Sunday, 17 May 2020

2000 AD - April 1982.

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon.

April 1982 was a landmark in the annals of the British Empire.

It may have seemed, to most people, like it no longer existed and was a half-forgotten thing from the history books but we got two reminders that it was still out there.

First of all, by proclamation of the Queen, Canada patriated its constitution, finally gaining full political independence from the United Kingdom and even launching its own bill of rights.

That was all very peaceful and civilised but there was a more sinister blow to the Empire when, that month, Argentina took it upon itself to invade the Falkland Islands, by landing forces near Stanley, thus beginning an infamous conflict whose events would affect the future of both countries.

It sounded like the world could do with a little peace.

And the girl Europe knew only as Nicole clearly agreed because, that April, she won the Eurovision Song Contest with her tune of that name, although its official title was Ein Bißchen Frieden. Somehow, things always sound less angry when said in English than they do when said in German.

In the cinema, we were all being terrorised by the remake of Cat People, complete with a theme song by David Bowie.

Over on the singles chart, three tracks held the Number One slot, that month.

The first was Seven Tears by the Goombay Dance Band.

The second was My Camera Never Lies by Bucks Fizz.

Bucks Fizz had, of course, won the previous year's Eurovision Song Contest and their victory meant this year's competition was held in this country.

The third and final Number One of the month was Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Apparently, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder are officially classified as one-hit wonders, as they never had another hit together.

Over on the album chart, April kicked off with Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast at the summit, before it was dethroned by Status Quo's 1982. The Quo may have only known three chords but they did, at least, know what year it was.

However, the veteran rockers' triumph was short-lived and they were quickly robbed of it by Barry Manilow whose Barry Live in Britain finished the month in the top spot.

But wait!

What's this?

Look at those pictures below!

Four issues of 2000 AD - and not a single Judge Dredd cover between them? What madness is this?

No madness. Merely a blow to the senses. The good judge was indeed inside the comic, as were Robo-Hunter, Rogue Trooper, the Ace Trucking Co and the Mean Arena. We can only assume Dredd was too busy fighting the Apocalypse War to pose for any covers.

Robo-Hunter seemed to be up against some sort of Hound of the Baskervilles analog, although, given the hero's nature, I'm sure the, "Beast," turned out to be more digital than analogue.

We only got two Future-Shocks that month, which was a shock in itself, especially as Tharg was celebrating the book's fifth birthday by wishing the readers a happy fifth birthday. Clearly, Tharg had got a bit confused there.

Yet again, we got the chance to win a bag of KP Griddles.

Yet again, I suspect there is no one alive who even remembers KP Griddles.

2000 AD Prog 258, Ace Trucking

2000 AD Prog 259, Robo-Hunter

2000 AD Prog 260, Happy Birthday, Tharg

2000 AD Prog 261, Robo-Hunter


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Tharg left Dredd off the covers so casual buyers wouldn't realize the interminably tedious Apocalypse War was still going on Steve.

This somewhat dull era for the progs lasts for a while I think, pretty much til the arrival of Slaine and the return of Nemesis. Which made me realize the mighty Pat Mills is conspicuous by his absence til then, so that does go some way to explaining the low level of thrill power.

Having said that, I do like the cover for prog 259 -
"Welcome to Brit-Cit! Where the robots still say 'sir'!"
Ain't that the truth (judging by how keen they are to vote for chinless wonders from Eton)


Steve W. said...

I just think Tharg was jealous of Dredd's popularity and didn't want to admit it was Dredd and not Tharg who was responsible for the comic having reached its 5th anniversary.

Anonymous said...

The SteveDoesComics massive doesn't seem that interested in Tharg or Dredd Steve, judging from the amount of comments. Even with you steering the post to the ever popular subject of Eurovision...


Steve W. said...

I suspect people are just too upset about the loss of this year's Eurovision to visit the internet.

Killdumpster said...

The Cat People remake gets flagged quite a bit, but any film with Natasha Kinski & Malcolm MacDowell is worth viewing.

Though my reading experience with Judge Dredd is limited to publications of the US, I'm still a fan of the character.

I'm sure the British comics had more style, but I loved the Dredd/Batman crossover.

If the superhero boom in films hasn't completely petered-out, I hope someone picks up that franchise again. The last film DREDD was entertaining.

I never saw the Stallone travesty, being a unfan of mumbling Sylvester.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sean that this period of 2000AD was a bit duff, and so hard to comment on.

If you liked DREDD check out Raid Redemption (the US title, I believe). An ultra violent, almost identical plot to Dredd, which coincidently came out around the same time. The US release is dubbed into English (from the original Indonesian) but it was written and directed by Gareth Evans, who's recent Gangs of London TV series certainly keeps you on your toes. Neither to be watched with the kids.


Killdumpster said...

Thanks for the recommends, DW.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I would say something but Charlie is still in a coma from watching Plastic Bertrand and Japanese Boy. I have to spoon feed and it takes a while.

Killdumpster said...

I suggest a viewing of Boney M doing "Daddy Cool". It's awesome.

Anonymous said...

K.D., sometimes I wonder if Stallone makes bad movies on purpose.
But I think it's more likely he's just a real cement-head.


Redartz said...

Ok, I'll chime in. Not much this week I'm familiar with, but "Ebony and Ivory" was All Over the Radio. Everywhere. I preferred Mac's duets with Michael Jackson. But it was a decent song, pleasant enough with a good message.

And KD is onto something. Listening to Boney M is a cure for many ailments...

Steve W. said...

Red, it is one of my bugbears that Say Say Say keeps being voted one of the worst duets of all time. I think it's great.

MP, I like to think all Sylvester Stallone movies are made with a heavy dose of irony and are deliberately bad.

KD, I will always maintain that Boney M's Rasputin is the greatest historical treatise of all time.

Charlie, there's a whole world of insane One-Hit-Wonderness out there for you, still to be explored. After all, you've not yet tackled Star Trekkin' by The Firm.

DW, thanks for the Raid Redemption tip-off.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wednesday is Cher's birthday! Let's get fired up!

Colin Jones said...

I've never read a single issue of 2000AD, NOT A SINGLE ONE, so that excuses me from commenting but here's a comment anyway: shouldn't 2000AD have changed its' name to 3000AD at the end of 1999? Just imagine how a comic called 2000AD must sound to a 10 year-old today - it would be like the 10 year-old me in 1976 buying a "futuristic" comic called 1956AD. And AD is such old hat anyway - 2000CE surely? Or even better 12000HE according to the far superior (in my opinion) and much more logical Holocene Calendar.

Redartz said...

Steve- Charlie should take your recommendation of "Star Trekkin" to heart. Great fun, I first heard it on a wonderful cd : Dr. Demento's 20th. Anniversary Collection. I grew up listening to the Doctor on the radio. Probably explains much...

Colin Jones said...

And Star Trekkin' was a UK #1 hit for two weeks from June 16th-30th 1987. It was also a one-hit wonder which I mentioned in the BiTBA conversation on that subject a couple of weeks ago :)

Steve W. said...

Colin, it was a thing that often vexed me at the time, the fact that, come the 21st Century, 2000 AD was going to have to change its name. I'm still not sure whether they were right not to.

Then again, if they let me bring back Space:1999, I'd still call it Space:1999.

Charlie, I'm already fired-up for Cher's birthday.

Red, I have heard talk of Dr Demento on the internet but have little idea who he actually was.

Killdumpster said...

The Firm's "Star Trekkin" is a fave of mine, and the Deep Purple original is one of the few of Purple songs I like. Not a big over-powering organ fan. No pun intentional. Lol.

Gotta check out Boney M's "Rasputin" tonight.

Killdumpster said...

Cher is my mom's favorite artist.

Killdumpster said...

Steve, seriously, Dr. Demento's radio show is the stuff of legend!!

Killdumpster said...

His show was packed full of gafaw novelty song goodness. Him & Monty Python made Sundays in my area alot of comedy fun.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Now you lot have done it to poor Charlie!

I walked into the study and there he was, babbling senselessly... staring at "Star Trekkin" on the Youtube!

He had a Vodka Tizer in one hand and a fist full of "mother's little helpers" in the other!

Mercifully I arrived just in time!!!

You are a shameless lot!

Killdumpster said...

When I was a kid I was so devastated when UFO was cancelled, then was dismayed by its replacement Space 1999.

I really like everything that Martin Landeu has done, but even now owning the complete series on DVD, it's a chore to watch it. It just never captivates me.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - I did try watching Space 1999. About 2 weeks ago, whilst surfing the channels. Special effects and acting were, IMHO, no beuno. I agree with you.

Killdumpster said...

If you have a chance, oh my brother, at least check out the movie release of a version of UFO. Can't remember the theater title off my buzz saw head.

The series was kinda like "The Invaders meets S.H.E.I.L.D.". One of the best sci-fi tv shows in the early 70's, in .My opinion.

Programmers here in the states thought it was a kiddie show. It was loaded with adult-themed content.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, UFO pretty much was a kids show.
But at least it wasn't as dull as Space 1999.

Even so, I did pick up the recent(ish) vinyl issue of the soundtrack for Space 1999... or, rather, Spazio 1999 as its from the Italian version, with all the music by the mighty Ennio Morricone in suitably avant-garde-meets-kitsch mode. Heres the main theme for anyone interested -

With incidental music in a similar vein, and the cast dubbed into Italian, Space 1999 might well be a fair bit more entertaining.


Anonymous said...

Charlie seems like he might be more in the mood for a bit of William Shatner. Rocket Man, maybe?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

GENTS! Today is Cher's birthday!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Pies! UK Gents: Can you guys taste the Kidney in Steak and Kidney Pie?

Steve W. said...

Charlie, you can indeed taste the kidney in a steak and kidney pie.

Happy birthday to Cher. I bet that telegram from the queen will be a great treat for her.

Sean, much as I love Ennio, tampering with Barry Gray's music is heresy.

Also, it does sound like Ennio may have been having a nervous breakdown when he wrote that.

I'm on KD's side about UFO. I love it. It's so trippy by the later episodes that it's a sight to behold.

Charlie, Space 1999 has, probably, the best model work ever seen in any TV show. It's worth watching for that alone.

Killdumpster said...

Sean, speaking about "Rocket Man", have you seen the Commando Cody movie serials? I eat those with a fork!

The way they outfitted the women, the subplots concerning social issues, hard storyline plots, plus the smoking & drinking in the early episodes leads me to believe UFO wasn't intentionally geared to kids.

Lately a rerun tv channel has been running the Battlester Galactica reboot that came out a few years ago.

I never was interested in the original series ("V" was much better). Cylons are in human form in the "new" one. Boring.

Give me clunky rampaging robots any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

Not knocking UFO, but it was on Saturday morning tv where I lived (back in the 70s smoking and drinking were hardly considered a bad influence on children, not here anyway).
Plus if it was aimed at grown-ups they'd have made it more ponderous and boring, like they did with Space 1999.


Killdumpster said...

Ha ha! You're right!

Ill be honest, though, when it was on TV (I was in third grade), I may have scorched my eyeballs trying to see thru the fishnet tops of the female staff during the submarine scenes.

Now that I have the Dvds I found out only the males wore clear fishnets. I said "Nuts!"

It reminded me of a time in the 60's when Bernadette Peters was performing on a variety show in a "see-thru" gown. Wonder if I got a good dose of radiation from smashing my face against the screen of our old school B&w tube tv. Damn pictulation! Lol.

I still have a spot for Bernadette in my heart, to this day.

Killdumpster said...

Bernadette Peters had a great set of lungs. In more ways than one.

Colin Jones said...

Star Trekkin' was originally by Deep Purple???

I thought UFO was boring but I loved (and still love) the first season of Space:1999 - let's not mention the second season.

Steve W. said...

I've always preferred the second season of Space:1999. It was more fun - and it had a woman who kept turning into monsters.