"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
2000AD Prog #1791 came out last week, and it’s a big one. As well as having the last-ever installment of the 15-year saga of “Nicolai Dante,” and containing the first Judge Dredd strip since the post-movie premiere buzz took off in earnest, it also features the finale of “1947” by writer Kek-W and artist Mike Dowling. Kek has originated many classic thrills (to use the official Tharg-sanctioned vernacular) for 2000AD, including “Kid Cyborg,” “Rose O’Rion” (my personal favorite), “Second City Blues” and, most recently (and to great critical acclaim), “Angel Zero,” with John M Burns. I spoke to Kek about the three-part thriller, which has reimagined Britain’s post-World War II years in a way that evokes, and invokes, plenty of iconic U.K. science fiction. The first part of the strip ended on a shocking reveal: In this the year of his centennial, the leader of the resistance to an invading race of fascistic aliens was real-life computer pioneer Alan Turing.
Robot 6: So, using Alan Turing as an action hero seems almost ironic bearing in mind the turns for the tragic his life took after World War II.
Kek-W: Well, Turing was treated appallingly by the authorities in the 1950s over his sexuality. It’s quite awful what they did to him, especially when you consider that his work in analytical cryptography may well have changed the course of WWII. He’s now, quite rightly, acknowledged as one of the pioneers of modern computer science; he coined the expression “Artificial Intelligence”, as well as devising a possible (self-named) test to recognize it. So, along with Philip K. Dick, he could arguably be considered to be one of the godfathers of cyberpunk — his work has had as big an impact on SF writing as it has on mathematics and computer technology. Towards the end of his life, he started looking at biological mathematics – really exotic stuff. There’s no guessing where he would have ended up if he hadn’t committed suicide.
The other day, Graeme McMillan asked why there are no news comics about the riots in the UK—he thinks that the immediacy of comics is exactly what is needed to fully convey a situation like this.
David Ziggy Greene’s comic What the F*** Just Happened? is a report from the scene, not a dispatch from the thick of the riots but a stroll through the aftermath. The comic includes a piercing insight into what the riots were all about, at least in one one shop in one neighborhood. On the other hand, Tom Humberstone accompanies his image of Londoners rebuilding with a blog post that argues that there are no simple answers to why the riots happened. Sally Jane Thompson also posts an illustration inspired by the riots, this one much more abstract in its concept than the other two.
Martin Rowson responds with an editorial cartoon.
(First two links via The Forbidden Planet blog.)