2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Prog 488

Last prog, the most recent run of Nemesis the Warlock ended mid-book with all the characters standing at the end of the world listening to Torquemada rant at the sky whilst his wife and Purity Brown bitched at each other. Runs of thrills ending mid story are becoming increasingly common now. Squaxx dek Thargo have already proved that they don't need to be told what happened previously at the start of every new episode and now they can wait weeks, sometimes months, at a time between them. Personally speaking, it's not a practice I have ever liked or considered acceptable from larger publishers. If you're a publisher the size of IPC or, say, Marvel, there's no excuse for not providing a continued run of a strip even if the art robot involved works more slowly than the agreed publication schedule. In other words, Tharg should have accumulated a greater back log of Nemesis the Warlock Book Six before scheduling it. I've always held the opinion that one of the contributing factors to the drop in sales of English language serial comics over all by 2008 is, in part, down to this attitude that keeping to a reliable schedule isn't necessary because comic fans are all completist-obsessive and will continue to buy a title no matter how long between episodes.

This prog, meanwhile, features a notable first double with the Future Shock, You're Never Alone with a Phone, written by Neil Gaiman (one) and drawn by John Hicklenton (two). In it, telephones are built with intelligence circuits and the story ends with people not being able to make calls due to the phones always being on the line to each other. An interesting little tale mainly because Gaiman's speculation about the future of communication technology is so wide of what has actually happened.

Gaiman made a bad first impression on me when I saw him appear on a panel at a convention prior to this Future Shock talking about how to write comics when he had had absolutely none published at this point. When, later, Violent Cases came out, I was irked even further by it actually being quite good. So, he was self assured, successful and a good writer. Bastard. Worryingly for Tharg, Gaiman also unintentionally suggested that the talent drain to America from the UK no longer required 2000 AD to be a part of the equation with his association with the galaxy's greatest comic being only a fleeting one.

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  • I was never impressed with Gaiman. Read all of Sandman and thought it nothing special. he took over Miracleman after Alan Moore and again, disappointing.

    By Blogger Simon C, at 7:17 am  

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