Party Like It’s No. 199

Unnamed clone from Tyranny Rex‘s debut in prog 566 (1988) written by John Smith and drawn by Steve Dillon (1962–2016) v Prince [born Prince Rogers Nelson, aka. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, aka. Ƭ̵̬̊] (1958–2016), American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer and filmmaker

“Everything’s purple…”

Also referenced by nameless closes in the Tyranny Rex story are at least two Elvis Presleys (1935–1977) – one of which croons Are You Lonesome Tonight? [written by Lou Handman (1894–1956) and Roy Turk (1892 –1934)] (RCA Records, 1960) – fused with a Michael Jackson (1958–2009) singing Beat It (Epic Records, 1982), Paul Rutherford, lead vocalist of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, singing The Power of Love (ZTT Records, 1984), Grace Jones singing Demolition Man [written by Sting (Gordon Sumner CBE*)] (Island Records, 1981), Bono [Paul Hewson, KBE OL**] of U2 singing With or Without You (Island Records, 1987), and sisters Melanie (1966–1990) and Kim Appleby of Mel and Kim singing Respectable [written by Stock/Aitken/Waterman†] (Supreme Records UK/Atlantic Records, 1987).

*British chivalric order: Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
**British chivalric order: Knight of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire; and Ordem da Liberdade [Order of Liberty] – Portuguese honourific civil order distinguishing services to the cause of democracy and freedom, in the defense of the values of civilisation and human dignity
†English songwriting and record producing trio Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman OBE, wrote and produced more than 100 UK top 40 hits from the mid-80s–early 90s, and are considered to be one of the most successful songwriting and producing partnerships of all time

No. 197 – The Tell-Tale Heart

“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the planks! – here, here! – it is the beating of his hideous heart!” – Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

The Beating Heart (progs 511512 (1987)) Judge Dredd story written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and drawn by Steve Dillon (1962–2016) v Edgar Allan Poe’s (1809–1849) short story The Tell-Tale Heart (The Pioneer, 1843), here illustrated[1] by Berni Wrightson (1948–2017) from The Edgar Allan Poe Portfolio (self-published limited edition, 1976)

As well as playing a crucial role in the development of Romanticism in the United States with his tales of mystery, troubled author and poet Poe is also considered to be the inventor of detective fiction[2], specifically with his short stories The Murders in the Rue Morgue (Graham’s Magazine, 1841), The Mystery of Marie Rogêt (Snowden’s Ladies’ Companion, 1842) and The Purloined Letter (The Gift for 1845, 1844)[3], concerning the adventures of the extremely Sherlockian Parisian detective C. Auguste Dupin, as he relates them to his friend, the unnamed narrator of the stories. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle KStJ DL[4] (1859–1930) owed no small debt of gratitude.


  1. Experimenting with an impasto technique: painting with thick, broad strokes, using dark colours – primarily blacks and browns – and, when finished, varnished with a high gloss, making photographic reproduction extremely difficult, sorry
  2. Along with, perhaps, Wilkie Collins (1824–1889), author of The Moonstone (Tinsley Brothers, 1868), considered the first modern English detective novel
  3. The Gold Bug (Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper, 1843) also deserves a mention on the subject of Poe’s detective fiction, although it is not a C. August Dupin adventure
  4. Kinght of Justice of Order of Saint John; Deputy Lieutenant [to the Crown]

No. 196 – What’s Up, Woody Allen?

Woody Allen photo courtesy Woody Allen

Steve Dillon’s (1962–2016) Tyranny Rex* cover for the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1988 v American director, writer, actor, comedian, and musician Woody Allen**

What’s up, Tiger Lily?

Heywood Allen [born Allan Stewart Konigsberg] began his career in the 1950s as a comedy writer, subsequently moving to stand-up comedy† where he cultivated the insecure, intellectual, fretful persona which he maintains is quite different from his real-life personality. Allen graduated to filmmaking in the 1960s; the best-known of his over 50 films being Annie Hall (United Artists, 1977), Manhattan (United Artists, 1979), Hannah and Her Sisters (Orion Pictures, 1986), and Crimes and Misdemeanors (Orion Pictures, 1989), and comedy cult classics What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (American International Pictures, 1966), Bananas (United Artists, 1971), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (United Artists, 1972) and Sleeper (United Artists, 1973); although Allen personally rates Stardust Memories (United Artists, 1980), The Purple Rose of Cairo (Orion Pictures, 1985), and Match Point (Icon Productions, 2005) as his best works.

*Written by series’ creator John Smith
**The character in the story is an unnamed projection of Tyranny’s consciousness, rendering it an homage rather than a direct reference – hey, our blog, our rules
†Ranked fourth by Comedy Central on a 2004 list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians, and third in a U.K. survey of [all-round] comedians (The Guardian, January 2, 2005) [after Peter Cook (1937–1995) and John Cleese]

No. 166 – The Meknificent Seven

Magnificent Seven British quad format poster ©United Artists

The A.B.C. Warriors [composed of Deadlock (top panel, top), and (top panel, left to right) Blackblood, Mongrol, Tubal Caine, Hammerstein, Joe Pineapples and Steelhorn], here depicted by Clint Langley from the story Fallout in prog 2061 (2017) v The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Designed to withstand atomic, bacterial and chemical warfare, the A.B.C. Warriors were built to take part in the Volgan War, which writer Pat Mills had described in several previous 2000 AD strips, including Invasion! and Ro-Busters.

Although at given points not limited to seven members, the primary characters include Mark III war droid leader Hammerstein, Khaos mystic Deadlock, marksman and former X-Terminator Joe Pineapples, the treacherous former Volgan war droid [General] Blackblood, the beast-like Mongrol, Happy Shrapnel (later known as Tubal Caine*) and Steelhorn/The Mess, an elite war droid reduced to a sentient, amoeboidal blob (later reconstituted).

The Magnificent Seven is based on Akira Kurosawa’s (1910–1998) classic Seven Samurai [七人の侍] (Toho, 1954), starring Takashi Shimura (1905–1982) and celebrated Japanese actor Toshirô Mifune (1920–1997).

*Referring to Tubal-cain [תּוּבַל קַיִן], a descendant of Cain mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, “forger of all instruments of bronze and iron” (Genesis 4:22)


No. 119 – Strawberry Fields Forever

Prog 540’s Zenith cover by Steve Dillon (1962–2016), featuring Peter St. John (aka Mandala), written by Grant Morrison MBE* vs. John Winston Ono Lennon MBE (1940–1980), pictured here in the psychedelic piece Strawberry Fields (artist unknown)

Strawberry Fields Forever is a song by the English rock band The Beatles, written by Lennon and Paul McCartney CH**, MBE; it was inspired by Lennon’s memories of playing in the garden of Strawberry Field, a Salvation Army children’s home near where he grew up in Liverpool.

Then again, it could just as easily be George Harrison MBE (1943–2001) (artist unknown)

*British chivalric order: Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
**British Commonwealth order: Order of the Companions of Honour