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2000 AD Prog Slog

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Prog 779

You might remember when previously writing about Michael Fleisher’s Harlem Heroes that, as much as I disliked it, it was never the 2000 AD strip that I hated the most. That strip was still to come and, now, that strip is here; The Clown. Written by Fleetway PR guru Igor Goldkind and painted by Robert Bliss, it’s the story of a clown who takes out revenge on the gangsters who killed the pony he uses in his act.

At the time, I resented another member of the editorial team writing for the comic when they should have been concentrating on their day job, which, in this case, was promoting the comic, even more than David Bishop, editor of The Megazine, scripting The Straightjacket Fits. I was also losing my patience for fully painted comic art, particularly that informed by Simon Bisley whose work I enjoyed as a one off but didn’t want to see replicated by other artists. Encountering The Clown again, I can see the triggers in it that annoyed me. The idea itself isn’t particularly good; the humour isn’t that humorous; the main character looks inappropriately over muscled; the use of pencilled drawings over a paint wash as a legitimate method for producing panels instead of as a short cut. However, this time for The Slog, I can see that actually it isn’t so bad that it doesn't deserve the accolade as worst ever thrill although I wouldn’t say I like it particularly either. My heart did sink again when, at the end, a character speaks for the author and implies the strip’s return although that might be a remembered feeling instead of a genuine one.

The accolade for the worst thrill ever is still held by Michael Fleisher’s Harlem Heroes, which finishes another story this prog. Even shortening its runs and having the mighty Ron Smith draw it does little to redeem the strip. It’s like a horrible virus that keeps returning just when you think it’s gone for good.

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