Thursday, 28 June 2012

Back, with a huge dose of Thrill Power

Again, sorry i've been away. To get back in to things, what i've done is put my hand in the 2000AD box at the cut-off date of June 1978, and picked a Prog at random. And this is what came out - 27 May 1978 and a classic McMahon cover of Dredd. He and his tales have been given tons and miles of print, so lets look elsewhere as to what Tharg was offering this time shall we? First up, Dan Dare and yet again, and again, and again, and again, PLEASE can we see these reprinted? A fantastic tale of Dare and crew coming across a massive life-form buried on an ice planet. Who's quite happy to chat with his visitors, but can't escape as he's saving the last of his energy for his "DEATH-NOVA!". And won't let Dan and co go as he doesn't want to die alone. But, Dare being Dare, he finds a way and off the fella goes in to the stars.
Lovely art by Dave Gibbons but, yet again, we come across the crass and very silly idea of "have a character with a name associated with what he does". By now we've already met Hitman, who's a borderline pstcho and could easily be a - guess what? Here we have crewmate Wise, who not only looks like Ernie, is - wouldn't you know it - a "self-styled comedian. A horrible concept which, of course, is resurrected years later with Bagman and Gunnar in Rogue Trooper. Next we've got "Death Planet". Pretty duff stuff, despite lovely art from Lopez, notable only really for its use of alternative, futuristic swear words, that seemed to be the norm in the early days of the Prog. Dredd got his "Drokk!" and "Stomm!" and here the survivors get a "Strack!" and the bit better "Strack me!". Wonder what it could be a substitute for?
Mike Dorey does some lovely, moody art on "Mach Zero" and Mike McMahon's art on Dredd is, of course, superlative, but it falls to Belardinelli on "Inferno" to take top honours this time. Every page has a stand-out "whoah" moment, but these are my two favourites this time - the stunning, terrific, bizarre Caveman whacking the ball away, abd this terrific shot of Artie Gruber catching the ball. Genius stuff.
"AIEEEE!" WATCH: Zilch. But would like to highlight probably the best ever exclamation, as Artie crashes into a window - "FNUURRRGGLE!"

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Demoncon 3

Yeah, i know, i know - there will be a new post soon, promise. But things are SO busy right now, i've no time for reading except for last thing at night before kip, and i'm too knackered then to remember anything to write down next day. In the meantime, yet another stop-gap, this time footage from the really rather excellent Demoncon convention in Maidstone a while back. I'm in it, but only very briefly so don't let that put you off. And, if you can, i heartily recommend the next Demoncon in September.