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2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prog 995 07/06/96

Among my personal issues with 2000 AD, including it having changed and me reading it for too long, is by this time, thanks to comic news magazines, I know a little bit about what’s really happening behind the scenes. For example, I know that David Bishop, editor of The Megazine during the period I grew to dislike it, is now Tharg. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing because I’m not only expecting the worse, I’m looking for it. As impossible as it is, I want my old 2000 AD back.

Another bad sign is when a popular thrill returns, like Strontium Dogs, and the script credits go to Alan Smithee. Put ‘Alan Smithee’ into Google, press ‘I’m feeling lucky’ and the Wikipedia page it comes back with says on its opening line “Alan Smithee (also Allen Smithee) is an official pseudonym used by film directors who wish to disown a project”. Peter Hogan might not be a film director but it amounts to the same thing. Why would Tharg agree to credit the strip to ‘Alan Smithee’ when it’s as a good as saying to readers that publisher/creator relationship is at a low here.

It’s a shame because not only is Trevor Hairshine’s art on the thrill reminiscent of old school artists which means it’s great, I also think that Hogan’s Strontium Dogs was beginning to get somewhere, especially now that Middenface McNulty is back in it. Instead it looks like being another false start for the strip that feels to me like it hasn’t successfully taken hold since Johnny Alpha died. But why it’s really a shame is because looking back at this time of 2000 AD with the benefit of Slog eyes, the comic as a whole has been quite good recently and it’s sad to think of Hogan as an unnecessary victim of this period of refocus.

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2 Comments:

  • In Thrill Power Overload David Bishop is very honest about the fact one of the first things he did as editor was move alot of people, he felt weren't suitable for 2000ad, aside. The one person he rang and actively told he no longer wanted work from was Peter Hogan.

    FOR SHAME MR BISHOP!

    To be fair to the man he has also since said he regreted doing this. Whether this is the manner he did this or just the fact that he got rid of Peter Hogan I don't know.

    I'd have a chip on my shoulder about this 'cos I'm a massive fan of Hogan's work particularly his Robohunter BUT having got to the end of David Bishop's time as editor in my own re-read (which around this time became just a plain read as I didn't read the comic between 1000-1500, until buying the back issues recently) I have to say for all its ups and downs 2000ad is a considerably better comic by the time he left.

    By Blogger Colin, at 6:18 pm  

  • Strontium Dogs has taken a long time getting anywhere, including under Hogan. Also, I might be imagining this, but Bishop seems to be more inclined towards denser writers (Abnett) - Hogan seems to be more spacious. So, I can understand why an editor new to the job might have made the decision he did. And, not knowing the details, phoning Hogan and telling him what he did seems at least respectful in theory. What happened in practice though, I don't know . Thanks, Colin.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:32 pm  

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