2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sci-Fi Special 1987

Now that the printing quality of the weekly has improved it doesn’t leave much space for the Sci-Fi Special to be, well, special. It kicks off with an untitled Judge Dredd strip drawn by Collins and Farmer which ends with Dredd waking up after ten minutes in the sleep machine, it all having been a dream. After that, there’s Nemesis the Warlock story in which he and Purity Brown visit London, 1987. It’s a novelty thrill, back then because it’s a photo-strip and now because much of it takes place in the old Forbidden Planet shop on Denmark Street, London, and it’s nice to be reminded of what the place used to look like.

For a publication that is twice the current price of the weekly, it actually features less new material. I don’t even like the cover art very much (uncredited but I’m guessing it’s by John Higgins). Obviously, whoever did it has talent but it looks dour. I want some action, some drama, not headshots of a bunch of moody guys just hanging out with each other. They look as accessible to me as catalogue models. If the artist had painted a full-figures image they could all be standing around logs in their underpants for all I know.

What is noteworthy about this years Sci-Fi Special is the Judge Dredd illustration on the “Cosmic Contents” page. As far as I can remember, this is the only published work Dave McKean ever does for 2000 AD. It’s such an atmospheric, deceptively casual drawing of the character done between the artist’s discovery of Bill Sienkiewicz’s black and white and colour work.

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  • Paul, might that cover be by Gary Leach?

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 8:54 am  

  • Hmm, I dunno. Looking at Tharg I my first thought was Mr Leach. Looking closer at the rendering I'm not so sure... someone help here please?

    Whatever. Yes, I agree. It makes a nice backpage pin-up not a front cover. And again, the lacklustre content hints at a completely different team to the weekly prog.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 8:58 am  

  • Now that you mention it, it could just as easily be by Gary Leach, Ken. Hmm.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:08 pm  

  • I think it looks like Gary Leach too.

    By Blogger lixomail, at 2:06 pm  

  • I think it's Gary Leach now too.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:47 pm  

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