Thursday, August 7, 2008

61. Pulp Science Fiction

Thrillpowered Thursday is a weekly look at the world of 2000 AD. I'm rereading my collection of 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine, one issue an evening, and once each week for the foreseeable future, I'll see what I'm inspired to write. Although, I think I have decided to write a little less with these and let what images I've selected speak a little more for themselves.

Did you miss me? The Hipster Kids have stampeded and rampaged across the Southeast this summer and come back to find a stepmother-to-be all moved in and the legendary Hipster Dad British Comic Archive nicely arranged and accessible on two wonderful shelving units in the guest room. Having it all displayed in nice, browsable milk crates actually makes me want to start tracking down the remaining 1978-82 issues of Battle Picture Weekly that I'm missing. That reminds me, I could use the help of my readers in obtaining ten issues of the Dredd Megazine...

We resume the Big Reread in the spring of 1998. David Bishop is the editor, Andy Diggle is his assistant, and the Galaxy's Greatest Comic is launching a new series of one-off thrills to complement the ongoing series Judge Dredd, Sinister Dexter, Missionary Man and Slaine. This is called, properly, Pulp Sci-Fi. The superior-sounding, unabbreviated title is only used internally and in advertising, and Henry Flint contributed this cute cover which evokes Uma Thurman's role in the Quentin Tarantino film which gave the series its name. Prog 1096 features the first of four Pulp Sci-Fi tales which make up its first series. The feature will appear off and on for the next couple of years, whenever there's a hole in the scheduling. It replaces the Men in Black-led Vector 13, although there's still one more of those to see print down the line, before in turn being replaced by the return of Tharg's Future Shocks and Tharg's Terror Tales.

At the time of writing, the kids have read the first three stories and they agree that the first of these, "Grunts," is their favorite. It's by the Durham Red team of Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison and, to be honest, it's a little reminiscent of the famous Star Wars fan film Troops. But, well, the kids haven't seen Troops, and nor, mercifully, have they seen Fox's Cops to my knowledge, so this struck my son as being incredibly original and funny.

Pulp Sci-Fi is perhaps best remembered for launching a wonderful character named Rose O'Rion, a spacefaring cat burglar and con artist created by Nigel "Kek-W" Long and Dylan Teague, in a pair of really clever one-off episodes. Rose got a highly anticipated series a couple of years down the road which disappointed practically everybody, but the one-offs are very good. Quite a few good one-offs appeared under the Pulp Sci-Fi banner, but none of them have ever been reprinted. Speaking of which, I don't believe any of the stories from this prog have made their way to a collected edition. The Sinister Dexter episode by Abnett and Ben Willsher was skipped over for their third book Slay Per View, in 2005.

Next time, Jena Makarov meets the wife that Nikolai Dante never told her about, and Nikolai meets the half-brother nobody ever told him about...

Help This Blog! I am missing ten issues of the Judge Dredd Megazine, one that I never got and nine that were ruined by a flood in 2005 and had to be pitched. These are all from vol. 3, cover dates 1999-2001, and are # 52 and # 69-77. I'd like to have new copies for myself and the kids to read during this little project. If you're able to provide good copies, or perhaps scan the non-reprint episodes for us, please drop me a line! I'd be happy to buy them from you, or trade from my big stack of duplicate progs or trade paperback collections.

(Originally posted August 7 '08 at Hipsterdad's LiveJournal.)

No comments: