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2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Winter Special 1993

Of all the covers I’ve seen this week for The Slog, this is the best so far. Drawn by Dave Hine, it features Tharg in his semi-superhero pose, crackling with thrill power and surrounded by portals into the various worlds he provides us access to. Far more appropriate than upside-down genetic infantry men and grotesque mash-ups.

Inside, it’s all new content throughout. There isn’t even a text feature which makes no difference to The Slog as I don’t read those anyway. In general, the strips seem to fall into two categories; thrills such as Brigand Doom, Tao de Moto, Janus PSI Division and Manic 5 all of which are prologues or opening episodes to serials scheduled for the weekly in 1994, or Canned Heat and Tracer, prologues or opening episodes to new serials that we never hear from again.

Thanks to Grant The Hipster Dad, 2000 AD blogger also and regular commentator on The Slog, who has solved the mystery of The Burning Man from the 1994 2000 AD Yearbook. Apparently, it, along with Canned Heat and Tracer, are strips created for a proposed new comic called Earthside 8 that never happens. According to Grant, “Basically, Fleetway concluded that there wasn't a "gateway" comic for 7-10 year-olds anymore to build a new audience for 2000 AD, and so they set to work on a new SF comic for readers in that age bracket, and then Fleetway changed their minds and pulled the plug.” You can read what else Grant has to say about it at Thrillpower Thursday.

I have absolutely no recollection of this proposed comic at all which is frustrating as I’ve always fancied myself as astute when it comes to certain subject matters. It’s sad to learn about it now because, surprisingly, Fleetway were right to come to the conclusions they did about 7 to 10 years olds no longer being catered for by newsagent comics. Had it happened, perhaps the British comics industry in 2009 would be in a healthier place.

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