This post has been in ‘drafts’ for nearly three months now, so probably about time I finished it and published…
The Supercover story on prog 20 is ‘The Man Who Stole the Stars!’, which is fitting as when I read this, on the day that his death was announced, it called to mind the late David Bowie’s songs ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ and ‘Starman’ (amongst other space-themed songs).
Over the page, however, we get the first instalment of a large-creature-based strip to replace Flesh with the polar bear Shako! Continue reading →
A nice Kevin O’Neill cover opens up the first non-weekly publication from the House of Tharg, depicting some sort of war robot with a back-mounted flamethrower. Nice piece and totally unrelated to anything of the regular strips appearing within the pages of the first Sci-Fi Special (not that it’s called a Sci-Fi special for this first summer). Cover price is 30p, compared to the usual 8p, and tough luck, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Asteroid Belt and Saturn – there’s no Galactic Groat price, so presumably (unlike the weekly Prog) it wasn’t available outside of Earth’s atmosphere.
Should have mentioned this earlier, but as I was busy for November, doing NaNoWriMo, there weren’t any updates for that month (should have said something at the end of October really). Now that’s over things will get back to normal. Good news is that I now know where all of my issues of Starlord are, and have Sci-Fi Specials, copies of Tornado and annuals to take me up to about 1995 (when distribution problems meant I couldn’t get some issues of the Meg). At my pre-November rate, that should give me enough time to locate said missing Megs.
Having said all that, I’m now on to the Summer Supercomic, so it may take me a little longer than usual to go through that, particularly as I’m also adding to the (unofficial) 2000AD Wikia as I go along.
This prog sees a departure from the usual style of cover, as (I believe) Pat Mills wanted to get Brian Bolland on board, but the artist was still on contract to produce comics for Nigeria. His way around this was to commission Bolland to produce some covers, and get a writer to put together a story behind the cover. Though I don’t think Mills was editor at this time, so he either commissioned the covers before going to freelance writer, had a lot of influence over the next person to take the mantle of Tharg, or I’m completely wrong about all this. Anyway, cover-wise we get an eye-catching composition of a robot in a warzone, clasping a frightened dog to itself.
We’re introduced to Prog 18 by an unusual cover, in that it’s (partially) illustrated by the late, great Don Lawrence, but has been bodged to replace the main figure with a pic of Dredd by Carlos Ezquerra. Artwork on buildings in the background on the pasted section suggest that Kevin O’Neill was the one who had been given this task.
Yet another Brian Bolland cover, as at this point he was still working on Powerman for Nigerian comics, and unlike Dave Gibbons (and Kevin O’Neill?) he hadn’t managed to get out of that contract yet, so he was being given covers to draw. Eventually this would lead to Supercovers, coming in a few weeks (of progs) time.
This one relates to one of the stories inside though, as we get a preview of what will happen to Johnson, Mills, Shepherd and a dinosaur in this week’s episode of Flesh. Mills is obviously named after Pat, and Shepherd is named after Jan Shepheard, no idea who Johnson is though. As an aside, I read somewhere recently that Brian signed a few of these covers ‘Bollo’ to blend in with all the Spanish and South American artists whose names ended in ‘o’. Continue reading →
Another Bolland cover here, though I don’t find his distinctive style coming through in this recreation of the M.A.C.H.1 splash page. Not sure what Tharg told Brian to draw, but the presence of a ship and a conventional jet plane instead of the Blackbird that features in the story suggest either a breakdown of communication or script changes after the commission.