#414 Slaine the Horned God: Kiss his Axe!

SlaineBig sweaty muscles, huge breasts, decapitations, and general dark ages carnage. Sounds like another everyday barbarian comic. That is, until you find out about the feminism, Celtic folklore, unreliable narration, matriarchy, humor, and unpredictable art. Kumar and Dana hew and cleave their mighty battle axes through Pat Mills and Simon Bisley’s 2000 AD classic Slaine The Horned God.

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Resident of Japan since 1989, creator of "The Crazing Spider-Hag"

2 thoughts on “#414 Slaine the Horned God: Kiss his Axe!”

  1. Been Listening to you guys occasionally for years. Sorry if i dont comment on more episodes (or like ever), but i dont like to listen to episodes that talk about a comic i have not read. It would be different if this was a video podcast. I dont need to see you, all i would want, would be some kinda slideshow showing examples of what you were talking about. Also im really bad at writing stuff 🙁

    im not certain but i remember reading that this was Bisley’s first painted comic he had done, so naturally he goes through a lot of changes. Also you should remember that 2000AD being a weekly comic, the style changes were not quite as jarring as looking at the collected volume.

    Sláine wasn’t the first painted comic to appear in 2000AD. Also about the color pages. 2000AD started as a B&W book, but as time went they started having some color pages. At first only the middle two page spread of the book would be colored, and as years went by, more and more pages would be colored. By the time Simon Bisley did Sláine, there were whopping 6 colored pages per issue! 😛

    Pat Mills is also a great writer, love his work in Marshal Law, Charley’s War, Nemesis The Warlock, Requiem the Vampire Knight.. well hes written lots of great comics.

    Back to Bisley, i too got the impression that he was all like “fuck it!” and just put the minimum amount of effort into his work. I guess that would have been maybe in the late 90’s and early 00’s. But he has been doing some tight art the last few years (Hellblazer, and The Tower Chronicles are just two series i have seen). Thought i gotta admit that i dont like his current style. I think he is trying to be more realistic, but to my eye his current colors are just muted, the characters are stiff and ugly. My favorite Bisley period is the mid nineties. Probably because my first Bisley comic i read was Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special, witch came out in 1995 here in Finland (i was 13) and soon afterwards i discovered his painted comics. Those were good times 😀

    You also mentioned you liked Richard Corben’s Den comics. Well i would recommend checking out Denz from the Penthouse Comics magazine. It was a fun Den porn parody. Another Corben comic worth checking out is Shadows In The Mist (from Frank Frazetta Fantasy Illustrated magazine). Both of those comics are done with airbrush and look almost as if they were made with 3D software. I guess Corben abandoned the style for being too labor intensive, cause i haven’t seen him do anything in that style since 🙁

    Oh yeah. While i said that i think Bisley started to put less effort in his work around the turn of the century. As a wannabe artist, i found it helpful to look at his less polished work. Like for example the Fistful Of Blood comic he did for Heavy Metal magazine. It was mostly just pencil art with shadows and black objects painted in with black ink. For a wannabe artist the occasionally still visible construction lines were really helpful. Also it looked like he had done much of the shading by just smearing the pencil lines with his fingers. Thought one think i dont like about Bisley’s art, is the giant silicone boobs. Corben did the big boobs better, way more natural looking. Even if they were gigantic. But Corben’s women have narrow hips, they almost look like men (minus the dicks) with giant watermelon boobs 🙁

    Hmmm.. I forget what else i wanted to say.

  2. Wow, mursku, thanks for the passionate comments!

    I think this may have been one of Bisley’s first works in comics, period. (According to Batman Black & White anyway, which I just read last week).

    Thanks too for the clarification about color pages in 2000 AD, I knew it was something like that.

    Yeah, the 2 Lobo series and the special were peak Bisley, I think (plus the Batman / Dredd crossover). After that, it started getting “rough” in kind of the wrong way. I’ll have a look for Tower Chronicles.

    As for Corben, I’ve been trying to get Denz for a long time now, but those Penthouse Comics are hard to track down! The 1st issue of Ragemoor was kind of close to Corben’s classic style — you should try to find it. We *may* be doing an episode on his Poe adaptations in the near future.


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