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2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prog 1160 08/09/99

The third and final (as far as I’m aware) Mazeworld book concludes this prog with Adam Cadman waking from his coma and returning to Earth with the devil inside him. Earlier he had been journeying to the heart of the maze only to learn that he was the very demon he was searching for while on Earth, over enthusiastic doctors experimented on his brain and sawed off his hand.

Early episodes of Book One saw art robot Arthur Ranson design the page as if the panels made part of the maze themselves, but he quickly dispensed with this practice. Indeed, as the story progressed, his work seemed to become loser. That’s not to say that his art hasn’t continued to be absolutely brilliant throughout but it’s given the impression to me that initial enthusiasm very quickly gave way to pragmatism. Three sixty paged books is a lot of work after all.

The emotional signifiers in Alan Grant’s story have been affective. Cadman’s journey from apparent bad man to good man, the character’s almost palatable internal wrestling with what he has done and what he is fated to do and the medical profession’s total lack of ethics have all been involving. However, the flaw for me has been the fantasy aspect of the story. The world and Cadman’s journeys to and from it have been ambiguous. Like in his Anderson PSI Division, because boundaries aren’t clearly defined, when something exceptional happens, such as Cadman bringing a demon back with him to Earth, I resent feeling that I am expected to just accept this. In a black and white strip reproduced on news print paper for a cheap price I can accept all of this but in a high end pricey comic reproduced on cover stock and where the creators own the rights I expect more for some reason.

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8 Comments:

  • I agree. I felt all along that Grant was going to explain what the link was between the Mazeworld and Cadman's mind, but he in the end he just didn't. Perhaps it was because he wanted to come up with something even vaguely plausible and in keeping with the intellectual tone of the story, but couldn't think of anything good enough?

    By Blogger alexf, at 9:17 am  

  • If Alan Hebden had written and Belardinelli drawn mazeworld it would have been a lot more fun

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 12:51 pm  

  • I didn't like mazeworld to be honest. It was too dry if it was a bit more fun I would have been happy with it.

    By Blogger David page, at 3:15 pm  

  • Yeah Alex, it's like not all of the thinking was done but what was was good.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:31 pm  

  • I think you're right, Victor.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:31 pm  

  • Dave, it did seem over worthy perhaps.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:32 pm  

  • IIRC, Andy Diggle was assistant editor at the time and in charge of the letters page. He absolutely HATED Mazeworld and rejoiced in one missive that described the strip as 'Adam Cadman's pillow-headed antics'.

    Me, I didn't mind so mind - lush Ranson art - but some humour wouldnae hurt the strip, IMHO.

    By Blogger DAVID BISHOP, at 1:13 pm  

  • Hi David, nice to hear from you, and thanks for the clarification on a couple of things. Yeah, Mazeworld would have been more enjoyable with some old school Grant jokes included.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:21 pm  

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