2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Prog 668

This is how irritated I am by the tedious in-joke that Bradley’s journey through late eighties rock and pop is; I am actually quite pleased to see Zippy Couriers back. At least Hilary Robinson and Graham Higgins provide it with some sense of craft and professionalism rather than it feeling like it was composed in the pub on a Sunday afternoon. It’s not their fault that it’s presence in 2000 AD isn’t entirely suitable, is it.

My favourite new strip’s first story comes to an end this prog; Bix Barton Master of the Rum and Uncanny. This is Peter Milligan and Jim McCarthy’s satire of and tribute to Marvel Comics Doctor Strange. The main villain is even called Steve Ditto after Doctor Strange artist and creator Steve Ditko. In the story, the government are about to pull the funding of Bix’s Department of the Irrational when mysterious cases of monsterism occur in an English village. Bix and his trusty walking stick, Michael Kane, are soon on the case.

There’s much to enjoy about Bix Barton from the character’s constant use of Rugby analogies to the upbeat dynamic between him and his ridiculous yet dignified side kick, Michael. Any Squaxx dek Thargo undecided about writer Milligan before now must be won over by his sense of fun here whilst McCarthy’s artwork gives the strip a classic and almost iconic feel. Whilst re-encountering Bix Barton for The Slog I was very much reminded of The Mighty Boosh. The characterisation and the surreal humour seem very similar to each other although, obviously, Bix predates The Mighty Boosh by at least a decade. Bix Barton even has its own grotesque male local called The Poacher who takes a shine to him and wants him to be his bride, just like the character Kodiac Jack did to Vince in The Mighty Boosh episode The Call of the Yeti.

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