2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.31 26/06/93

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re back at The Megazine, wading through stodgy stories that, in general, shrink the once vital future world of Judge Dredd down to the size of a tennis ball. It reminds me of those old black and white magazine sized comics Marvel used to publish during the seventies to compete with publishers like Warren. The covers are fully painted, the interior art larger, they’re written to appeal to your big brother and yet, somehow, they manage to be a lot less fun than the comics they spun out of.

There’s something about the overall look of The Magazine that can make even a good strip in it look like a shopping trolley dumped in a canal. If you’re a good strip here, then you really do have to shine to be noticed, and The Missionary Man, by Gordon Rennie and Frank Quitely, is one of those. The Missionary Man features an enigmatic preacher who brings God’s word to The Cursed Earth in 2000 AD’s typically brutal way.

The obvious creative star is artist Quitely, who arrives fully formed from his time at Electric Soup. His work is finely detailed, stylish, expressive, colourful, animated and well designed. In fact, it’s almost perfect. Rennie, although benefiting from working with an obviously excellent artist, pitches the opening self contained episodes perfectly. In no way ponderous, the two short tales still contain portent, drama and great one-liners. The Missionary Man blows though The Megazine like a gust of fresh air so it’s frustrating to see it only appear for two issues before going on a break and an ad for another upcoming strip to be drawn by Quitely with a different writer thus, I imagine, delaying its return.

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  • I was seriously in awe of Frank's work when he first hit the Megazine - still am in fact! I loved Missionary Man instantly and I think it was simply down to that beautiful artwork he was bashing out with what seem like effortless consistency!

    By Blogger Kevin Levell, at 10:52 am  

  • Yeah Quitely was excellent. Somewhere along the way he seems to have lost the ability to draw faces though, his emma frost looked like miss piggy.

    The meg at this time was trying my patience, I think I lasted till around 2.40.

    Like you say Paul there was something about the look of the meg...there was an awful lot of muddy brown work in there. I severely disliked the work of new artists like Siku and Xuasus

    By Blogger Derek, at 1:12 pm  

  • Quitely art is magnificent but there's also a raw simplistity to Missionary Man as a character that I think gives him a basic appeal. Fun chap.

    By Blogger Colin, at 1:36 pm  

  • I was like you, Kevin. It's perfect.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:25 pm  

  • Derek, I'm still a fan of Quitely. You're right about some of The Megazine artists. I mean to write an entry about newer ones soon.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:27 pm  

  • I agree, Colin. Rennie deserves a lot of credit. It would work with a less good artist, I think.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:28 pm  

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