¦ Features ¦ 2006AD
Worst thing about 2000AD this year
The Megazine revamp
Gavin Hanly: Unfortunately,
it has to be the Megazine's decline. It's particularly
annoying that Dez Skinn's unwarranted outburst at the Eagle awards, when the
Megazine got a deserved award for its 2005 issues, was followed by such a reduction
in quality when the page rate and strips were culled. Some rapid rethinking of
the strip content (particularly with the reprints, which have become staid since
Charley's War was dropped) is certainly needed. While the latest run of tales
seems a massive improvement, there's just not enough new content to make the
price point attractive. A rethink on the article content would also be highly
recommended, as I don't think the Megazine is the place for "insight into
the movie scene" despite the recent editorial. There's hope for an improvement
next year - but I think there has to be a considerable structural revamp of the
megazine, seeing as so much of it is taken up by articles which I just don't
read any more...
The other disappointment about 2006 was the understated way that both prog
1500 and the start of Origins were pushed in the media. Hopefully there will
be a much more concerted effort at blowing the trumpet at next year's anniversary.
Finally - the loss of Tom Frame was a massive blow to the
comic and he will be much missed.
James Mackay: The Megazine’s
problem is that when a dud runs, it takes a very long time to disappear. This
year the Megazine had a string of duds. However, the latest issue’s
rise in quality (Peter Doherty on Devlin Waugh is just inspired!) gives me great
hope that 2007 will be a much better year for the title.
It’s a bit lazy to go for an actual story in this category but Stone
Island was an absolute train wreck.
Ugly art, characters so thin one of them didn’t
even have a name, pages of dozy exposition and an ending that seemed to have
drifted in from another, even more terrible, storyline. Like a direct to video
Aliens rip-off from the 1980s. Yuk! Take a look, move on, and try not to have
Alex Frith: The seemingly endless
debate about whether or not the Megazine will / ought to fold and disappear.
It's a worthy publication - be more supportive, people!
Stephen Watson: Sinister
Dexter making their
unexpected but decidedly unwelcome return from the grave.
The Megazine is by no means an awful comic: there's a
lot of very good content, but overall, it's been a disappointment this year compared
to the weekly.
out the six strip slots have been below par, which leaves just Dredd, the signature
strip, to see it through. The biggest hits of last year, The Simping Detective
and Cursed Earth Koburn, were hardly used. The reprint Dredd can only ever
be a secondary consideration for me, because I've read it all before. Black
Siddha was an unfortunate mess. Even the incredibly well-drawn Fiends of
the Eastern Front failed to excite, moving at a snail's pace at six pages per
month and managing (somehow) to make vampires involved in the siege of Stalingrad
seem dull. (A single-sitting re-read may be different, but that's not how
it was presented.) The Small Press slot, whilst throwing up some interesting
and sometimes astounding work, generally fell flat, and with Tales of the Black
Museum being played for comedy effect (without ever actually being in any way
amusing), it seemed a lost opportunity.
Each of these on their own wouldn't
be so bad – but put altogether it made the comic a disappointment to read. When
you have to wait a month between reads, the wait should be worth it. My
opinion, which is in no way a snub and might well be missing the point, is that
the Megazine and 2000AD may need separate editors if both are to flourish.
Andrew Howe: The
decision to strip the Meg back
to four stories, several of which ran for two-thirds of the year. If you
don’t like Black Siddha (I
don’t), can’t see the point of reviving the classic Fiends of
the Eastern Front (I can’t), and feel a trifle cynical about reprint
material in the age of Extreme, you’re left with precious little
reason to part with your hard-earned on a monthly basis. I don’t
know how the profits on this enterprise are going, but I fear for cancellation
if matters don’t improve.
Honourable mention – the unwelcome
news that two of my favourite strips of 2005 – Anderson and Caballistics – were
going on an extended break. Then again, we campaigned for more Nikolai
back in the day, so we should be careful what we wish for.
He's since apologised, but Dez Skinn making an arse of
himself lambasting the Megazine while presenting it an award. My
personal take is that, for someone like myself who only heard about the comments
he made after the event, his noncommital shrug of an apology and the seeming
absence of all things 2000ad-related in the pages of British journal Comics International
(even the American Previews features 2000AD more regularly) just seems like a
baffling bit of sour grapes. I've
no idea why he'd have it in for 2000AD, but he does seem very disparaging of
the book and its readers in general - I freely admit that this is a subjective
Adam Crabtree: A bad year for the Judge
Dredd Megazine’s reputation. I managed
to blag a subscription for Christmas, so I was inevitably more upbeat in my appraisals
of this loudly slated run in the title’s history. Black Siddah confirmed
Pat Mills’ ker-azy disposition anew and came in for a storm of criticism.
The Fiends of the Eastern Front revival from David Bishop and Colin Macneill
(who had a serious case of over exposure this year; he does good stuff, but those
faces of his… y’need a break from anything after twelve solid months!)
was recognised as a fine bit of comics storytelling but not really suitable for
loooong-term serialisation. There was a format change, which I have mixed feelings
about; the emphasis on comic content gave it more focus (and the content was
juicier) but I miss the articles (NOT the turgidly boring film reviews that are
Still, we’re now ready to begin a fresh new year
with Jack Point, Devlin Waugh et al giving a strong early showing. Time to see
what this new editor’s made of, wot?
David Knight: Filler
stories perform several
very necessary functions in an anthology comic like 2000AD. The downside is that,
Future Shocks aside, they’re rarely
enjoyable and they make me wish for a short Sinister Dexter adventure in their
place. Saying that, at least 3 (or 4) stories in Prog 2007 failed to pack the
requisite punch; one of which was the Sinister Dexter interlude.
Martin Charlton: The
reduction in quality of the Megazine, from 100 pages, with a spine and 6 new strips every month, to
staples, inferior paper quality, an identity crisis, no separate editor to differentiate
it from the prog, and only 4 new strips a month. A real shame.
WR Logan: The loss of
Henry Flint may
gain but definitely the galaxies greatest loss. The best art droid of his generation
with an imagination unsurpassed by any current model of art droid its amazing
to think that his last appearance in the Megazine was October 2005 and his last
appearance in 2000 was way back in April. As much as I wish Henry all the best
and hope that he becomes as well known across the pond as he is to us I also
hope that we get to see his work once again in the pages of one of Tharg’s
publications in 2007.
Pete McCosh: Malone.
The essence of the story (mysterious man comes to town, starts kicking ass and
is revealed to have a dark secret in his past) is painfully obvious from the
outset. It is only the nature of this secret that causes a surprise and makes
the story in any way relevant or worthwhile. However, this connection back to
another story does not retrospectively improve the lumpen, clichéd writing.
a thin line between writing a homage or pastiche of any given genre and sinking
beneath the waves of its conventions. Malone follows the latter path.
I wasn’t very complimentary about Simon Coleby’s art before and I
have reappraised it slightly. His sketchy backgrounds and use of greys to emphasise
the foreground is pretty cool, but his figures – the heads in particular – are
Joseph Saxton: Consistent
low quality in the Megazine, okay it wasn’t awful but the
Megazine was very weak for too long in most peoples opinions and, whilst the
strips are looking up, it's still lacking in identity to justify having two separate