2000 AD Prog Slog

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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  • I disagree with you about the Bisley/SMS drawn ABC warriors, I thought that was fantastic, especially bisleys blacker than black inks and the mind bending story in general.

    Then to go full tilt into fully painted work (I've read since that this was just a huge experiment for bisley) but it totally comes off. The title page with the episode number in intricate celtic calligraphy puts it a step above.

    then some of the painting is just so gorgeous, I think my favourite is when slaine jumps into the cauldron and theres one picture where the Goddesses face is surrounded by daisies thats so frickin gorgeous.

    By Blogger Derek, at 11:17 pm  

  • It's all relative really. If you consider that my defination of ABC Warriors was set by the likes of McMahon, Gibbons, O'Neill and McCarthy then the long awaited follow up is going to seem a little disappointing

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:10 pm  

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