2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Prog 386

Next prog is a re-launch issue featuring the return of Nemesis the Warlock and the beginning of Helltrekkers. All established thrills, as is the case with re-launch issues, begin new stories. Judge Dredd might even be a self contained episode designed to remind occasional visitors or acquaint new readers with the character. Like I've said before, there's nothing quite like a 2000 AD re-launch.

This prog, then, is the one where all the running stories have to wrap up if they haven't already. There are rules to the pre-re-launch prog and they are as follows.

1. The best of the running thrills usually finish before the pre-re-launch prog. In this case, The Ballad of Halo Jones and Strontium Dog concluded last issue. This prog sees the finish of current ACE Trucking Co and Rogue Trooper tales, both thrills being scheduled to return in new adventures next week.

2. The final Judge Dredd story before a re-launch is usually inferior to that which readers have come to expect whether it be a multi-porter or single issue tale. In this case, it's a three parter called Gator drawn by inappropriate art robot, Kim Raymond.

3. Pre-re-launch progs are usually padded out with at least one Future Shock story (or equivalent). It's not uncommon for these to be by previously unknown creators.

4. It's common for pre-re-launch progs from this period to run a Tharg story. In this prog, the Dictators of Zrag are turned into rubbish judges by their ugly mum's magic.

5. Just in case the reader is feeling somewhat hollow by the end of this issue, pre-re-launch progs are brightened up at the end with an extra sized "next prog" page containing sample art of the exciting thrills to come.

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  • There was one pre-launch prog - 649, I think - with three Future Shocks in it. 386 is a gem by comparison! On the other hand, while the Dredd story is pretty weak, Kim Raymond really makes a mess out of it. Oh, boy, you get to see him ruin a pivotal episode of City of the Damned in a few days!

    By Blogger Grant, at 7:38 pm  

  • I'm beginning to feel a bit sorry for Kim :(

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 10:08 pm  

  • Yeah. Raymond does get the s**t end of the stick. I remember disliking his artwork at the time...but looking at it now...it's really good. Probably not that suitable on Dredd, more suitable for 'Romance' strips. But he can drw a good looking female Judge though.

    I think he also may have illustrated an Anderson story in one of the annuals.

    By Blogger Stephen Reid, at 2:33 pm  

  • Yup, he draws lady's faces well - unlike, say, Ron Smith: Ron's a god an all counts save for his desire to give every lady a Bruce Forsyth chin ;)

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 2:48 pm  

  • Man, I'd forgotten HELL TRECKERS even existed.

    By Blogger Mark, at 12:06 am  

  • Grant, I'm looking forward to the carnage.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:24 pm  

  • Stephen, I think Kim's first 2000 AD work was an Anderson strip for an Annual.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:25 pm  

  • Ken, I've always fancied Bruce Forsyth.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:26 pm  

  • Mark, I remember really enjoying Hell Treckers too. It ain't bad so far.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:26 pm  


    By Blogger garageman, at 11:14 pm  

  • That's what we said; Hell Treckers.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:02 pm  

  • As I believe I've mentioned before, Ron Smith makes everyone look like my Auntie Margaret. Paul, I can give you her number if you like...

    By Blogger Stavros, at 9:10 pm  

  • Thanks for the offer, Stavros :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:26 pm  

  • I really like Gator. Pretty entertaining plot and some funny lines. Raymond's art looks ok in colour, especially on part 2 when Dredd slices open the gator.

    I just wanna comment on prog 385 and the end of Halo Jones Book 1. My main impression of this is how carefully, some might say slowly, this first book is. Not much really happens except Halo gets out of the Hoop. It really seems as though Alan Moore was setting this up as a really long running story. I remember reading somewhere that he planned 10 books. In the end, there were only 3. If Moore had known that, I suspect a lot more would've happened in Book 1.

    I notice that Rogue Trooper is scripted from 384 by "Rogan" This didn't surprise me, it felt like Finley-Day was really struggling. The online 2000AD index has these stories still listed as by Finley-Day. Anyone know the truth?

    By Blogger Simon C, at 10:32 pm  

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