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2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, January 11, 2010

Prog 991 10/05/96

ITEM: I think that I might have been a little bit harsh on RAM Raiders in my last entry. Since then, the opening story has concluded with the death of Meg and her return as a computer generated ghost. I can see now that what I thought the thrill was it wasn’t and that writer Alan McKenzie was merely setting the general conceit up. Also, criticising it because the main character just walked into Canary Wharf unchallenged might have seemed churlish, especially when you consider that in this prog’s episode of Finn the boss of a multinational energy company boasts about the various sacred sites of indigenous tribes around the world he’s helped to desecrate in the terrorist’s local pub and I wouldn’t dream of criticising that. It’s clear now that RAM Raiders is a supernatural, Scooby Doo styled strip with a digitised spin. I still hate that hat, though.

ITEM: We all thought that Ron Smith had disappeared for good from the pages of 2000 AD nearly a hundred progs ago, but here he is, for the last few weeks, contributing new Star Scans of the interiors of Justice Department buildings and spaceships. It might be that current Tharg is clearing out a backlog of work but it says a lot about my relationship with the comic when I tell you that just the sight of his drawing style makes me feel warm inside.

ITEM: I was surprised during last prog when Tharg in his editorial for the Output page said that Vector 13 is ideal for readers who like The X Files. Well, duh, we all know that. Creating thrills based on what is popular at the time isn’t anything new. Skizz as Alan Moore's ET is a good example. Hell, the comic itself spun out of the anticipated success of Star Wars. But actually saying it, Tharg? I mean, really!

Tharg is working hard to make Vector 13 a success, returning it for a third run and continuing to commission some of his highest profile creator droids for it. For me, some stories are better than others but it still continues to be dry and lacking in personality. Given the creative shared understanding as to what the strip is about, I’m curious to know how Vector 13 was originally conceived and who was originally involved.

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10 Comments:

  • RAM raiders was Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) for the rave generation.

    Finn really started to annoy me around this time. The story seemed to go on forever and then it seemed as if pages were in the wrong order or chunks were just cut out to wrap it up.

    I also remember that around this time Ron Smith started doing pin ups in the classic judge dred reprint comic. Does anyone know why he stopped working for 2000ad? Smith was one of the greatest Judge Dredd artists and he is definitely not given his due! Respect to Ron. Big up!

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 9:35 pm  

  • *CHOUGH* Skizz was Alan Moore’s E. T. *CHOUGH*

    By Blogger Jayleon, at 8:56 am  

  • To be honest, I think most of 2000 AD's 'let's do a spin on a popular property' strips have been pretty good - Skizz being an excellent case in point, also MACH 1 and indeed much of Vector 13, which was like the good episodes of the X-Files, not the interminable government conspiracy episodes.

    Regarding Alan Moore, is it just me or has he in fact produced more work based on existing characters / ideas than purely original stuff? I mean, it's still largely brilliant, but even Halo Jones was, I believe, Ian Gibson's idea that Moore developed and scripted.

    I guess I'm either dissing Alan Moore or suggesting that creating whole new characters isn't the be all and end all of writing.

    By Blogger alexf, at 11:21 am  

  • I thought the Reeves and Mortimer Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) was the Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) for the rave generation.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:50 pm  

  • You're right, Jayleon. I'll edit it.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:50 pm  

  • Alex, I think all of those tribute stories come out of the editorial philosophy Mills used for Action. All the strips were versions of popular movies of the time.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:53 pm  

  • Ron Smith said in a recent meg interview that he fell out of favour with 2000ad editors who were looking for more trendy artists.

    Although thankfully he's still around his eyesight is no longer good enough to draw so we'll never see any new work from him.

    By Blogger Derek, at 1:58 pm  

  • Derek, I think I read that in the Meg too. I just couldn't remember where I had read it when I was writing this entry.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:02 pm  

  • It was in the last 6 months that there was the 2 part interview with Ron Smith, I bought the meg specifically just for those interviews as the meg is back in fairly low point after being decent between 2001-2007(basically when they were doing the 100 page squarebound issues)

    By Blogger Derek, at 7:18 pm  

  • I always flick through the Meg in the newsagents. Someobody always cracks and breaks it open eventually :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:36 pm  

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