Saturday, 20 April 2013

Mean Arena!

From the cupboard today... 2000AD Prog #187 - 22nd November 1980. Art by Dave Gibbons. Click on the  link for more.

I really like this descriptive comment from sauchieboy 20 April 2013 10:16. So I'm adding it here...

I loved that story, and I don't even have the excuse of being ten when I read it, since I only came across it after buying the back issues off a pal at secondary school who'd discovered the delights of drinking White Lightning cider and screwing shell-suited girls underneath the swings in the local park. 

There's something really appealing about the way Gibbon's figures look like burnished Silver Age characters, inexplicably torn from the pages of a sixties Marvel comic and dropped into the milieu of dilapidated tenement housing and hair-netted housewives which was the drab default setting during that period for any British comic story which wasn't about the second world war. The Slayers' matches could have been taking place in Pat Mills's fictional amalgam of Northpool or the Dundee/Anywhere construct of Dennis the Menace's home town.

Which, I suppose, reflected how the strip (and 2000ad in general) was seeking to disrupt and transform the stuffiness, complacency and morbidity that had afflicted British boys comics in that period by introducing what were perceived at the time as subversive American influences (Tallon was a Yank), such as excitement, colour and glamour. Once again, the colours on that art seem so much more vivid (and lurid) than the copy I have; there must have been a real art to laying down hues that would achieve the desired effect once they'd gone through the primitive printing process, and onto crappy paper.

6 comments:

  1. I loved that story, and I don't even have the excuse of being ten when I read it, since I only came across it after buying the back issues of a pal at secondary school who'd discovered the delights of drinking White Lightning cider and screwing shell-suited girls underneath the swings in the local park.

    There's something really appealing about the way Gibbon's figures look like burnished Silver Age characters, inexplicably torn from the pages of a sixties Marvel comic and dropped into the milieu of dilapidated tenement housing and hair-netted housewives which was the drab default setting during that period for any British comic story which wasn't about the second world war. The Slayers' matches could have been taking place in Pat Mills's fictional amalgam of Northpool or the Dundee/Anywhere construct of Dennis the Menace's home town.

    Which, I suppose, reflected how the strip (and 2000ad in general) was seeking to disrupt and transform the stuffiness, complacency and morbidity that had afflicted British boys comics in that period by introducing what were perceived at the time as subversive American influences (Tallon was a Yank), such as excitement, colour and glamour. Once again, the colours on that art seem so much more vivid (and lurid) than the copy I have; there must have been a real art to laying down hues that would achieve the desired effect once they'd gone through the primitive printing process, and onto crappy paper. Thanks for posting, Steve.

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    1. Great comment! I think I'll add it to the post itself if ya don't mind.

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  2. I love the fact that the bog-paper gave the super-clean original art a textured look like desaturated film-grain. It's something I truly miss.

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. I felt the same about old American comics.

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  3. Sauchie said what we were all thinking, obviously! Anyway... This is another cover I'm very fond of; after dipping my toes in the 2000AD waters early on, this period marked my return to the Prog (I've stuck with it every since). Dave Gibbons drew some beautiful covers around this time (most of which you've posted previously) and it's great to see them here in hi-def! What would we do without you, Steve?

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    Replies
    1. I spotted another of his the other day, but it was just the b/w film. I'll scan it at some point anyhow.

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