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2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, May 03, 2010

Prog 1170 17/11/99

While Judge Dredd has been freeing Mega City One from robot control, Sinister and Dexter tracking down their late boss’s murderer and Devlin Waugh breaking all of our minds, Nikolai Dante has been experiencing a saga of his own. All of these great big epics make me feel as if all business if being cleared away by Tharg before the start of the year 2000.

In The Courtship of Jena Makarov, the love of Dante’s life is violently kidnapped the night before her wedding. Dante is arrested for it but everyone knows that the charge is bollocks as it’s just the excuse the two great Russion dynasties have been waiting for to go to war with each other. It’s another sweeping adventure driven by acts of cruel inhumanity, slight innuendo and peppered with tiny acts of tenderness written by the increasingly likable Robbie Morrison.

Head Dante artist Simon Fraser is back for this story. His work reminds me of the more European artists that Tharg used during the comic’s early years. He certainly looks a lot less influenced by American comic book artists than his contemporaries. Fraser’s characterisation and acting is strong but it’s his building designs that excel. He builds these great scene setting structures that reek opulence. They must take him ages to draw.

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16 Comments:

  • Arh the Slog is getting so close to the end and while I appreciate that you won't be touching 2000ad itself for a while I do wonder whether the Dante trades will tempt you? Its on fire at the moment and only gets better and more powerful from here...

    ...and of course there'll be a Nemesis review soon? I'm dieing to know what you think of that one.

    By Blogger Colin, at 6:09 am  

  • The way you describe the current line-up makes it sound as if its a classic era of thrill-power. If the slide began during the 700s, does this period mark the start of the climb?

    By Blogger alexf, at 9:40 am  

  • As ood sigma once might have said

    "Pauls song may end but the slog will never die...."

    heh

    and yes this is a pretty damn epic line up at this point shame I missed it originally

    By Blogger David page, at 1:13 pm  

  • alexf. For me the start of the climb was a good while before this but by now the comic is certainly back on top form and hasn't looked back since.

    By Blogger Colin, at 1:23 pm  

  • Alex, I wouldn't call this the beginning of the climb back as that had started some time ago. This is certainly the pay off to it though as Dante really steps up a notch with this story and the Dredd Mega Epic culminates about 5 years worth of plot strands and really prepares the series for the next decade. Some of the effects are still being felt to this day, especially concerning one of the follow up stories that stars PJ Maybe. I won't reveal what happens to him, but for anyone who hasn't picked up the Definitive Maybe, I would highly recommend it.

    Also Colin is correct that the current Dante story is really on fire at the moment. Being able to say that I've followed Dante from the very beginning is one of my proudest accomplishments as a 2000 AD reader.

    Chris

    By Blogger kennyevil, at 1:35 pm  

  • Ach this may have been the start of the climb but it was too little too late for me I'm afraid.

    Dredd doomsday i thought was bloated and mildly boring.

    Dante - I could not really like the character.

    Devlin waugh - it seemed like a suprehero story that Smith had written for DC and had rejected so he just revamped it as a Devlin waugh tale.

    Sinister Dexter - was still just a pulp fiction rip off that had gone on far too long.




    Curiously last yeay I picked up about 60 issues of 2000ad for a tenner from Oxfam. The issues were from about 2005. I really enjoyed reading them and the comic was an enjoyable read. Even sinister dexted and dante were great. So the climb must have happened somewhere! Maybe I was just too jaded to enjoy them here.

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 8:38 pm  

  • just sold The Courtship Of Jena.... for £20 on Amazon. A step down from 30 quid and i still never got the random autographs yet!

    By Blogger Rhinocerouslip Bumcrack, at 9:23 am  

  • Well done.

    I sold Professor Green's Ep on on E-bay for £33

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 11:57 am  

  • Nemesis review up today, Colin. I've got a few 2000 AD GNs on my Wish List but no Dante yet.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:50 pm  

  • Alex, it does feel as if there's an accelleration towards prog 2000.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:51 pm  

  • I don't know if I agree that this is an epic line up, David, but it feels like the best this era has to offer.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:52 pm  

  • Chris, Dante has been an unexpected pleasure and, who knows, I might seek out the follow up collections... in a while.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:53 pm  

  • Victor, sometime you just need a break from something to approach it free from the weight of expectation. (Whoa)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:55 pm  

  • Well done, Rhino. I am surprised, though :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:55 pm  

  • £33? for PG. wow, he's pop now isn't he? Most i sold one for was £50 for Meat Beat Manifesto 'Eccentric Objects' 12". ltd ed 500 think it was. A few £40's, mainly late 90's indie hiphop classics.

    £20 for Dante was alright. The low cost compared to £70 was fair enough. If shops are so concerned at keeping it low then why didn't they put em on Amazon? i dont know how retailers work, so.....

    still all my other Dante trades are around the fiver mark

    By Blogger Rhinocerouslip Bumcrack, at 8:51 pm  

  • Yeah he sold out! He's had his teeth done too - looks like a backstreet boy now!

    I sold a marvin gaye cd for £50 and it got loast in the post :(

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 11:46 pm  

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