2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Prog 473

Wagner and Grant might be writing pretty much most of 2000 AD at the moment but what I think of as the second generation of creators is beginning to exert itself. The tight fighting unit of Brett Ewins, Pete Milligan and Brendan McCarthy are making their present felt. Okay, Ewins and McCarthy have been around since the early days but they’ve been away and returned with a higher profile, crazier ideas and a thoroughly modern writer in tow.

Ewins is currently drawing the second long Anderson PSI Division story The Possessed, written by Alan Grant with possibly John Wagner using the name “R Clark”. This is another good example of decompressed story telling 1986 style. On one hand, the dialogue is thin, but on the other, every line counts. In this story telling environment, Ewins’ art looks big and iconic.

This prog, McCarthy provides nine pages of art. Sooner or Later with Milligan sits on the back page like a pop art assault. Now a single page long every week after its six paged opener in prog 468, I remember back in 1986 enjoying and being irritated by it equally. I had a sense that Milligan was a writer with literate sensibilities who fell into writing comics by association. I have no idea if I was right to think that but the scales are tipped towards enjoying Sooner or Later this time around.

McCarthy’s big artistic contribution is to Judge Dredd Riders on the Storm. Lavish blacks and big oval shapes; oval helmets, oval view screens and oval buildings. The Earthlet eye is tricked into thinking its experiencing high definition, big budget CGI affects when, actually, all it is seeing is great art reproduced on cheap newsprint.

This prog’s notable first and another contribution to my second generation theory; script robot John Smith writes the Future Shock.

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