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Thursday, 16 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From lettering droid Jim Campbell

Name: Jim Campbell

Blog: www.jimcampbell-lettering.co.uk

Currently working on:

Yikes. Lettering loads of stuff. Hook Jaw, Black Dragon and Black Ops Extreme for Strip; Hoax Hunters for Image; just finished Sweeney Todd for Classical Comics and should be starting The Importance of Being Earnest shortly; football/crime hybrid web-comic Keeper; Charmed and various Grimm Fairy Tales titles for Zenescope; Kronos City for Timebomb; Team M.O.B.I.L.E. for ROK. See? Loads of stuff.

Nothing for 2000AD, I should add. *Sulks*

First memory of 2000AD?

My mate Tim Shaw coming to junior school with the Biotronic Stickers from Prog 2 stuck to him. Parents bought me the occasional issue to shut me up on long car journeys over the next couple of years before I plucked up the courage to ask them place a regular order for it at the newsagents.

The first issue I got as a regular reader was Prog 104 -- Ron Smith's first Dredd, the start of the fantastic Strontium Dog story "Journey Into Hell"

Favourite Character or Story?

Gah. Have to say Judge Dredd, just for the consistency of the strip. There have been other strips that I've liked better than Dredd at various times over the years (Nemesis, particularly Books I, III and IV, Slaine, especially the McMahon stuff, DR & Quinch, Nikolai Dante, Caballistics) but Dredd's always there, the strip's always good, and often it's brilliant.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

The subversive, anti-authoritarian bent it so gleefully instilled in a generation of kids under the guise of an action/adventure comic. That, and the sheer diversity and quality that it continues to deliver. I honestly wouldn't be the person I am today without 2000AD's influence at various stages of my formative years. And I wouldn't be working in comics, obviously.

What would you most like to see in 2000AD as it heads to its Forties?

I'd be happy to see Matt Smith continue to build on the phenomenal run he's put in as longest-serving assistant to Tharg. Give me the power to play Fantasy 2000AD editor for a minute, and I'd move the title to a more all-ages stance, mount a massive push in the high street and drop a wedge of cash on promotion; see if we couldn't bump those circulation figures up by twenty or thirty thousand…

If you worked on 2000AD, do you have an anecdote you'd like to shareabout your experience of Tharg and his minions?

I once submitted a script on disk (in those pre-email days) for which David Bishop memorably told me that he would have me shot in the head. Guess he forgot to say "sent to Mek-Quake"…

• This post is one in a series of tributes to 2000AD to mark its 35th birthday on 26th February 2012. More about 2000AD at www.2000adonline.com

2000AD © Rebellion

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