Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Meg 207 - Femme Fatale

So I'm a few Megs in to this mammoth task of reading every Meg since 201, and despite me giving a few strips a bit of a kicking, the quality has generally been of a very high standard. Put it like this, I've read a lot worse than the worst strips in the Meg. I won't name names here, but I'm sure everyone reading this blog will identify with one comic at least which made them weep at having spent their money on it...

Variety is the spice of life, right? I don't like Family, you may love it! I'm just so glad it's over, you may be desperate for more. I thought the ending was rubbish, you may think it's shocking and leave you wanting more... Right, that's that done and I never need speak it's name again (I hope). But as I said earlier, it was certainly not the worst strip ever. But I judge the Meg by a very high standard...

Before I continue, the Mark Harrison cover is a delight. Reminds me a lot of the Pulp Fiction movie poster - complete with the red and yellow title, smoking female lead and the fake creases of a tattered book cover.

I promised more about Young Middenface in my last Meg review and just when it was getting interesting, and I was really starting to identify with the characters and see where it went next - it stopped. It ended with the gang of Muties off on an adventure, but it's one of those endings I fret over because all I can see ahead is hardship... I really hope it comes back to the Meg soon, as I'm desperate to find out more. It's a real - well - human story. And I mean, it's about the characters - not about blasting aliens or travelling in time - it's all about the Muties and their survival and the way society treats them. A little dig at our own society by Alan Grant perhaps? Fabulous pen and ink artwork by John Ridgeway - I love good pen and ink art and Ridgeway has it in spades. I hope to see more of him in the Meg soon.

So - big thumbs up for Young Middenface. More please!

I'm not sure what to say about Devlin Waugh. It still chugs along - more one liners - more fighting vampires. If and when it changes tack, I'll let you know. Black Siddha is fast becoming a favourite. I love all the Indian gods and magic that run through the strip. Anyone who has read, or have had children who have read, Percy Jackson or any other Rick Riordan novel will identify with why I like this so much. I'm a big Riordan fan as are my 9 year old son, my wife and my parents!

The new Dredd strip is a John Wagner - hooray! With art by Graham Manley - hoo...errrmmmm. Well Mr Manley was responsible for drawing Juliet November, which if you remember by previous entires, I didn't like much. Still - fresh start - and it's a Wagner Dredd. Gotta be good, right? And it is. It's a cracker. Shakedown is about the Judges descending on a lawless block - Paradise Heights - to do a full-scale Block shakedown. Judges will enter each apartment and deal with law breakers. As we go through the story, we track different Perps and the different way they respond to the Law entering their block. It's another long strip - 12 pages I think - and I liked that in the story Monkey On My Back in the previous Megs.

Over in the reprints, Slaine finished. Nooooooooo! And it finished on a sodding cliff hanger too. Not fair! I don't know if Slaine gets reprinted in future Megs - but after a clumsy start and I really enjoyed these last episodes. Don't worry, the cliff hanger isn't really big - a lot of loose ends get tied up, I guess it's more of an intro to the next book. Darkie's Mob continues to please. It finishes next Meg, so I'll talk more about it then. We saw the work of a licensed Peeper in the Daily Star Dredd - which was a fun little story as these often are.

The Dredd text story, Rat Town, was a nice idea - told by different characters in the story. However, it didn't quite hit the mark. I had to keep re-reading bits and I'm still not sure I fully understood the ending. Gordon Rennie let loose on the 'jollies' (or corporate entertaining) comic creators receive. He's not impressed - but that's Gordon! Mark Harrison was in the Interrogation Cube and he made for an interesting read. He seems a nice guy - came across as the sort of bloke who would be interestin to chat to. And he has a chocolate addiction - poor chap!

And finally...Apocalypse Soon continues to be a highlight every month. I really hope this gets a reprint somewhere soon because it makes me laugh every time I read the one page episodes. I like to collect original comic art and I'd love to track down a page of this excellent little story...

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Meg 206 - They Don't Like It Up 'Em

At last, a cover I like! Lovely painting by Colin MacNeil - I particularly like the vampire hands reaching out as if we are that vampire. Alan's editorial letter this issue bigs up fan sites on the Internet - which given the context of this blog - is quite apt! The fansite that Alan mentions has sadly passed on, but plenty of others exist to fill the void. Check out the box to the right for links to the ones I know about - and if you have a fansite you'd like added - just drop me a Tweet or comment.

Right - on with this month's Meg. Let's get the stuff I wasn't impressed with over and done with. Family. There - that's done... I detailed in my last post why this was and nothing has happened to change my mind...

Everything else was of the highest quality. Firstly, I should mention Slaine - which I was not a big fan of when it appeared in Meg 202. However, as I have read more and understood the characters and got into the story more I have become a fan. In fact, I'm completely besotted by it and can't wait to get to it in the next Meg. And, hooray and hurrah, everyone in this edition was all in the same part of the space-time continuum! So not having to worry who was where and who was who (because I've figured that out) freed me to enjoy the action. Sticking with the reprints, Darkie's Mob had some interesting twists in it, and looks to be building to an interesting climax. The future of the group of soliders seems to be in the balance as the regular army catch up with them... A Daily Star Dredd and a short article on Rogue Trooper completed this section. I'd forgotten to mention this previously, but each week a character or story is chosen from the 2000 AD archives and profiled. This is very useful for people new to the comic who don't have the history and want a short profile of the main protagonists.

The Dredd Monkey On My Back concluded, and I'm sad to see it go. Still, it was 45 pages so it wasn't a short story, but I can't help thinking it could have carried on a bit more and explored some of the parts that happened quite quickly more fully. I don't want to give too much away, but some more of Judge Cal would have been good and a bit more mileage could have been had in dealing with the Muties, which seemed to take about two frames. Be interesting to see if the high quality can be maintained next issue...

Of the other regular thrills, Devlin Waugh is more of the same. It's a constant - it doesn't seem to be building or flopping, but consistently delivers dapper one liners and fighting vampires. The underlying story of  the captured vampire is the thread that connects them, as well as someone surfacing from Waugh's past, otherwise they could just be one-offs. I like them - don't love them - but they are fine as they are. Young Middenface is intriguing. Perhaps I'll cover that a bit more in my next review. Black Siddha is developing into an interesting story and I'm really into it now. What looked initially like minor characters are now coming to the fore and will certainly make Rohan's life a lot more complicated!

David Bishop turned his hand to a Dredd text story this month, and I enjoyed it. Gordon Rennie continued to vent his spleen too...

And finally...Dreddlines has lots of complimentary letters this month, defending some of the criticisms of previous letters.We'll see if the positive vibe continues!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Meg 205 - Street Bash Kid

What is it with the last few Meg covers and them freaking me out? Had to keep this one turned over! Glorious art, but again, slightly disturbing...

This months Meg kicked off with an apology from Alan Barnes for not printing the middle page of the Brian Bolland Future Shock I mentioned in the previous Meg! I didn't really cover it in the last review because I didn't really understand it - and now I know why. And after I bigged him up in the last review as well! Tut! Following the link given in Alan's editorial to the complete story on the Internet yields an error message. I guess I'll never know what the middle bit was all about...

Anyway, on to this Meg, and our cover star is Young Middenface, a Scottish mutie who is on the run after he has broken out of prison with is companion, Bonnie Prince Charlie. This is another story set in a different part of the Dredd universe. Glorious penwork from John Ridgway and the start of an interesting story from Alan Grant. I gave Alan a bit of a kicking in previous reviews over Juliet November, so am hoping this story lives up to my high expectations of his work. The other Alan Grant scripted story, Apocalypse Soon, continues to be as nutty as a fruitcake and is a delight! Just one page in each Meg, but it is filled with wit and wonderful painting from Shaun Thomas. Long may it continue. Whilst the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been propping up the bar, the horses are getting fed up... Cracking stuff...

The star of last month's Meg, Judge Dredd in Monkey On My Back, continued to entertain. So good, I read it twice - and not because I didn't understand the first time - but because it's that good... The high page count for each episode works well, and is a great idea. I'd like to see more of these longer episodic stories in the Meg.

And then the other stories; Black Siddha, Devlin Waugh and Family are very much "as you were' and I don't think my opinion has changed much from the last Meg review. Rohan's task weighs heavy upon him, Devlin Waugh continues cracking crap jokes and battling the vampire horde and Family is as baffling as ever. On the subject of Family, I think I am ready to admit that I am completely lost. Perhaps a synopsis of who's who would be useful as this point, as I can't keep up with who is related to who and who keeps killing who and so on. I shall continue reading it - if only to see if I can "get it" at some point. It feels a bit like a soap opera with too many characters to keep track of... And I don't like soaps...

The reprints section was also in fine form still. I'm still loving Darkie's Mob and am still enjoying Slaine, although the latter remains challenging in figuring out where in time everyone is and who the different characters are. Still, I'm finding it easier than Family because at least they all look completely different! I'm wondering if complex comic plotlines aren't my thing, or whether I'll get better at keeping track the more I read of a story...

Thrill Power Overload concluded with an interesting look at how Rebellion came to own 2000 AD and the Meg. We have been promised new David Bishop material coming soon, and I hope it is as good. John Ridgway, artist on Young Middenface, was in the Interrogation Cube and I sympathised with his stance of swearing being unnecessary in Sci-Fi comics. He says it is justified on realism, but that doesn't work for him as comics depict people flying and punching holes in walls. My own view is that Dredd, Sinister Dexter and TV shows like Battlestar Galactica make up there own swearwords, which works well for me. In some comic strips it can be necessary for realism, but probably not in the majority...

Apart from Gordon Rennie ranting about office buildings, there is still little else in the way of text stories or articles. With Thrill Power Overload ending, perhaps we will see something different in the next Meg?

And finally...Chris Haynes of Sowerby Bridge writes to Dreddlines to say how much he enjoyed Juliet November, having read it several times, and how into Family he is. So completely the opposite to me then. Of course, I'm right and he's wrong :-) Goes without saying ;-) In all seriousness, this is why the Meg is so cool. Different types of stories which appeal to different types of readers. 

Have I encouraged you to pick up a copy yet?

UPDATE 30/07/2013:

Thanks to Hunter for his comment below on where the complete Future Shock now dwells. It's on BARNEY! Please follow this link:

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Meg 204 - Justice Casts Its Shadow...

I'm slightly disturbed by children with guns, and the shadow of the Judge looming over this little lad chilled me somewhat...

Apart from the one-page Sinister Dexter there are no single episode stories in this Meg. The Dredd story, Monkey On My Back, is a Garth Ennis and John Higgins story set back in time in January 2099. Cal is still Head of the SJS and the Chief Judge is Clarence Goodman. When Goodman delivers a New Years message of peace and love - and reducing Judges on streets and granting the Mutants entry to Mega City One - Dredd and his colleague, Judge Chambers, fear the worst. This episode has a real sense of a mega-epic about it, like Day of Chaos or the Apocalypse War. I don't know how many parts it will be in, but it has the makings of an excellent story. It was also 15 pages! Brilliant stuff!

The last episode of Juliet November wound up, and whilst the action did increase, it still felt lacking in substance to me. I checked the credits and was surprised to see Alan Grant writing it - surprised because I enjoyed the early Dredds in the Prog written by him and John Wagner under the pseudonym T. B. Grover. Graham Manley's art was good. In the previous Meg the episode had finished with a lovely full page splash of Dredd, and there was plenty to like about the art in this episode too. All in all, I'm quite glad to see the back of this strip and see what next month's brings.

In reprints section, Slaine continued to recover from a slow start. Still a lot going on with loads of characters to get your head around. But these epsisodes had Glen Fabry's art to help, and the detail in his drawing is just so good it makes it a pleasure to read. I would say Slaine is worth persevering with...

The other main reprint, Darkie's Mob, is still thrilling 70's war strip action! There is an awful lot of dialogue, and every action is explained in the tiniest detail through it, but the action just keeps coming with every episode. Each part sees the Mob take on a different objective, but there are some common themes that run through each. Who exactly is Captain Darkie? Why does he hate 'the Japs' so much? In the introduction before the first set of reprints, the editors had decided to get rid of some of the more profane racist language. This caused a little bit of a stir in the letters pages, with some people objecting, but just like we don't get repeats of Love Thy Neighbour (thank God) on TV anymore, so we should be sensitive to this kind of stuff. We had some colour pages in this reprint too - which was fun!

Add a Brian Bolland Future Shock and another Daily Star Dredd and the reprint section was a lot of value this month.

I talked a lot about Black Siddha and Family in my last Meg review, but suffice to say that Black Siddha is still moving forwards, as Rohan now understands the gravity of the task he is being asked to fulfill. Unfortunately, Family confused the hell out of me! I've read it a couple of times now, and I'm clinging on to the story...barely....

Devlin Waugh is coming along nicely. All sorts going on, and story strands are starting to come together. The MacNeil paintings really add to the atmosphere of the story, and the vampires really are hellish! I'm not sure if Waugh's clipped cliches ("back in time for tea and muffins") will start to grate soon - only time will tell. John Smith, the writer, was the subject of the Interrogation Cube

Curiously, the Meg finishes with a one page weird little tale called Apocalypse Soon which is rather fun and rather good. It promises To Be Continued, and I hope it is! Alan Grant writing some interesting stuff, and very bizarre art from Shaun Thomas. Proper weird out-there Meg story!

And finally...a word on the Editor, Alan Barnes. He writes a letter to introduce the Meg every month and responds to the Dreddlines letters. He is articulate and passionate about his direction for the comic. One letter this month accuses the Meg of not being good value anymore. Alan responds by addressing every point with a counter argument, thus concluding the letter writer is just plain wrong. His introduction commends a well written and researched article on comics he has read recently, whilst attacking all the stereotypes that exist about comics and comic readers. And for me, that's what the Meg stands for...

Someone described these early Megs to me as a"golden era" - and if that's true - Alan has probably got to take a lot of credit for that...

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Meg 203 - 'Til Death do us part

The cover certainly made me curious about this Meg. What on earth was Judge Death doing getting married. Well, all was revealed inside...

Firstly, I'm going to cover Family like I promised in my Meg 202 entry. I will admit to having to read it twice, the second time a lot more slowly. As others have pointed out, it can be a little complex. I'm certainly not going to attach any blame to the writer or artist, it's just a complex story with a lot of characters. Invest the time in taking your time with it, and you will be rewarded. It has an interesting plot development this time, which I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out... I think fans of gangster and mafia TV shows and movies will like this strip very much. It's not heavy on the Sci-Fi or horror, though, so perhaps those who prefer more "traditional" 2000AD stories might skip it...

Black Siddha was another one I seemed to rush through in my excitement, and then go back and read again more slowly. The painting is just lovely by Simon Davis and absolutely compliments Pat Mills' story telling. At times, I do wonder if Mills has to explain every single Indian myth through dialogue, but I'm not going to question the Great One's story-telling ability, and i'll live with that ever-so minor gripe. The action in Devlin Waugh stepped up a notch in this issue. We do finally seem to be moving onwards after a couple of episodes of scene-setting.

I was excited to see Ian Gibson penning the Dredd story The Marriage Game this month. It's a John Wagner script too, so I was keen to crack on a and read it. Sadly, I was left a little unfulfilled. I just can't help it, but the females in the story remind me too much of Halo Jones - especially the lead female. And I thought the whole premise was silly. Can't like them all, I guess. But here's the plot outline: Judges have set up a sting where they have invited known perps to a game show audience. An employee of Mr Gunderson's House of Horrors is the male choosing from three females, but he seems to have taken his role a little too seriously. Walter the Wobot makes an appearance, as he now looks after Mrs Gunderson.

Juliet November is still light and fluffy and still nothing seems to be happening. I'm hoping it will "ignite" soon...

Good news, though, Slaine got much better. A whole tonne of action, and a handy synopsis of the previous episodes that had slightly befuddled me, meant I thoroughly enjoyed this outing in the Gold 003 section (reprints). Darkie's Mob also continued to deliver. Add a Daily Star Dredd and a slightly odd Future Shock and the reprints were on fine form. There was also an article on Halo Jones, as they were pushing a reprint book. I skipped it...

After last month's Interrogation Cube, where Gordon Rennie just took the piss, Pat Mills goes on so much it has to be printed over two pages. I really enjoyed the Mills answers though - typically him in every way. Gordon Rennie gets his own column this month, where he gets to vent his spleen. This month he discussed large creatures eating rich people in comic strips. It's OK - quite short - but this sort of thing was popular in the early part of this Century with the Lad Mags continuing to rise and dominate the newsagents shelves. Perhaps it was a response to this trend, or merely, Gordon is quite funny when he goes off on one...

Thrill Power Overload continued, but there wasn't much in the way of other articles this month. Another one-page Sinister Dexter finished off the Meg - which was reasonably entertaining.

And finally...the Sector Control section showed publishing dates for Progs, Megs, audio books and TPBs for the next month. Something I think would be useful in the Meg today.

Meg 202 - Black Siddha - The serpent sword needs blood!

The reprint this month is bound into the main magazine. This is excellent news, as I was keen to read Slaine and Darkie's Mob. More on that in a minute... The Simon Davies Black Siddha cover art is disturbing, but awesome too! I rather like it.

The Judge Dredd this edition is Bato Loco, penned by Gordon Rennie and drawn by Simon Collby. Rennie is also the subject of the regular Interrogation Cube article, a one pager where creators are asked questions like how did you get into comics, what's your favourite movie and so on. Rennie treats this with a wonderful disdain! Anyway, Bato Loco is marvellous. It is done in the style of the main protagonist telling it as a story to the reader, and I really liked that style. Loco is a small time gangster employed by a local don to retrieve his property from a very unpleasant place after a smuggling operation goes wrong. Can he outwit the law?.

Devlin Waugh and Family are building nicely. If I'm going to be a bit critical, Waugh did suddenly jump to a totally different scene than the previous episode. Kind of took me a page or so to figure out what had happened. I'll do more on Family next Meg review.

Two new thrills are Juliet November and Black Siddha. The November story is light and fluffy, and feels a bit silly coming after such a good Dredd. Juliet is a special type of Psi who accidentally starts fires when she gets excited. She has met a nice young man and wants to go on a date, so is applying for a licence from the Justice Department. Black Siddha couldn't be more different. Dark, moody and steeped in Indian mythology I cannot wait to read the next episode... The dream sequence is done especially well. It's kind of difficult to describe what it is about at the moment... A young Indian man, Rohan, is rebelling against his mothers wishes for him to settle down and find a nice wife and a good job. He has dabbled with the Indian occult previously and ends up crashing at his friends' house, who also dabble with magic. Whilst asleep, Rohan has a dream that will seemingly change his destiny...

As for Slaine, I didn't like it much. I haven't read any Slaine before and found this episode, Time Killer, heavy going. Mills introduces loads of characters very quickly and I had trouble remembering who was who. I'm not even going to attempt a synopsis, I will need to re-read it I think.

As for Darkie's Mob, it is a fantastic piece of early Wagner licenses from the archives of the British comic, Battle, dating from the 70s. A group of British soldiers are lost behind Japanese lines in Burma in 1942. Suddenly, Captain Darkie appears to lead them to safety. However, his brutal methods soon make the soldiers uneasy. And why are the Japanese so afraid of him? I bought Battle in the early 80's so I have some affection for these types of war stories. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

Both reprints have a short introduction, which for a newbie, I found informative and useful.

Text articles were more Thrill Power Overload and another Bishop article on the Stallone Dredd movie and how Fleetway tried to cash in on it to increase the comics' popularity. It was quite interesting so begin with, but then wandered off topic and I got bored.

The back page has a one page Sinister Dexter story Bouncers. Not sure if it was a reprint or an original, but it was a bit of fun anyway.

The Dredd text story was very good. Again, the text stories rather divide opinions - but I like to read them. Obviously, some are better than others, but this one was rather good. It was quite a long one, but I found I was absorbed and thought it was well worth the time investment.

The Alan Moore Future Shock reprint The Bounty Hunters was a bit of fun. I rather guessed the twist, and the script was a little silly in places, but I have a lot of affection for these old Future Shocks..

And finally...  Thomas Hardy of East Finchley hates the new Meg layout and insists that it is returned to the old style. I do have a soft spot for Dreddlines, the letters page, and am glad it is back in the latest Meg 338 (latest at the time of writing, that is!).

Meg 201 - I say, Dredd..

Sadly, I'm missing the Gold reprint which came with this Meg, so I can't comment on it. However, this is a special bumper edition launch issue with 148 pages. It kept me quiet for quite sometime. I won't go into the ins and outs of every article, but there was a lot to like. Top 3 for me were:

Judge Dredd - War Crimes: Written by Gordon Rennie and drawn in a lovely style by Lee Sullivan (known more for his Doctor Who artwork), this was a terrific one-part story - and I found it quite moving at the end. It is certainly one of the best Dredd stories I've read in a long time, if not ever! A dying woman is arrested for distributing leaflets claiming her son was not a traitor. He was executed during the Apocalypse War for being a Sov spy. Dredd smells some honesty in her story, and sets off to investigate further by questioning those who knew him in the past...

Devlin Waugh - Red Tide - pt.1: There is an excellent text article, Waugh is Hell, written by David Bishop (of Thrill Power Overload fame) which introduces the character of Devlin Waugh - how he was incepted, his previous appearances and a synopsis of his story so far. The story is set in the Dredd Universe. This opening episode sees a family travel over the Black Atlantic to the Bahamas to go vampire hunting.. The paintings by Colin MacNeil - wow. I'm saying 'painting' - it might be clever computer trickery - someone will set me right if I've got it wrong!

Family - pt.1: No computer trickery for this art - looks all penned by Simon Fraser - and I like a bit of traditional black and white inkwork. The intro in the Meg reveals it's set in the near future, so this is one of the stories set away from the Dredd Universe. A crime family run an entire town - and nothing happens without their say-so. A new cop arrives on the scene, eager to set things right...

The other stories, Judge Dredd Phartz and The Kleggs! fell fairly into the "OK' category for me. I didn't hate them, but didn't like them as much as these others.

The text articles held some of my interest. I hadn't realised Thrill Power Overload has started life in the Meg before it became a book - and this Meg has part 11. There is also an article on John Sanders, former IPC publisher, which I flicked through. Two text stories, a Dredd and a Devlin Waugh reprint also appear. I didn't read them - but maybe I will go back to them. I'll let you know...

All in all, a quality read and worthy of tracking down for the Dredd story War Crimes alone, although Red Tide and Family have definitely started well!

So What's This Blog About?

I recently bought every Meg from 201 onwards (that's January 2003) and I intend to sit and read every one of them. So I thought I'd document this momentous journey. The highs, the lows, the "oh bloody hell, I'm fed up of these sodding Megs" moments, the lot...

What is the Judge Dredd Megazine, or Meg?

The Meg is published by Rebellion who publish the British anthology weekly comic 2000 AD (often referred to as Progs), which has been in existence since 1977. The Meg is a monthly magazine which runs comic strips centred around the Judge Dredd universe and explores, not only old Stoney Face himself, but other characters, other countries and even other galaxies in this future world.

The comic strips aren't only about the Judge Dredd Universe, other storylines appear based around the science fiction and horror comic genres that 2000 AD is rightly famous for. Many of the regular writers and artists from the weekly, write and draw for the monthly too.

In addition, the Meg includes text (or prose) stories, interviews with creators and articles about other comics, movies or TV shows that would interest the readership.

Each edition also includes reprints from the extensive 2000 AD archive that were originally featured in either the Prog or Meg of yesteryear.

So why Megs - why not Progs?

Well, I prefer the Megs in many ways. I like the fact they centre around the Judge Dredd universe and explore the different facets to that world. I like the longer story format - with often 10 pages of each story in each Meg and those stories can span many Megs. I like the text articles - I'm interested in artists and writers and so on. I've heard the Meg is a bit edgier - experiments are tried - I like that. And I like the reprints - and if I got them bundled with the Megs I bought / were given then I will review them too.

So who are you, exactly?

Good question! I recently returned to reading the Prog after a 30-odd year absence. I originally read them when I was at school, along with Battle Action Force and pretty much any other comic I could lay my hands on. I then got into Sci-Fi books, like Douglas Adams and Issac Asimov, and so left the world of comics behind. I still liked the read comic strips like Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side and bought the odd graphic novel by Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen), but it wasn't until seeing the new Dredd movie in 2012 I decided to check out 2000 AD again.

And I wasn't disappointed...

And why are you doing this?

The Megs are sometimes seen as the poorer cousin of the Prog, and I want to highlight just how good the Meg actually is. Of course, you can hunt around on eBay or the classifieds trying to seek out all the back issues as I have done - or you could go to the 2000 AD shop online, or a quality newsagent, or the iPad app - and pick up the latest paper or digital edition and try it for yourself.

If you want a recommendation of where to start, Meg 332 contained all new stories, but each Meg includes a synopsis of the "story so far" for the serials and there are often one or two single episode stories per month...

I like the sound of this, where can I find out more?

Apart from following my adventures in this blog, you can check out the creators' blogs and other 2000 AD fan sites that I will link to. But a darn fine place to start is the 2000 AD Forum. It really is one of the most friendliest forums on the Internet, where people who've read from Prog 1 to people who picked up their first copy yesterday mingle, chat and debate topics - both about the 2000 AD world - and about life in general!

The site is run by Rebellion, who generously devote staff and server time to keeping it going, and by the volunteer moderators who make sure everything runs smoothly.

My forum ID is SimeonB, and I have a thread on the forum where I am posting my adventures as well as this blog. You'll be able to see comments and questions I have answered over there too. You don't need to register to read the threads, just to post.

Another great place is the BARNEY site, run by Wakefield Carter. This site is an encyclopaedia of everything to do with 2000 AD, and publishes lists of stories and creators that appeared in all the associated publications since 1977. Also, if you like original comic art, there are galleries of them on this site and Wake sells too.

Each review will include a link to the Meg's entry on BARNEY, so if I haven't mentioned an artist or writer or an article you swore was in there, please follow the link to the site.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again - BARNEY rocks!

I'll also include a link in each review to BARNEY's record of the cover.

Anyway - feel free to join in the debate - or read along the same issues with me. I won't reveal twists, or whodunnit - just an intro into what the stories are about so you can decide if it's worth the effort tracking down the Megs or digging them out the loft if you own them already.

So, without further ado...