Edited by Dave Evans and Richmond Clements
Writers and Artists: Chris Denton, David Frankum, Derek Hamill, John Hutcheson, Mike Bunt, Richard McAuliffe, Roland Bird, Dan Hill, David Broughton, Dirk Van Dom.
Zarjaz make 2000AD fanzines. Although to be honest, fanzine’s actually a little insulting here, as there’s a fairly good hit rate for the strips in various Zarjaz comics I’ve seen. It’s no wonder 2000AD are so generous with their properties when they get work such as this, a try-out comic for the future 2000AD perhaps.
Drokk is Zarjaz’s ‘what-if?‘ collection, and I’m genuinely here for the cover story…. and what a great cover from David Frankum that is.
(Zenith / Savage by Chris Denton and David Frankum)
Oh yes, that’s Chris Denton and David Frankum doing their second mashup of Zenith and Vic Savage. It is rather fab, it really is, foppish pop-star Zenith walks into a pub with Savage as his bodyguard, and oh hell is he going to need it… there’s a blind man and a crow in the pub and Zenith sure as hell knows what that means. This ended up being far funnier than I figured it would be, just one look at Frankun’s Zenith in peril artwork up there at the top of this post tells you that, but it’s also in the verbal sparring and the gag lines. Great work from both gents here.
They’re not alone either. Not everything in Drokk floated my boat sure, but there’s actually rather a high hit to miss ratio with this anthology. Taking the good stuff…..
(Rogue Trooper by Dan Hill and David Broughton)
Rogue Trooper is an antiquity, a story idea so one dimensional that the character’s practically been retired from 2000AD, yet we’ve all got nostalgic ideas about the character that writer Dan Hill really plays into, and although David Broughton’s art isn’t top notch, I did want to show you those couple of panels above as an example of just how damn cool Rogue could be.
(Mechanismo by Derek Hamill and Mike Bunt)
More mashups now, first there’s a Mechanismo tale done in the rhyming style of Donaldson and Scheffler’s Gruffalo. Not that keen on Bunt’s artwork, but have to give Hamill credit for adapting the classic for Mega-City. Very funny. As is Kingdom by Richard McAuliffe and Roland Bird in quite an unexpected fashion. I’m not spoiling the surprise, but it’s such a good one and again, a mashup of sorts. You’ll get it as soon as you see it. Artwork very reminiscent of Alan Davis, Bryan Hitch et al.
(Kingdon by Richard McAuliffe and Roland Bird)
Finally, something completely different now, as McAuliffe and Bird return for a second strip featuring the dark judge himself, Judge Death. I know Wagner’s creations have been serious, deadly, terrifying at times, and I’m also aware that they’ve been treated as comic relief more often than not in the near past, but as far as I know, no-one’s ever managed to create a sentimental tear-jerker using Judge Death.
Well, here we are, not so you’d guess from the opening pages, where the dark judges have taken a hospital, and Death stalks inside. By the end there may well be a tear in your eye. Excellent stuff from McAuliffe and Bird.
(Judge Death – Personal Business by Richard McAuliffe and Roland Bird)