2000 AD Prog Slog

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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  • Part of the reason I read this blog is out of cruel fascination, to see whether you'll develop severe thrill power overload by the time you reached prog 1,100. Doesn't look too imminent at this rate though!

    Oh well, at least you've got Bix Barton and the slaughterfest of Zenith phase 3 coming up soonish...

    By Blogger Tam, at 4:55 pm  

  • Tam, I am feeling a bit fatigued. It's only the thought of Bix and Zenith which keeps me going.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:56 pm  

  • Hang in there paul, it does get better. necropolis won't be too long in coming around. plus Slaine and the new Rogue trooper.

    i think they were still sloughing through the non-royalties bilge at this stage in the command centre, clearing out the bilge for the next big push

    By Blogger Derek, at 3:08 pm  

  • You might be right, Derek. The return of Slaine and Zenith since has made a diff.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 4:54 pm  

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