2000 AD Prog Slog

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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  • I loved Mick Austin's work.

    By Blogger Kevin Levell, at 2:59 pm  

  • He's good, isn't he. I've still to tell my Mick Aisten story here...

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:15 pm  

  • I hadn't really realised how the comic was trying to be girl friendly at the time beyond noticing there were a lot of crappy stories around then. I think the editors were confusing the 'female reader demographic' with 'morons'. My sister's Mandy comics were far better reading than dreck like Moon Runners.
    That said, Alan Grant's Anderson stories (especially the ones drawn by Ransome) struck me as being some as 2000 AD's best attempts at appealing to women although I've no idea how successful they were; likable characters, good facial expressions, some genuinely heartbreaking moments, (like the kids in the Triad storyline) and conflicts sometimes resolved without resorting to lawgivers. They're stories that seem to have lodged in my memory more than most.

    By Blogger Tam, at 12:52 pm  

  • Mick Austins painted covers were great but his interiors were pretty bad to be honest.

    Ransom's art is gorgeous, you can tell he's a real old school pro, his panel placement is just right and his use of negative space is brilliant.

    By Blogger Derek, at 1:29 am  

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