Sunday, 21 June 2020

2000 AD - May 1982.

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

There've probably been two famous crucifixions in human history. The first involved Jesus; the other, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And it's the second of those which concerns us, right now, as May 1982 saw the release of the sinew-straining cinematic masterpiece Conan the Barbarian. How we thrilled as Conan did whatever he did and fought whoever it was he fought.

To be honest, I can't remember anything that happens in it. Was Grace Jones in it? Or was she in the sequel? I know James Earl Jones was in it, as Thulsa Doom.

Fortunately, for my memory, it wasn't the only movie unleashed that month. May also saw the release of Annie, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid and Rocky III.

Obviously, Annie is by far the best of those three releases and I'll fight to the death anyone who tries to deny it.

A not-quite-so lethal struggle occurred that month on the football front when Aston Villa won the European Cup by beating Bayern Munich 1–0 in Rotterdam, thanks to Peter Withe's goal. This meant it was the 6th year running the trophy had been won by an English club.

Over on the singles chart, racial harmony reigned supreme, as May kicked off with McCartney and Wonder's Ebony and Ivory at Number One.

But even that wasn't peaceful enough for the British public and it was quickly booted from the top slot by that year's Eurovision winner A Little Peace, from Germany's Nicole, which, in turn, was deposed by Madness's House of Fun.

A Little Peace was, famously, the 500th Number One in UK chart history, a milestone that prompted Guinness Superlatives to publish a book which reviewed every one of those 500 singles. So, well done to Nicole.

Over on the album chart, the month began with Paul McCartney's Tug of War on top before it was usurped by Complete Madness which then fell victim to Roxy Music's Avalon.

While all that was going off, the galaxy's greatest comic was still giving us the adventures of Robo-Hunter, Ace Trucking, Rogue Trooper, the Mean Arena, Tharg's Future-Shocks and Judge Dredd.

Dredd was still battling The Apocalypse War, Robo-Hunter was mostly up against The Beast of Blackheart Manor, and Ace Trucking was making The Last Lug to Abbo Dabbo.

It's interesting that Robo-Hunter claimed three of that month's five covers. Clearly, someone in Tharg Tower had decided he was the book's big selling-point for readers.

I was going to claim that, with selling power like that, it can only be a matter of time before they make a movie about him.

But, of course, they did.

It was called Blade Runner.

2000 AD Prog 262, Judge Dredd is dead?

2000 AD Prog 263, Robo-Hunter

2000 AD Prog 264, Robo-Hunter

2000 AD Prog 265, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 266, Robo-Hunter


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

I've only just got my kids to believe that Nottingham Forest won the European Cup. There's absolutely no chance they'll believe me when I tell them Villa did too.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Well, if we are going to talk Aston Villa, the town I live in (Downers Grove) had one of its own starting for Villa a few years back - Eric Lichaj. Now he plays for Hull City. I don't know where that town is either. My knowledge of English Geography is abysmal.

D.G. is not known for turning out pro soccer players who make it in England, but then neither is the entire of the US of A. So, it was sort of a big deal for those interested in such things.

Dangermash - is Nottingham Forest the same one from Robin Hood?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dangermash - Not sure if you are a Nottingham Forest fan but apparently our home town boy Eric Lichaj has been on that team for like the last 6 years, has scored a goal or two even as right back, and been Captain.

I'm not sure if Eric reads / read comic books.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

I'm not a Forest fan, Charlie. To answer all your questions:
- Aston is somewhere in the middle of Birmingham
- Hull (full name Kingston Upon Hull) is halfway down on the right of England, where it looks like there's a fracture
- I don't know of a Nottingham Forest Other than the football team so, yes, I guess the football team name is probably influenced by Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest (which does exist)

I’ve never heard of Eric Lichaj. But then again nobody famous has ever lived in the village where I was brought up. Although I think there's some actress who was in Casualty (UK hospital soap/drama) who lives somewhere in the village I've been in for the las 20 years).

Anonymous said...

Aston is the dark heart of metal, Black Sabbath country, where I expect the locals spend the time crushing their enemies to hear the lamentation of the women.
There aren't actually any villas there.


Anonymous said...

So hey, how about a comment on the comics?

As I recall Steve, Robo-Hunter had been one of the better strips earlier on in its first two series, and popular with Squaxx dek Thargo, so there were probably good editorial reasons for bring him back, with a regular cover spot.
However, this run of Robo-Hunter was disappointing, probably because it wasn't written by the brilliant John Wagner; and the under-rated Ian Gibson's artwork didn't seem particularly inspired this time round either.

Most of '82 was an era of low thrill-power for the progs...


Anonymous said...

I've been telling people Villa won the European Cup 40 years ago and been told they didn't.

Has the 2000 AD nostalgia always been a 38 years ago feature, or was it 40 years ago at one point?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - I have a question...

What charts do you refer to for your #1s in the UK?

I was looking at USA's Billboard and Ebony and Ivory is #1 basically all of May and June.

And then some group from Sheffield kicks 'em off and has their #1 for the next 3 weeks. I do hope you plan to expand on this in the next few weeks. Something more than the usual tantalizing bits about, "The Republic of Sheffield, forever trapped between the past and the future, where bus fares are free and the music is fine." Maybe you can give us a foto montage of all the New Wave icons that surely have plaques out in front?

Anonymous said...

Prog #265 did feature 'Return of the Thing' a future shock by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It wasn't their best work, but is, as always, nicely illustrated. I think Warrior's recent introduction accentuated how formulaic 2000AD had become, at the time. The main thing I remember about the, no doubt, well intentioned, Ebony and Ivory is the fact that McCartney and Wonder were never in the same location during the video shoot.


Anonymous said...

Forgive my ignorance, but curiosity is getting the better of me. Is Aston and Birmingham considered to be industrial areas? I've always believed such environments are fertile soil for heavy metal, (and punk) as Sean mentions. Take Detroit, for example.
Is Aston considered to be what they call the "Midlands?" I'm a bit fuzzy on that. There seems to be a connotation involved with that term that's not entirely flattering. Like the "Rust Belt."
Such gardens of potential sonic evil abound in both our countries.


Anonymous said...

Aston is a working class part of Birmingham M.P., which is in the west midlands. I would say that whole area is post-industrial now - the boys that became Black Sabbath were from pretty much the last generation that expected factory jobs.
So yeah, like Detroit I suppose.
Being a diverse city, you get reggae, bhangra and their derivations as well as metal and punk - Steel Pulse, Bally Sagoo and crossover acts like The Beat were Brummies.


Anonymous said...

PS Guess I should make clear thats The English Beat.
And that a Brummie is someone from Birmingham.


TC said...

Grace Jones was not in 1982's Conan the Barbarian, but was in the sequel, Conan the Destroyer, two years later.

Anonymous said...

Sean, it sounds exactly like Detroit (which gave us Iggy Pop and the MC5, among others).
I've never been there myself, but my brother spent some time there, and came back with a sense of horrified wonder, like a space traveler would have after coming back from an alien, hostile planet.
In my youth I saw Camden New Jersey and East Saint Louis, and hopefully that's the closest I'll get to being in a DMZ.
Camden looked post-apocalyptic. I thought I was getting off the bus in Philadelphia, and then wondered if nuclear war had broken out during my bus ride. Like Mad Max.
(I got a cab into Philly, I was goin' there to see a girl!)


Steve W. said...

Charlie, I use the UK singles chart compiled by The Official Charts Company who produce charts on behalf of the British record industry and the BBC.

Charlie and MP, Birmingham used to be the centre of the British automobile manufacturing industry, so it has that comparison with Detroit. It seems to have come out of de-industrialisation a lot better than Detroit and its population is still growing, rather than declining.

The Midlands is just the area that's not viewed as being in either the North or South. It includes places like Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.

TC, thanks for the Grace Jones info.

Anon, the 2000 AD feature has always been 38 years ago, thanks to me forgetting to launch it when I should have done.

DW and Sean, thanks for the 2000 AD info.

Dangermash, I too have never heard of any area that's called Nottingham Forest.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, Sean, Colin, Dangermash, et al.!

Given this has been a free-wheeling Sunday blog...

What are we to make of this newly discovered circle of deep shafts in proximity of Stonehenge? Does this affect any of the musings of Thursdays blog and chucking folks into bogs?

Is it possible these shafts were the precursor to the Moleman?

Anonymous said...

So the government started digging at Stonehenge, and now suddenly these new shafts have been discovered?
Are we really supposed to believe thats a coincidence?

Its British state propaganda Charlie - how can the Durrington shafts be thousands of years old when Stonehenge has only been on that site since Merlin stole it in the fifth century?
You can't rely on archaeologists in a country where they can't even identify the real thing, let alone date it accurately -

Steve - on the Midlands, all of England past the Watford Gap isn't the North?


Redartz said...

Steve- I must also admit to a fondness for "Annie". Particularly for the presence of the always-wonderful Carol Burnett...

Thanks to all for the impromptu British geography lessons. Very informative; and helpful if I ever manage to fulfill my bucket list goal of visiting your fine nation!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - Again, I must defer to your understanding of ancient matters. Sheesh... here I was thinking these secretive shafts around Stonehenge all had to do with the Moleman.

And me thinking that the Bog Snorkeling Championships was a devious plot by Solomon Grundy. Wait... was Grundy on Earth 1 or Earth 2? IF Earth 2, then obviously he is not part of the Welsh World Championships of Bog Snorkeling... perhaps Man Thing is behind all that, then?

Only Conkers seems safe from speculation!

Steve W. said...

Red, I'm glad to discover I'm not the only person on Earth who likes Annie.

Sean, only southerners think the North begins at Watford Gap.

Charlie, I'm not qualified to pass detailed comment on the newly-discovered shafts but here's a video about them. Judging by his accent, the narrator appears to be from the Midlands:

Anonymous said...

Thats me told, Steve (;


Killdumpster said...

Solomon Grundy would suck at conkers.

What I know about Judge Dredd from the few authentic British comics I've read, and the American books, I can see alot of elements that the Blade Runner scriptwriter may have lifted.

Arnold's Conan films were fun, but I think they should have been more brutal. I wish he'd done a third, but his appearance in Red Sonja could almost be considered that. Almost.

Too bad they didn't have a better script & actress for that film. From what I know, Arnie did it as favor for Stallone (who made an awful Judge Dredd) to help boost his then-current squeeze Britt's movie.

The last Dredd film was entertaining, and was decent enough for more. Hopefully someone will try and make one again. That franchise is prime.

Killdumpster said...

Then again, with the police brutally movement right now, we could be all dead before another Dredd film is made.

Get ready for crime-action films like "Puffy Puppy Patrol, NYPD". Lol.

Killdumpster said...

Wow, a bunch of "Annie" fans... "Too each his own..."

FORBIDDEN ZONE & ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW are tied for my two favorite filmed musicals, leaning more to Forbidden Zone.

Mainstream musicals (outside of Rankin/Bass holiday stuff), would be THE KING & I, and SOUND OF MUSIC.

Anything with Yul is watchable. SOUND had the greatest real-life supervillians in it.

Both have songs that I know we all grew up with.

If I never hear "Tomorrow" ever again, I would die a happy man.

Killdumpster said...

There was a crazy broad that used to come to my hotel claiming to be in a Broadway production of "Annie". She would screech at the top of her drunken lungs to the Beatles songs from the jukebox.

Everyone was annoyed, but said nothing. For nights. I finally couldn't take it anymore and told her to shut up.

Her,"Don't you like the Beatles?!!"

Me,"I used to, till your harpy-squawk!"

Her,"But... I was in ANNIE!!"

Me,"This bar ain't Broadway, and it's not going to relaunch your singing career!!!"

Her husband,"You're a @$$hole."

Me, "No, your old lady is a supreme @$$hole, and you are Lord-king-God of @$$hoes for bringing this b*tch out!!!"

They came in the next night again, and got kicked out of the bar, permanent.

Hooray for me, the hero.

Anonymous said...

K.D., do you by any chance have that girl's phone number?


Killdumpster said...


She was married ( last I heard), and she and her old man were hardcore AA.

Seriously, oh my brother. She was not a "hottie".

Her husband had to be hard-of-hearing or partially retarded to put up with her. My guess she was a "screamer". Lol.

I think there was a Bluebeard film with Richard Burton where he married/murdered an opera singer that never stopped singing.

That broad I mentioned would probably be a prime candidate.

Anonymous said...

Charlie was talking about swamp monsters, or bog monsters, as the case may be, and I've always wondered why there are so gosh-darn many of 'em in comics.
I can think of a bunch off the top of my head:
Swamp Thing
Solomon Grundy
The Glob
The Heap
It (a comic book adaption of the Theodore Sturgeon tale)
...and the Macabre Man-Thing.

Jude the Entropic Man was sorta a swamp monster, in that was created in one.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

I'm probably not the only one thinking this but me thinks something cosmic is going on and, like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, we may be the only ones picking up on it!

It's just seems so clear that given the undiscovered shafts around Stonehenge, only we know that Stonehenge is not so old and was put there by Merlin, the discussion of bogs and bog monsters, and MP desperately searching for something, we are witness to something extraordinary!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - I am very impressed you mentioned The Heap! Are you an Airboy fan?

Of course, it was Jimmy Steranko who got me hooked on Airboy in his History of Comics Volume 2!

TC said...

The Bluebeard movie with Richard Burton was released (or maybe it escaped) in the early 1970s. Verna Lisi played the opera diva whom he decapitated when she wouldn't stop singing. Nathalie Delon and Sybil Danning were impaled with a chandelier. And Raquel Welch played an ex-nun whom he locked in a coffin and suffocated when she wouldn't stop confessing about her previous flings.

Anonymous said...

"MP desperately searching for something."
Charlie, where I come from we use periods when dealing with initials, otherwise chaos is imminent, but I confess you have me pegged. I have a habit of having an argument with no point. Ask my ex-wife.
Merlin was a Celtic screwball who lived in the woods, whatever Geoffrey of Monmouth said. In this country we call them hillbillies. They hunt ducks and vote Republican, for some reason.


Anonymous said...

Also, T.C., I just gotta see that movie!
I'll probably just wait 'til it shows up on Turnip Classic Movies.


Steve W. said...

TC, that does indeed sound like quite a movie.

Killdumpster said...

Man, just found that I OWN the Bluebeard movie in my DVD library!

Thanks Mr. Buzz-saw, for virtually destroying my short term memory. Lol.

I remember hunting that down, just for Joey Heatherton. I have a CD with her nude on the cover. Her vocals are better than Nancy Sinatra's.

Sybil Danning was at a horror convention I went to a few years ago. She was still trying to work her "sexy", but the years were not kind to her. She signed the Playboy she was in that I owned. I tried to leave her table after, but she was really trying to push her product. That's photos, posters,ect, M.P. lol!

Robert Quarry & John Saxon were there also. They were both crabby & disgusted. Sad to see some actors have distain for their fans.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gents! Back in the Bronze Age is awaiting your comments! C'mon now!

Killdumpster said...

Ok, oh my firestarting brother. Let's see what turmoil enthuses.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing Bluebeard on late night tv when I was about 12. Even at that age - and with Raquel Welch in it - the film was obviously terrible, although at this remove its hard to tell whether its as bad as The Assassination of Leon Trotsky, or Exorcist 2: The Heretic.
Couldn't Richard Burton get better work than that in the 70s?

M.P., are you suggesting Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain might not be completely reliable?


Killdumpster said...

Its not top-shelf cinema by any means, Sean, but it's hurdles over Excorcist 2.

Killdumpster said...

I would've LOVED to drink with Richard Burton, and Richard Harris for that matter. And Oliver Reed.

I've heard those guys were maniacs!

Anonymous said...

Each to their own - if those three were anything like their public image in person, that sounds like an awful night out to me...


Killdumpster said...

After a dozen I have potential myself. Lol.