2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.69 23/12/94

I’m convinced that by this issue I had given up buying The Megazine. I’ve probably been through these points before but here’s why anyway; I hated the price to comic page count ratio; I hated the status update pages; I hated the humourless, almost self important editorial tone; I hated most of the covers; I hated the over frequent reproduction of said covers within the comic; I hated the dour looking printing of fully painted art; I hated the banality of the Inquisition feature; I hated the readers letters and the responses; I hated any images reproduced from the upcoming Judge Dredd movie (it looked like it was going to suck) and I hated the next issue page.

I didn’t hate the strips but I didn’t really love them either. There’s some interesting art and competent writing going on here at this time but the weight of everything that I hated evaporated any goodwill I might have had towards what should have been the heart and soul of the comic. Even two strips written by John Wagner at this time, the Judge Dredd lead and Mean Machine, had been dragged down by the negatives.

Any vitality had gone by the end of volume one but it took me another three years of misguided wishful thinking to realise that it was never going to return. For me, The Megazine was a habitual buy and the moment my local WH Smiths stopped carrying it and I had to place a special order for it, the writing was on the wall. I only lasted this long because I had been suckered into staying because of the Wilderlands cross over.

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  • I remember that i carried on buying the Megazine for quite a long time, even though I hated almost every issue of it. I think the thing that kept me reading was the teasers and the promise of what was to come. There always seems to be something big looming or some great story coming soon that just turned out to be rubbish. Another thing that dragged the stories down was that they all seemed too long. Whereas John Wagner used to get a great story into 5 pages, just as much story seemed to be being streched over 2-3 10 page parts. This always left me feelin hard done by. I can understand why now as he is paid by the page and not the ideas containd in the story!

    The art was interesting but most of the artists had bad storytelling skills, which always left me wondering what was going on in many of the stories even if they looked nice.

    The Megazine really just felt like a big club run by Dave Bishop for him and his pals to make comics even if they were not that good.

    I am interested in what you think of the plagues of Necropolis when you come to it. I thought it was the worst thing I have ever read.

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 6:41 pm  

  • The Megazine is a strange beast. Everything you say in today's entry I agree with, but I feel that Bishop did achieve something essential by using the Megazine to give space to a massive amount of new writers and artists - which includes bigging them up in his bland editorials - and I'm grateful for the nurturing of Robbie Morrison, Gordon Rennie, Simon Davis to name just the big guns.

    And I imagine Wanger and Grant deserve a lot of credit as well - if it hadn't been for their pretty consitent high quality strips in the Meg, maybe not enough people would have bought it.

    Of course, the quality of the Meg gets worse from this point before it gets better (which it really, really does - if you stick it out beyond the reprint phase and into Volume 4).

    By Blogger alexf, at 9:53 am  

  • Hi Victor. It seems that we had a similar relationship with The Megazine in the end. Unless I misunderstand what you said, I've already covered Necropolis in The Slog, unless "The Plagues of necropolis" you refer to is something else.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 12:36 pm  

  • Hi Alex. I think that the flaws in The Megazine lay fundermentally at the feet of editorial. I think the use of 'new talent' was irrelivant to my relationship with the comic in the end.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 12:41 pm  

  • Oh the plagues are something to come ;)

    I think they display a fundamental misunderstanding of the whole necropolis saga.

    In fact it was a good idea for you to just ship now as the real megazine slide begins from my memory. Some great moments include thebizarre inspektor series. Restarting volume 3 seemingly without having the material prepared to launch a run of new series. And some really really awful tales.
    There are a couple of good strips upcoming though such as the 3 amigos.

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 8:59 am  

  • I actually have the 3 Amigos in GN form, Victor, but I guess it falls outside of The Slog remit. :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:19 pm  

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