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Sunday, 17 October 2021

2000 AD - September 1983.

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

They say you should live every day as though it's your last.

And, in September 1983, it very nearly was 

It was the month in which nuclear annihilation was avoided by a hair's breadth, thanks to Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov who prevented a worldwide catastrophe by realising a detected American missile attack was a false alarm.

I think we can safely say he deserved a pay rise.

And there was also good news for those who hate being stopped in the streets and asked for directions, when President Ronald Reagan announced the new-fangled Global Positioning System (GPS) would be made available for civilian use.

Elsewhere in the USA, Vanessa L. Williams became the first African American to be crowned Miss America.

I'm sure she remembered to put her makeup on for that one but a group of people who decided to go without such decoration were American rock band Kiss who startled the world by appearing in public without makeup, for the first time ever, on MTV.

A slightly lesser shock, at least to the people of  Saint Kitts and Nevis, was that it was the month in which their land was granted independence by the UK.

However, it was a relatively low-key month for the world's cinema, with a noticeable dearth of blockbusters. We did, though, get to see the release of two notable films, in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and Educating Rita, neither of which I've ever seen.

But there's more to life than just seeing. What about hearing?

The UK singles chart was a tale of two songs, with September's first half finding the listing dominated by UB40's Red Red Wine before that was deposed, for its second half, by Culture Club's Karma Chameleon.

I've heard it claimed Karma Chameleon was the last British Number One that had universal appeal, in the sense that everyone in the family, from the grandparents to the grandchildren, could know it, like it, recognise it and sing along with it. Whether this is true or not, I shall leave to the judgement of others.

Over on the British album chart, the month kicked off with The Very Best of The Beach Boys at the summit, before that succumbed to Paul Young's No Parlez which, in turn, succumbed to UB40's Labour of Love before a late rally saw No Parlez reclaim the peak just in time for the month's death.

That was all, clearly, a frenzy of excitement and I've no doubt the galaxy's greatest comic could easily match it.

After all, the month gave us such strips as Judge Dredd, Sláine, Nemesis the Warlock, Strontium Dog, Rogue Trooper, Robo-Hunter and Tharg's Time Twisters. Imperishable classics, all.

And, as if that wasn't enough, Prog 333 gave us the chance to win a BMX bike, while Prog 335 offered us the prospect of securing our own Atari home computer.

2000 AD prog 332

2000 AD prog 333, Judge Dredd

2000 AD prog 334, Slaine

2000 AD prog 335

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Danu's tits, Steve - TWO wraparound Slaine covers by the under-rated Massimo Belardinelli, and you didn't see fit to include all of either!
Is it because he's Irish?

Only kidding, I know you're not like that. Anyway, for the interested, the skyclad Slaine and the lads on cover of prog 332 can be seen in full at -
https://2000ad.fandom.com/wiki/Prog_332
And the other cover at -
https://thevintagetoyadvertiser.org/2020/05/18/2000-ad-comics-80s-90s/2000-ad-prog-334-1983-cover-poster-slaine-art-massimo-belardinelli/
Prog 334 in particular has one of those fantastic, beautifully inked landscapes that Belardinelli used to do so well.

Better than that though, prog 335 features the first Slaine artwork by the mighty Mike McMahon. And the return of Kevin O'Neill, with Nemesis bk 3.
Both written by Pat Mills of course. How ever did we cope with that much thrill power in one comic?

-sean

Anonymous said...

This months Moore-watch update:
Affable Al's last 2000AD short "Look Before You Leap" appears in prog 332. It is not an imperishable classic. And thats it til he returns in the new year with DR & Quinch, and then a series about some girls going shopping.

Fortunately, to fill the gap something called Saga of the Swamp Thing #20 came out in Oct '83.

-sean

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the links, Sean. Massimo really did go for it with those two covers.

Then again, Massimo does mean, "Maximum." So, I suppose he would.

Anonymous said...

Sean-
Yeah, Saga of the Swamp Thing (what a title) #20, that was the first issue Moore wrote in that series. The one before "The Anatomy Lesson."
In the early Eighties, D.C. Comics suddenly started to become interesting again...

They were experimenting. They kind of had to, didn't they?

I remember that chilling scene where Swamp Thing cradles the (part-insect, part-robot, part reanimated corpse) body of Anton Arcane in his arms.

After that it started to get weird.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Steve

Prog 333 came with a 28 page Return of the Jedi album and a pack of stickers and Prog 334 another pack of stickers. These were, presumably, bagged, with advertising on the actual polythene, hence the actual covers don't mention them. They were mentioned in Prog 332 and so the covers must have been finalised in advance. I didn't have these, but similarly remember getting the Football 78 and Football 79 sticker albums free either with Shoot! or Roy of the Rovers (cant remember which). I just downloaded the issues to look at Mike McMahon's art, rather than remember such details.

Prog 335 is particularly strong, art-wise, with McMahon's ornate, delicate early Slaine, a colour Kev O'Neil Nemesis splash (a rare non-Dredd centre spread) plus some reasonably stylish Brett Ewin Rogue Trooper. The Atari up for grabs was a 600XL, which means Atari were already on the slide. I always liked the Slaine logo, presumably designed by Beladiinelli, who I have to disagree with Sean, as under-rated, as I always found his style off-putting.

Steve, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence is a great film. Well worth tracking down.

DW

Anonymous said...

I wasn't so much into the film DW, but I like Ryuichi Sakamoto's soundtrack a lot.

Massimo Belardinelli's work has its flaws, and theres something about his figures that isn't quite right - but in the first couple of years of the progs his Dan Dare, Flesh 2 (how could anyone not like those centre page spreads with the dinosaurs?) and the Meltdown Man were some of the highlights. And - controversial opinion trigger warning! - Inferno looked better than Dave Gibbons' Harlem Heroes.

But Tharg took him for granted, and by this point he been given fairly uninspired stuff to draw for a while, like Ace Garp. Which, yeah, wasn't particularly inviting.
Obviously McMahon's Slaine was better, as was Glenn Fabry's later - and they had a much better grasp of what the series was really about - but when someone else had to do it Belardinelli was inspired enough imo.

On the subject of regular workhorse 2000AD artists who weren't a hit with a lot of readers, I think after an absence the under-r... (eh, maybe not so much, but he was competent enough really) Ron Smith also returned in prog 335, for a lengthy regular stint on Dredd.

-sean

Anonymous said...

PS I remember the Football sticker albums DW, so they must have come with Roy Of The Rovers as my brother used to get it every week.
Personally, I lost interest in football comics when Look Out For Lefty lost its edge in Action after it was rebooted (er, no pun intended) - once Angie grew her long and started wearing a dress that was it.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Sean

For me, Belardinelli lacked the imagination that some of the other artists brought to 2000AD. Probably a combination of the less creative scripts and his jobbing artist approach (rather than a fan that made it). I didn't mind Ron Smith but he did draw stylised mouths that suggested a hint of caricature. All were perfectly acceptable, however, as I generally considered any issue of 2000AD with two good stories (out of five) as a win. I think Glenn Fabry's black and white stories were my high point for Slaine.

I did buy Roy of the Rovers, for a year or two, as a pre-teen. Football 79 was tough book to complete, because (of course) West Ham were relegated and therefore in the old 2nd Division that season. They only had the badge and team photo, or certainly not a full sticker for each squad member. First world problems...

DW

Anonymous said...

Two good stories counting as a win is exactly right DW.
At this point if you've got a prog with two by Pat Mills, one of them drawn by Mike McMahon and the other by Kevin O'Neill, thats 20p of your Earth money well spent.

On top of that, even an average Dredd - its the first part of 'Graveyard Shift' in prog 335 (I looked it up) - is a bonus.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Although being a West Ham supporter probably helped during Tharg's less thrill powered eras, as you'd be used to dealing with disappointment.
(Sorry, but I couldn't resist)

-sean