2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, February 15, 2010

Prog 1049 01/07/97

Anderson PSI Division is back in the weekly after years away in The Megazine and like every other woman in the comic these days, she wastes no time in showing off her underwear. In Wonderwall, Anderson finds a homeless girl who has been exposed to such awful abuse that she has to take a trip into her head to save her mind. Rather tediously, she encounters the characters from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, partly for some meaningful reason but mainly because they’re out of copyright and in the public domain.

Actually, it’s really nice to see both the thrill and Alan Grant back. Grant has so totally made Anderson his own that it’s very difficult to imagine anyone else ever successfully writing the strip, even John Wagner. My old acquaintance, Steve Sampson, paints it, and it looks great. His artwork is colourful, clear, easy to follow, accessible and improves with each new strip he does.

So why a cover like this one, commissioned, I imagine, by the editor, let’s call him David Bishop, and painted by the popular Dermot Power, is used to mark the character’s return seems utterly idiotic to me. My first reaction is that it’s a tacky attempt to appeal to readers of Loaded Magazine. Then I think how out of spirit those knickers are. I thought it had been established long ago that Judge’s wear designated underwear. The men wear boxer shorts with big red spots on , so it seems reasonable that the female Judges would wear underwear that is equally contrasting and therefore amusing. Then I think, Judge Dredd has aged in real time in his strip, so hasn’t Anderson as well? Aren’t the frillies and the upper buttocks of a middle-aged woman the last thing we want to see? Then I think, is it appropriate for the lead character in a story about organised child abuse to be sexualised in this adolescent way? It isn’t enough for me that the strips in this era of the comic are quite good if the overall voice of 2000 AD is inconsistent, confused and often idiotic.

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  • Now this cover I think is a much better example of 2000ad playing to the Loaded generation, than Dante. This serves no function at all and makes for a pretty silly cover.

    The trouble is there's worse to come. Still as I think I've said before here Steve Simpson's art at this time is so much better than the static stuff that graced the Megazine a while back.

    By Blogger Colin, at 6:53 pm  

  • I really don't like these issue driven Anderson stories. It seems like they have to have an adult theme - such as child abuse, religion, drugs - and then Anderson goes into some dream world where she could possibly die, and then there are some full page shots of her with little clothes on perhaps as the Virgin Mary or something to be adult and controvertial.

    And on the cover is her bum - to be childish and controvertial.

    I think anderson should have stayed in the Megazine, I'd stopped buying that by this point

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 8:57 pm  

  • interesting stuff,

    i dont quite know if im in the right timeline prog-wise but i do remember the anderson backstory of rape and incest and thought it fairly well handled and gave a nice insight to anderson's personality.

    i vaguely remember this strip about the abused girl and comparing it with the cover, it seems a bit wrong to me.

    Im a big fan of lewis c and always like to see his work in modern literature, but never thought about the out of copyright stuff. something to think about.

    now, im never quite sure whom you like but is Bishop on your good or naughty list?

    I dont really know the behind the scenes stuff of the progs but Bishop, for me, wasnt a good thing.

    Im happy though, to be corrected.

    Its good to tackle "adult" themes, but it almost seems like they were doing it for shock value at this stage.

    Gosh someones taking drugs, or gosh someone has an illness, but in a hollyoaks trivial way without actually touching on the reality of the issue.

    its all bit black and white, but without the grey inbetween.

    I would imagine that many folk in their mid 30's-40's have imbibed one substance or another, but that doesnt make us all moustache twirling evil types.

    in early 2000ad i expect this attitude.

    ie the smokeatorium and david prowse on the back cover telling us how to cross the road, but later on the messages seem to get mixed up.

    Blowing innocent people away is cool, and all girls are big boobed and easy but dont do drugs kids...

    again im waffling, but i am very dunk indeed.

    feel free to correct me on all points. i'll be ashamed tomorrow.



    By Blogger OrLoK, at 5:14 am  

  • after a cup of sythicaff or two, for some reason i feel i have to qualify some of my recent posts.

    I think i have given over the impression that anything after prog 300 is poor and pointless.

    not true.

    Although, for me, it is not the old 2000ad printed on terrible stock but full of major thrills of yore but I still have a certain affinity for the prog and it's various spin offs.

    (i cannot include the dc version of dredd in this, nor the post film jr dredd that appeared for a bit. both truly awful. (although i have em all and wouldnt give em up)

    Ive not found any other "comic" like it and ,again to me, is comparable with the likes of tin tin and the trigan empire in it's "classicness" value.

    at the mo 2000ad is like that girl you know is bad for you, and there's no future in it, but you cant stay away from her.



    By Blogger OrLoK, at 5:30 am  

  • This really would have been an inappropriate story for 'that' anderson story.

    I don't think Dante was playing to the loaded generation I just think that the writers of comics were different people to the ones who had come before. The 70's writers like wagner and grat are very much seeped in rough justice and old school heroim; the 80's writers like milligan, and grant morrison are all thatcher reaction and mind bending; the early 1990s was a bit strange and writers dont really have a unified passion on 2000ad, maybe soapy would be a good term (Ennis, Hogan, mckenzie); after that the writers become all complex plots and sex as part of life. It is just what they like.

    And outside it all you have pat mills who seems to develoop with the decades; john smith who is crazy; and mark miller who just want to write action flicks.

    Thoughts and ideas

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 12:37 pm  

  • OrLok: you're in good company, check out the latest issue of (Garth Ennis')The Boys.

    Steve Simpson had an impossible act to follow. I think Arthur Ransome did the definitive version of Anderson. His realistic art and lovely facial expressions made her seem far more like a real person to me than just about any other 2000 ad character and helped the (good but rarely great) scripts punch far above their weight.

    Again, it's part of that same story of old school 70s comics creators giving way to something more modern...

    By Blogger Tam, at 4:22 pm  

  • Colin, as enjoyable as Dante is, I used it as the springboard that day because I wanted to talk about that subject and there was a vagina-monster in it. As an example of careless thiking though, this cover is a better example.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:31 pm  

  • Victor, I remembered that the child abuse theme has been around in Anderson for a long time now. I don't know about the wisdom of dwelling on it though, as Grant has.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:33 pm  

  • OrLok. Good Hollyoaks comparison. I blamed Bishop for driving me away from 2000 AD but on revisiting these comics for The Slog, I can see that things are slightly more complcated. My comment about Alice in Wonderland being out of copyright was me being flippant.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:35 pm  

  • Victor, I probably will touch upon your points in future entries. I was thinking that the early writers, such as Wagner and Mills, pushed against the boundaries and often got told off, whereas the current generation has no real boundaries and seem even encouraged to be 'naughty'.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:40 pm  

  • Tam, yeah, Arthur Ranson is great isn't he.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:42 pm  

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