, which may be made up or authentic, I originally find it difficult to like. But there came a point in the thrill’s final days that I experience a moment of revelation and finally get it. Now, reading the start for the first time, twenty years after reading the finish, I’m surprised that I ever had a problem with it at all.

ACE Trucking Co is, so far, a fun situation comedy. It compliments the burden heavy leads of 2000 AD, most of which John Wagner and Alan Grant are responsible for, perfectly. In fact, I suspect that this is the reason for it’s existence; the antidote to the effects of writing the adventures of Ol’ Stony Face and the rest.

AFTERNOTE: I apologise for not writing this entry in Ace Garp’s CB speak which I suspect I should have. Maybe one day I’ll feel confident enough to try.

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  • One day I intend to go back and actually read Ace Trucking. But that day never seems to arrive. Maybe I'll die having never attempted it. I wonder if that's a problem. I suspect it isn't.

    Lovely art though.

    By Blogger Pete Ashton, at 7:08 pm  

  • Pete, I'll let you know if you should :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:18 am  

  • Ace Trucking was always a bit of a avourite of mine. Too Many Bams!

    By Blogger Peter, at 4:35 pm  

  • Ace does seem to polarise opinion somewhat. I admit I never did like it, and can't bring myself to spare the time to go back to read it again. To extend Pete's message, there's too much other stuff to get through before I shuffle off.

    Dare I say I got a bit peeved with Bellardinelli's artwork too? He seemed to go into puppet-show mode (which I suspect may have been deliberate) by drawing figures side-on frame after hieroglyphic-frame.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 9:57 am  

  • FYI my reading list at the time is very similar to yours: certainly Miller's Daredevil, Claremont's X-Men, Byrne's FF, and the Brit stuff like Dr Who Monthly, Marvel UK's Cap Britain, and lemme see - I spent a lot of time (and 'pocket' money) catching up with stuff like Warlock, Eternals, 2001, Machine Man, Staton's Green Lantern...I could go on, but my memory ain't what it used to be ;)

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 11:47 am  

  • Ken, I always remember being annoyed by Ace's scarf a lot as well. At present, its not particularly animated.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:30 am  

  • I remember one character having a ship named 'Old Peart III', numbers one and two both having been destroyed. As I recall, the character claimed it had always been a lucky name.

    When the dreadful Babylon 5 TV series came on I remember thinking of Ace Garp and the Old Peart. Who would set foot on a space station called 'Babylon 5' after numbers 1 to 4 were either destroyed, or, in a Spinal Tap moment, 'disappeared'?

    By Blogger Stavros, at 4:42 pm  

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