Sunday, 25 August 2019

2000 AD - July 1981.

I have to start today's contribution with a public service announcement, as Charlie Horse as requested I post the following image as a buyer's guide for any readers who may wish to learn more about the mysterious phenomenon that is Archie Comics.


But what of July 1981, that magical period when the whole of Britain seemed to be going to hell in a handcart?

The month kicked off with Michael Jackson's One Day in Your Life at Number One on the UK singles chart but it soon lost its perch to the uber-zeitgeistosity of the Specials' Ghost Town which did my sanity a great favour by keeping Stars on 45 Volume 2 away from the top spot.

Sadly, even the Specials couldn't stay at Number One forever and, in the last week of that month, they were deposed by the power and majesty of Shakin' Stevens' Green Door.

Over on the album chart, July began with Disco Daze and Disco Nites hogging the limelight before it was replaced by Cliff Richard's Love Songs which stayed at Number One for the rest of the month.

All around the world, people are raging, "Is there no escape from Cliff on this site?"

Clearly, there isn't.

But, that month, there was also no escaping from riots. Even as the Specials were lamenting the social, industrial and political decay of our towns and cities, civil unrest broke out in Southall, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Leicester, Derby, Manchester, Woolwich, London, Leeds, Ellesmere Port, Luton, Portsmouth, Preston, Newcastle, Southampton, Nottingham, Bedford, Edinburgh, Stockport, Blackburn, Huddersfield, Reading, Chester, Aldershot, Bradford and even High Wycombe. To be honest, it'd be easier to list the places that weren't rioting.

Still, it wasn't all fighting. It did stop for long enough for Prince Charles to marry Diana Spencer in front of a domestic audience of 30 million people, the UK's second-highest TV audience of all time. This is possibly because everyone had a record number of TVs at the time, thanks to all the looting they'd been doing.

Elsewhere, Donkey Kong was released.

But what of 2000 AD; the reason we're all here?

It was still giving us Strontium Dog, Judge Dredd, Mean Arena, Tharg's Future Shocks and Meltdown Man. All except for Prog 222 which gave us the return of Nemesis the Warlock which took the place of Strontium Dog.

I must confess that, in all the years I spent reading it, I never once managed to work out what Nemesis the Warlock was actually about and was generally baffled by the whole thing. What was he even supposed to be? Was he a space horse?

I do have to say the cover of Prog 220 seems a little political but perhaps I'm reading too much into it.

2000 AD Prog 219, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 220, Strontium Dog, Johnny Alpha

2000 AD Prog 221, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 222

35 comments:

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Thank heavens the Sunday blog is finally OUT!!! I thought you were busy making plans for Nigel or something!

Gents, That's a decent price for Archies. And the"Archie Americana" cover 6 decades... 40s through 90s. ANd there are various other compilations like "Archie 75 year" products where you get a bit of each decade in a thick paperback. I just found a small smattering on ebay UK to see what could be available. But the Americana series covers 6 decades:

Archie Americana Series: Best of the Forties (1991)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Fifties (1992)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Sixties (1995)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Seventies (1998)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Eighties (2001)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Forties Book 2 (2002)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Fifties Book 2 (2003)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Nineties (2008)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Sixties Book 2 (2008)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Seventies Book 2 (2010)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Eighties Book 2 (2010)
Archie Americana Series: Best of the Nineties Book 2 (2011)

Anonymous said...

The only comic-strip Archie I know of was a robot.
He actually ended up in 2000AD at one point (unfortunately rebooted by Grunt Morrison in Zenith).

Nemesis was a Warlock Steve. Thats why the series was called Nemesis the Warlock. (Sounds obvious when its put like that, right?)
That first series was brilliant, with amazing work by the Kevin O'Neill (who went on to be the only artist banned by the American comics code) and the mighty Pat Mills.
It was unusual, but hardly difficult to follow - I can only assume anyone who found it baffling didn't read it regularly.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Btw, I notice Sheffield wasn't in your list of riot zones Steve. Were you lot in the peoples republic of South Yorkshire too busy counting the royalties from synth pop hits to rise up in '81?

-sean

Steve W. said...

Sean, people have written entire papers about why Sheffield never riots when the rest of the country does. The most popular theory is it's down to the city's topography and geography. In what way those prevent riots, I've no idea. I can only assume the theory is the city's too hilly and people can't be bothered to riot if it involves running up a hill.

Anonymous said...

I've always found Archie comics to be strangely...I dunno, creepy.
Maybe it's Jughead. Let's face it, that guy has "psychopath" written all over him. the hat alone...
I would expect a guy like that to snap one day and waste a $#!tload of people.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Jughead's family were zillionaires who lost it all in the great depression as I understand things. (You gotta remember Archie started in 1941.)

His actual name is Forsythe Pendleton "Jughead" Jones III.

Anyhow to go from Prince to Pauper and stuck with a name like that, you'd probably find relief in endless cheeseburgers and funny hats too!

That being said, Goober on the Andy Griffith Show wore a hat like Jughead's so it obviously has its merits.

The only guy who deserved to get a polish sausage shoved up his nose was Reggie.

But the recent Archie run by Mark Waid was quite well down. Highly recommended.

At the current time, I can report that Archie has ditched both Betty and Veronica and is dating Sabrina the Teen-age Witch. Yowza!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

M.P. - You do know Jughead played the drums in the Archies, right up there with Keith Moon and John Bonham! Those drummers all march to their own beat, you know.

Anonymous said...

Like I said, that Jughead is a friggin' bomb waiting to go off.
And don't get me started on Reggie. That guy's gonna be a serial raper and future congressman.
...Republican.
And Moose is like Lenny from Of Mice and Men. Somebody's gonna get their neck accidently broken and then they'll be setting the K-9 units out to hunt Moose down. He'll probably take out a couple of the lead dogs before the pack gets him on the ground. Then it's goodnight, Irene.

M.P.

Killdumpster said...

Archie comics have done superheroes before, but it would've been fun if they made some of the characters into super villains.

Let's say Reggie, since he's such a snake, somehow gains powers akin to King Cobra/Eel. Super-slippery, contortionism, with a hypnotic ability.

He then mesmerizes the 2 members of the gang with the weakest minds: Moose & Jughead. There you have it:

THE RIVERDALE ENFORCERS!!!

Jughead's insatiable appetite enhanced to the point that he becomes a version of Matter-Eating Lad.

Moose, of course, would make a perfect teenage Ox.

It's amazing the stuff you can come up with on oxycotn.

Killdumpster said...

Never being an avid Archie reader, I don't know if they ever already did that.

Killdumpster said...

As much a punk-fan I am, I didn't care for the Specials or ska in general. I primarily dislike reggae influenced music. When the Clash and other punk legends began to go in that direction I was dismayed. Guess I have no soul. Siouxsie and the Banshees incorporated just a bit of it, as well as other world-beat flavors in their later stuff, to make songs that were fresh & interesting.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - you should consider getting addicted to the Oxy. Sounds like there are big payouts looming from big pharma!

Killdumpster said...

Naw, Charlie, oh my brother.

Like Steppenwolf said in their song, The Pusher, "I never took nothing that my spirit couldn't kill."

And I'm responsible for my own actions.

Plus, compared to what I used to do in the late 70's to the 80's (quaaludes, etc) these pills are like Chiklets. Before the "opioid crisis" I got better pain-killers from my dentist!

Hokey Smokes, Bullwinkle! I had a saw blade cleave into my skull. Lol!

Killdumpster said...

Speaking of headaches, does anyone have opinions/ observations about the G7?

Anonymous said...

What the world must think of us...

I feel that I am not being properly represented on the world stage.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

M.P. - I think our UK brethren must be all a-gaga with all the praise Trump is heaping on Boris! Not sure how Boris feels about Donald? Is it a bromance?

KD - get addicted!!! J&J have been ordered to pay out $527 MM just to the State of Oklahoma which only has 4,000,000 people! Do the math!!! You could get rich and visit Steve in Sheffield and start another UK-USA bromance!!!

I would but I can't get addicted. I actually get cold-turkey withdrawal symptoms after 3 days on narcotics! Now I know why Lennon was screaming out of his head in "Cold Turkey."

Anonymous said...

I've been in rehab three times. I've been in jail six times.
And based on my own personal experience, I think we need to pool our resources and send Killdumpster a massive amount of drugs through the mail as quickly as possible.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

...I was joking about that last part.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Personally Charlie, I think as he's so keen on Trump Boris Johnson should stop complaining how the UK is run and go back to the crime-infested place from which he came.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

You know... Archie vs. Beano / Dandy... tough call.

Killdumpster said...

I remember some kind of tv-movie live-action special where they presented Archie & the gang as young adults, with many of them with kids. I'm not sure if it was a pilot.

Jughead & his son did a rap version of "Sugar". Definitely a surrealistic moment in television.

I also find it surrealistic that both we in the States and our UK brothers have leaders with hair issues.

Killdumpster said...

Just read that the Queen ok'd Boris' shutting down parliament, I guess so it would be easier for him to try to push through some kind of no-frills Brexit plan.

I didn't think the royal family had that much power in your government, oh my British brothers. I was under the impression they were just traditional figure-heads, tourist attractions, and virtually recipients of a form of "corporate welfare".

Man, your political system makes ours seem as easy as my high school student council.

Killdumpster said...

Johnny Rotten was absolutely right. They're not elected officials, and have no place in a Democratic form of government. If they want to live their arrogant, pontificating, high-and-mighty lifestyle they oughta hauk the family jewels or get sponsors for products.

Can you imagine the Queen in a crisps or biscuits commercial? Charles could push Q-Tips! Lol.

Wonder which royal could sell tennis shoes. That's pretty good money.

Killdumpster said...

On the lighter side, oh my music loving brothers, my boy Iggy Pop is releasing a new album Sept. 6. One of my favorite barmaids said she caught a song on a college radio station and it had her dancing. Can't wait to check it out.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Charlie will enjoy his new stuff as much as We Don't Talk Anymore or Devil Woman.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

What can Charlie say... How was he to know that Iggy Pop was Cliff Richard's stage name? (oOu know, Cliff looked like Rick Springfield in their youth, no?)

Charlie was never one to take pop music or comics too seriously, but for when the eternally despicable Gerry Conway and Roy the Boy Thomas killed off Gwen Stacy which ranks up there with the Beatles breaking up if we must merge the two worlds.

But right now, Charlie's mind has been trying to figure out UK politics. Didn't know it was lawful to suspend the UK parliament. Of course, Charlie didn't know it was lawful to borrow $350,000,000 from Russians through a German Bank and watch the US electoral college sit around with a polish sausage up its ass thinking "no foreign connections or influence is possible here. Nope. Putin actually is a great guy, just misunderstood, and would never wrap Trump around his finger." LOL.

Killdumpster said...

LMAO, Sean, oh my brother! That was pretty good.

dangermash said...

Cliff does look good for his age though...
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/570479477771570319/

Killdumpster said...

Yeah, Charlie, oh my brother. I agree.

The clandestine aspects of political maneuvers of world leaders will either lighten up in the next decade or deepen in the darkest depths, what with the 24/7 news cycle, social media, leaking, etc.

Plus they count on the human races' current lack of attention/memory.

Lots of folks already forgot that Russia was able to buy a big hunk of uranium from us, how they were able to contribute to certain foundations, and there was a slight insident where a terrorist-sponsoring country got air-lifted a few billion dollars in released funds, all happening approximately 4-5 years ago.

Killdumpster said...

Heh, I remember when Hillary had a goofy-poofy little box with a big red button on it, that she pushed with Putin to "restart" our relationship. Putin probably laughed all night over that escapade, thinking we are weak fools.

After WW2, Patton had the right idea.

Killdumpster said...

If Reggie was a politician, I'd bet he'd be bouncing on Putin's knee. He was always a "friend" with a hidden agenda".

As social animals, I'm sure some of you folks have went through the ordeal of having a so-called "friend" that is more trouble than they are worth.

Here in the states there was a tv show called "Leave It To Beaver". It had an antagonist called Eddie Hasckle. He was ultra-polite, and promised everthing to the adults. In the end though, his polish & sweet words were nothing.

Kinda like a political party we here in the USA have.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, UK politics is easy to figure out - the tories are the only acceptable party of government, which is why they've been running the country for nearly a decade now even though they've only won one small majority since the early '90s that they couldn't even hold onto for more than a couple of years.

I don't get this whole modern Putin obsession. Years ago it was the right-wing crackpots that used to go on about the Russians, and now its the centrist liberals. But it seems to me that the historical record shows the Brits and Americans don't need any outside help to vote for an idiot.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Actually, "to put an idiot in charge" would have been better there.
To be fair to Americans, they didn't have much of a choice in 2016 (and the bigger idiot still got less votes). And no-one really got a say in Boris Johnson becoming PM.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - we don't talk politics anymore here in the USA.

Suddenly the right-wing media thinks computers are wonderful tools at predicting the weather and they are all abuzz about a potential hurricane potentially hitting somewhere in Florida but at least potentially raining potentially as early as today or tomorrow. God's truth.. potentially!

Anonymous said...

Are you lot potentially going to nuke it Charlie? I hear thats the latest thinking in Washington on how to deal with extreme weather.

-sean

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