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Sunday, 18 June 2017

2000 AD - May 1979.

Blimey, this is going to be a terrible post. I'm back for my monthly look at what the galaxy's greatest comic was up to thirty one years and one month ago but have no memory at all of the covers featured below nor of the contents of the comics.

Even worse than that, nor can I unearth anything interesting that happened anywhere in the world in May 1979. Needless to say this gives me very little to talk about.

Therefore, all I can offer is the news that special investigator Rick Random makes his 2000 AD debut in Prog 113.

I would claim this is a momentous moment but I have to admit to having no memory at all of Rick Random nor of anything he got up to. I've done an image search for pages featuring him, in the belief that would jog my memory but none of them rings any bells at all.

Whoever he is, he was, apparently, created way back in the 1950s and was, for a while, written by Harry Harrison of Stainless Steel Rat fame. He would also appear to have hardback books dedicated to him, suggesting he's a man with a fanbase.

But, despite such longevity, Random seems to have totally bypassed my consciousness until now.

Other than that, I can pass no comment on the issues from this month. So, here they are.


2000 AD Prog 111, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 112

2000 AD Prog 113, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 114, Ro-Busters

23 comments:

TC said...

I remember American reprints in the 1980's of Judge Dredd, Robo Hunter, and Strontium Dog, but I never heard of Rick Random before.

I seem to remember comic book adaptations of Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series, maybe published by Eagle, Quality, Fleetway, or whoever was doing American reprints of 2000 AD at the time.

Anonymous said...

No worries, Steve, we've all surely forgotten Rick Random. He was Tharg's biggest misstep in the early years, more so even than Dan Dare - if those stories weren't old 50s reprints, they might as well have been.

A pair of striking Ro-Busters covers there by Kev O'Neill and the mighty Mike - or Mick as I think he was then - McMahon?
The Dredd's are ok too, one of the late Brett Ewins' better efforts and reliable efficiency from DC Thompson vet Ron Smith. His Dredd divides opinion among squax dex Thargo, but I reckon his work at this point is quite underrated.
So what if he didn't have the post-underground style of a Bolland or McMahon, he was the only art droid who flew a Spitfire during the war.

I'm reminded that those covers appeared on different looking progs.
Longtime readers of IPC comics will recall that at some point in the mid 70s their standard format shifted to the slightly less rectangular shape and shittier paper 2000AD had hitherto appeared in, but for some reason these progs reverted to that of, say, the early Battle.
Not that it was up to the quality of Starlord but still, it was an improvement.

Huh. That last bit was boring wasn't it? Apologies to anyone who read it.
Especially as now I think about it, that Dan Dare cover from last month's post might have been the start of the new look.

-sean

Anonymous said...

PS Carlos Ezquerra's work on the Stainless Steel Rat is still a few progs away
www.bronzeageofblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/the-stainless-steel-rat.html

-sean

Steve W. said...

Sean and TC, it's nice to know that my lack of knowledge of Rick Random reflects no discredit on me.

It's weird how I'd totally forgotten about the Stainless Steel Rat comic strip but just one look at it on Pete's blog brings the memories flooding back.

Anonymous said...

Hang on Steve, don't start getting the idea that a quick bit of minimal research might help with the 2000AD posts.
It just wouldn't be the same...

-sean

Steve W. said...

Don't worry, Sean. I am secure in my conviction that research is for cowards.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, I am on a road trip and printed your genius blog on BitBA. I'm getting ready to read it again! I printed before leaving home because cell reception is unpredictable out here in the hills of Missouri. This is going to be good!!!!

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Charlie. :)

B Smith said...

An old man with a failing memory asks: did any other comic aside from Starlord merge with 2000AD?

Steve W. said...

Yes it did, B. In just a few weeks from now, Tornado will merge with it, which I think is the last merger that 2000 AD went through.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve, to quell the nagging question in my head about whether Rick Random was a reprint or not (exciting times, eh?) I looked it up online.

Turns out they reprinted some old stuff to pad out a summer special and annual but then commissioned new material for the progs.
I forgot it was drawn by Ron Turner, who I seem to recall drew some of the better Dalek comic strips. Do you know them at all, the ones originally in TV21? They weren't bad at all for that kind of thing.
Better than Rick Random, that's for sure.

Apologies for the info.

-sean

Steve W. said...

The depressing thing is I had that summer special and Random had two stories in it and I still can't remember him.

I do have a familiarity with the Dalek strips. In fact, in the mid 1970s, I had some sort of Dalek summer special that I've never been able to track down on the internet but, from what I recall of the artwork, I'm pretty sure it reprinted some of those old stories.

Anonymous said...

Even more depressing Steve, once I read about it I actually did remember the stories!

I had a couple of Dalek annuals from the late 70s that reprinted the TV21 stories, but I gather they've been repackaged fairly regularly. Ron Turner did some nice full colour work, so maybe he just wasn't as memorable in black and white.

Could have been worse. At least Tharg didn't revive Jet Ace Logan as well.

-sean

pete doree said...

Erm ... I really liked the '50's Rick Random strip in the summer special and may even post it at some point to a breathless comic nation.
The reboot though was dull as dishwater.

Steve W. said...

I shall look forward to it, Pete. It'll be good to be reacquainted with it.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hi Steve, after reading your blog again in the BI TBA, I am curious to know if those marvel British Comics that were purely reprints have any value in the marketplace? In particular if an important Marvel comic was reprinted in that particular issue does it have a greater value?

Steve W. said...

Sadly, as far as I'm aware, only the very very early Marvel UK issues have any kind of value, somewhere in the £20-£30 range. Mostly, old Marvel UK mags will struggle to sell for even £1, if that. However, the exception to that seems to be Mighty World of Marvel #198 which reprints Wolverine's first appearance and can sell for well over £100.

Alan Class comics, which also reprinted Marvel stories, seem to be more valuable, possibly because of their oddity value.

pete doree said...

That's ludicrous about MWOM #198, still, if someone's prepared to pay it.
But yeh, Alan Class' are the ones to get, I reckon.

Anonymous said...

That is crazy money to spend on an issue of MWOM.
Now mint copies of Fury on the other hand...

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Class's books were the ones that would sit for years since they weren't dated and just reprints?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I did buy a couple of Marvel Tales from the early 70s reprinting around Spidey 50 where he fights the Vulture at the C2E2 convention a few months ago. Always funner to have a comic in my hand than an Archive book with shiny pages and smaller size!

Steve W. said...

Those were indeed Alan Class books, Charlie. They didn't even tell you in which year they were printed, meaning it was anyone's guess how long they'd been in existence when you bought them. Their numbering and their titles also seemed to be totally random. It wasn't even clear if there was more than one issue of any title, even if it claimed to be #137 on the cover. Trying to track down any particular issue on the internet is a uniquely frustrating experience and guaranteed to drive a man to madness.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

IF it were to drive me to drink, I might consider it... LOL!

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