And we’re back, once again. The ticker is fixed, the Beast is fired up and the Quest for 100 letters trundles on. To be honest the Beast fell into hibernation when the read count started to go backwards, but after a realisation that the £100 offer still stands I thought we’d better get on with it.
To be fair a few mentalists at the 40th Birthday party mentioned they read it in between hallucinations and spider eating frenzies so who are we to deny them? I also found this Blog Post
from our very own Alex Frith, so to cement my ‘Hero’ status the Beast must awaken from its slumber.
The rules of engagement remain the same, although the leader board has altered somewhat during our down time. Here it is as of Meg 381 :
To be honest it’s maybe not a vintage time to restart The Beast as we have been treated to only a few letters in 2017 and all but one of them were from first timers. All well and good you may say; new blood and all that. Well you’re wrong - people with a long history have more data that we can pick through and slag them off about.
We’ll start with Prog 2014
- The one with the sad robot doing ‘Hamlet’ on the cover. To start the year off Tharg gives us a two letter, half page tiddler.
To break 2017’s cherry we welcome Julienne Droidber
to the fray. We don’t get much to work with here as no ‘Julienne’s or ‘Droidber’s have ever troubled our hallowed database. Want a stat though? OK : This is the first Beast entry to contain the word ‘Droid’ since Anthony Bromley
’s ‘Khaos Droid’ drawing entertained us in Prog 799.
Julienne’s letter is a big thumbs up to ‘Counterfeit Girl’ and she stays true to her family name by mentioning both the “Milligan Droid’ and the “Dayglo Droid” - ‘Rufus’ shurley? She sounds quite taken with her Prog at the moment and we always like to see the ladies bring a touch of glamour to the Input page (not sexist).
The input continues and ends with the Letter of the Week - well the best of two - (Tough Turkey Julienne!) from Martin Sullivan of Ireland
. Martin is also a first timer and has a ways to go to overhaul Sullivan Kingpin Steve who boasts four letters, the last of which appeared in Prog 1951 in 2015.
Martin clearly takes a while to gather his thoughts as he questions the legitimacy of Death calling Dredd by name in ‘Dark Justice’ which was yonks ago. Tharg sidesteps the question and rightly so - they’ve been fighting for 40 odd years surely they’d be on first name terms by now?Prog 2015
now and we get a 50% boost to three letters albeit on the same half page as before.
We start, again, with a lady in the shape of Claire Etty of Witney
. This is Claire’s first offering and she’s the first ‘Claire’ since Claire Parry who memorably featured in Prog 871 in 1994. We will stay off our usual joshing path as Claire sounds a bit stern despite starting out by saying that she got “pleasure from Tharg’s mighty organ”. Claire questions why all the ladies of 2000ad are lovely. That’s not true - Angelina Di Griz was ugly. Well until she got her face fixed and big knockers installed. Tharg accepts the criticism so no doubt the ‘fantasy’ element of the comic will be scaled back. And not before time!Simon Gardener
next and although another new man he trods down the familiar path of ‘thrill buffers’ and absorbing lots of comics at once. At least he laments the lack of input pages (and no doubt entries to this thread) so we’ll give him a pass. He claims the 163rd Simon entry on the Beast with long time leader Simon Spurrier still far ahead of the rest of the field. Of Simons.Paul Walker
who clearly survived ‘Furious 7’ unlike much of its audience gets the Letter of the Week slot with a letter about a letter, which always makes The Beast purr. Sadly it’s a dull slice of life as he tries to explain how he reads his Prog - on the bog like everyone else we bet! Paul is a likely first time writer unless he lays claim to the Paul Walker letter in Prog 806 - that one was from Wakefield.
We close out this bumper edition with Megazine 381
which allows three letters, again over a half a page. That Future Shock exhibition better be good - it’s cost us about 10 letters!
We start with Tom O’Leary of London
, yet another first timer. Only two ‘O’Leary’s have bothered the Beast - both many moons ago - Steven in Prog 542 and Kevin in Prog 576. Tom dredges up the ‘Legion of the Damned’ swearing debate - something that Stephen of Watson of Paisley
covered months ago! I won’t go into detail about his letter as it’s a forum ban tightrope. Needless to say Tom wouldn’t mind buying his coffee off Gambit actor Gareth Hunt.
Next is Graham Colebeck of Bournemouth
who also likes swearing. He’s got DVDs to prove it too! He likes the floppies and wants Dante from the start - that’s the next 20 odd years sorted then! Bournemouth boats 31 letters with several scribes on two - last to bag a brace was Ian Uttly who made his pair in Prog 1873 in 2014.
Hoo-ray nearly done, and finally someone with a letters pedigree. OK Mike Morgan of USA
only has 15 but that’s more than everyone else mentioned in this edition - doubled! Mike had 2016 off and was last seen in meg 364. Mike has ideas for a Dredd sequel but unless he has $100m too, that’s as far as they’ll get. He is positive and likes the floppies so no Viagra expenditure required.
All in all a faltering start to 2017 but we’re ticking over ( a pacemaker will do that for you!) and hopeful for a bumper year ahead.