Sunday 17 December 2023

2000 AD - November 1985.

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

Operating systems. Where would we be without them?

I know where I'd be. I'd be not sat at this keyboard.

However, in November 1985, this site and the whole wide world web of webbery that accompanies it came a step closer to reality, thanks to the world-shaking launch of a brand new thing called Windows.

It's true. It was in the month in which the Microsoft Corporation released version 1.0 of its legendary operating system, and things would never be the same again.

Elsewhere in the world, 22-year-old Garry Kasparov defeated Anatoly Karpov to become the youngest-ever undisputed World Chess champion.

While, in Geneva, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time. Not, I suspect, to play chess with each other.

But what of the cinemas of this globe? What was occurring, therewithin, as those world-changing events were unfolding?

As it turns out, nothing too impressive was occurring but it was a month that did give us such offerings as Death Wish 3, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, To Live and Die in LA, My Beautiful Laundrette, King Solomon's MinesEwoks: The Battle for Endor, Rocky IV and Santa Claus: The Movie.

I must declare that, of that lot, I think I've only seen King Solomon's Mines. I must also declare that I don't remember it being very good, although it did strike me that that Sharon Stone woman who was in it might have a future.

Over on the UK singles chart, the top spot was initially clung to by Jennifer Rush's The Power of Love before future eco-warrior Feargal Sharkey dislodged her with his version of A Good Heart. But that too then had to make way. This time, for the unstoppable force that was Wham's I'm Your Man.

Meanwhile, the accompanying album chart entered November with George Benson's Love Songs on top before it was displaced by Sade's Promise which was then superseded by Various Artists' The Greatest Hits of 1985.

But what of the galaxy's greatest comic? Surely, it too must have had many and plentiful things to offer us. 

In fact, what it had to offer us was what we'd grown accustomed to it offering us, with it producing such strips as Robo-Hunter, NemesisJudge Dredd, Tharg's Future-Shocks and Mean Team. As far as I can make out, no new strips were launched during this spell. One can only assume Tharg had decided the book was perfect and needed no tinkering with at all.

2000 AD #442, Sam Slade

2000 AD #443, Judge Dredd

2000 AD #444, Rogue Trooper

2000 AD #445

2000 AD #446


Matthew McKinnon said...

RIP Ian Gibson. Some cracking work over the years.

I have no memory of Jose Ortiz drawing Rogue Trooper. I must not have been taking any notice of the strip by now, unless Brett Ewins was drawing it. That cover looks a bit Moebius-ey.

I went to see Elm Street 2 but we don’t get it in the provinces in the UK until summer 1986. I’d just seen the first one on VHS so there was a lot of goodwill kicking about which fuelled that excursion.

TBH, I don’t mind this sequel. The homoerotic subtext went right over my head at the time, but it had the classic line ‘there’s a Jessie on the phone for you!’, and the female supporting lead was gorgeous.

I also went to see Rocky IV in 1986 and it was quite an experience. I lived nearish to Liverpool and all the local scallies were out in force; there was semi-rioting in the queue outside and mayhem inside.

A friend of mine now was in Germany on a US army base in 1986 and watched it in a screening on the base with American soldiers - that was apparently quite an experience.

Anonymous said...

I've seen two of those films, Steve, 'King Solomon's Mines' and 'My Beautiful Laundrette', and can at least say the latter is the better of the two. Even so, it seems to get better write ups than it deserves imo, but its heart's in the right place.
Sharon Stone also caught my eye, and I was impressed by her uh, acting skills too.

Those are some terrible records you mentioned, but on the plus side Propaganda's 'Wishful Thinking' set of remixes came out this month. And even better, former Pop Group singer Mark Stewart's 'As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade' lp, full of cheerful tunes like this in time for Christmas that year -

Also Sheffield's finest, post-industrial electro-wonks Cabaret Voltaire, released their album 'The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord'.
They named it after a Christian-identity survivalist cult that was in the news while they played in the US earlier that in '85. There's a BBC doc from the early 80s which interviews them (the cult, not the Cabs) and some other survivalist nuts - or, if you prefer, god-fearing folks waiting for the imminent end of days - here:

Fascinating stuff thats well worth a watch.
"They're intelligent, hard working, decent, and armed to the teeth. My kinda people!" Erm... well, they do definitely seem heavily armed, I'll give them that (not sure about the rest though).


Anonymous said...

Not much to say about the comics this time out, Steve, as they're fairly dull issues. Fortunately everyone's favourite Celtic berserker returns next month, and then in the new year Halo Jones joins the army.

Best cover here is prog 446. The full image - from the gatefold - has been posted as part of an appreciation of the work of the great Ian Kennedy at:

Sad to discover he passed away last year. I always loved his work. Even on Blake's 7.


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Everyone’s favourite Celtic berserker returns next month?

Don't know where you're off to, Sean, but enjoy the break 😂

Anonymous said...

My warp spasm should be over by then, dangermash.
You'd be surprised how long it can last, dealing with life in 2023.

Also, I meant wraparound eaelier, not 'gatefold'. Duh.


Colin Jones said...

I recall somebody saying that Feargal Sharkey was the only celebrity uglier than his Spitting Image puppet!

Does anyone think 2000AD should have changed its' name to 3000AD at the turn of the millennium? What must today's 10 year-olds born in 2013 AD think of a sci-fi comic called 2000AD? That's like the 10 year-old me in 1976 buying a futuristic sci-fi comic called 1953AD.

Colin Jones said...

Bombay, Constantinople and Peking are much more exotic names than Mumbai, Istanbul and Beijing!

Is Peking Duck called Beijing Duck yet?

Colin Jones said...

I've been watching the last of the Doctor Who specials - so now there are two Doctors and two Tardises?? Is this a crafty BBC ploy to keep David Tennant on standby in case of plummeting ratings?

Anonymous said...

Random thoughts:

TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. is the only one on today’s list of movies that I’ve seen. Don’t think I saw it on the big screen, must have been on cable, or maybe even as a video rental. In any case, I remember thinking it wasn’t very good. It has a pretty bonkers car chase and a famously wild third act twist (I won’t spoil it, just in case). People seem to have re-discovered it in recent years (or re-evaluated it) and its reputation is better now than it once was — but I’m not in a big hurry to give it another go.

Haven’t seen an episode of DR. WHO since the Ecclesten season, so I can’t weigh in on the new episodes, and don’t have anything pertinent to say about these Progs.

Tangentially, I just read that Ian Gibson has passed away. I only know him from Halo Jones and a few things he did at DC but I thought he had a fun, bouncy style.


Matthew McKinnon said...

I posted a comment yesterday but it’s disappeared. Oh well.

RIP Ian Gibson. At this stage on Robohunter he was defining the phrase ‘phoning it in’, but we still have some amazing Halo Jones to come, and the Genghis Grimtoad graphic novel.

I saw Elm St 2 in the cinema in 1986 off the back of really enjoying Elm St 1 on video. It’s OK. Better than its reputation suggests. Baffling but entertaining homoerotic subtext. Gorgeous female lead. Two all-time classic lines of dialogue. Director Jack Sholder went on to make two mini-classics in The Hidden and By Dawn’s Early Light.

I saw Rocky 4 in the cinema too amongst rioting scallies. Fun night. It’s dreadful but the James Brown song is good.

The appeal of To Live & Die In LA has always eluded me. It’s always struck me as nasty and show-offish and cokey. I tried it again last year and still no luck.

Saw My Beautiful Launderette on Channel 4 a few months later.

I have no memory of Jose Ortiz doing Rogue Trooper. That cover looks quite Moebius-ey.

Sean -
That Wishful Thinking album was good. It got a bit of a slating at the time, but it has the very best version of Duel on it.

I didn’t get that Cabs album until 1986, but my girlfriend of the time got me the 12” of ‘I Want You’ for Christmas 1985. Still gets play.

Steve W. said...

Matthew, sorry about your comments disappearing. Google went mad and blocked them as spam. I've told Google off and your comments are now visible. :)

Steve W. said...

Colin, I always thought that about 2000 AD but, then again, I always assumed 20th Century Fox would change its name to 21st Century Fox.

Sean, thanks for the Ian Kennedy and Survivalists links.

Dangermash and Bt, thanks for your comments too. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh wait — ROCKY IV was the one with ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and Dolph ‘I will break you’ Lundgren as the cartoonishly evil Russian boxer, right? That was the only Rocky movie I ever saw at the theatre. Thought it was pretty awful.


Anonymous said...

b.t. - 'Eye of the Tiger' was Rocky III. Family Guy's spoofed Rocky III, with its "let me show you a 'real' woman" scene:


Anonymous said...

Family Guy, not Guy's - damn typos!


Anonymous said...

Matthew, a lot of 'Wishful Thinking' is really good - I like it more than 'Secret Wish'. Possibly it got a bit of a slagging because it was an album of remixes? Unless you were into reggae that was fairly unusual at the time (and on top of that people were fairly dubious about ZTT after the Frankie album).

I definitely recall Jose Ortiz' Rogue Trooper. It was surprising back then to see the geezer who'd just been drawing Dauntless Don McGregor's Sabre for Eclipse turn up in the progs. I just wish Tharg had found something better for him to do.


Anonymous said...

Colin, I wasn't that keen on Tennant - or Catherine Tate - in Dr Who, But a lot of people seem to like that era of the programme, and I thought bringing them back was Rusty Davies reminding everyone what they liked about 21st century Who before moving on to the new stuff. It seemed like a fairly passive/aggressive dig at Moffat and Chibnall to me.

Can't say I cared much for what seemed to be a happy ending for the Tennant incarnation, but we'll see - it wouldn't surprise me if Davies has something planned and he turns up again in the new season.


Matthew McKinnon said...

Sean -
I seem to remember Smash Hits hated ‘Wishful Thinking’ because the fad of pop remixes had peaked in 1984 and this came when they were a bit passe.

I mean, it wasn’t a fad really, but it was definitely a bit of an over-used phrase and a naked marketing tool at that point in time; and some reviewers felt the drama of the songs got a bit lost in the conveyor-belt feel of a whole album of chugging mixes. It’s not a view I agree with but I can sort of see their point.

Anonymous said...

Matthew, my recollection is that apart from some genres outside of the mainstream (like reggae/dub) in the first half of the 80s remixes were mainly 12" singles. Maybe that just reflects what I was listening to though.

I think there's something to the view that remixes became a marketing tool too... But then all kinds of records can sound like release schedule filler so it's not something that particularly bothered me about them.
Plus, a lot of what I listened to didn't really come under the heading of 'songs' anyway. If anything Propaganda and that kind of thing were a bit more tuneful than some of the unlistenable noise I was really into back then (;

Although they had their moments too. Apparently Propaganda's version of Throbbing Gristle's 'Discipline' is what led to them being signed by ZTT.


Colin Jones said...

I liked the inside of the Tardis with all those discs lining the walls like the classic Tardis of the '60s and '70s. And Bonnie Langford was back but I'll always mainly think of her as Violet Elizabeth Bott.

"I'll thcweam and thcweam and thcweam until I'm thick!"