2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Prog 335

I’ve said it before and I fully expect to say it again; there’s nothing quite like a re-launch issue. It seems ages since the last. In fact, it might even be as far back as prog 178, the one with the free badge, although I’m not convinced that that can be right. Not so long from now, I won’t be able to move for re-launch issues as I remember them occurring around every three months or so.

And what a re-launch! Mike McMahon enters his third artwork phase with Slaine, the return of Nemesis the Warlock meticulously drawn by Kevin O’Neill, the return of Strontium Dog after a break which seemed to last an age and Brett Ewins, still competing for the role of definitive art robot to Rogue Trooper. The real star for me this prog however is Ron Smith. Smith seems to have been a rare sight in 2000 AD over recent months, I presume because of his commitments to the Daily Star strip. The opening page to Judge Dredd The Graveyard Shift must have convinced any doubters that he is an artist that compares favourably with his A-lister peers many of which appear along side him this prog.

This re-launch issue’s free gift is a Judge Dredd poster painted by Mr Smith. This time, it’s printed on glossy paper arriving in addition to the prog rather than the usual “poster” printed on the back page, on news print paper, serialised over four weeks and left to the reader to assemble with scissors and seletape (other sticky-back tape is available). I bought this issue when it came out for the poster. At the time, I regularly bought Marvel UK comics for the pull-out posters, often painted by Mick Austen, and every square inch of my bedroom walls were covered in them. It looked like the busiest comic strip based collage ever. One day, I returned home from school to discover that seletape wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight of all those posters onto wall and they had collapsed into a tepee onto the floor of my room. I was such an untidy teenage boy that I climbed inside the structure to go to bed for several days until my mother made me tidy it up.

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  • Nemesis gets the colour pages right? I'm not sure if O'Neill did ever did any other artwork as beautiful as this. Massive 2000AD highpoint for me. All that and McMahon as well. It rarely got any better...

    By Blogger mat_tait, at 10:17 am  

  • Mat, I'm trying to keep myself under control by not gushing about O'Neill and McMahon's artwork too soon. :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:05 pm  

  • Mat, I'm trying to keep myself under control by not gushing about O'Neill and McMahon's artwork too soon. :-)

    Well you best hurry up as there's not much more of it to come. Well, except Metalzoic. The centrespread of Torque-Armada is one of the most amazing things that's ever been drawn by a human.

    By Blogger Peter, at 11:52 am  

  • Peter, you're right. I mention that spread in today's entry.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 1:50 pm  

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