Wednesday, 20 April 2011

"Have a face full of science, you big lummox!"

That unfamiliar tingling and numbness in the arm suggests it may be time to give the drawing, videogaming and computering a complete rest for a week or two, the upshots being I shall likely spend that time watching subtitled films and television shows, not spamming up followers' inboxes with daily updates of a drawing of someone's elbow near a desk or whatever, and missing this week's Themed Art Blog, which I would usually be bummed about except the subject is 2000ad blandstrosity Shakara, which is a strip that has alienated me from day one despite the herculean art from the one of a kind Henry Flint. It's a truism of the comics form that a good story cannot be undone by bad art (though Alan Moore's collaborations with Rob Liefeld tested this part of the theory to destruction) while a bad story cannot be saved by good art, and lord knows there's plenty of examples of this: Camelot 3000, Batman: Hush, Superman: For Tomorrow, so many mangas of the OEL and Asian stripe that I cannot recall them all - and I would put Shakara on that list.
I don't blame writer Robbie Morrison for putting food on his plate, he seems like a nice guy, but Armored gideon did exactly what Shakara did twenty years ago in the pages of 2000ad and even that strip realised before the first story was over that the premise needed to go somewhere else other than "impressive black and white artwork with spot colours like red about a big indestructible monosyllabic robot - who can actually speak full sentences when the mood takes him - moves towards a showdown with his evil twin but in the meantime clatters big demons." Don't get me wrong, I liked Armored Gideon, especially the artwork by Simon Where He Now? Jacob, but that strip went places, the last memory I have of it being the main character hunting down and killing escapees from the pages of 1970s 2000ad strips like Invasion, Shako and Angel by turning the strip he was appearing into the 1970s equivalent with art to match (at least a full decade before this was so commonplace it became the basis of Deadpool stories), while my most recent memory of Shakara is of him shooting space dinosaurs again and then asking some grotesque parody of the female form to hold him close so he can cry about his imminent death, which I couldn't care less about even though it meant an end to the strip.
I don't even think I dislike it, I just find it impossible to relate to or care about and would find equal - probably more - enjoyment if 2000ad employed Henry Flint to illustrate Manowar albums for nine years and then printed that instead, so apologies to my fellow Themed Art Bloggers that I shan't be joining them this week, though I do hope you check the blog out regardless, and also Matt Timson's blog where he has a cheeky stab at it even though he should be working on paying jobs for US comics like the big talented sellout he is.

I shall return when I return, but wish you the best of health in the interim and a jolly Easter should you be so inclined to celebrate it, which I hope you do as Jesus is a nice guy once you get to know him and learn to pay no mind to the assholes he hangs about with these days.



  1. Several thoughts come to mind;

    1. Perhaps you might just post titles for pieces which will never exist while you're resting. Those titles do cheer up my blogger newly-published-stuff update thingy.

    2. Finally, someone else who thinks that the story for Camelot 3000 was pants. I'm a BIG fan of Mike W Barr, actually, and I think he's been unfairly forgotten in alot of quarters. But Camelot 3000 was beautifully illustrated pants.

    3. Shakara just baffles me, I must agree, but following your link to Mr Timson's blog was a good reminder that that bafflement's just opinion, though it feels total enough to come across as an objective judgement.

    Enjoy your recuperation!

  2. For you, Colin, I think I can manage that...