Sunday, 22 September 2019

2000 AD - August 1981.

As anyone knows, this site is second to none in its appreciation of the works of Shakin' Stevens. Has there been a greater contributor to western musical culture since Beethoven?

No there hasn't.

And that's good news because August of 1981 began with Shaky's monster hit Green Door at Number One on the UK singles chart, having earlier kicked the Specials' Ghost Town off the top slot.

However, even Shaky has his limits and it wasn't long before he himself was dethroned by the majestic genius that was Aneka's Japanese Boy. Despite her best efforts, Aneka held on to that top spot for just one week before being KO'd by Soft Cell and their debut hit Tainted Love which rose to the pinnacle in the very last week of the month.

Over on the album chart, Cliff Richard began the month in pole position with Love Songs before being cruelly overthrown by the Official BBC Album of the Royal Wedding. Seriously, leaving politics aside, who wants to listen to a wedding?

Happily, for people who are not insane, that recording was quickly booted off the top by ELO's LP Time which is, in the opinion of this writer, an underrated gem.

Meanwhile, all those artists and more had reason to be of good cheer because August 1981 was when MTV was launched, giving our recording stars a potential new means to reach fresh listeners and venture into markets once beyond them. Famously, it kicked off by playing Video Killed the Radio Star, a full two years after the song had hit the British charts.

Granted, I suspect that neither Shakin' Stevens nor Aneka ever got played on MTV, even once, but there was at least hope that they might.

In the real world, inflation in Britain plummeted to just 10.9%, its lowest level in literally years and Moira Stuart became the BBC's first black newsreader.

In the cinemas, An American Werewolf in London escaped to cause terror and consternation wherever it rampaged.

"But what of 2000 AD?" I hear you ask. "What was that up to at the time?"

Well, with total inevitability, we were still getting our weekly dose of Strontium DogJudge Dredd, Nemesis, The Mean Arena, Tharg's Future Shocks and Meltdown Man.

But the big news was, of course, the return, in Prog 224, of Judge Death, this time joined by his friends, Judges Fire, Mortis and Fear.

Judge Death seems to have been trapped in the corpse of Judge Anderson, up until this point. I have no idea how that turn of events came about.

2000 AD Prog 223

2000 AD Prog 224, Judge Death Lives!

2000 AD Prog 225, Judge Death Lives!

2000 AD Prog 226

2000 AD Prog 227


Anonymous said...

Judge Death was inside Anderson (so to speak) because of the timely intervention of Dredd and a tin of Boing, Steve. Hope that clears things up for you.

Great covers there, by Kev O'Neill, Brian Bolland, the late Steve Dillon and the under-rated Massimo Belardinelli.
And they were all drawing stories inside too, written by people like Pat Mills and John Wagner - if only there was a total inevitability of encountering thrill power like that on a regular basis these days.


Anonymous said...

PS I believe that was the last episode of Meltdown Man in prog 227.


Steve W. said...

Somehow, I never expected to see the words, "Judge Death," and, "Boing," in the same sentence.

Anonymous said...

That Dark Judges cover is a classic. I like how Judge Death absolutely owns the skinny jeans look later adopted by a generation of ageing hipster football fans.


Anonymous said...

I expect Death is an Arsenal man DW.
It is a classic cover, and Bolland also drew one of the great comic book moments in prog 227 - "Gaze into the face of Fear..."


Anonymous said...

Steve, you mentioned An American Werewolf in London.
I went to see it in the theater with my little brother. I was maybe thirteen, he was maybe nine or ten. Man, his eyeballs were bugging out of his head.
I loved that movie. Who says a horror movie can't be funny as hell?
And horrific too. That transformation scene...


Steve W. said...

Sean, I wondered whether this story featured that panel.

MP, it certainly put me off visiting Yorkshire. The place looks terrifying.

Anonymous said...

Video Killed The Radio Star did more than merely "hit the British charts" - it reached No.1 and deservedly so!

Killdumpster said...

An American Werewolf In London is, in my opinion, a horror classic. The transformation scenes still hold up today. An American Werewolf In Paris was highly disappointing.

I'm also a big fan of the first HOWLING. A Company Of Wolves was a little too "artsy" for me, plus I've never cared much for Angela Lansbury.

My bosses at the played the Buggles relentlessly when it came out, along with the Flying Lizards' cover of the Supremes' "Money".

During that time period I was starting to get into Devo. I was also a big fan of Barnes & Barnes' "Fish Heads" during that time period.

Did "Fish Heads" do any charting in the UK?

Killdumpster said...

Forgot to type "at the record shop". Damn breakfast beers.

Steve W. said...

Colin, It did indeed.

KD, as far as I'm aware, Fish Heads never charted in Britain but it has had a fair amount of radio play over the years.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve -O! Can you possible display the said "face of death" panel in your next blog from Prog 227? Charlie wants to see it. So do I.

I'm not sure how I'd ever see it if you don't post it. Help?

(I'll get you some comp tickets to the World's Conkers Championships in a few weeks! But you'd have to go with Charlie, me too busy.)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - You do know that beer is not just for breakfast anymore?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I really don't understand the Werewolf fixation. Abbot and Costello meeting Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Werewolf is righteous and the first and last word on the subject for all 3 of those nutters.

I just wish they'd have included the Mummy and then the entire panoply of monsters would have been covered for all the world to see in one 90 minute movie.

Were it not for Gene the Dean drawing Dracula, I doubt any of these monsters would come up for conversation. But the "halo effect" of Gene the Dean drags all the other "monsters" into consideration.

I mean... do we talk about The Cat? Night Nurse? The Dingbats? Huh?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - you will be happy to know, as are Charlie and me, that there is some Kirby unpublished Dingbat story(s) out there being published this coming month... in black and white.

Exciting, n'est pas?

Anonymous said...

Oui Charlies.

Actually, its two Dredd pages you're after really.
Go to then click underneath for the next one and the punchline.


Steve W. said...

And you can see the panels more easily on this page:

Killdumpster said...

Heh. I really only had beer in the morning because I couldn't sleep all night due to my perpetual headache. Had a few to wash down an oxycotn, lol.

While Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein is a classic, it did have a continuity issue.

In House Of Dracula, Larry Talbot was cured of his lucanthropy.

As far as being enamored by werewolves, it's cuz they're just plain cool.

By the way, Steve, I don't know if you remember me mentioning a grade-z film called The Mummy & The Curse Of The Jackal. Well, I finally found a copy!

Ultra cheesy werewolf vs mummy garbage-goodness! When they're battling in Las Vegas all the onlookers are laughing at them!

Got it from Sinister Cinema. Great source for obscure, forgotten horror, sci-fi, etc films.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, Sean, Awesome seeing Fear's face getting ruptured by a fist, LOL.

B.t.w. - Do you ever actually see Fear's face?

Anonymous said...

Charlie, upon much consideration, I think I would rather prefer being a werewolf than a vampire.
Being a werewolf is a part-time gig. It's not like you're committed to it 24-7.
You could still have a day job.


Steve W. said...

KD, it certainly sounds like a cinematic masterpiece.

Charlie, I hope we never got to see his face. Some things should always be left to the imagination.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - Charlie advised that ever since shaving all the hair off his body, to combat the scabies, he rather prefers the bald look... No chance in hell he would become a part-time werewolf.