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2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, October 24, 2008

Prog 680

ITEM: The second Universal Soldier story, which has no title or marker that identifies it as separate to the previous tale, sees Max Brewster use his experience and brain chip to train a village to defend itself from attack by both a ravaging clan and a bunch of renegades. The artist is Simon Colby whose style is engaging and, on the surface, inoffensive. Colby has a stylistic quirk that warps the image slightly and flattens the scene. It’s as if he’s drawn it on a wonky desk rather than on upright drawing board. Also, all of the male characters have the same over-muscled physique. It means that they look alike and all that separates them from each other are things like moustaches, hair styles and scars. You can see how when this Universal Soldier story immediately followed Harlem Heroes it seemed to punctuate its meatheadedness. Kid Bambos’ lettering looks too big too as if the original artwork was drawn to actual reproduction size rather than reduction. It makes me wonder if this is one of Colby’s earliest gigs and once he’s been given a few more of the professionals’ tips he will get closer to fulfilling his promise.

ITEM: In light of the recent reinvention of The Harlem Heroes, I am beginning to think that perhaps I have been a little harsh on writer Hilary Robinson. In fact, her first Chronos Carnival adventure has read like an appreciated palate cleanser after all of that male posing and forced hostility that came before it. Of course, it’s been helped by the absolute brilliance of Ron Smith’s perfectly rendered artwork. My only criticism is that the male lead’s wheelchair seems ordinary and doesn’t feature spikes on the wheels or carry machines guns and chair to air missiles. Hilary missed a trick there.

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4 Comments:

  • "chair to air missiles"

    Genius.

    By Blogger Jez Higgins, at 4:27 pm  

  • Colby fro me is the fourth Simon of the Apocalypse. The full four being:

    Simon Bisley "Lets paint this". This Simon comes in disguise, because he's damned good. but in his wake he will leave a thousand muddy, muscley pages by his imitators.

    Simon Harrison was next, he of the snot drenched figures - Hes the herald of "anything goes" in the name of style, even if it amkes the strip unintelligible.

    Simon Jacob was the third, bringing the scourge inapropriately cartoony styles to the prog

    Then Colby comes along with this weird flattened style - I dont think is actually a style, its just not being able to draw things convincingly. Colbys recent return to the progs has been pretty good - he seems to have found that 3rd dimension, and developed in the interim years between this and his most recent stuff, so good on him!

    By Blogger Leigh, at 9:44 am  

  • Why thank you, jez :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:51 am  

  • Cheers Leigh. I like the "Four Simons of the Apocalypse". You know I'm going to steal that don't you :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:53 am  

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