2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Prog 837 29/05/93

The Slog is entering an interesting period for me as, despite being present for these progs first time around, I am now encountering thrills that I had completely forgotten about. For example, I am aware of the first two Bad Company books but needed to be reminded about this third one called Kano.

Kano is different in tone to the previous two books although downbeat and bleak just the same. Kano has retired from the war and now lives on an alien planet with a wife and child who he loves very much. However, something in the nearby woods is killing the locals and Kano is under pressure to help his ill equipped neighbours deal with the threat.

Artist Brett Ewins is in the midst of what I would describe as his minimalist phase. Inked by Jim McCarthy, the drawings are often simple and repeat themselves from panel to panel. It’s a technique that worked for the previous two books and continues to here. Pete Milligan uses a lot of first person narrative which in the same prog as Firekind (a lot of first person narrative) and Armoured Gideon (first person narrative) feels like one first person narrative too much on occasions. Just the same, Milligan handles his theme of getting what you need rather than what you want with his usual early nineties class.

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  • "the drawings are often simple and repeat themselves from panel to panel."

    Valid storytelling technique, or cheat that insults the intelligent reader?

    I suppose the answer depends on the frequency of use. Sadly I seem to recall Mr Ewins using it quite a lot.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 7:39 pm  

  • I'm really not a fan of Ewins' work of this period, it looks awkward, flat and crudely coloured. Pity, his earlier stuff was great (especially some of his generic SF covers from the very early days).

    By Blogger Joe, at 11:35 pm  

  • Yeah, it did feel a bit as though he couldn't quite be bothered with this story. I remember it having mutants in it who are distinguished by having red spots on them. I've come to expect much mroe elaborate designs when it comes to mutants in 2000 AD!

    By Blogger alexf, at 10:20 am  

  • Again being lazy I'll just copy and paste some comments I made over at the 2000ad forum a few weeks ago.

    "Kano was great, better even than I remember and while very different in tone to the earlier Bad Company stories it really added to the whole mythos Milligan created and was a fantastic reworking of the whole old soliders finding it hard to live a normal life after a war. Great stuff."

    As for Ewins of this period while not my favourite work of his I still find it great to look at. The copied panels are used really effectively if you ask me and are used in this instance as a valid storytelling technique. A frozen moment as the 'camera' pans in to emphasize a character moment.

    Now then when he copies another artists work and passes that off as his own that's a whole different ball game!

    By Blogger Colin, at 11:16 am  

  • Colin, I agree that the copied panels can be used to great effect but it's the amount of time it got used that bugged me.

    Perhaps I'm being unfair to the Kano strip - my recollection is of Ewins overdoing it during his stint on Rogue Trooper.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 11:28 am  

  • Hi Ken. I always felt that Ewins knew how and when to do it.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 1:47 pm  

  • Joe, it still looks vital to me if uncommercial.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 1:49 pm  

  • Alex, don't forget the mutie with the trunk. (At least I think it's a trunk).

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 1:49 pm  

  • Colin, I agree with you, except for "Now then when he copies another artists work and passes that off as his own that's a whole different ball game!". Has he done this then?

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 1:51 pm  

  • Hello again Ken. The repeat panel thing is used more sparingly in Kano, I would say.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 1:52 pm  

  • Its a bit of an infamous case. My understanding is he copied an old McMahon cover (61 maybe) for a module for the Gamework shop Judge Dredd RPG called Judgement Day. Then went around bragging about the fact that he'd made easy money. This led to the strip that McMahon did for Prog 500 in 'Tharg's Head Revisited'

    By Blogger Colin, at 2:40 pm  

  • I haven't hear that one before. Thanks, Colin.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:55 pm  

  • Ewins' work in the early '90s is just really unappealing to me. This, the Kelly's Eye story, some of those Dredds like Last Night Out and Down Among the Dead Men all look really flat, especially when compared to Paul Marshall and Simon Jacob's color work in the same progs.

    I call it "The Brett Ewins Coloring Book Era."

    By Blogger Grant, the Hipster Dad, at 9:11 pm  

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