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  1. #26
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    Let's catch up on the covers...#339 & #340, covers by Carlos Ezquerra and Kevin O'Neill respectively...




  2. #27
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    Thanks Kenny - onto Prog 341 dated 05/11/83 and Tharg himself kindly advises us Earthlets to be careful with the fireworks! It's a cracking Slaine cover as The Bride of Crom continues and the Nerve Centre is devoted to Slaine as well, with Pat Mills himself answering reader's queries.

    Judge Dreddd - The Graveyard Shift concludes with a cameo appearance by Judge Anderson (Judge Hershey also cameoed in an earlier episode). A good, solid story made up of lots of sub-plots. I didn't realise/had forgotten about the sleep machine that all the judges use - 10 minutes in there is the equivalent of a full night's sleep so they get back on the streets quickly, though it's not clear if they work for 23 hrs 50 mins every day! Having said that, Dredd used to have his own digs with Maria and Walter the Wobot, didn't he?

    Rogue Trooper begins a new story, Mega-Minefield, which is drawn by "Boluda" - not overly familiar with this artist, he may have done some Future Shocks? Decent artwork anyway.

  3. #28
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    Here's the cover for Prog 341, by Massimo Belardinelli.


    I'm not familiar with the name Baluda either, Jonno, but a quick search shows why. Rafael Boluda Vidal only has 16 credits to his name on Comic Vine, some of which are reprints. It looks like he only drew 8 strips between #302 and #349, which were reprinted on various occasions.

    And changing the subject ever so slightly, inspired by Jonno's thread I thought I'd give it a try myself and go back to the start and read the issues I was familiar with myself, and see how they stand the test of time. My physical copies are long gone, so it's been of the digital variety on my Kindle Fire. It's the first time I've read the first issue from cover to cover as it was intended since way back in the 70s, and although the first installment of every strip is simply setting things up, each and every one of them was very enjoyable, if a tad simplistic. I think my favourite from the first issue was Flesh...time travel utilised to allow dinosaurs to become food for future generations, an interesting concept. Dan Dare was enjoyable too, although revamped and not the recognisable character from Eagle. It's funny looking back at these strips now with their predictions of the future (King Charles indeed! ), and some of them were obviously influenced by popular films/tv series of the time - Harlem Heroes was a variation of Rollerball, and MACH 1 was obviously a take on The Six Million Dollar Man. And to top it all, an exciting cover featuring a drawing of that issue's free gift, a Space Spinner... All good fun, though and I'm going to try to read the next few issues over the coming weeks at the rate of one a week and see what I think. I might become a regular reader again after all these years!


    Looking forward to #2, an exciting new series is going to start called Judge Dredd (strange for a new strip to start in the second issue of a comic, it's usually in #1 or as a replacement for one which has just completed its run...I take it there just wasn't enough space in the first issue to fit everything in!)

  4. #29
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    Judge Dredd is like the Jamie McCrimmon or Kerr Avon of 2000AD - linked together for ever, they all just missed out on the first episode (or first Troughton story, to be specific!!).

    I look forward to seeing what you think of the earliest days Mac - I had some odd (ie, random - not strange!) back issues which I picked up after I got into 2000AD, so some of the early ones may ring a bell.

    And that Slaine cover is so good, it makes you wonder why they didn't get Belardinelli to do the strip all the time, rather than McMahon.

  5. #30
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    I feel honoured to have inspired you in this way Mac - I know I had/have a "micro-prog" reprint of Prog 1 which must have been included in an "anniversary" issue - I hope I've kept it, I'll have to hunt for it. As I understand it, Dredd simply wasn't ready in time for inclusion in Prog 1, there were issues with the script and particuarly which artist was going to draw it. Which goes to show that often out of troubled production can come a classic!

    It has struck me as well that for now I'm in 1983 and Mac is in 1977 - look out for an Australian air hostess!

  6. #31
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    Prog 342 dated 12/11/83 has a Dredd cover by Cam Kennedy for a complete story called The Suspect. I always recall at the time not being that keen on Kennedy's artwork but this one certainly isn't too bad - a bit reminiscent of McMahon's style but better. We also have the final part of The Bride of Crom for Slaine but the story continues with a cliffhanger straight into the next instalment. And the Rogue strip begun last prog Mega-Minefield) ends here.

    The Nerve Centre has no letters or artwork, just Tharg's letter which amusingly blames the disruption on the Dictators of Zrag - in reality, there's a whopping big advert for Forbidden Planet on Page 2!

  7. #32
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    It has struck me as well that for now I'm in 1983 and Mac is in 1977 - look out for an Australian air hostess!
    "I knew a MacNimon once... middle-aged, read comics... spoke with a Scottish accent"


  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    I didn't realise/had forgotten about the sleep machine that all the judges use - 10 minutes in there is the equivalent of a full night's sleep so they get back on the streets quickly, though it's not clear if they work for 23 hrs 50 mins every day! Having said that, Dredd used to have his own digs with Maria and Walter the Wobot, didn't he?
    That's a good question actually, and I remember Dredd having his own apartment too so they must have some time off. There's the infamous story "In The Bath" as well, where Dredd takes off his helmet but we still don't get to see his face, which shows him having some time out. But knowing life in Mega City One it's probably only twenty minutes a day or so...!
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  9. #34
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    Prog 343 dated 19/11/83 - it's another Nemesis cover but as it's all painted in yellow/orange it's not visually arresting to me. The Nerve Centre again has no letters and just one piece of reader's art.

    Dredd starts a new story called Rumble In The Jungle which I don't recall from the time so far. The Judges have their new Manta wagon to patrol with (Dredd prefers being on the street dealing with perps eye to eye!) and we're set for juve gang warfare to erupt. This is drawn by "Emberton" which may be a pseudonym for Ian Gibson of Robo-Hunter fame as it looks very much like him - does anyone know if this is the case?

    Slaine has a complete episode called The Creeping Death with again gorgeous artwork by Belardinelli - notably on wildlife such as weasels, a mammoth and spiders. The storyline follows directly on from The Bride of Crom.

    Rogue Trooper starts a new story The Gasbah, which I'm guessing has one or two nods to the film Casablanca? Artwork is by Cam Kennedy and both story and art not too bad in this first part.

    Nemesis and Strontium Dog both reach Episode 9.

  10. #35
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    Prog 344 dated 26/11/83 so probably read it at the time of The Five Doctors! Rogue Trooper gets his first cover since I started buying 9 Progs earlier. It's a good cover, and I've noticed that it says "Part 2" of this particular story - you didn't normally get a reference to an episode number, though you would get "new" or "complete" when appropriate.

    The Nerve Centre is back to normal service and all letters are about Prog 335 - which shows how long it took for letters to get sent and published in the pre-internet era!

    Another complete segment of Slaine called The Bull Dance with gorgeous Belardinelli artwork again - notably the bull of the title. Sadly we're onto loads of McMahon next.

    Not much else to report of note - I read it last week but have got behind with PS posting after a very busy period at work (counting down the days!) and it's time for the next Prog already...

  11. #36
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    Time to catch up with the covers...






    As for myself, back in 1977 I've moved on a bit...I made a start on the way home on Sunday night with Prog 2 and am currently midway through Prog 3, which I'll comment on later. The second issue, although on one hand seeming quite simple and innocent fare compared with modern stuff, surprised me with several shocking death scenes...not that they were actually shocking or surprising in themselves, but more in the way that I simply didn't expect to see them here...MP's getting hung from the streetlights in Invasion, and characters getting crushed and minced in Flesh. No blood on display of course, or actual deaths - cutting away at the last instant - but being aware of all the problems which were caused by such graphic fare a year or two earlier in Action, I'm just surprised to see scenes like this at such an early time in the comic's history.

    The stories all move on a bit now, Dan Dare is trying to prevent a shipload of deaths on Jupiter, Harlem Heroes replace their dead squad members and Judge Dredd makes his first appearance in a simple little intoductory tale...tame stuff which simply acts as an introduction to the character and doesn't give much of an inkling of how popular this guy would become...


  12. #37
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    Prog 345 dated 03/12/83 has a good Strontium Dog cover as the 11 part The Moses Quest concludes - a cracking and at times rather poignant story. Nemesis now is the only story left still going from my starting point. We are told that Strontium Dog will return in Prog 350. Another reduced Nerve Centre with no letters and one picture. Dredd - Rumble in the Jungle concludes - not much of a plot and not surprised I didn't remember it. Slaine - Heroes' Blood begins : a decent story spoilt by the artwork.

    My back cover is half cut away as I entered a competition to win some Activision game cartridges (we had an Atari games console at the time) but I didn't win!

  13. #38
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    Prog 346 dated 10/12/83 has a good Ron Smith drawn Dredd cover as he begins a new story "Bob and Carol and Ted and Ringo" which I wouldn't have realised at the time was a nod to a British film of a few years earlier! It actually refers to 4 dinosaurs who are the man-eaters in a dinosaur carnival being held in Mega City One. Unlike the previous story, I do recall this one, not surprisingly as I've always been fascinated by dinosaurs! Rather amusingly, there's a character called David Baloney who wears a shirt and shorts, has facial hair and pronounces his R's as W's - not very subtle at all from a well known TV nature personality of the time!

    With the absence of Strontium Dog, some of the contents swap their positions as Rogue Trooper moves up from 5th place at the back of the comic to 2nd place behind Dredd and Slaine moves from 2nd place to 5th place. Replacing SD is the return of Tharg's Time Twisters - a 2 page story with a twist - good artwork by Robin Smith.

    There's a chance to get a free Radio Earphone - play the radio in your ear - with 10 given away free, or purchase one for a fiver! I've no idea if I tried or not, but I certainly didn't get one!

  14. #39
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    Prog 347 cover dated 17/12/83 has another Dress dinosaurs cover with a scene taken directly from the story. Slaine - Hero's Blood concludes but moves straight into the next story involving the Shoggey Beast. It's also returned to 2nd position with Rogue returning to the back as The Gasbah concludes. I get my first Tharg's Future Shocks with a clever tale called The Plaque.

    Of note here is the Mighty Micro Page with games for the Spectrum 48K (notably a review of Ant Attack), the BBC and the ORIC (?). Readers can even submit their high scores to win a game!

  15. #40
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    Apologies for my absence, I have still been reading on a weekly basis so here goes for a catch up.

    Prog 348 dated 24/12/83 has a festive cover featuring Tharg. Inside Slaine starts a new story The Shoggey Beast, quite fast paced but short on dialogue and still poor artwork. There's a quite clever Time Twisters and Rogue Trooper starts a new 2 part story Timeslip. Rogue also gets a colour pin up. In a special one page feature Ro-Jaws' Film of the Year is Return of the Jedi followed by War Games, Superman III and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

  16. #41
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    I've still been reading myself but not as regularly as yourself, Jonno. I've only managed the first half-dozen issues so far. The way I've written that may sound like it's been a bit of an effort...that's not the case, these early issues are very enjoyable if a bit on the simplistic side but that in itself is part of the nostalgia factor for me! On the whole though, I'm just finding that I'm trying to read ongoing storylines from multiple titles at the moment and this seems to keep getting pushed further back in the queue...

    A cover catch-up is overdue too!

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno View Post
    Prog 345 dated 03/12/83 has a good Strontium Dog cover as the 11 part The Moses Quest concludes
    Another good Carlos Ezquerra cover here...



    Prog 346 dated 10/12/83 has a good Ron Smith drawn Dredd cover


    Prog 347 cover dated 17/12/83 has another Dress dinosaurs cover with a scene taken directly from the story.
    Another Ron Smith cover here...



    Prog 348 dated 24/12/83 has a festive cover featuring Tharg.
    This cover by Eric Bradbury...


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