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The Ballad of Halo Jones
April 19, 2011 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Alan Moore and Ian Gibson's epic story The Ballad of Halo Jones concluded 25 years ago today (bar the odd strange one page appearance hinting at why it did not return). Despite being unpopular with readers at first due to it's female protagonist and relative lack of action it is now rightly regarded as one of 2000ads classic stories. However despite Quality Comics reprinting a color monthly version (which was anything but quality) it has remained a rarity in the US, until now. But how would the other 6 chapters of the planned 9 part chapter have gone? Moore revealed how it would have ended in a recent interview.
posted by Artw (20 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ooh, this is an intriuging FFP, I loved HJ from the start, but especially the flashback from an academic class centuries after her death. Though I could have done without the flashback to my youth a week before my 40th.
posted by biffa at 2:49 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


However despite Quality Comics reprinting a color monthly version (which was anything but quality) it has remained a rarity in the US, until now.

I don't wanna do a "well, actually" here, but well, actually, the real story here is that Alan Moore's Future Shocks will apparently be available in a US edition later this year. Halo Jones and really all of Moore's other 2000 AD stuff has been pretty readily attainable in the States since the '80s, though this new edition looks pretty.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:03 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm Hanging Out With Halo Jones
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:05 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've got what's billed as The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones. I love it. The dog! The extra gravity world!
I need to reread it today actually.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:28 PM on April 19, 2011


Hmm. Looks like it's actually been considerably more available in the states than I thought, if not as well known as it should be. Still - anniversary! Secrets of the ending revealed! Tharg's Head Revisited!
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on April 19, 2011


Stuff like this makes me really miss that classic 2000AD universe. It was just so odd, cynical, and satirical. It was such a breath of fresh air compared to the utopian sci-fi that was popular in the 80s and 90s. Is that world still alive in the current 2000AD stuff?
posted by damn dirty ape at 3:49 PM on April 19, 2011


I love that series, having picked up the color reprints when they were released. I also have the book LiB refers to, and the black & white art is much better.

I loved the series and had no problem with the female protagonist. I wonder if the series', ah, selective appeal might have had more to do with the fact that Moore steadfastly refused to make her a conventional heroine and/or give her a conventional happy ending.
posted by Gelatin at 4:13 PM on April 19, 2011


due to it's female protagonist and relative lack of action

...or maybe just because it wasn't very interesting. Besides Neonomicon, I can't readily think of any Moore I have less interest in rereading.

/me goes off to reread Violator vs. Badrock
posted by Zed at 4:14 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as I'm concerned, Halo Jones and Rock & Rule are the two best visions of the future from the '80s. Anyone who thinks otherwise is getting crumped.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:19 PM on April 19, 2011


Good post. The Halo Jones illustrations make me want to go back to my stash of Miracleman comics, which will in turn make me want to find the Halo Jones comics.
posted by jabberjaw at 4:44 PM on April 19, 2011


Glad of the interview with the ending in. Cheers! "Where did she go? Out. What did she do? Everything."
posted by howfar at 4:47 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love that series, having picked up the color reprints when they were released. I also have the book LiB refers to, and the black & white art is much better.

You're possibly talking about the Quality Comics/Fleetway Quality colour reprints. Every single QC reprint, no matter what title you're talking about, is monstrously bad. And I have just about all of them because they were in a longbox that cost me fifty bucks, which is the second time I've had a lot of them because I collected them as a kid. But yeah, the black and white collection of Ballad is just lovely.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:49 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stuff like this makes me really miss that classic 2000AD universe. It was just so odd, cynical, and satirical. It was such a breath of fresh air compared to the utopian sci-fi that was popular in the 80s and 90s. Is that world still alive in the current 2000AD stuff?

For the cream of modern 2000ad you want to check out Zombo - I've said it before and I'll say it again, Al Ewing is the new Alan Moore.

(It's the beard that does it)
posted by Artw at 5:47 PM on April 19, 2011


Quit telling me things are celebrating their 25th anniversary that I remember as an adult.
posted by bongo_x at 8:12 PM on April 19, 2011


Awesome. I read through all my brother's old 2000ADs as a kid, and sort of took to Halo Jones as a kind of inspiration...maybe that's why I took off across the country as soon as I graduated from highschool, hrmm. Anyway, I ordered the Complete Halo Jones on the web a few years ago, and it was great to revisit it...Love the part when she's in the army on the high gravity world - so dark.
posted by stray at 11:08 PM on April 19, 2011


If you look back at a lot of early 2000AD whilst it's awesome and zarjaz and filled with thrill-power, well, whisper it quite, it's not that sophisticated and hasn't aged all that well... but Moore's stuff operated on so many levels it still holds up. Since this thread appeared I've been having to resist pulling down Halo (and Skizz and D.R. & Quinch) for a re-read - I've got stuff to do!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:07 AM on April 20, 2011


I was a huge fan of Alan Moore before I even knew it. Back in those days, as a pre-teen, it was the artists who mattered to me, the writers were just anonymous facilitators. How little I knew.

Several years later, I revisited my absolute favourite 2000AD stories, and to my surprise every single one had been written by Moore. Notably a series of shorts called Future Shocks!!

It was incredible how the story stuck out in a mag like 2000AD, but I think it opened the way for far more interesting material (Hewligan's Haircut anybody?) that kept me buying it for over a decade.
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 2:55 AM on April 20, 2011


Crazy mixed up juves...
posted by Artw at 8:59 AM on April 20, 2011


Zed: /me goes off to reread Violator vs. Badrock

I laughed at the sudden memory of that comic ... and then I cried.
posted by Amanojaku at 9:09 AM on April 20, 2011


There's a recording of a great 2000ad panel at Kapow here, with some of the great names of the past and presents, which gives a real feel for the comic and the love a lot of the people involved in it have for it.
posted by Artw at 5:52 PM on April 22, 2011


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