2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Prog 570

It finishes in Judge Dredd, this prog. No, I’m not referring to the latest epic Oz but to the writing partnership of John Wagner and Alan Grant. Apparently, Oz is the story that rents their creative marriage asunder. Wagner gets Judge Dredd and Grant gets Strontium Dog and Anderson PSI Division from the separation with each of them having weekend access if they want it. I have no idea who gets Doomlord in Eagle.

It’s been a deeply enjoyable partnership from the Squaxx dek Thargo point of view. Wagner and Grant have produced some very imaginative, exciting and humorous work together and that shared creative mind of theirs will be missed. It couldn’t come at a more turbulent time, either. Thanks to the change in editorial approach to the comic recently, 2000 AD needs that fun generating output from them more than ever.

I’ve always been slightly fascinated by creative partnerships such as theirs, where the role of each contributor isn’t so clearly defined. I’m amazed that any two people could have produced as much material together as often as they did for as long as they did. As far as I’m concerned, there is often a lot of ego involved in the creative process and I’m surprised that any partnerships last for more than one story let alone for years as theirs did.

Actually, the great Wagner/Grant team-up doesn’t quite end here as there seems to be a couple of tidy up Dredd stories on the way over the next few progs. Also, it’s not an absolute end to their partnership as they later go on to co-write together occasional strips for both 2000 AD and other publishers. I don’t know about you, but I find this very reassuring. I would hate to think that two people who have provided me with so much enjoyment together had an irrevocable falling out.

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  • Grant got Doomlord!

    By Blogger Dan Turner, at 7:17 pm  

  • I reckon both their work got stronger apart.

    By Blogger Mark, at 1:03 pm  

  • Dan, it doesn't look like Wagner got much out of the split, unless Dredd counts as two 2000 AD strips and one Eagle. :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:42 pm  

  • Mark, I remember Wagner's work gaining more depth but I can't quite recall much about Grant's at the moment.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:45 pm  

  • Just to join in for first time, I vaguely remember 2000ad lost some of the stupidness that it used to have at some point and got more obsessed with styling the comic as a magazine which was where it went wrong. Im sure it was around this period. I dont think it stopped me collecting it for a couple more years tho. Its really enjoyable reading your blog by the way - brings back some good memories!

    By Blogger Robert John, at 5:50 pm  

  • I'm a bit of a Grant heretic - Wagner's Dredd I think carries on being a great strip:

    It loses the counter dynamic between Wagner's conflicted fondness for Dredd and Grant's outright disapproval. However, over the years (and particularly most recently), Dredd has gained a kind of stoney heart that in some way echoes back to his more heroic early days and also adds a lot of layers to a character wrongly maligned as one dimensional.

    Grants solo stuff? Theres a couple of good one-off Dredds and some Anderson stuff early on, but as a whole, I'd say it was very disappointing in comparison to Wagners solo work. Grant's solo Dredd work has been shockingly weak at times, missing the point of the character in ways you just wouldn't expect from the guy partly responsible for so many classics of the partnership years.

    By Blogger Leigh, at 8:56 am  

  • Doomlord did run to a feature length three pages each week, and was published alongside such greats as D.A.D.D. (Dial A Dawn Destructor) and toy based Legend of the Linkits so every way you look at it Wagner wuz robbed!

    By Blogger Dan Turner, at 6:06 pm  

  • i thought some of Alan Grant's later judge Anderson stories were brilliant. Especially the one about the psychic kids and various other bleak but tender stories. Haven't seen em for a while though so my memory may be playing tricks. His Dredd stories were a bit hackier and you knew nothing important to continuity was ever going to haappen in them though.

    By Blogger Tam, at 12:15 pm  

  • Cheers Robert. There's definitely some changes happening at this time, some good, some not so good.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:10 pm  

  • Leigh, I'll let you know what I think, I imagine, as the slog continues...

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:11 pm  

  • Dan, there's a recent colelction of Doomlord strips floating around which I mean to pick up one day.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:12 pm  

  • Tam, my memory is that Grant wrote a good Dredd yarn and, in my heart, he's only second to Wagner in entitlement to do what he likes on the strip.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:14 pm  

  • "John Cassavettes is Dead" is Grants solo highlight - brilliant, and strangely foreshadowing Wagners take on Dredd. It's a long way down to "meet the Snozzbournes". to go further off topic, anyone else think the Toxic story Makabre was a rejected Anderson/Anarky crossover? I think reading that was the point I started to have doubts about Grant's solo stuff

    By Blogger Leigh, at 8:28 am  

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