Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Titan rising: Judge Dredd by Jamie Hewlett

I flippin' love Gorillaz, especially when they gave me the chance to see Mick Jones and Paul Simonon put on their very best Mick Jones and Paul Simonon personas at an Auckland gig, but I'd take a 8-page Mean Machine Angel story by Jamie Hewlett over a thousand Gorillaz videos.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Titan rising: Rogue Trooper by Dave McKean

Rogue Trooper could be deeply creepy - a stone-cold killer with blank eyes and an impossible resolve - and sometimes artists tap into how unsettling he can be. Some artists, including co-creator Dave Gibbons, just gave us loads of clear, concise and brutal future-war action. Dave McKean is not one of those artists.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Titan rising: Ro-busters by Kevin O'Neill

Kevin O'Neill was so good at the robotic craziness because he didn't have to worry about realism or anatomy or anything like that, and could give his droid creations outlandish features and obsessive detailing. Plenty of other great artists have taken a crack at Ro-Jaws and Hemmerstein, and none of them have come close to O'Neill's fevered vision.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Titan rising: Halo Jones by Ian Gibson

Ian Gibson's female form was absolutely seductive, no matter what form it took - Halo Jones goes from young and independent, to delicate and self-conscious, to tough and seasoned. We can only imagine what the pirate queen version in the lost Book 4 would have looked like, but Gibson would undoubtedly have nailed the look.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Titan rising: Judge Dredd by Mick McMahon

The Judge Dredd art of Mick McMahon was always my least favourite as a kid, more drawn to the crystal clear lines of Bolland, or the bulky superheroics of Ron Smith. Now I genuinely think it is incomparably amazing, with weird anatomy and dramatic shadows. His Dredd is almost always standing wide and firm as he deals with alien scum and mechanical psychos, and is always instantly recognisable. It took me a while, but I got there in the end - if you don't get McMahon's Dredd, you don't really get Dredd.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Titan rising: Zenith by Steve Yeowell

Steve Yeowell's art style evolved drastically over the four Phases of the Zenith storyline, from eager clarity to chunky abstraction to a bold, clear line, and there is just a taste of it in the way Zenith is portrayed on the covers of these five books. The Zenith strip was the most 80s thing 2000ad ever produced, but these things still look sharp.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Titan rising: Rogue Trooper by Walt Simonson

This might be the only official 2000ad thing Walt Simonson ever did, which is a damn shame, because his vivid dynamism was well suited to the tiny attention span of British boys comics. (John Byrne did a whole Dredd story once, but we don't talk about that.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Titan rising: Charley's War by Joe Colquhoun

Charley's War was the one of the very few non-2000ad strip to get his kind of Titan treatment - there were some Jeff Hawke books as well, but who gives a shit about Jeff Hawke? - with Joe Colquhoun doing the usual expereinced brilliance for the covers. While it might not have had robots and ray guns, Charley's War is the greatest war comic ever produced, so it was always worth collecting like this.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Titan rising: Judge Dredd by Simon Bisley

It's impossible to overtstate how influential Simon Bisley was on British comic artists of his age. After his astonishingly explosive work on Slaine The Horned God, all of his contemporaries started slapping on the paint, with many ordered to do so by editors determined to capture the magic of Bisley. But the artist, who famously had no fucking idea what he was really doing when he decided to give painting a crack, was lightning in a bottle, as can be sen in these covers. Nobody used colour like Bisley did, or had his weird and endearing awkwardness, and he instantly clicked with the idea that Dredd is an inherently absurd story, and that its blast of dark humour and action needed an absurd face.