2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, February 01, 2010

Prog 1029 11/02/97

Clarification: In my entry yesterday, I said that somebody, possibly editor David Bishop, had chopped up and spliced together Janus PSI Faustus for serialisation in 2000 AD instead of the Megazine which it was created for. I should point out that I don’t know this to be the case. I recently heard a rumour that this was, and the change in flow mid part 3 seems to confirm it, but the truth is I don’t know for certain that this happened.

Sinister Dexter: In Gunshark Vacation, the two hit men for hire are trying to keep a low profile in holiday resort Asbestopol. There, they are working as door men at the club Bawdwalk managed by transsexual Kilopatra. However, their ‘low profile’ means that they have got themselves involved in a feud with local mob-king, Philly O’Fisch. Things take a turn for the worse when they’re reunited with Demi Octava and realise that they’ve been set up by The Czar for one hell of a big hit against them.

Gunshark Vacation is different to previous Sinister Dexter stories in that a significant run of episodes have been painted by the same artist, SB Davis. I like Davis’ art style. It looks like the object he’s painted has gone through various distortions before it reaches the printed page. Like he’s drawn it, photocopied it, printed it onto canvass and then painted over the top of it. Whatever the process, the result is effective and surprisingly humanistic.

I’ve decided that I have absolutely no issues with this strip anymore. When previously I wrote about it here and told you my Dan Abnett anecdote, I think I was looking for something to complain about, to justify my previous reservations. The truth is that Sinister Dexter is a well executed strip that deserves to do as well at it does in the readers’ polls. Here’s to Dan Abnett, SB Davis and editor David Bishop (for running it in the first place). Cheers.

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  • No, you were right the first time, Paul. The Janus story was intended for the Megazine, and was advertised as "coming soon" in its pages. It was dropped from the Meg when it shrunk from 52 pages to 44.

    By Blogger Grant, the Hipster Dad, at 8:02 pm  

  • Not a fan of Davis' strip work. Decent enough illustrator, but not the world's greatest storyteller.

    By Blogger Mark, at 8:15 pm  

  • I realised recently I stopped liking Sinister Dexter right after the very first run. Since the episode where there is a shoot out in the park that is like Butch and Sundance there have been, for me, only two single episodes that have been any good. One is the (Possibly) Sci Fi special (or Prog 2000 or what ever), 'Bullet Time' which is in my humble one gun fight stories in comics ever told. And an episode where Sinister Dexter are shopping for guns and randomly bump in to the guy they are planning to whack because it is just so incredibly funny. Every other story I have been so. Incredibly. Bored. Which is a shame because Dan Abnett's stuff I like.

    I also have realised that SB Davis just does nothing for me. :(

    By Blogger Jayleon, at 8:31 pm  

  • Arh Gunshark Vacation the start of Sinister Dexters climb up the order on its way to becoming one of 2000ads truely great strips.

    The cool thing is there's better still to come.

    By Blogger Colin, at 8:32 am  

  • I also did not like gunshark vacation. It just didn't work for me. I never really got into sin dex but having read some of the more recent stories I think it greatly improved.

    I was never a huge fan of Davis' art either. I agree he can do soe nice pics but his storytelling wasn't up to the job. I enjoyed him on the missionary man undertaker story but that is about it. Its also my understanding that he keeps using Steve Sampson's girlfriend as a photo reference. Having known the sampson droid you may be able to confirm this

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 9:03 am  

  • They dropped eight pages?! It's a scandal! Thanks for the update, Grant.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:47 pm  

  • I used to feel the same way as you, Mark but his story telling on this one is okay I think.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:49 pm  

  • Jayleon, I don't know if I encounter those stories in The Slog. I'll let you know.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:50 pm  

  • See Colin, the guys seem to disagree with you :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:51 pm  

  • Steve and I had lost touch ith each other by this time, Victor. Can't say i've spotted his girlfriend in Davis' work but I'm not always very observant.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:53 pm  

  • Bullet Time (2000AD Prog 2001) 5 pages
    Script: Dan Abnett, Artist: Andy Clarke, Colour: Chris Blythe, Letters: Ellie De Ville Cant remember the title of the second funny one

    By Blogger Jayleon, at 7:26 pm  

  • To be fare I do think the current alternative dimension story line has suffered from to many long breaks in between bits in the build up to now. I didn't like it when this happened to the Tzar Wars saga as it affected the flow badly.
    Also to be fare to Mr Davis his work on the Stone Island series really gave an extra edge to the story. I have always put down my difficulty with his work more down to never quite finding the right kind of story.

    By Blogger Jayleon, at 8:53 pm  

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