Thursday, 10 October 2013

Meg 236 - Out Of My Head

(Link to BARNEY)

I'm not an artist, and I respect all work artists do. But I can have an opinion on their art. And I hate this cover. I really do. If I set out to design an Anderson look, it would be as far from this as is possible. She looks evil, with a strange neck and a weird looking body. Sorry Mr Taylor, not my cup of tea...

For reasons Lord Barnes declines to explain, there is no Devlin Waugh this issue. Sir Alan acknowledges his absence, but promises his return next issue. Instead, we have two Si Spurrier Dredds. The first story, Cursed Earth Rules, has a set up and pay off quite close in nature to a Future Shock. I liked this story. Dredd is policing the West Wall when captured muties are being released back to the Cursed Earth. Suddnely, there is Dune Shark attack. How will Dredd react? John Ridgeway is on art duties, and it was alright.

The second Dredd was a shorter story about a block shakedown and the guys who patrol the sewers seeing what is flushed down by the hapless cits. I found it a bit confusing to follow, as I wasn't sure what was happening at times. I'll come right out and say I'm not Boo Cook's biggest fan, but his art was more than competent in this episode. However, I couldn't work out where to attach the blame for my not following the story completely - possibly I should look no further than myself!

Part 3 of Playing Futsie saw Jack Point AKA The Simping Detective trying to get to the bottom of the mess he has ended up in following the leads given to him by Zig the murdering nut-job. Great stuff from Spurrier and Frazer, as usual, and it was a great ending too. We are promised Jack will return and I can't wait to read his next adventures. Again, the script has text that made me chuckle. He's just such a brilliant character and so well depicted by Frazer Irving. Great job all round.

The words "FINAL PART" have never looked so good on a Meg index page as they did for the Anderson saga City of Dead. Because we can finally wrap up this story line about the Half Life virus. Good Grud it's been going on for a while, and it has severely tested my patience at points, but at least we got to a conclusion. After so long, the ending did feel a little rushed. But it was an ending, and we can finally move on from this episode. I did feel a little sorry for the perp - his punishment was pretty cruel - but he does kill a million people so perhaps he got what he deserved?

Another story wrapping up was Young Middenface. It wasn't a bad story, but I can't help feeling that not a great deal of any significance happened. It ended quite strangely as well, with one of the key characters acting very oddly in my view. I don't think I quite believed what happened...

Contrast that with The Bendatti Vendetta which finished brilliantly and had a cracking conclusion. Paced very well over the three episodes by Robbie Morrison and painted wonderfully by John Burns the two Bendatti operatives have a final showdown with the mafia bosses. However, there is a twist at the end which I did not see coming, so it was an interesting twist! Great job all round and look forward to this coming back. I know it's not sci-fi or Dredd, but so what, it's a cracking story... And something different too...

Over in the reprints and Charley's War continues to tell us about life on the home front during World War I. So much to admire about this story - it transcends the medium it is told on. C'mon Hollywood, you churn our so much crap, surely there's room for a movie based on this wonderful comic strip. Or maybe that would ruin it? Metro Dredd was a Gordon Rennie story, but it was a struggle to get through it. There are just so dull these strips most of the time. I know they are set up for a different audience, namely bored and miserable commuters, but even so...

The third and final part of Interrogation saw Robbie Morrison recount the later periods of his work. After a huge picture of Shakara on the opening pages there wasn't more than two paragraphs devoted to this excellent story, but bloody loads of space to sodding Nikolai Dante. We've heard about him a lot already, surely more could have been said about Shakara? Bah. The British Icons slot was devoted to Depserate Dan of Dandy comic fame. I read the Dandy when i was a kid, so it was great to learn more about one of my favourite childhood comic characters.. Over in Heatseekers I read the Orient section about a manga film called Spriggan, which explores occult artefact hunters (and sounded quite good) and the Comic article about an interesting work called Palestine about the author's visits to the Gaza Strip and the interactions he has with the Palestinian people.

And finally...Only one letter to Dreddlines but it must hold the record for the longest ever! The entire page! Hats off to you Marcus Nyahoe for having the sheer willpower to review one Meg in such detail. Surely nobody would be mad enough to do that... No-one at all... :-)

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