Sunday, March 23, 2008

Prog 1578

Here and there, I've dropped the odd hint that I'd love to see Dom "Ray" Reardon's work on CABALLISTICS, INC in colour in 2000AD. I thought, yeah, yeah, yeah, someone somewhere once decreed horror strips should be in black and white, yadda yadda, it's the law. Sod that, I bet this work would look bloody good with a Dave Stewart-style muted, earthy, palette laid over it by Chris Blythe or Len O'Grady, I muttered to myself. But no, this has yet to happen. I'm like Cassandra or something, dammit! Why don't you listen, world!

So yeah, I was pleased with Reardon's first colour interiors for 2000AD, drawing the return of Rob Williams' THE TEN SECONDERS, a sort-of modern day riff on Zelazny's LORD OF LIGHT concepts. The first run of this strip seemed hampered by negative fan reaction to Mark Harrison trying out a new art style on it, which might have been the reason for Harrison either leaving or being taken off. Reardon's work in colour (his own, by the way), is simultaneously nothing like I expected, and something of a fulfilment of all the promise he's shown so far. Where previously, the influences upon his black and white work were apparent (Jock mainly, with some Mignola and a pinch of 80s Giffen, I always reckoned - maybe a pinch of Kent Williams, too), with these few pages, he develops a style which still has a hint of Jock in there, but is much more definitely his own. It's a mixed media job, with ink, paint, and a two page sequence which seems to be done largely with coloured pencils, but with the art always in service of the story. Always good to see an artist mature right before your eyes.

That said, I'm personally of the belief that turning its back on the trend 2000AD itself started for painted art actually saved it, back in the late Bishop/early Diggle days. So I'm a bit worried about John Smith & Lee Carter's DEAD EYES. So far, it's been a bit of a throw-back to the days of CRISIS - painted art, heavy handed anti-Imperialist politics, arch writing ("I've had to cancel lunch with Al Fayed, a meeting at Downing Street, and an orgy at Westminster to be here, Professor Stiles"). Most worrying part, though? A wolf-headed Anubis-alike taking what looked like a naked Sharon Davies roughly from behind on the second page of this week's instalment. How's that going to help with the UK's preparations for the 2012 Olympics?


PJ Holden said...

Sadly Dom only managed a few issues before Shaun Thomas took over, who in turn only managed a few issues before someone else took over (can't remember the guys name, but i know the writer is happy...)

Mark said...

Ah well. I remember liking Thomas's work on Young Middenface.

Mark said...

The third artist - Ben Oliver.