Prog 599 – The Further Adventures of PJ Maybe, Age 14

Story: The Further Adventures of PJ Maybe, Age 14
Appears: 2000AD Prog 599
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner
Art: Liam Sharp
Dated: 29 October 1988
By this stage we are getting quite attached to young PJ Maybe despite him being a terrible murderous psychopath. As his current victims are reasonably unlikable we don’t mind his terrible actions. He and his family do have a noticeable character arc. Contrast this with someone like Otto Sump who did but is now just a delivery vehicle for joke of the week.

It is great to see Liam Sharp the sole artist on all the stories. As he is a rare name in Dredd art this helps preserve the thrill of each new story.  

Progs 592 to 594 – What I Did During the Summer Holidays By PJ Maybe, Age 13

Story: What I Did During the Summer Holidays By PJ Maybe, Age 13
Appears: 2000AD Progs 592-594
Issues: 3
Writers: John Wagner
Art: Liam Sharp
Dated: 17 September 1988 to 1 October 1988

We have been waiting to PJ to return for some time and he does not disappoint. This is a very British use of black humour. The teenage narration, both in words and lettering style really sets the tone and you can see the homage to Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole very clearly.

The fact the story is now in full colour also adds a youthful dimension to things. Whilst the departure of the grim black and white style with its oppressive blacks is very much missed the use of colour in this story does add to the tone of the piece.

Not only does PJ return but we see a well-chosen cameo by taxidermist Mr Sardini.

Progs 575 to 576 – Skeet and the Wrecking Crew

Story: Skeet and the Wrecking Crew
Appears: 2000AD Progs 575-576
Issues: 2
Writers: John Wagner
Art: Liam Sharp
Dated: 21 May 1988 to 28 May 1988

Another returning storyline (the Wreckers) is moulded into a brief tale of one man and his truck.

From this point on we see Grant and Wagner starting to be credited on separate stories rather than writing as a duo.

Prog 542 – Corporal Punishment

Story: Corporal Punishment
Appears: 2000AD Prog 542
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Liam Sharp
Dated: 3 October 1987

In a single issue we have a dig at a scandalised MP of the time, a debate on corporal punishment, the timeless theme of juveniles not respecting their parents, and the horror of power in the hands of a child. And the wonderful paradox of Dredd saying ‘violence breeds violence’ except in the case of the Judges. A most Orwellian ‘some are more equal’ concept.