2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Prog 378

First time around, I had a little difficulty with The Ballad of Halo Jones, up to the third episode of its first book this prog. I think I must have been looking forward to it starting in 2000 AD so much that when it appeared and didn’t seem to be anything like Marvel Man or V for Vendetta I felt a little disappointed. This was compounded even further by my efforts to make myself like it. For example, I remember concentrating on the crazy, invented Hoop slang that Alan Moore was writing so hard that its infectious rhythms escaped me. As early as one year later, when I re-read it, I was surprised that I had had trouble with Book One at all. It’s great, obviously. I was the problem.

Even during this period where I was baffled by every other word that Rodice uttered, the personalities of the female characters shone through so convincingly that each one reminded me of someone I knew at the time. Re-re-reading it now for The Slog, I’m reminded of those same girls from 1984 and not current women I know. This isn’t an observation on the thrills timelessness or otherwise; it’s a comment on how I no longer have anything to do with teenage girls. I can, however, confidently present The Ballad of Halo Jones with The Slog award for the thrill that has made me feel the most nostalgic so far. This isn’t necessarily a compliment. Engaging in nostalgia can make us lazy and we should push it from our hearts as soon as we feel its warm tendrils embracing us.

Important note: The Slog is an appreciation of a weekly comic that has published a considerable amount of strong strips and NOT an exercise in nostalgia in and of itself. Thank you.

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  • I was talking with a pal about this blog, and we were both wallowing in nostalgia, and i mentioned that Tharg had once published a letter i'd sent in. My pal was delighted, as he'd once sent in a drawing but it had never seen the light of day. His drawing was one of those remixed character illustrations... his interpretation of "Strontium Wog". He was so utterly ashamed he had to hide his face as he told me. But at the time he had no idea it was wrong. So wrong. Anyway Paul, please mention if you spot my name on the letters page, i'd love to see what i said. Round about June 1985 (prog 400ish?). I think i got a fiver, but the letter back from tharg the mighty was my pride and joy.

    Mike Donnelly
    age 12

    By Blogger mike d, at 8:47 pm  

  • I love those character mash ups that the readers did. My favourite, which I've yet to encounter in the slog, is Judge Charley Brown. he's saying "good grud" which made me laugh at the time.

    Cheers mike. I'll watch for your letter :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:40 pm  

  • Glad to see you're commenting on Halo. It gets some action this prog.
    Ace Trucking Co is back. This is one of my all-time favourite 2000AD stories. The plots are well worked out and lots of good humour. I wish Rebellion would reprint the complete lot in volumes like they are with Dredd and Dog. Admittedly, the stories in this return are not up to the first ones in around progs 230-270? or so. The Thrill Power Overload book says Wagner/Grant weren't so keen on Ace at this time reader demand forced them to bring him back. But still, its an entertaining strip this prog. Paul did you spot Belardinelli's self-cameo? Its on the final page, top right corner, as a fish on GBH's face!
    Rogue Trooper is drawn by someone other than Cam Kennedy this prog. It was a long continuous go Cam had - must've been 30 maybe more in a row? Cam has his own website where you can buy work, but all the Rogue pages have been snapped up. The art this prog is by T Goring, and is ok but Rogue's face looks different each time.

    By Blogger Simon C, at 4:30 am  

  • hey, i just looked up T Goring in the 2000AD index to see what else he'd done. Not much: some early Future Shocks, Dan Dare in progs 79-84, but also did a few covers in the early days including this very striking one:

    By the way, Cam Kennedy's website is:

    By Blogger Simon C, at 4:37 am  

  • This was the first issue I ever got, when I badgered my parents into buying it for me. All I remember is that the chap on the front cover ended up having the tip of his head chopped off, and that I wasn't a great fan of Ace Trucking Co (not enough shooting). I think the issue just had the last episode of the previous Strontium Dog story. Damn, Nemesis the Warlock was cool. I remember the one were the baddy turned into a giant slug, etc etc etc.

    By Blogger Ashley Pomeroy, at 10:20 pm  

  • Like you, Paul, it took me a while to warm to Halo Jones - the whole Hoop thing was really confusing. Let's face it, the first 'ballad' was really a girl's comic strip smuggled into 2000AD - Moore already presumably thinking about all that comics good be rather than following the boys' own sci fi template.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 3:46 pm  

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