2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Prog 650

As I’ve said before, there’s nothing quite like a re-launch prog but this one carries particular weight thanks to overall inappropriateness of strips during recent months. But first, the bad news; the price has gone up to 40p but the good news is that the colour page count has tripled to eighteen. Zowee!

We have the return of Zenith Phase III and Slaine The Horned God after their mid story breaks. The interesting thing about this is that they start sensibly with recaps of what has happened before which is something 2000 AD has avoided doing for a long while. We also have the start of the new Rogue Trooper by Dave Gibbons and Will Simpson. I’m not too sure that running the reboot before the original version has wrapped up all of its Hits is such a good idea.

In The Shooting Match by Johns Wagner and Higgins, Judge Dredd has a Combat Assessment which we see inter-cut with one that his secret clone brother Kraken is also going through. Elsewhere this prog, there’s the start of The Dead Man by Johns Wagner (using the pseudonym Keef Ripley) and Ridgeway. It’s impossible to forget the reveal of this story even after nineteen years. There’s a real sense of this being the start of the final season of Judge Dredd even if we all know this goes on to not be the case.

Yep, the future for 2000 AD looks pretty good except Tharg goes and ruins it all in the Nerve Centre by telling us in the Coming Attractions item that we have the return of Bradley and Harlem Heroes to look forward to. Thanks a lot, Tharg.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Annual 1990

I think that maybe the covers to the annuals are produced in advance of the content as two of the characters on this year’s don’t appear inside. Tharg must have given Cliff Robinson a call and said, “We’ve got a Moon Runners strip and a Zenith flashback featuring characters from the sixties” and from that, quite reasonably, guessed at who appears in those features. He might have been better off drawing Judge Dredd and Tharg with their arms around Father Christmas instead.

Inside, there are twenty nine pages of new strip in colour. I’m sure that previously in the annuals you would at least get another strip in black and white. Also, we get four pages of “Droid Questionnaires”. Apart from Burt, I’ve never come across any of them before other than the occasional reference in Tharg’s Nerve Centre editorials. If the questionnaires had been filled in by any of the current creators then I might have been interested in reading them but these might as well have been done by people in the street.

I’m a bit under whelmed by this year’s annual. I have to tell you that I read half of next year’s annual before realising my mistake and am saddened to report that there is going to be no improvement. In fact, if anything, it looks a little worse.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Prog 648

There’s a reason I called this blog The Slog. It’s because I remember long periods in 2000 AD’s history like this one. It really has felt like hard work recently. So, thank God for old school styled fun like Beyond Zero, the sequel to Night Zero.

In Beyond Zero, Tanner has teamed up with Adoria, a big dumb cloned warrior, and Gut 8, a robot whose operating system is based on highly regarded feminist, Risa Perea. They’ve been tricked into leaving the city under the pretence of spreading the positive word about it to those outside who don’t even know of its existence.

For Beyond Zero the tone seems to have switched from the Chandler stylings of the prequel to this mash-up between Judge Dredd epic The Cursed Earth and the Indiana Jones movies. Writer John Brosnan and artist Kevin Hopgood deliver a story that rolls along nicely featuring a fun dynamic between its main characters. There’s even been a little heartbreak amongst the explosions and the banter when the bad guy is revealed to be the real Risa Perea having now dispensed with her feminist principles.

Beyond Zero isn’t by any means the best strip to ever appear in 2000 AD but compared to some of the uninspired rubbish that’s appeared over the last year or so it does feel like sweet relief.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Prog 646

Tyranny Rex’s friends Fervent & Lobe are up to part five of their own adventure, The Issigri Variations. In it, the cowboy hat wearing duo travel to hell to retrieve a soul they hope to reunite with its body. Sounds like a simple tale, but its one that’s been pushed through writer John Smith’s filter so requires above average attention from the reader to follow.

Now that he has won us over with his recent Rogue Trooper Nu Earth Flashback story, Smith is back saying, “These are my own characters. What do you think of them?” Their personalities seem very similar to each other, John, but I sense that this is deliberate. They’re okay, actually, but then I have recently had to contend with The Survivor starring that talking panther from The Mean Team and a particularly poor run of Moon Runners.

I like artist Mike Hadley’s work here a lot. He has a distinctive style that could see him being lumped together with 2000 AD’s other new wave of artists except his characters look different to each other (apart from Fervent and Lobe but I think that that’s on purpose), he tells the story well and in some panels I get the sense that he is having such a good time that they must have taken him days to draw.

The fun in this strip is in the moments. In a previous episode, one of the characters (it could have been Fervent or it could have been Lobe) looks under the sheet covering a corpse at what could be his very large erection. (Naughty, John Smith!). In this prog’s episode, a demon runs through a series of applications from Earth for approval from Hell which includes one from the Vatican. (Naughty, John Smith!).

Meanwhile, this prog’s notable first is provided by John Smith’s mate Sean Philips who has just popped over from Crisis to paint the cover.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Prog 644

Another Anderson PSI Division ten parter ends this prog called Triad, most notable for being the first story drawn by Arthur Ranson. With the current expansion of the 2000 AD line and the talent drain to America taking place I’m surprised that Tharg didn’t use Ranson and more Look-In artists before now. I love the idea of the comic’s best new artist at this time being several decades older than the young upstarts 2000 AD has also been hiring recently.

In Triad, “Fortean” events such as spontaneous human combustion and appearances by the Block Ness Monster have been occurring throughout the city. Now there’s a pun; the Block Ness Monster, the genius of it being that the creature appears in the Eliot Ness Block fountain. Anyway, Anderson is on the case and learns that Mega City psychic children are being manipulated remotely by Sov Judges led by Orlok the Assassin (boo).

I found I was perfectly happy with PSI Division making its presence known in Judge Dredd’s world initially because it was done sparingly and in a pulpy way. Now that the concept has its own regular feature in Anderson PSI Division, I feel that the scales have fallen away. There is no clear boundary to what Anderson and her department can do as far as I can see. Further more, only Anderson and her sensitive psychic colleagues are portrayed as having independent thought leaving the rest of the Judges, including Dredd, as nothing more than drones and cannon fodder. It all stops me from engaging with the strip as successfully as others normally written by Alan Grant. Having said that, it’s still the second best strip in this prog. And thanks to the arrival of Ranson, my faith in Grant as a writer and the knowledge that many more Anderson stories are still to come, I’m feel positive that the limitations I have mentioned get dealt with in time.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Prog 642

There might be those of you who think of this era of 2000 AD as glorious but the truth is that for every Slaine the Horned God there is a Zippy Couriers. When I started The Slog, I remembered that Zippy Couriers lay ahead and I was fully expecting it to become my shorthand for the thrill that is bad.

Written by current tone setter Hilary Robinson and competently drawn by Graham Higgins, Zippy Couriers is about a young woman called Zippy who runs a courier business, duh. Other characters include Butch a talking cat, some guy who’s a bit dim and his girlfriend. In The Searchers, the dim guy is abducted by aliens who remove from his stomach one of their people he accidentally ate in a previous story.

My summary makes it sound quite good but there is an affirming tone to Zippy Couriers that unbalances it. For example, I didn’t mention the traffic cop who witnesses the dim guy being returned and comments to himself that he’s been working too hard or the final scene where dimmy can’t bring himself to eat a doughnut in case it’s another alien. The Searchers obviously sprung out of some misguided need to confirm that no aliens where harmed during their consumption in a previous story. Contrast it against the Judge Dredd tale that follows it and you will have a clearer understanding of what I mean. In Playaday, children’s TV presenters brawl with each other on live television and ends with the young viewers crying after they see Dredd arresting them.

The truth is, however, I have learned on my revisit that Zippy Couriers isn’t that bad. Both the writing and art are unquestionably professional. The problem here is it’s appropriateness for 2000 AD given that the strip seems more suited for the under fives, young mothers, members of the Women’s Institute; anyone who the comic isn’t for, basically. There is a strip to come in The Slog that I remember disliking more than Zippy Couriers (see if you can guess what it is) but the fact remains that given a choice between it and The Mean Arena I would choose the future sport strip.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Prog 640

In Johnny Alpha’s last big adventure until his return in the year 2000, The Final Solution, the New Church, or whatever they are called, march the country’s mutant population through a portal in Stonehenge to a brave new but hostile world. It’s taken Alpha along with Middenface McNulty and Milton Keynes resident, Feral, nineteen weeks to travel here, uncover the plot and learn that Sagan is his half brother. It’s like a particularly memorable episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show. In part twenty, I expect to see Alpha’s request for a DNA test refused because violence is a big part of their relationship.

For a story that is supposed to be as significant as this one, I feel that The Final Solution isn’t working as well as previous Strontium Dog epics have. Part of the problem is that the story is lurching forward in fits thanks to its flow being interrupted by relatively long breaks. Another might be that I know what the final outcome of this tale will be and I find myself feeling frustrated by how long it’s taking to get there.

I’m genuinely disappointed to say that Simon Harrison’s art continues to be a problem for me. I still can’t tell characters apart and the visual flow feels inconsistent. However, his work does exude an exuberance which has me willing for him to succeed and I do really like the cover he has painted for this prog. Ultimately though, my old school loyalty to long time Strontium Dog art robot Carlos Ezquerra has me longing for his return to the character, especially now that he’s back drawing for 2000 AD after his time at Crisis.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Prog 637

In Triad part3, Anderson of PSI Division encounters members of Ronnie McScot’s Club alight with supernatural fire. She feels she has no choice but to put each of them out of their misery. After shooting them all she talks, understandably, about this act making her “feel sick down to my soul”. She must have got over that unpleasantness quickly because twenty two pages later in this prog’s Judge Dredd episode she turns off some poor sap’s life support machine.

In And The Wind Cried, a ghost walks an irradiated area of Mega City One. Thanks to her convenient psychic ability, Anderson picks up on her presence and, consequently, along with Dredd, they find the ghost’s boyfriend’s rotting body in a bombed out hospital building being kept alive by a life support machine. After Anderson’s second act of mercy this prog (I think she’s getting a taste for it), the ghosts unite in an embrace. Now I’m feeling sick down to my soul.

John Wagner might have officially got Judge Dredd out of their separation but writer Alan Grant seems to have pretty good access to the character. Grant seems more willing to have fun and more able to explore the concept’s range. Last prog in Dead Juve’s Curve, he sampled the lyrics of the Jan and Dean song Dead Man’s Curve to sit the story upon. However, working here solo and, perhaps, because of his volume of work for DC Comics, it does mean that the occasional piece of sickening sentimentality slips through. I wonder if they still wrote Judge Dredd together if Wagner would have allowed And The Wind Cried to end like it did.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sci-Fi Special 1989

Once again, the sci-fi special has a female bias, only this time not a single male lead appears, not even Judge Dredd. In his place is Judge Corey who previously has only appeared as a support character in an Anderson PSI Division story. In Leviathan’s Farewell, the empathic judge is so distraught after encountering a dieing whale at sea that she shoots herself. Very moving but what I want to know is how the whale was alive in the polluted Black Atlantic in the first place.

Elsewhere, Tyranny Rex returns in a more accessible-than-Soft-Bodies and touching short excellently drawn by Dougie Braithwaite. The cover of the special goes someway to explaining my confusion over the colour of Tyranny’s skin in previous entries as she is painted green. Before, she’s been coloured as white skinned on covers.

I am unclear over who it that staffs Tharg’s editorial team. In a recent Future Shock, it seemed to be established that creators and editorial are now human beings. However, in a feature published here called “the Droids”, we are introduced to the current team of robots that work behind the scenes. Nick Abadzis provides a serious of lively illustrations for the piece but I remain baffled just the same.

I am fascinated to know why it is that 2000 AD seems to be sticking with strips like Judge Corey, Tyranny Rex, Moon Runners and Zippy Couriers. Is it because, as I’ve theorised before, that Tharg is trying to increase readership by appealing to women? In an intellectual way, it makes sense I suppose; if all the boys in the country are reading your comic then you can double the readership by getting all the girls to read it too. However, surely it doesn’t work that way. Even if the comic’s appeal to women has improved (which I suspect isn't the case given the image of male being pandered to by attractive women that covers the comic) then it must be at the expense of male readers who find the touchy/feely tone of these newer strips at odds with what they liked about 2000 AD in the first place. I do remember that, at the time, I found the persistence with these types of strips confusing, alienating and frustrating.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Prog 635

There have been a few strips going on breaks mid story recently. This prog, it’s Slaine The Horned God. I think after ten weeks of gorgeous, fully painted art by Simon Bisley, complaining about it stopping for a few months would be mean spirited of me. However, I reserve the right to complain in the cases of Zenith Phase III and Beyond Zero, both of which stopped last prog, in a later entry if I want to.

Writer Pat Mills seems to have come out of the other side of what I see as his recent under performance. I’ve been disappointed by recent Nemesis Books, under whelmed by the long awaited return of the ABC Warriors and snidey about Third World War in Crisis which I didn’t even bother to reread. However, anyone who had read Marshal Law published by Epic at around this time must have known that Mills couldn’t have possibly lost his way completely. What publishers later refer to as “Book One” of Slaine The Horned God is a great opener for the trilogy. The story, Slaine’s attempt to unite the tribes of the Earth Goddess against the Formorians, is a simple one but is enriched by the confident manner in which Mills writes academic styled asides and steps out of the story altogether to show us Ukko as old dwarf narrator.

The star, however, is Simon Bisley. Although reinventing Slaine and the cast as heavy metal rock stars his art is still glorious. Even those very few short cut pages, the ones with the pencilled illustrations with orange wash across them, look great to me. If he had done the entire story this way I would still have been impressed. The whole experience has been enriched by the opening framing page to each episode. There’s been no summary of the story so far there, which you would have thought would be the ideal use for it, but a delightful black and white Slaine sketch by Bisley. I don’t know if these ever got reprinted in later collections but if not, then they should have been.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Prog 632

I don’t remember if this is a permanent end to 2000 AD’s long running policy of cash for correspondence but readers that have their letters or art appear in the Nerve Centre are no longer receiving a £5/£10 prize. Any drop off in flippancy and wit from the Squaxx dek Thargo can be traced back to here if you want. Instead, as a reward they are sent a binder for their progs AKA a Thrill-Power Containment Vessel AKA a TCV.

For the last few weeks, a page sized ballot has been running to see if readers would be interested in the TCV if it were to become available commercially from the Command Module. As house ads go, this one at least has a sense of fun about it even if it needn’t have appeared as often as it has or been any larger than a quarter of a page. What I find most interesting about it is the illustration by Nick Abadzis. I don’t recall the creator of Hugo Tate contributing much artwork to 2000AD and I wonder if he is providing Tharg with editorial assistance right now.

I have never seen a TCV but I do wonder how good they can be given the various changes in shape 2000 AD has gone through so far. Does it hold all sizes of progs, even the specials? In a previous Nerve Centre, Tharg remarked that they hold around fifteen progs each. If this is true, then you would need at least forty two of them to hold every prog published so far. As rewards go for contributing to the Nerve Centre personally I would prefer the money.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prog 630

Faith in the Rogue Trooper series of Hits must be a bit shaky at this time for 2000 AD to run the Nu Earth Flashback story, Cinebar, especially given it’s inflexibility in regards to other story decisions it’s made recently. In it, Rogue is tricked into travelling to Cinebar after being infected by a disease that makes even him vulnerable to Nu Earth’s chemical atmosphere. However, once there, the weakened Rogue is captured and, after being cured, forced to fight in the arena for the entertainment of Cinebar’s gambling residents.

The art for the story is by Steve Dillon and Kevin Walker. It’s an interesting combination given that Dillon is a fast artist anyway and it’s hard to imagine creator time being saved by drafting in Walker for the inking job. Still, it looks good, anyway.

I remember Cinebar being the first work by writer John Smith that I really liked and this time around for The Slog I can see why. It’s an accessible story which unfolds in a relatively compelling way given the five pages per episode it has. After the challenge to my patience that was Tyranny Rex Soft Bodies, Cinebar seems like redemption for Smith to me. I am particularly satisfied at the enlightened way he approaches the dynamic between Rogue and his three bio-chip buddies. Smith seems like a natural for Rogue Trooper so it’s interesting to think that, as far as I am aware, he never writes for the character again.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Prog 626

After what seems like weeks of whining here at The Slog about reprints, house ads and inappropriate creators setting the agenda for 2000 AD, this prog reminds me completely why I hung around during the recent lean period. Firstly, there’s the start of The Horned God; the Slaine saga fully painted by Simon Bisley. It looks like the art could be by Frank Frazetta only instead of his work appearing on the sleeves of ad-hoc sword and sorcery paper backs and in the occasional art book collection it’s here, six pages of it every week!

Then there's the Nu Earth Flash Back, Cinebar, by John Smith, Steve Dillon and Kevin Walker; the best Rogue Trooper story for years, maybe so far even. Zenith returns in a prologue to Phase III. Yippee! I’m even pleased with this prog’s Tales from the Doghouse by Stuart Edwards and Mick Austen in which a mutant that looks like a mouse scares his bounty who looks like an elephant into a tree. It’s a fun idea pulled back to the right side of ridiculous by the story’s deadpan delivery. Finally, ‘demoted’ to the black and white pages at the start of the comic; Judge Dredd, by John Wagner and Jim Bakie. Every time another thrill out profiles it, Judge Dredd handles the challenge with aplomb. This time, Dredd foils a burglary without getting out of the bath.

Yes, definitely a good issue. I just don’t remember Tharg keeping up the good work.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Prog 624

The opening Medivac 318 story ends this prog although it’s promised to return in the near future. In it, trainee Nurse McKinnon is trapped on the surface of the war planet Zygote with a soldier that, thanks to a brain injury, can only say the word “no”. It’s an atmospheric, humane and gripping start to the new strip.

I find liking Medivac 318 a surprise as it’s written by Hilary Robinson. In the past, 2000 AD has had its overall tone set by the likes of Pat Mills, John Wagner, Alan Grant and Alan Moore but more recently, thanks to her Future Shocks, Tales from the Doghouse and Zippy Couriers one-offs, she’s been responsible for it. However, I find that much of her work for the comic has a quaint quality to it and seems to be missing many of the fundamentals that worked so well for 2000 AD previously.

Take for example this prog’s Tales from the Doghouse, also written by Robinson. It ends on the most appalling sea fishing based pun. Puns can be part of the 2000 AD mix but hers feel unforgivable because the story, apart from ignoring the Strontium Dog fundamental that mutants are disallowed by law from doing any job other than bounty hunting, lacks any satire, wit or pop sci-fi nastiness.

However, I can’t deny that, so far, Medivac 318 works. The art, by Nigel Dobyn helps significantly. It’s animated and considered in equal measure. The balance between character and environment is confident. However, Robinson’s contribution shouldn’t be under estimated. It’s just that I don’t remember this quality being kept up.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Prog 622

ITEM: Anderson PSI Division Helios ends this prog after a nine week run. In it, Anderson with the help of empathic Judge (yes, there is such a thing) Corey tracks down a killer from beyond the grave. Artist David Roach creates what comic collectors from the seventies would describe as GGA; Good Girl Art, hence scenes like Anderson and Corey in their underwear getting ready for a night out at a club. Helios has been a clinical strip, I would say. Not one of Anderson’s warmest adventures.
ITEM: It looks like those Command Module capers where Tharg and his droids have run-ins with The Dictators of Zrag and Thrill Suckers might be a thing of the past. This prog’s Future Shock, Dead Line, follows a scripts journey from its writer in her office at home, via the Royal Mail to Tharg at the 2000 AD offices. I don’t know what appals me more; the “glaring anomaly” that the script contains being revealed as a little creature that glares or people having replaced Tharg’s robot employees of the past without a mention of them ever having existed.

Had Dead Line been cast with robots instead of humans then it might have been forgiven for what barely passes for either a story or a pun or a joke. As it happens, the reveal is so cute it made me want to stick my head through a window. The only thing it has going for it is the return of artist Ron Smith after his long absence drawing Judge Dredd for The Daily Star.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Prog 621

Here is the most heinous of all the house ads; “Next Prog: More of the same”. Firstly, like I said yesterday, there was a time when the next prog ad was an item of worth in its own right; usually amusing and often ironic. Secondly, “Next Prog: More of the same”; it’s hardly an affective advertisement for what’s to come when the content of this prog was, on the whole, so dreary.

It must be mystifying to some of you why I continued to buy 2000 AD during this period if this is how I felt. The truth is I’m not entirely sure. There were the usual shameful reasons that comic readers use to justify continuing to buy their regular books way after their peak; habit, the hope that this is just a blip and things will return to the quality of before, the fear of gaps in a run. In the case of 2000 AD, it was where the exciting players in modern mainstream American comics had made their breaks and I wanted to be there for when the next wave got their first work published. Plus, at 35p, it was still relatively cheap.

Every time it looked like 2000 AD had lost its mojo, something like this prog’s Judge Dredd tale would happen. Breakdown on 9th Street is a great example of John Wagner’s comic timing and John Higgins’ colour sense. And who knows, 2000 AD never used to fail me so maybe I misjudged new creators like Hilary Robinson. Maybe s/he will be the next big thing and Zippy Couriers is better than I had thought.

When doubt over the quality of its content creeps in, comic publishers usually resort to working on that completist muscle many of their customers have. The promise of great strips around the corner, the roll-out in fits of stronger story arcs, the creation in the reader a sense that they are stupid if they don’t appreciate what is going on. In the case of 2000 AD and me, it ultimately resulted in resentment. I’m just ashamed to admit that it took a long, long time after this before I made the break.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Prog 619

ITEM: This prog’s Judge Dredd story, Lockin’ Up The House (Cube Mix), is painted by Dougie Braithwaite. This may or may not be a notable first but despite having personally gone through every issue of 2000 AD up until this point I still feel unable to confirm this. It used to be that I would go to the official website and clarify my suspicions but the re-launch a couple of months ago has meant that first-appearance information has been removed. Still, if it is Dougie Braithwaite’s debut then it’s an impressive one.

ITEM: I’m getting fed up with the number of house ads that 2000 AD seems to be running at the moment (Slog time). In this prog alone there are four pages of them. I make that four the same amount of pages that the comic was increased by to help justify the price increase a few progs back. Older readers remember when ads for the next prog were individual and often valid in their own right, now they’re the same, week in week out. This and the quantity of reprints run recently can’t help but create ill feeling amongst long term readers, surely.

Still, I see that the back page continues to be a dedicated an original illustration by an art robot (not that they are referred to as that anymore). This is something I missed when later Tharg stopped commissioning this type of thing.

ITEM: I do like that Cliff Robinson cover, though.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Prog 617

If ever there is an artist born to draw for 2000 AD it’s Jamie Hewlett. This prog sees his four week run drawing Swifty’s Return, the sequel to Sooner or Later, with Pete Milligan and Tom Frame come to an end. In it, Swifty and his pal Clinton travel up and down history causing all sorts of mishaps on their way to a party being held in the nexus of time.

It’s hard to imagine in the twenty-first centaury that the artist responsible for The Gorillaz and Monkey Journey to the West once worked for the Galaxy’s greatest comic. Okay, relatively he didn’t produce much artwork for the comic preferring to concentrate on Tank Girl for Deadline instead but his contribution should be noted. To me, it seems obvious that Hewlett’s style has been very much influenced by classic art robots particularly, Brendan McCarthy and Mike McMahon. Every time I see a clip of Hewlett’s animation on TV I can’t help trying to imagine a world where these classic artists impacted the mainstream in the same way he has.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Prog 615

Congratulations, 2000 AD; this prog you are twelve years old. Tharg seems to be getting a bit funny about his age. Last year he didn’t celebrate his birthday at all. This year, he’s adjusted the way that it is calculated from a multiple of fifty two to being the actual anniversary of the date of the first prog. (The real birthday of 2000 AD cannot be divided exactly by fifty two at this point thanks to missed weeks due to industrial action in the past). Personally, I don’t have a problem with this. In fact, I would say that it makes more sense than the other system. However, Tharg seems to be on the defensive about it in the Nerve Centre. “If you’re having trouble with this concept, have a smarter friend explain it to you.” There’s no need to be like that, Tharg! You brought it up, not me! I presume that all of the late night raving he has been doing recently has made him irritable and a little bit paranoid.

The comic’s current design guru, Rian Hughes, provides the cover. I’ve always understood that thanks to expansion and the talent drain to America, 2000 AD has had to adapt and recruit new blood. It’s no secret that I’ve found many of the new faces at the Command Module alienating but Hughes, along with Jamie Hewlitt elsewhere this prog, are examples of editorial’s smarter thinking recently. Well done, Tharg.

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