FS 11 – NO FOUL BALL

9 Aug

PROG:36 – PLAY POOL!

Script: Kevin Gosnell

Art: Kevin O’Neil

Letters: Peter Knight

Plot: While mining for minerals on the surface of the moon it becomes clear that the entire moon is one large grey steel sphere. Pondering this an astronaut considers that the ‘answer’ to why it is so is ‘out there’ in the stars

Shock: The astronaut is right – for across the galaxy a giant alien is lining up a 50 groat bet to pot the ‘grey ball’ planet to the ‘top corner’. The moon is part of a giant game of pool!

Thoughts: Kevin Gosnell, Starlord’s editor and editorial droid at 2000Ad from progs 17-85, was to turn out to be a bit of a master at writing Future Shocks and this initial effort, while relying on a deus-ex ‘shock’ in the final panel, is certainly a nice idea and despatched in a page and a half. Planets as pool balls is hardly a revolutionary concept, although again date wise 2000AD beats Douglas Adams to the gag. Given two of his Hitch-hikers routines have now been published in 2000AD during the time he would have been formulating and writing the initial radio scripts for Hitch-hikers it is interesting to note the overlap. The Future Shock will be of primary interest as another early art outing for Kev O’Neil and some of his trade-mark touches are in evidence – notably the space vehicles are precursors to the style on Ro-Busters and Nemesis. The most enjoyable aspect of the strip are the panel breakdowns which are all over the place but accommodating of the narrative flow of the story – making the main page a very accomplished piece of eye-candy.

Shock’d? After a series of Future Shocks that try to tie the shock into the story Play Pool! is a return to the less satisfying format of a completely left-field event happening in the final panel. As the strip is no-more than an extended one panel gag it can be forgiven that any shock is simply due to the punchline being so abruptly inserted.

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