Now available to order from the Future Quake website and also at Thought Bubble next week, the new issue of Zarjaz is out.
I was lucky enough to get hold of an advance copy of this so I thought I’d post a few spoiler free comments on each of the strips inside. Not gonna overly review them as being a sometime contributor to Zarjaz myself I feel a bit of a dick picking holes in the other’s work. Overall opinion though “Nice work guys. DAMN good collection! Pissed off I’m not in there myself”. 😉
The cover shown above is of course by Staz Johnson and kicks all kinds of arse. Again, its a testament to the quality books they put out that “real” 2000AD names are willing to contribute like this.
So, onto the strips and I should say that the lettering for all these is expertly carried out by Bolt-01 unless stated otherwise. I say that here rather than add to each credit because I’m lazy. Thank you :
Rogue Trooper : A Tale from the Trenches by Richmond Clements and George Coleman
Not to peak too early but the pick of the collection for me. Tight, clever story and gorgeous artwork. Cant think if I’ve seen any other art by George Coleman before but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more. Great little story packed into 5 pages with humour, action and some serious violence. Too damn good. Bastards.
Judge Dredd : Your lucky Day by Tom Proudfoot and John Cahill
A darkly humerous slice of Dredd with a cool kick of an ending and some gratuitous midget disposal. Fun stuff and contains a nice little nod to the Killing Joke unless I’m mistaken.
ABC Warriors : Broken Dreams by Lee Robson and Bryan Coyle (who also letters)
The central premise of this seemed a little weird to me but that could be down to my less than perfect knowledge of the ABC Warriors and their… well, feelings. Liked the art and while Hammerstein is portrayed a lot sleeker than usual it still worked and the last page was badass. Has made me want to brush up on my ABC’s so job done.
Tales of Mega City One : The Church of Rico by Stephen Prestwood and Shaun Avery
This one was the result of Zarjaz’s recent “We have a strip with no dialogue…. come up with some” competition so was done classic Marvel style. Nice, no nonsense Dredd.
Dirty Frank’s Holy Wrong by Emperor and Bruno Stahl
Some crazy Dirty Frank action and as I have recently suffered through Frank Miller’s Holy Terror myself I can say it is more than justified. Weird as hell and funny too and also contains two panels of gloriously realised violence. All you’d want from a Dirty Frank story.
Bad Company : Fallen Empire by Steven Denton and Panos Kamoulakos
A cool bit of action drawn really well but I think this one suffered due to the fact I’ve never read any Bad Company. Part of the cool thing about Zarjaz is a lot of the stories are stuff that happened off screen in the actual 2000AD issues or are prequels etc. Sure this strip is full of clever little nods to existing stories, they just all went over my head I’m afraid. My fault, not theirs.
Justess Fruit Pies by Andrew Williams and Don Franco
A clever one page riff on the old Hostess Twinkie and Fruit pie ads they had back when I was a kid. Loved it.
Sam Slade Robo-Hunter in Dust Buster by Colin Dinnie and Jason Smith
The cartoony-est strip of the lot with some really nice greyscale artwork to compliment a fun story where Sam takes down a rogue vacuum cleaner. Again, the type of 2000AD strip you can only read in Zarjaz.
Mega City One Tales : The Graduate by Dave Broughton
Really enjoyed this one but as with Bad Company I think I lost the best part of it due to gaps in my 2000AD history. That said its set in the world of Dredd so while the big reveal was slightly wasted on my the journey to get there was still really enjoyable and well done.