Friday, 24 May 2013

1987: THE UNPUBLISHED MAX HEADROOM 3D COMIC

On the spur-of-the-moment last night I grabbed my R1 MAX HEADROOM DVD box set and watched a random episode (Grossberg's Return, fact-fans)... and really enjoyed it.

As I was watching I was reminded of this planned, but never published, comic book adaptation of the show previewed in AMAZING HEROES PREVIEW SPECIAL 5: SUMMER 1987.

Comico cancelled the project after the TV show's second season, launched in the Fall of '87, swiftly spluttered to a halt.

I first fell in love the US version of the British character when, coals to Newcastle style, Channel Four imported the series and ran it in a late night slot.  I'd somehow missed the original British telefilm (which was reshot as the first episode of the US version: comparing the two is an interesting exercise) and the video compilation show.  In truth, I think I found Max a rather annoying gimmick that only really worked in the context of the drama.

I loved the US show because I loved the satire of a TV dominated society.  In this business, morals are one thing but ratings are everything.  It appealed to my own media-addled mind.

The first season of the show was released on rental tape here in the UK (with some nice cover artwork) but never generated a sell-through follow-up or DVD release.  For the longest time, it looked like the US show wouldn't get a stateside shiny disc release either but - eventually - Shout Factory delivered.  It's not a perfect release but just seeing - and owning - the show makes it worthwhile.  Not all the principle cast participate in the reunion, there's no sign of the British TV movie (criminally also never released on DVD) and I'd have really liked to have seen a full retrospective documentary pulling the complete Max phenomena.

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