2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Prog 1074 23/12/97

BLAIR 1; It started out as a fun, almost off the cuff joke in the 3000 AD free gift a couple of months back. Prime Minister Tony Blair imagined as early 2000 AD character MACH 1 who, in turn, was inspired by The Six Million Dollar Man TV programme. I remember commenting here that satirising Blair as Prime Minister before he’s even elected is a tad premature, or words to that effect. Well, now the strip is back, completing its opening four week run this prog and, I’m afraid to say, it’s not very good.

SB Davis is an artist I can quite enjoy normally but satire isn’t his strong point. Real life politicians aren’t represented particularly insightfully or even scathingly. Blair himself is painted with a permanently fixed grin, I suppose as directed by Alan Grant’s script, which as a piece of satire is already a cliché by this time and unoriginal as it was used as a short hand for President John F Kennedy decades before. Grant’s script is floppy and, ultimately, unfunny. It’s as if he’s not sought to be well observed or feels particularly strongly about the subject matter but instead wrote it after getting a general sense of things through osmosis.

On the one hand, I feel a bit sorry for Tharg, editor David Bishop, at this time. If I had his job and had been approached by the man who helped to provide years of great Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Robo-Hunter baring scripts for Blair 1 I would have found it difficult to say no to him. On the other hand, it does feel like another example of recent 2000 AD populism. New Labour hasn’t had the chance to implement any policies before this so-called satire appeared. Had everybody waited a couple of years they could have come up with something quite good. Instead, their over eagerness to get the boot in first looks like opportunism and reads like a slap by a wet fish instead of proper heart felt satire.

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  • As I've stated in many, many, many other posts of mine, there are several "thrills" which don't particularly move me, which have become staple 2000ad fixtures.

    But, I get that what floats my boat my not float others, but B.L.A.I.R. 1?

    M.A.C.H. 1 wasn't great but i bet it's spinning in it's grave at this time.

    It's like a bad cartoon version of Spitting Image to me, only without the humor/satire.

    I can understand it's place in 3000ad, as that kind of gave it some context but more of the same?

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Possibly, its the humour element that doesn't work, as while we all may like our sci fi, we might find some of us are, for example, Little Britain fans as opposed to Monty Python (or both who knows?) and maybee this is why humourus strips often don't work for us individually.

    I'd like to know your thoughts on the humor aspects Paul, if you have some, as a strip author yourself.



    By Blogger OrLoK, at 8:38 pm  

  • btw, i really, really, really dont mean to sound as pompous as i come over.

    The written word is a hard thing to master properly for me.



    By Blogger OrLoK, at 11:33 pm  

  • Grant seemed to be getting more and more political over time, he seems to be somewhere to the left of trotsky and lenin by this time. I think he didn't like that blair realised britain isn't a particularly radical country and shifted the labour party to the centre.

    By Blogger Derek, at 9:04 am  

  • Paul I think you've got it backwords

    If I remember my thrill power overload then it was tharg (lets call him David bishop) who made Alan grant write Blair 1 and he just tried his best to to make a silk purse out of a sow

    (he failed in my opinion)

    By Blogger David page, at 12:39 pm  

  • I'm pretty certain David's about it being a story that Bishop pushed. In his defence I believe this was a reaction to how popular the strip was in the 3000ad mock up. But then surely its the editors job to know what will work as a one off spoof and what merits a return.

    Still there are always bumps on the way to recovery and thats another bump out the way

    By Blogger Colin, at 6:20 pm  

  • Well L, at the end of the day, it's not funny, which is the main pint of it failed I would say.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:00 pm  

  • L, you're doing all right.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:00 pm  

  • Derek, you picked up more polictics from the strip than I did. I thought it was pretty obvious, politically wise.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:01 pm  

  • Well, that explains a lot, David. Thanks for the update.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:02 pm  

  • Poor editorial judgement again, eh, Colin :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:03 pm  

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