2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, January 11, 2008

Prog 356

In this prog, there’s as advertisement for Robo-Hunter number one, the Eagle Comic repackaging of the first four episodes of Sam Slade’s trip to Verdus and some Dave Gibbons drawn Harlem Heroes as back up for the American (and specialist) comic market. Eagle, which is some sort of subsidiary of Titan who we already know for repackaging 2000 AD material for the book trade, has been around for a few months now with six issues of Judge Dredd under its expanding belt already.

As someone who took such a long time to wake up to the joy of 2000 AD, the Eagle Comics were an essential way for me to catch up on all that I had missed. I could have gone with the Titan books but they didn’t seem to be particularly good value for money to me. Eagle Comics were in colour behind all new covers by the artists most associated with the characters and who were, usually, better known in America. Often, the covers were worth the purchase in their own right.

There were problems though. American comics weren’t just a different size to 2000 AD but also a different shape. This meant that Judge Dredd “colourist” John Burns (a great artist in his own right, as you should know) was also required to re-size the artwork as well as colour it in. Burns’ method was to extend the height of the panels and draw extra bits onto them. This meant that the reproduction of the original artwork was tiny and often the reader didn’t have to look very hard to see the join. It wasn’t all bad though. When Eagle repackaged the first three books of Nemesis the Warlock, the “colouring” was done by original artist Kevin O’Neill. For the re-sizing he often drew all new panels.

Another problem for me is that the order of the material repackaged seemed determined by the popularity of the creator in America. This wasn’t any more obvious than with Judge Dredd where, for example, all of Judge Death’s appearances had been published by issue three because they were all drawn by Brian Bolland. This policy resulted in stories appearing out of order and an incorrect sense of the quality dropping with each progressive issue. It was as if Eagle Comics was certain that their agreement to repackage 2000 AD material would not be renewed once it expired.

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  • HA! that's nothing - how about the dredd reprints where they cut out entire pages of the story?

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 11:45 pm  

  • I don't know if I was around when that happened BUT there are some attrocious resizings later which I hope to write about another time.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 12:10 pm  

  • I still have all 5 issues of the Robo-Hunter reprints. It's my favourite format to read the Verdus story. I think the colour is great. The re-sizing and colouring of Eagle comics is unfairly criticised in my view. I liked the Judge Dredd issues too - though i agree the lack of continuity is a problem.
    The later Quality comics reprints had worse colour. Really awful sometimes
    I never knew O'Neill redrew some of Nemesis for Eagle. Will have to track them down.

    By Blogger Simon C, at 9:27 am  

  • Simon, I think I still have them somewhere. They lovely, if small.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:24 pm  

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