Thursday, February 25, 2016

No. 61 Cat Sullivan

First Prog: 1371
Latest Prog: 1968
Total appearances: 167 and counting
-and, somewhat unfairly, I’m only allotting 1 for each strip, even though in other cases I tend to allot separate counts for writing and drawing. On the other hand, he doesn’t have to fill up as many pages as most creators do. But on the third hand, coming up with a satisfying strip cartoon isn’t really easier than filling up 4-6 pages telling part of a longer adventure story. You do the bleedin’ maths, alright?!

Creator Credits:
Droid Life

This book is small but perfectly formed

Notable character creations:
Crumbs, his best mate
The crazy ex-army tea-trolley droid

Notable characteristics:
Well now, since Mr Sullivan has only ever worked on the one strip, which has a particular remit for both story and art, it seems unfair to parse out any general characteristics. But by golly does he like a good pun. Not to mention neat observations about the drudgery of office work.

On Cat:
Not the first person to attempt to inject short gag-based strips to 2000AD*, but certainly the best, and without question the most long-lasting. It seemed so radical when Droid Life first appeared in the Prog, but has become a welcome and reliable hit of mirth, alongside the ‘damage control’ text buried in the legal bit at the bottom.

I can;t believe anyone reading this doesn't know, but for posterity's sake, I'll explain the premise. 2000AD is edited by Tharg the Mighty. He fills his Nerve Centre (actually a spaceship in disguise)with droids, who write and draw and letter the stories. It's not clear where the droids come from, but Tharg himself sometimes boosts their programming, like this:

Art by Carlos Ezquerra; words by, probably, Alan Grant and Steve MacManus
And provides incentives to work hard, like this:
Mek-Quake's look created by Kevin O'Neill; this cover drawn by Graham Cotton

Somewhere in the sub-sub-basement, more menial jobs are done, related to getting the Prog ready. This is where Droid Life takes its focus. Sometimes (very, very rarely), the story sort of involves the droids working on the weekly Prog. Usually, it's an ongoing sitcom about robots. And, as with all good sitcoms, lots of those robots should be doing a completely different job, and therein lies much of the comedy. A vein of comedy 2000AD has mined well before, often from the pens of John Wagner and Ian Gibson:

The name 'Cross Circuits' is presumably a reference to then-popular UK TV soap,
'Cross Roads'. By Wagner & Gibson.

My memory of reading at the time was that this was a neat experiment, but one that would run a natural course – chiefly, a sequential run of episodes very early on (Progs 1379-1381). The original joke of the series is that Tharg uses Droid P14 to mark page numbers (well, just one page number) on the Prog. And then uses another Droid, P14’s mate Crumbs, to erase the number, so the Prog appears pristine at the end.

It’s funny because this sort of 'job-to-bo-purpose' thing happens in real life, and not least where robots and programming are involved. And it works for the series because everyone loves a loser. Anyway, after discovering this nonsense for the first time, P14 and us readers were overjoyed when Tharg deigned to allow P14 a single shot of glory as that particular page number genuinely was printed into the Prog. Once. And I thought it’d all end there. But no! Gloriously, the strip has continued, roughly once every month, and has yet to outstay its welcome.

Early strips tended to focus on the inherent comedy that 2000AD has used so well of robots doing pointless human jobs. Especially on the absurdity of robots not often being fit for purpose. (the powder-keg nuclear war robot tea-trolley being a favourite) And there was a little bit of showing what it must be like to be a minion in the House of Tharg. I can't fathom it, but Sullivan never seemed to run out of jokes. Strip cartooning has got to be one of the hardest arenas in the world of comics; my hat could not be further off to him.

More recently (or has it actually been for the last 10 years??), P14 has delighted pun-loving readers with his endless quest to pitch stories to Tharg that invariably involve some sort of word play around a classic 2000AD series or catchphrase.**

There’s really not much left for me to do but slot in a handful of (poorly scanned) samples. 

One good pun deserves another

This is, without question, the all-time hands down best bit of 2000AD wordplay ever.

It's not all puns. There's some actual critical analysis, too.

Not too many, mind, because instead of reading entire strips for free on a blog what you should do is click your mouse/touchscreen/interface of choice and buy the collection!

And then tell Robokeef that you want another one! For my money, the strip has never dipped in quality, and many of the more recent ones (especially the longer strips we get in the year-end Progs) are better than ever.

And finally, you can be jealous of us lucky subscribers who got their hands on the full-size version of this beauty:
OK, this was meant to be a photo of my copy, but alarmingly I can't find it!

One thing I don’t know – why does Cat Sullivan sign off all his cartoons as ‘R.H.’? Anyone know?

More on Cat Sullivan:
An appreciation of the strip from Nothing but Comics

-and that’s about it. I was hoping to find some sort of link about his work for Viz comic, but other than the title of the strip ‘Merry Xmas, Jesus!’ I got nothin’.

Personal favourites:
Droid Life

*Similar ventures include Kevin O’Neill’s Bonjo from Beyond the Stars - really not good; Walter the Wobot - generally not great; Captain Klep - totally terrible; Dash Decent – a guilty pleasure of mine, but it's very specifically a parody of the Flash Gordon film from that era (I think) and has dated oddly.
Sooner or Later – utterly bonkers, and not really a strip cartoon, more a story that happened to unfold in that format, sort of; Mick Austin's Things to come – always delightful; Shaky 2000's Beyond Belief – mostly inspired, and very of its time. More on some of these at the appropriate time. And I’ve probably missed a few.

**In fact, if you’re reading this Mr Sullivan, I reckon you could get a few strips-worth of laughs out of putting the Droids onto a popular TV game show (a la Catchphrase) attempting a 2000AD-themed quiz of some sort. Maybe with Molch-R written in as the host?

Friday, February 12, 2016

No. 60 Patrick Goddard

First Prog: 1220
Latest Prog: 1959 (with more Savage on the way soon!)

First Meg: 3.71 (aka 176)
Latest Meg: 341

Total appearances: 165 and counting
Dredd on bike - always a classic test
for an art droid.
Words by John Wagner

Art credits:
Mean Machine
Young Middenface
Judge Dredd
Grey Area
Sinister Dexter
Cadet Anderson
-but, curiously, not a single Future Shock or similar one-off.

Notable character creations:
He must have had a hand in designing the look of Wardog, although one suspects the basic character came first?
I don’t know my Savage well enough to be sure, but he probably designed the human face of Howard Quartz

H. Quartz by way of R. Branson
Satirical intent by P. Mills

Notable characteristics:
No nonsense action; deadpan humour; clear storytelling; crisp pencils; bodies in motion, especially as they fly through the air mid leap. Combining a real-world feel with future-tech fancy.

Johnny Woo takes a leaf out of film director John Woo's book by diving sideways and firing two guns at the same time.
Goddard has proved a master of the sideways gun dive.
Words by Gordon Rennie

On Patrick:
For a number of years, Goddard appeared as part of a double act with fellow Welsh artist Dylan Teague, who inked Goddard’s pencils. As I understand it, this was pure editorial suggestion, not that the pair were friends or co-workers as such. Anyway, safe to say that they fit well together, and Goddard/Teague art is notably lush and well-defined.

Graceful, flowing, ass-kicking action how you like it.
Inks by Dylan Teague; Words by Dan Abnett
Goddard has long since become his own inker, and jolly good at it, too. Although he has yet to set up a new series (Wardog aside, sort of*), he has become a regular fixture in the Prog since the early Rebellion days, most visibly as the man behind Savage. But he’s been a dependable go-to droid for Tharg, taking turns on recurring strips from Dredd to Middenface to Sinister Dexter, and growing in confidence with each new challenge.

His early stuff, even the generally derided Wardog, is laced with a sense of fun throughout. It’s not always easy to parse how much it’s the artist, how much the writer, and how much the nature of 2000AD itself – but early Goddard work often reads as both deadly serious and tongue-in-cheek at the same time. Classic 2000AD, in other words.

The story is something to do with humans fighting machines.
It doesn't entirely hold together but scene by scene it's pretty fun.
Words by Dan Abnett

 I mean, Abnett and Goddard must have been having a bit of laugh with the super Sci-Fi cliché-fest that is Wardog, right? But it does also work as a straight down the line DTV action film, in the vein of Circuitry Man II: Plughead Rewired.**

Young Middenface was much more deliberately a mixture of schoolboy hijinks and serious social commentary. You couldn’t really pick a more different artist than Goddard to follow up from work by John Ridgway, but he certainly nailed the same tone of genuine anger at prejudice alongside sniggering at a mutant with a penis for a nose. Very ably helped by Dylan Teague’s fluid inks, it must be said.

This scene could almost come straight out of the Dandy.
(apart form the penis-nose. Unless it was a Leo Baxendale strip)
Words by Alan Grant

This follow up is pure 2000AD, though.
Words by Alan Grant. And he means, them, too!

Getting picked to replace Charlie Adlard on Savage was surely a big deal for Goddard. He’s the only artist to work on it since then, and at this point it’s hard ot imagine someone else stepping in. Again, he’s a very different artist, but this time he really made the strip his own, pretty much right from the start. Goddard (now sans Teague) draws a properly mean-looking Savage. I don’t know how he does it, but with a simple crew-cut he’s been able to make his lead character always recognisable, no overt cartooning or hair curls necessary.

Goddard announces his intent to keep Savage to his roots.
Words by Pat Mills (and a special tip of the hat to his cocney-ization of 'Do svidanya')

Then there’s the tone. You’ve still got the OTT undercurrent of a stereotypical east Londoner offing Nazi/Commie*** stand-ins with a shotgun (and any other weapons that come to hand). But you’ve also got the genuinely serious politicking from Mills that Goddard conveys convincingly. His streets and houses and bombed-out estates feel lived-in. He makes it easy to put yourself in the mindset of living in a country that has been invaded, a place where there are collaborators and resistance fighters, and where everyone has to compromise their morals in some way.

A poignant flashback scene, calling to mind the likes of Carlos Pino, perhaps?
Context by Pat Mills

In more recent books, the Howard Quartz / Hammerstein robot subplot has pushed the street-level social commentary to one side, in favour of more Sci-Fi concepts like embracing AI and robot technology on the one hand (and I’m into this), as well as some rather heavy-handed ‘ooh, corporations and the bottom line are what really makes the world go round’ finger pointing.

This is a cover for Savage: angry man firing his shootah
This is not a cover for Ro-Busters or indeed ABC Warriors

Goddard carries on regardless, and his Blackblood-inspired robo-terrorist design is magnificent.

Storytelling, character design, tone and action all in one neat three-panel package.
Words by Pat Mills

2000AD remains, at heart, a hard Science Fiction comic. Although Goddard has proven his chops at the softer SF that is Savage, I suspect his heart lies more with the hard stuff. Witness his sterling work on Grey Area, with its mix of aliens and high-tech hardware. 

Now that's what I call an exo-skeleton
Words by Dan Abnett

Channelling the monster design and the suspenseful tone of Aliens. Immaculate posing.
Words by Dan Abnett

Not to mention his Dredds (and that one Chopper series). Goddard hasn’t been lucky enough to work on a true classic Dredd tale, but he’s got a real eye for Mega City 1, that mixes the police procedural concept with the need to throw in future-y stuff.

Alongside the kinetic action, Goddard does not shy away from realising assorted madcap citizenry.
Inks by Dylan Teague; Words by John Wagner

Procedural horror.
Pencils and inks by Goddard; Words by John Wagner
Talking of procedurals and future cities, Goddard is a rare artist whose had a go at Sinister Dexter both in the fairly early days, when it was all Downlode all the time, 

A page from Goddard's first publihsed work in the Prog
Inks by Lee Townsend; Words by Dan Abnett

And in the most recent outing to Generica (for some reason an entirely different planet; I'm not clear why it couldn't be the future America on the same Earth as future Downlode). I've deliberatley chosen to contrast two pretty similar scenes of Sinister adn Dexter chatting outside a car to show both how acconplished Goddard was right from the start, but also how much mroe confident he's become recently (it seems to me).

One of Goddard's most recent published pages. It's just delightfully easy to read,
not a million miles from European thriller comics like XIII.
Words by Dan Abnett

 And let's not forget just how diverse a range of strips Goddard has worked on. Aquila, set in ancient Rome and largely based around black magic and demons, couldn't be less like hard SF. Yet Goddard proved a perfect fit. Just as he did with contemporary war comic Savage, boy's own adventure Young Middenface, High-tech soap opera Grey Area and on and on.

Getting Roman soldiers right is an endless challenge, even in a fictional setting.
I always admire an artist who can construct a convincing crowd scene, too.
Words by Gordon Rennie

 Now that I'm thinking about it, there is one through-line to a lot of Goddard's work. He seems to have to draw a lot of scenes of hard men (and women) gearing up for some sort of conflict, but mostly talking to each other. The sort of scenes that fill most of the running time of action films between short set-pieces of explosive violence. (which he delivers every bit as well as you'd expect from any 2000AD stalwart). And you know, he really does a good job of keeping the  talking scenes dramatic. He gives good gruff, dependable deadpan, suitable snarls.

Keep on keeping on, Patrick Goddard! Stay savage.

More on Patrick Goddard:
He co-hosts on episode 11 of 'Everything Starts with 2000AD'  (a sadly-missed podcast!)
An interview on Judgment in Cardiff
An older print Q&A with Everything Comes Back to 2000AD


Personal favourites:
Aquila: Where all Roads Lead
Chopper: The Big Meg
Grey Area -technically five different stories, but basically one arc
Judge Dredd: The Edgar Case; Hong Tong, Invitation to a Hanging
Mean Machine: Butt me Deadly
Middenface McNulty: A Parcel of Rogues; Brigadoom
Savage: the art has been stellar all the way, but I especially liked Grinders
Sinsiter Dexter: Generican Dream: the Taking of the Michael
And he's done himself proud with an especially long piece of art - the spine image that will one day stretach across all 82 volumes of the Judge Dredd Mega Collection!

*Wardog was I think conceived as a computer game for Rebellion to develop, but tested out in the Megazine. How much of the design/story/charecterisation existed before Abnett, Goddard and Teague got involved, I have no idea.

**Sadly not nearly as much fun as the box art or title would suggest. But, like Wardog, it’s not terrible, either.

***The Volgans may have originally been intended as Soviet invaders, but the way they’re portrayed lately is surely more like the Nazi occupiers in WW2 France, wouldn’t you say? Not that they are given any ideology as such – they’re just running the country, and we the readers are supposed to hate them.

Always end on a joke.
Words by Dan Abnett

Friday, February 5, 2016

No. 59 Arthur Ranson

First Prog: 635
Final Prog: 1429 (strip work); 1542 (cover)

First Meg: 2.10
Final Meg: 241

Total appearances: 166

Creator Credits:
Button Man; Mazeworld

One of the most memorable covers in the Prog's history, no?

Other art credits:
Anderson, Psi Division
Judge Dredd
A couple of Future Shocks

Ranson is generally thought of as a 'serious' artist (whatever that means).
But he sure can play up the slapstick (or should I say splatstick?)
Scenario by Alan Grant

Notable character creations:
Harry Exton
Adam Cadman
Juliet November
Psi Judge Shakta
Satan (not the actual fallen angel…)

Notable characteristics:
Photo-realistic faces. Lines everywhere. Hyper-exaggerated facial expressions, coupled with hyper-subtle expressions. Nihilism. Boundless imagination. Drawing attention to the design and layout of a page, especially through panel shapes. Drawing outrageously weird things in such as way that it looks is if they’re from a photograph, even though they couoldn’t possibly be... Teasing out themes, emotions and human psychology through art. Matter-of-fact cruelty.

The spider in its web is a visual metaphor. I wish more comics artists would do this sort of thing.
Words by John Wagner

On Arthur:
Arthur Ranson exploded into 2000AD with this nifty little sequence that sets off a mystery for Psi Judge Cassandra Anderson.*

Never pick up Hitch-Hikers in Mega City 1.
Words by Alan Grant

That’s a hell of a way to grab the readers’ attention! I’d not seen the man’s work before, but he was, at this point (1989) something of a UK comics veteran, most known I gather for drawing TV tie-in comics that drew heavily on his ability to draw photo-realistic looking characters.

From the little I’ve seen of his early work, Ranson’s basic style didn’t change all that much on his time with 2000AD. But then, it didn’t need to. He’s another artist in the vein of Brian Bolland whose work can be intimidatingly good, utterly uncopiable. (That said, plenty of artists have followed the Bolland style, not sure I can think of one who’s at all like Arthur Ranson.** )

I’m going to go ahead and assume that Ranson did indeed use photo references for much of his work – presumably, like plenty of artists, actually staging and taking photographs before rendering them as often as not – and leave us not forget that photography is every bit an artform.

Not meant to be a slight, but this kithcen sink scene
feels not unlike a UK tabloid photo-strip.
Words by Alan Grant

 But then he seemed irrationally capable of bringing to life things that he couldn’t possibly have photographed for real, such as a room full of people being on fire…

This never happened in a tablid photo-strip! And it's from the very next page of the same story.

…or being plagued by a flying ship full of demons.

If your writer asks you to draw a sky-ship full of demon pirates,
THIS is what they want to see. Gorgeous blue and brown painting, too.
Words by Alan Grant

But to be honest the real draw of Ranson, for me, is not the straight-up brilliance of his draughtsmanship, it’s the imagination he brings to the characters and above all they way he plays around with the form of comics. Yes, he’s benefitted from basically only working with John Wagner and Alan Grant, two of the best writers in comics, but his work with those two is also some of their own very best work, and that’s no coincidence. It's also no coincidence that Tharg himself, who very rarely pays to print creator-owned strips, made exceptions for Arthur Ranson TWICE: Button Man is © John Wagner & Arthur Ranson, and Mazeworld is © Alan Grant & Arthur Ranson.

I've no idea how he achieved this affect in 1989 - I guess photocopiers were involved.
Ther point is, it's playful and serves the story well.
Words by Alan Grant
I admire Anderson: Shamballa far more than I actually enjoy reading it, and I think perhaps both aspects are largely down to Ranson’s art. He fully embraces the mysticism the underpins the main part of the story, from the god/demon war for the world aspect to the falling in love subplot. But it’s not exactly a hard-action classic. And no, they don’t all have to be action stories, but there’s something about the formalism on display that made the story feel a bit too much like homework. Sure, homework set by Alan Grant***, who would be the most fun teacher ever, but still homework, y’know?

The panel layout does a lot of the heavy lifting to show these two telepaths falling in love.
2000AD's most literary strip?
Words by Alan Grant

The circles! The detail! Is it trying too hard? Or just hard enough?
Words still by Alan Grant

As it happens, Ranson’s very next project would prove to be one of 2000AD’s best-ever hard action classics, Button Man. A whole heap of the praise goes to John Wagner, but the way Ranson guides the reader through the locations, the suspense and above all the a-b-c thread of each button-man battle is just exquisite.

Pitchfork beats gun
Words by John Wagner

Harry Exton is indeed a cold fish.
Words by John Wagner

It’s the exact opposite of Michael Bay style editing craziness, in that you can see who is doing what to whom, where they are, and how every punch, kick, stab or gunshot makes perfect sense.

And then there’s the matter-of-fact nihilism.

So much thought into the panels, adn the thigns you see within each panel.
And a little homage to Hitchcock's Psycho, just for fun.

 Again, this is as deeply Wagner-esque**** trope, but Ranson must have an affinity for it, too, as he imbues Harry Exton with such a cold personality, and the whole series has such an air of emptiness and lack of hope. And let’s not forget the character design for Harry’s Voice, one of 2000AD’s most cruel villains.

Apologies for the visual spoiler...
Words by John Wagner

People talk about the nadir of 2000AD in the early 90s, and I totally see why, but my first thought is always that sequence where Harry realises who he’s talking to, where he is, and then the drugs kick in. I suppose it’s not that big of a trick, artistically speaking, but it sure packs a punch.*****

Books II and III of Button Man increased the action and intrigue (and the Mel Gibson)

Come on, that's 'The patriot' era Mel Gibson, right?

and if they didn’t quite reach the same emotional/thriller highs as Book I, they absolutely increased the nihilism. Harry’s ability to fake his way through a marriage and indeed through a life in isolation were in equal measures abhorrent and compelling.

Meanwhile, Ranson was busy bringing a much-needed touch of class to the Judge Dredd Megazine. The long-running Anderson vs Goon plot in Anderson, Psi Division genuinely kept me waiting for each new issue, and it’s obvious that Ranson was a big part of this when poor newcomer Yan Shimony was dropped in the deep end with his chapter.

Anderson's encoutner with a vampire, and then Jesus, sets off a long-lasting chain of emotional and story turmoil.

Also, punching.
Words by Alan Grant

The much-heralded Satan storyline was perhaps the big draw for the launch of Megazine Volume 3. Storywise, it didn’t live up to its billing, but by gosh there’s some meaty artwork to enjoy there. I have to admit to being a little let down by Ranson’s design of Satan himself – but by the end of the story it’s clear he couldn’t go any other way than depicting a medieval-style version of an actual fallen angel with massive horns.

Hope you've guessed his name
Words by Alan Grant

Perhaps by direct contrast, his next major Anderson epic, R*Volution, was all the better because villain Vernon D’Arque had one of the best ever character designs.

Towards the end of the story, deep inside Vernon D'Arque's addled mindscape,
Aa snkae and a gorilla fight for their souls. No holds barred weirdness!
Words by Alan Grant

I remain mystified why this story isn’t much more fondly remembered and talked about – possibly it suffers from its context of a not-great period of 2000AD, and the valid complaint that the events affecting Anderson, Psi Division where almost entirely ignored by contemporary Judge Dredd stories.
In any event, Ranson put Anderson aside for a time, and birthed Mazeworld. And, in a way, this series is the ne plus ultra of Arthur Ranson. There’s nihilist characterisation left, right and centre (but especially in the ‘real world’ portions).

Adam Cadman's journey begins. Was this effect achieved with computers? I don't think so.
Words (here and below) by Alan Grant

Adam Cadman is quite the cad, man

In case you're wondering why the dude was comdemned to be hanged in the first place...

When a ray of hope does come, it's all the more moving.
Look at the joy in their eyes!

There’s wild flights of imagination, not least in the architecture of the Mazeworld, and of course there’s huge helpings of playing around with panel structure, page layout and formalist comics goodness. I mean, it’s called bloody Mazeworld and he draws a whole bunch of panels to look like mazes! It would almost be offensively dumb if his labyrinth designs were any less gorgeous.

I've yet to gush over teh exquisiste detail in Ranson's backgrounds. Just look at the wear on those stones!

Designing a function maze is NOT easy, I tells ya

After the tale of a hanged man living in a fantasy world that may or may not be all in his mind, we segue to Ranson’s final cycle of Anderson, Psi Division – in which our Cass lies in a coma (sort of?), with her mind free to exist in a fantasy world that may or may not be the actual homeworld of one Sidney D’eath, teenage superfiend.

Ranson puts Anderson through a whole heap of emotional paces over the next four stories, which sort of merge into one (although that’s partly a side-effect of the way they appear in the Case Files reprint). Half-Life, the parasitic Psi-demon implanted by the Sisters of Death – or at least, I think that’s what it is – is creepy as hell.

More fun is ditzy pyrokinetic not-really-a-Judge Juliet November, an original creation Ranson dashed off for a Dredd episode over in 2000AD, but a delightful supporting player in Anderson, Psi Division. She’s overdue for a re-appearance!

Oh Juliet, will you ever get it together?
Words by Alan Grant

Some choice covers and a hilarious Dredd episode aside, Arthur Ranson retired from regular comics in 2007, I think related to health problems. His penmanship and brainmanship is sorely, sorely missed, but it will live on in print forever, and may yet be immortalized on screen if the Bad Robot Button Man project springs to life…

More on Arthur Ranson:
Start with the official website, including his ongoing comic series, Sirius
A very recent interview on Judgement in Cardiff
And there's a bit on his pre-2000AD work here

Every long-running comics hero has a montage page of all their old foes.
Here's Ranson doing that for ol' Cassie Anderson.
With added symbolism

Personal favourites:
Judge Anderson: Triad; Reasons to be Cheerful; The Jesus Syndrome; The Protest; R*Volution; Half-Life; Lock-In
Button Man – the whole boiling lot of it
Judge Dredd: Pyrokinetics; PF
Mazeworld: definitely for the art more than the story, although the story has many merits, too.

I also especially like this cover to an old Virgin Dredd novel (I ahnve;t read it, mind), chiefly this cracking creepy countenance:

*OK, so technically his first was a Judge Dredd story from a special, but this Anderson may have seen print first.

**Michael Dowling, maybe? Jerome Opena is not a million miles away, too

***Grant sometimes strikes me as the real-world equivalent of DJ Chris Stevens from Northern Exposure. But this isn’t the place to go into that.

****‘Wagnerian’ is already taken, sadly…

*****And it’s only just occurred to me that at roughly the same time, Carlos Ezquerra and Alan Grant where putting Durham Red through very similar paces, to equally good but less celebrated effect.