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2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, April 27, 2009

Prog 820 30/01/93

I get the impression that often when Squaxx dek Thargo think back through thrills from the early nineties that they forget Dead Meat featuring Inspector Raam. In case you’re unfamiliar with Dead Meat, it is set in a future and flooded London where vegetarianism is compulsary. Inspector Raam is a genetically modified ram who works for PULSE, the agency whose job it is to seek out and arrest meat eaters, dealers and the rest. The strip’s second run concludes this prog. In it, a loud mouth Texan diplomat has not only been serving meat at his banquettes and claiming immunity from PULSE but Inspector Raam has been lumbered with acting as his body guard thanks to the several attempts on his life.

I like it. Michael Cook writes a strong cast of characters who admittedly might seem like caricatures but, you know, this is a strip featuring a talking animal as its lead in a vegetarian society. Everyone has their own motives so what could be just a functionary story is actually filled out in a tight and satisfying way. Simon Jacob’s art is bright, fun and full of character. It looks to me like he’s worked at making every panel successfully exercising strong judgement on when to stop.

However, it seems that Dead Meat proved unsuccessful as this is the last time it appears in 2000 AD. Perhaps meat eating readers weren’t in the right frame of mind to enjoy a satire of this type. Admittedly, there are moments that seem extreme, such as tourists being arrested for still having undigested meat in their intestine, but we’re talking about a comic whose most popular character does something even more extreme every week. Perhaps Dead Meat had a limited life span thanks to its themes but it certainly seems a shame that we don’t seem to encounter anything written by Cook again whose plotting is tight and whose dialogue is fun.

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