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2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Prog 562


Recently, certain strips have been allowed to increase their page count as if Tharg tolerates this in the circumstances where the story dictates. Judge Dredd Oz has been averaging between seven to eight pages while this prog’s episode of the ABC Warriors runs to nine. That’s a lot of pages for a non-Dredd, mid run episode.

Thrills written by Pat Mills have taken a turn for the bleak over recent months and I’m trying to work out if this is down to the new art robots employed or to the writer himself. Take for example ABC Warriors. When it featured in 2000 AD during its first run all those years ago it, admittedly, avoided any sentimentality like all the best thrills did but it was never depressing. Now, during its long awaited return, it seems to be on a permanent downer.

The work of current art robot SMS (real name unknown to me) may seem a bit static sometimes but he tells the story adequately and appears bright enough. Superstar art robot, Simon Bisley, made a stunning premier at the start of this ABC Warriors story and although clearly predisposed towards heavy metal music and its culture I’ve not felt the presence of well oiled women and motorbikes depressing in any way.

Mills seems to be affected by the trend for modernising that some American comic characters and genres are going through at this time and looks to be reinventing his own creations. In Nemesis recently, the character appears almost pleased by the murder of his son for reinvigorating his war of hate with Torquemada. In ABC Warriors, despite accepting that he is a victim of his upbringing, Mills portrays Hammerstein as a fool while the real authority in the team is held by the chaos loving, magic embracing Deadlock. It’s as if the current 2000 AD regime frees Mills to do what he has always wanted to and wear the previously underplayed cruel dynamics between some of his characters on his sleeve whereas I, a reader, preferred it when it was downplayed.

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6 Comments:

  • SMS artwork is very jarring compare to Bisleys. I didn't really care for his/her art. Do you know if SMS has done any other comic work?

    By Blogger Stephen Reid, at 4:00 pm  

  • There's some stuff about his work here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_%28comics%29 He seems to have done okay for himself.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 8:07 pm  

  • As far as I remember, and I don't have the books with me, he did the architectural backgrounds for Bryan Talbot in Heart Of Empire. At the time, I preferred him to Bisley on ABC Warriors, mainly 'cos I don't like Bisley. Still don't.

    By Blogger Amanda, at 8:17 pm  

  • I loved Bisleys art on warriors, especially the heavy inks.

    SMS's art was initially jarring but I thought it worked well on the Tomb of Zallinn part of the story, especially when the warriors were fighting each other accross a mc escher-esque landscape

    By Blogger Derek, at 10:07 pm  

  • Amanda, I talk a bit more about Bisley in today's entry. I can understand why his style might not be to someone's taste.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:06 pm  

  • Derek, at this point in the tale, the landscape is sadly lacking.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:07 pm  

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