2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, November 23, 2009

Prog 933 31/03/95

In Armoured Gideon Trading Places, psychic photographer Frank Weitz and the giant robot have switched bodies thanks to a pair of magicians based upon Penn and Teller. The only way for Frank inside Armoured Gideon to return home from The Edge is for him to relive the worst day of his life, in Vietnam 1971.

Given that it was established in a previous story that Weitz is about forty years old and it’s the year 1995 now, it’s surprising to me to learn that he was working as a photographer for Life Magazine twenty-four years earlier. That makes him, what, sixteen? Let’s say eighteen at best. It just seems very young to me for a press photographer to be sent in a war zone, that’s all, even though it’s been established by Paul Hardcastle that the average age of a Vietnam vet was n-n-n-nineteen.

Although always well written and drawn by John Tomlinson and Simon Jacob, Armoured Gideon usually comes across to me as post modern and ironic in tone. It’s actually been refreshing to see Weitz’s cynical veneer peel away during this story and see a brutal experience from his past that goes some way to explaining why he is the way he is. As a result, Trading Places is probably my favourite Armoured Gideon story so far.

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  • Big fan of Armoured Gideon all the way through I have to be honest. It had a sense of fun while avoiding becoming pompous like many strips of the time.

    I also very much like the fact that you now have a label for Paul Hardcastle, as though you plan many more Paul Hardcastle related entires????

    Anyway nice to meet you on Saturday. Sorry I didn't get back for a proper chat but for one reason or another I left by 3ish and so didn't get the chance.

    By Blogger Colin, at 9:13 am  

  • I also enjoyed AG. It annoyed me that in the 2000ad extreme edition they reprinted the first gideon adventure again (it had already been reprinted in classic 200ad or best of) and not the later series which I thought were much better. What do Alan McKenzie and Simon Jacobs do nowdays I wonder?

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 1:03 pm  

  • It was nice to meet you too, Colin. I gave Paul hardcastle his own lable in a shallow attempt to lure fans of early house to my blog.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:11 pm  

  • Victor, AG might not be my favourite thrill but it deserves to be kept in print more so than many other strips that have been.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:13 pm  

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