Thursday, August 28, 2008

64. Durham a la Drucker

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.

Prog 1111: The real world's kind of uncooperative and awful this week, so I don't have time for much of an entry. This issue is a very neat little double-sized one-off, with four ten-page episodes of the recurring strips Judge Dredd, Slaine, Sinister Dexter, all of which will be back with their regular-length stories in the next issue, and Durham Red, which is between series. Durham gets the cover, in this fantastically sexy portrait by Mark Harrison. There's a lot to like about this cover, even beyond the admittedly not inconsiderable "hot babe with cleavage" factor. Even the most casual readers have certainly noticed that 2000 AD covers are typically full of text. During this period, it was typed in a genuinely awful font, and hemmed in the artwork far too much, an unfortunate legacy, perhaps, from the higher-ups at Fleetway who were letting focus groups tell them that you needed lots of words on the cover to sell a magazine. Here is a far-too rare example of just letting the art do all the work. The result is magnificently sexy and inviting, a simply flawless cover.

The other real standout point about this cover: Durham's cheekbones, which immediately betray a huge influence from MAD's Mort Drucker. Harrison has never made a secret of his inspiration, and a few years later, he'd get to do an entire out-of-continuity Durham episode in Drucker's style, a simply perfect little story which I look forward to reading again.

Sinister Dexter Bullet Count: Finnegan increases his lead over his partner in this week's episode, "Death is a Lonely Donegan." Here, he suffers hallucinations of the afterlife while in the hospital recovering from bullets four, five, six and seven to the chest. Ramone still only has one confirmed hit, from back in part two of "The Eleventh Commandment."

Next week, assuming things get back to normal, it's deadline hell for Dredd and the Darknight Detective in "Die Laughing."

(Originally posted August 28 2008 at hipsterdad's LiveJournal.)

No comments: