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Saturday, 11 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From art droid Gibson Quarter


Name: Gibson Quarter

Blog: gibsonquarter27art.blogspot.com  

Twitter: @gibsonquarter

DeviantArt: gibsonquarter27.deviantart.com/

Currently working on:

The Organ Grinder for issue #3 of Undertow by 7th wave comics. It's a great story set in the wild west about a cursed organ, a one armed gunfighter who bears it's burden and his chain smoking monkey....how can you wrong? (More details right here: http://www.7thwavecomics.com/)

First memory of 2000AD?

The amazing 'Block Mania' which lead me directly into the thrill ride that is the Apocalypse War!! From that point on, I was hooked. In hindsight, this was the perfect place to jump on board. I tracked down most of the older progs as quickly as I could after that.

Favourite Character or Story?

Character? Dredd for sure. My two all time favorite stories are: 'Block Mania' (you always remember your first!) and 'The fear that made Milwaukee famous' which inspired the art attached.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

I like the unpredictability, and feeling of real change in the status quo. The varied and different art styles are a real plus also!

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

That's easy - a bigger market share for 2000AD in North America. They need more quality anthologies.

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

I've not yet had the pleasure of receving Tharg's blessing to be in the prog, but I have recevied a tweet or two from his wife so it must have to happen soon....or scandal may follow! ;-)

• This post is part of a series of birthday tributes from a wide range of comic creators celebrating 2000AD's birthday on 25th February 2012. For more about 2000AD, visit http://www.2000adonline.com/

2000AD © Rebelllion

Panel Borders: Exhibiting Comics

Punch - Silver Jubilee issue

Continuing Panel Borders month of shows about about non practitioners' love of comics, Alex Fitch talks to Lord Baker of Dorking about his contributions as lender and patron of The Cartoon Museum to their latest exhibition 'Her Maj: Sixty years of unofficial portraits of the Queen' and to John Huddy, founder and curator of The Illustration Cupboard about the gallery's history of exhibiting art from picture books and graphic novels. 

Also, from last week's Manga Jiman awards ceremony at the Embassy of Japan in London, Cultural Officer Simon Wright and Minister Hiroshi Suzuki, the director of the Japan Information and Culture Centre, introduce this year's winning entries to the comic book competition. 

- Panel Borders: Exhibiting Comics airs at 8.00pm, Sunday 12th February, Resonance FM (London) / streamed at www.resonancefm.com / podcast after broadcast at www.panelborders.wordpress.com

 

IDW to publish Doctor Who-Star Trek crossover

The SF show crossover many fans have longed for but has, until now, been the work of fan fiction alone, is finally about to happen officially for the first time - a Doctor Who meets Star Trek comic crossover.

Bleeding Cool has squirrelled out news of the upcoming crossover from IDW that will see the Eleventh Doctor and crew encounter the Captain Picard and team from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Due to be released in May, the crossover follows hot on the heels of IDW's Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes six issue mini series, which concludes next month.

This is the first time that the two TV science fiction franchises have officially crossed over in comics, although there have been several brief encounters between Doctor Who and other comic characters, including Marvel's Death's Head and Eagle's Dan Dare (in a strip for the 1980s charity Comic Relief Comic).

New Thomas the Tank Engine magazine trundles into newsagents

Egmont UK has just launchd a new monthly magazine, Thomas Express for younger readers this month, jam-packed with activities, two giant posters and a truckload of gifts.

The launch comes as part of a re-branding of their Thomas-inspired range following extensive market research.

The new monthly magazine joins the long-running bi-weekly Thomas & Friends title on British newstands and is priced at £3.99.

Meanwhile, Thomas & Friends will have a makeover with its issue on sale 15th February and come with even more Thomas facts, maps, puzzles and stories, plus an exclusive Thomas gift free with every issue. Standard issues retail at £2.45.

The Thomas & Friends brand has been supporting two magazine titles in the market for over 10 years - in fact, the first Thomas titles were published by Marvel UK in the 1980s - and Egmont says it has ambitious plans for growth with this new portfolio, which has an estimated annual retail sales value of £5 million.

The re-branding comes just as US toy giant Mattel completed its purchase of HIT Entertainment, the owners of the Thomas TV series, which is based on books first created by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry in the 1940s and continued by his son, Christopher.

As well as the new and revamped magazines, Egmont is also launching a new collectable series of Thomas story books, based on the latest season of the long-running TV series, aimed at 1–3 year olds.

Egmont's classic Thomas Story Library series has sold over nine million copies since its launch in 2003. The company has been publishing Thomas & Friends books and magazines for over 12 years.

“The appeal of Thomas is broad," David Riley, Managing Director, Egmont Publishing Group, told inPublishing. " It has both a strong traditional heritage and a TV series loved by younger children. Through both classically illustrated and contemporary CGI titles, including our new story book range and our magazine portfolio, Egmont is confident that our publishing caters for Thomas fans of all ages.”

It's been quite a period of change for the franchise. In addition to new owner Mattel, renowned visual effects and animation studio Arc Productions was recently announced as the new animation studio for the show. It's the first global television series the studio will produce, following a series of successful films including Gnomeo and Juliet and 9.

A live action film is also in the works, to be directed by Academy Award-nominated director Shane Acker who HIT Entertainment said had signed on to transform the Island of Sodor, home to Thomas the Tank Engine, into a next generation fantasy adventure film franchise.

Acker and the film's producers have assembled an all-star creative team, comprised of Weta Workshop and Mattel's entertainment properties design team, to "re-imagine" the core characters.



Ripping Yarns hops to DVD marked by world record attempt

Ripping Yarns DVD

Any British lad of a certain age will remember Ripping Yarns, the TV show that poked fun at the kind of tales of derring-do published in countless boys' comics and annuals down the years. 

Created by members of the Monty Python team, the shw was hugely popular when first shown by the BBC in the 1970s - and it's about to be released on DVD.

Originally broadcast on the BBC between 1976 and 1979, this set is a must-have item for all fans of great British comedy - and there will be a special Guinness World of Records hopathon attempt, homaging an episode of the show, to mark the release.

Following the phenomenal success of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Michael Palin and Terry Jones created the BAFTA-winning parody of Boy's Own-style adventure annuals. Ripping Yarns sees Palin take the lead role in nine fantastic adventures - from stirring tales of sporting endeavour, intrepid exploration and wartime heroism to skullduggery, supernatural mystery and murder!

An illustrious supporting cast includes Ian Ogilvy, John Le Mesurier, Iain Cuthbertson, Denholm Elliott, Joan Sanderson and Don Henderson, with Terry Jones starring in one episode and fellow former Python John Cleese also making a cameo appearance.

Ripping Yarns was produced and directed by the multi award-winning team of Terry Hughes (The Two Ronnies), Jim Franklin (The Goodies) and Alan J.W. Bell (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Set for release as a two disc set on 5th March 2012, special features include commentaries on all episodes by Michael Palin and Terry Jones; a deleted scene from Murder at Moorstones Manor; audience laughter-free tracks on all episodes bar "Tomkinson's Schooldays" and "Murder at Moorstones Manor"; and Comic Roots - Michael Palin returns to his home-town of Sheffield; "Secrets" - a BBC play from 1973; a Stills Gallery; and Michael Palin's original scripts in PDF format.

To mark the DVD release and as an homage to the episode "Tomkinson's School Days", Network DVD are looking to recruit members of the public to set Guinness World Records for the largest group 400 metre hop as well as a 400 metre relay hop. This free event will take place at the Grade 1-listed Hampstead Heath Athletics track on Saturday 3rd March 2012.

People can apply to participate by visiting facebook.com/NetworkDVD. Both Michael Palin and Terry Jones will be attending and presenting prizes to the overall winners - £500 to the charities of their choice.

The Ripping Yarns Hopathon is inspired by the 30-Mile Hop at Graybridge School, motto: "Only in true misery can you find true contentment" which featured in the first ever episode of the cult comedy series "Tomkinson's School Days". Thankfully Messieurs Palin and Jones have rejected the idea of pitting members of the public in the much -featured grizzly bear fight (still compulsory for some boys at Graybridge), or a St Tagder's Day ceremony (where students are nailed to the school walls). However, selected participants will be provided with Team Graybridge and Team St Anthony's t-shirts plus a commemorative certificate for their commendable sporting efforts.

To break The Guinness World Records as listed above, Network DVD requires at least 250 people to participate in the largest group hop and also needs to set a time of seven minutes to achieve the fastest 400 metre hop on one leg. Participants must be over 18 years of age and in sound physical health. 

- Full details about registration are available at facebook.com/NetworkDVD by 'LIKING' the hop or accessing the facebook tab for existing people who 'like' Network DVD

- Ripping Yarns - The Complete Series (15) is available from Network DVD on 5th March 2012. RRP: £19.99. Discs: 2 Running Time: 225 mins (approx.) Screen Ratio: 1.33:1 Colour Catalogue Number: 7953361

Disc One

TOMPKINSON'S SCHOOLDAYS

Set in the frontier days of British education, when upper lips were stiff with cold and corporal punishment was an A-Level. A savage, searing indictment of something or other.Produced and Directed by Terry Hughes. Original BBC Transmission 7 January 1976

THE TESTING OF ERIC OLTHWAITE

A boy becomes a man in the harsh world of the Depression. The rough, tough story of folk who couldn't afford to go on the Jarrow March.Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin. Original BBC Transmission 27 September 1977

ESCAPE FROM STALAG LUFT 112B

A tale of courage and valour behind the lines in the Kaiser's Germany. An inspiring story of camp life and a British officer who wouldn't lie down.Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin. Original BBC Transmission 4 October 1977

MURDER AT MOORSTONES MANOR 

Hugo and Dora drive down to see Mumsie and Dadsie-pie for a long weekend in the country. But it turns out to be longer than they thought.Produced and Directed by Terry Hughes. Original BBC Transmission 11 October 1977

ACROSS THE ANDES BY FROG

The stirring story of one man and six frogs who tried to defy the world in the greatest gamble of all.Produced and Directed by Terry Hughes. Original BBC Transmission 18 October 1977

THE CURSE OF THE CLAW

The terrifying account of a man who dabbled in the dark mysteries of the Orient, and lived to tell the tale. Or did he...?Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin. Original BBC Transmission 25 October 1977

Disc Two

WHINFREY'S LAST CASE

Dashing, debonnaire Gerald Whinfrey saves his country twice a week. But in 1913 a German plot to start the First World War without telling anybody coincides with his holiday. Where do Whinfrey's priorities lie? Has he got any? A knockabout tale of international intrigue.Executive Producer Sydney Lotterby. Produced and Directed by Alan J.W. Bell. Original BBC Transmission 10 October 1979

GOLDEN GORDON

A torrid tale of football fanaticism in the 1930s. Super-fan Gordon Ottershaw supports a team which hasn't won a match for six years. But worse is to come, and Gordon and his bicycle clips are reunited in a last desperate bid for glory and Bovril. Executive Producer Sydney Lotterby. Produced and Directed by Alan J.W. BellOriginal BBC Transmission 17 October 1979

ROGER OF THE RAJ

Roger Bartlesham comes of age in a world of eighteen-course breakfasts and twelve servants per leg. But when the Great War breaks out Roger finds himself in a world of changing values and is forced by circumstances to the most despicable act known to the British Army. Produced and Directed by Jim Franklin.Original BBC Transmission 24 October 1979

 

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! from art droid Patrick Brown

Nemesis the Warlock
by Patrick Brown
Name: Patrick Brown

Blog or web site: http://paddybrown.co.uk

Currently working on: The Cattle Raid of Cooley, an adaptation of the ancient Irish epic starring Cú Chulainn, the hero Sláine was partially based on. It's been running at approximately a page a week on my website since August 2008 and is about half finished, and it's also in print, five issues so far. Pros like David Lloyd, Donna Barr, Davy Francis and Malachy Coney have all been very enthusiastic about it.

First memory of 2000AD?

I can remember reading the early issues at my cousin's house, and loving Flesh (I was seven. What seven year old boy doesn't love dinosaurs?) and Dan Dare (I know it's not well thought of by fans of the real Dan Dare, but it was the only Dan Dare I'd ever known, and Massimo Belardinelli's art was spectacular. I wrote a blog post reappraising it here.) I didn't start getting it myself until Starlord merged into it - I'd been reading that and loved Strontium Dog.

Favourite Character or Story?

I think it has to be Nemesis the Warlock. The stories drawn by Kevin O'Neill especially. I was in the early stages of learning how to appreciate art, and I'd mentally divided artists into the "neat" ones (Gibbons, Bolland) and the "rough" ones (Ezquerra, McMahon), and along comes O'Neill and blows my cosy little categories apart. I didn't understand it, but it gave me chills. And I loved the manicness of Pat Mills' stories, the willingness to leap headlong, Douglas Adams-like, from idea to idea, trusting it'll all make some sort of sense by the time it finishes.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

2000AD is a marriage of the minds of Pat Mills and John Wagner. Pat is a mad polemicist - he's not here to make you think, he's here to make you see - and John crafts precision-timed thrillers with a streak of stone cold evil, and good jokes. On top of that, there's the willingness to be experimental visually. Back in the 1970s, in a marketplace where everything looked like it was drawn by Geoff Campion (a fine artist in his day, but it gets boring when everybody draws like him), 2000AD gave us Ezquerra and McMahon, Bolland and Gibbons, saw the latent madness in a veteran like Ron Smith, repurposed girls' comic artists like Ian Gibson and Jesus Redondo, and of course let the inimitable Belardinelli and O'Neill do their inimitable things. And it continued through the years, introducing us to mad artists like Brendan McCarthy, Simon Bisley, Simon Harrison, Steve Yeowell, Colin MacNeill, all the way to Henry Flint and Jock.

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

Keep unearthing new artists and writers, and keep paying Mills and Wagner whatever it takes to keep them hard at it.

• 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

Friday, 10 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From art droid Richard Elson

Name: Richard Elson

Blog or web site: n/a

Currently working on: Journey Into Mystery and my own stuff.

First memory of 2000AD?


The first issue of 2000AD that I actually bought was prog 549. I had seen it around from the earliest days but I was going through a stage where I had little to no interest in comics so didn't really take a lot of notice.

I remember being amazed by Brendan McCarthy's art on the Judge Dredd strip in 549. Having gone back and read many of the great/groundbreaking early progs (and seen most of what came after) McCarthy is still my all time favourite Dredd artist.

Favourite Character or Story?

Kano/Bad Company. A mash-up of Frankenstein and Apocalypse Now! Two of my favourite things. Honourable mention for Cannon Fodder, Big Dave and Gene the Hackman (my favourite character to draw).

What do you like most about 2000AD?

All of the punching :)

2000AD is unique. A lot of talented creators have had the opportunity to do a lot of work that couldn't really have found a home anywhere else in comics. On a personal level, getting to work with writers like Dan Abnett, Robbie Morrison, Pete Milligan and Si Spurrier amongst many others.

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

More warped, shocking, iconoclastic characters, designs and story ideas. Bucketloads of sickening violence, humour and excess. But, no magic.


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

I think I may, inadvertently, have been responsible for the revival of Harlem Heroes in the eighties. I mentioned them (desperately trying to drag up something from the early days of 2000 so as not to display my, then, ignorance of early progs) when meeting with Pete Milligan and Richard Burton in the late eighties and remember seeing something that I can only describe as a glow of nostalgia spread across Richard's face. He proceeded to talk fondly about the strip for several minutes and a few months later they were back in the prog.

I owe my career to 2000AD. The editorial team of Richard Burton and Alan McKenzie gave me my break in comics. Thank you.

• 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


Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From script droid Steve White

The origin of the infamous One Eye, in 2000AD Prog 3
The origin is retold on Everything Comes Back to 2000AD here
Name: Steve White

Blog or web site: http://steve-white-thunderlizard.blogspot.com/


Currently working on: 

Senior comics editor, Titan Comics

First memory of 2000AD

A school friend of mine picked up the second issue and, knowing I had a particular interest in them, told me there was a new comic out that had dinosaurs in it. I snapped it up and went on to buy it regularly for about a decade.

Favourite Character or Story?

Old One Eye (naturally); and Rogue Trooper.

What do you like most about the 2000AD

There’s always something in there to love. Great artwork or an excellent script or a brilliant cover. I guess from a personal perspective, it was also instrumental in my own development as a comics creator – from learning to copy Mike McMahon and Kev O’Neil’s art as a kid to writing Rogue Trooper years later.

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

Me. Or, more realistically, more Shakara (the comic, not the singer) – my fav strip in years.

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

I remember the softball games between 2000AD and Marvel UK in Regents Park. They were great fun – and so damned competitive. I especially remember the day Brian Bolland joined the 2000AD team then bought me a pint after!

• 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

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From feature and script droid Matthew Badham

Matt Badham

Blog or web site: I'm a contributor to the Forbidden Planet International blog, down thetubes and I'm on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/mattbadham

Currently working on:


Articles for the Judge Dredd Megazine, Comic Heroes and Strip Magazine.

First memory of 2000AD?

Johnny Alpha and a whole bunch of bad-ass mutants staring out from the cover of Prog 349.

Favourite Character or Story?

Strontium Dog: Outlaw - An absolute stone-cold classic that thrilled readers from early April to late September, 1984. I was bereft when this 'action movie on paper' ended. It had thrills, spills and -- typically for a Wagner/Grant story -- a nice line in humour. Wild West-esque SF action at its best with cracking art by Carlos Ezquerra. Zarjaz!!!

A close second is Low Life: The Deal. A sublime Dreddworld offering from 2011 by Rob Williams and D'israeli. I loved it.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

Its sense of humour.

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

More of the same, as the comic is in great shape at the moment.

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

I had a Future Shock I wrote published in 2009, which I still find mind-boggling. I write interviews for the Judge Dredd Megazine. My experience of Tharg and his minions -- minimal. I try to deliver my copy on time and keep my nose clean. And, apart from that,  I keep out of their way. They're busy droids, who don't need me hassling them.


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From artist and colourist Martin Baines




Along with artist Martin Baines' birthday wishes for 2000AD, we're also delighted to publish his vrsion of the original Judge Dredd script, 'Court Room'.

Martin tells us this was the script for what was originally to have been the first ever 2000AD Judge Dredd story, but it was considered too violent.

"I think it would be interesting for readers and would really help me," he says. Let us know what you think...

Name: Martin Baines

Web Site: 
www.smudgepencil.co.uk/portfolio/martin-b 

Currently working on: 

Colouring Garth in the Mirror and working on adverts

First memory of 2000AD

Seeing it on the school coach and reading the annual.

Favourite characters or story? 

Nikolai Dante, The Romanov Empire - Brilliant story that kept me guessing right the end with amazing art by the great John M Burns who remains at the top of his field

Strontium Dog  - Everything created in the classic black and white period,  Real Class!

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

Always inventive! Britain will be a poorer place if it lost 2000AD.

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

To continue to see classic work by the master artists and writers and hopefully one day to see my work in it as well...  

• 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

ROK Comics parent develops VIZ comics app

ROK Global, the company behind ROK Comics, has just announced its latest mobile application -- a highly innovative  iPhone application featuring characters and content from the hugely popular adult comic Viz, has been launched on the iPhone App Store.

Developed for Dennis Publishing, the Viz Strip Teaser iPhone application will provide customers with all the latest Viz characters and content.

One issue is included in the app's free download, with subsequent issues priced at £1.49.

The App's design means you can read a page of VIZ panel by panel but utilises the overall page as it appears in its original print format, the reader "sliding" from one panel to the next.

Viz is a national institution so we’re delighted to have been chosen to develop the magazine’s iPhone app which we’re confident will prove very popular indeed.” Said Jonathan Kendrick, Chairman of ROK  Global.


 The Viz Strip Teaser is one of several comics-related digital applications and products developed by ROK. Its projects include the Team M.O.B.I.L.E. comic, created by Jonathan Kendrick, which will also be released on iPad and iPhone.

In addition to its comics projects, ROK has pioneered many new technologies and services in the rapidly-evolving mobile and web space including high quality mass-market Mobile TV (which can be streamed, live and on-demand, over 2.5G as well as 3G and Wi-Fi) which it licenses to Mobile Operators, revenue-generating applications available direct to consumers via the leading application stores, mobile security technologies which it licenses to law enforcement agencies and multi-language text-to-speech technologies which it licenses to website owners.

• ROK Global: www.rokglobal.com

• ROK Comics: www.rokcomics.com

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From former Tharg David Bishop

Artwork for 'The Visible Man', a strip
considered for the launch of 2000AD
View the comic's original dummy
Name: David Bishop

Blog: viciousimagery.blogspot.com

Currently working on: 


Writing for the BBC1 drama series Doctors. My next episode, Fragile Strength, is scheduled to be broadcast on Tuesday May 8th this year.

I lecture part-time on the Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier University, where we offer a unique module in writing for graphic fiction. Guest speakers on the module last year included Andy Diggle, Emma Hayley from selfmadehero, Gordon Rennie, Colin MacNeil and Scott Montgomery from Commando.

First memory of 2000AD? 

The Visible Man - I was fascinated by the fact you could see his guts through see-through skin.

Favourite Character or Story?

1. Judge Dredd, especially when written by John Wagner or Wagner & Grant - satirical, heroic, cynical, brilliant.

2. Nikolai Dante, written by Robbie Morrison - this swashbuckling character's been on amazing 15-year odyssey, just sad it's ending soon.

3. Cradlegrave, written by John Smith - this deserves to be on Channel 4.

What do you like most about the 2000AD

The anthology format - even if you hate a story in a particular prog, there'll be something else you love in the same issue.

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

Innovation, new talent and boldness - as in the best periods of the past 35 years.

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

Shameless plug moment: all my best anecdotes - at least the ones I could mention without fear of prosecution or legal action - are in THRILL-POWER OVERLOAD, my book detailing the first 30 years of 2000AD.

• 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

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From art droid Dave Taylor

Judge Dredd by Dave Taylor
Judge Dredd by Dave Taylor

Name: Dave Taylor

Blog or web site: http://davetaylorart.blogspot.com

Currently working onBatman: Death by Design, written by Chip Kidd. Published in June.

First memory of 2000AD

A deep rumbling, as if a powerful force within had been awoken.

Favourite Character or Story

Dredd, The Cursed Earth. This was so inspiring for a young lad!

What do you like most about the 2000AD

The freedom of expression. The freedom to experiment. Oh, the endless possibilities!

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

A continuing flow of innovative story telling and imagination. A free gift every so often wouldn't hurt!!

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

Tharg is seen as quite a formidable creature, a brute of cosmic proportions, but let me tell you that he's actually a very enlightened and compassionate fellow. He rescued me from the gutter, literally gave me a home, a pencil and a desk on which to work. He can make your dreams come true, but only if you believe in him.

• 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

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! from art droid Chris Denton

The final episode of Portrait of a
Politician starring Dave the Orangutan
Mayor, ran in Prog 368
Name: Chris Denton

Blog or web site: http://massacreforboys.blogspot.com

Currently working on:

The Massacre For Boys Action Special, launching at Bristol Expo in May. It features old school British comics action from top indy creators including Steven Denton (my brother), David Frankum, Bolt-01, Richmond Clements, Nikki Foxrobot, Owen Watts, Dee Cunniffe. I've written some of it.

First memory of 2000AD?

It was Portrait of a Politician (Progs 366 - 368), a Judge Dredd story about Dave the Orangutuan Mayor of Mega City One, which I must have picked up due to an eye-catching cover. As a child in the 1980s I was already a commited reader of Eagle, and yet I initially found 2000AD a bit too dark and twisted for my liking. The very same qualities that drew me back to it a few years later when my friend Alex lent me his Titan edition of D.R. & Quinch.

Favourite Character or Story?

Zenith was extraordinary. It started more or less as I was first buying the progs, and it totally blew me away. That first episode with Maximan vs Masterman duking it out in 1940s Berlin has burned itself into my subconscious. You can't imagine the frustration when, a few years later, Phase III was interrupted for a few weeks mid-run!

A close second favourite is Killing Time, still, in my view, the perfect graphic novella.

What do you like most about the 2000AD

The eclectic mix of strips and the sheer array of talent that has worked on it over the years.

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

Keep doing what you're doing, but with more Rogue Trooper. Much more Rogue Trooper.

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

My brother and I had a strip published in the Megazine small press section, a few years back. We were extremely grateful to Tharg for giving us the opportunity and, more generally, for showcasing so much developing talent in that slot (Ian Culbard of Mountains of Madness fame was a fellow beneficiary). We were also grateful for the small pile of complimentary graphic novels dispatched from the Nerve Centre to mark the occasion!

More recently, I wrote the script for Zenith/Invasion, a strip in the 2000AD fanzine Zarjaz! -  it's really fantastic that Rebellion encourage the fans to produce their own comics and it was highly satisfying to pay tribute to two of the great British comic series in this way.

• Check out Zarjaz! via http://thequaequamblog.blogspot.com

• 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

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From artist Garen Ewing

Nemesis the Warlock by Garen Ewing

Name: Garen Ewing

Web site: www.rainboworchid.co.uk 

Currently working on:

I've just completed The Rainbow Orchid volume 3 which is to be released on 2nd April 2012, published by Egmont (Dutch edition from Silvester Strips is out in May). That completes the story.  

First memory of 2000AD?

I can't remember when I first started getting 2000AD, but I know I read irregular issues from early on. Looking at a cover gallery online I remember having Prog 18 and then a few from Prog 47 onwards with the Dan Dare covers.

I know I didn't read 'The Cursed Earth' first time around but was definitely a mostly-weekly reader by the time of the 'Judge Child Quest'. For a couple of years, cira Judge Death's second appearance with his Dark Judges, I was totally obsessed ... enough for my mum to voice her concern that 2000AD was getting in the way of my school work!

Judge Death by Garen Ewing
Favourite Character or Story?

My absolute favourite story from 2000AD was the Judge Dredd tale 'Block Mania' and the 'Apocalypse War', with the 'Judge Child Quest' coming a close second. Alongside that would be 'Portrait of a Mutant', the Strontium Dog story. I remember reading, re-reading and re-re-reading that.

I loved Nemesis - both the Kevin O'Neill and Bryan Talbot versions. I also had a strange fondness for Ace Garp!

I must also mention the brilliant 1982 annuals (2000AD (red Bolland cover) and Judge Dredd (green McMahon cover) - I don't think I put them down for a month.

What do you like most about 2000AD?

I loved its slightly surreal and often disturbing humour, all mixed in with a great sense of sweeping adventure. Story and art throughout were a real strong-point - it was quality.

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

 You'll notice in my last answer I used the past-tense, because I have to admit I haven't bought 2000AD for a long time. I've got hold of the occasional issue (sorry, prog!) but haven't stuck with it again for some reason. So I don't feel qualified to answer this question, I'm afraid!

I will say that for a few years 2000AD was a huge influence on me and I harboured (now diminished) ambitions to see my work within its pages.

Quinch by Garen Ewing
So a very happy birthday to 2000AD - I'm glad it's still going, and knowing some of the artists that currently work for it the quality must still be right up there.

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

I didn't work for it but I would like to add that 2000AD led to me winning my first ever competition - I won a copy of the Titan collected edition of The Cursed Earth part 2, I think for naming the parts of a Lawmaster.

My prize arrived on the morning I left for a week-long school trip to the Isle of Wight, and it came with me! 

• 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

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From comics editor and fan Paul Scott

2000AD287
Name:  Paul Scott

Blog or web site: www.omnivistascope.com

Currently working on: 

Keegan Jask book 1, a collection of implausible tales from the stellar storyteller. Written by myself with help from artist Leigh Shepeherd It will be 100 pages+ and feature an all new, somewhat improbable tale and hopefully be on sale at the Bristol comics show in May!

I wouldn't be involved with comics in any way without 2000AD .

First memory of 2000AD?  

 Sitting in a tent one summer with the then obligatory huge pile of comics. Amongst them was a strange thing called 2000AD, which had a strange effect on me. It just felt so completely different to anything I'd seen before, and I wasn't quite sure how to respond. I remember it was the issue with the Princess Porkina (from Ace Garp) poster, and it all seemed so weird and ludicrous. Fantastic.  

I would have similar encounters over the years with 2000AD , till I eventually got more permanently hooked with issue 454.

Favourite Character or Story?

There are so many from the first ten years of the comic, it hardly seems plausible. Where do I start? Rogue Trooper? Halo Jones? Judge Dredd? Nemesis the Warlock? Strontium Dog? All superb. 

I have a huge soft spot however for Harry Twenty on the High Rock, a strip created by the wonderful Gerry Finley Day, with a somewhat complicated history. It features wonderful art by Alan Davis, where you have that magicall moment where you get to see an artist really mastering the art form.  

Harry Twenty is a classic manly anti-hero, a good natured rogue who knows the real meaning of good and evil. The story is essentially Escape from Alcatraz, in space with lots of zany ideas and characters that you'd expect from Gerry!  

It may not feature on everyone's A-list list of 2000AD stories, but it's great fun. And you know, he's still out there, and hopefully no-one will ever catch up with him.  The story has been reprinted in the best of 2000AD monthly, the U.S. reprints and is currently available in a book from Rebellion.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?  

What I always loved about it was the concentrated imagination, the fact for so many years it was ahead of everything else going on in this country or anywhere else. A genuine institution that has had a vast, but largely unsung, cultural effect on this country.

What would you most like to see in 2000AD as it heads to its Forties?  
 
Something old by the old guard, or something impossible new and amazing. Either is always possible from the comic. But if I had to be pinned down, more Strontium Dog from Wagner and Ezquerra. Alpha Lives!

Spludig Vur Thrigg!

• 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

Happy Birthday 2000AD! From lettering droid Richard Starkings

Strontium Dog by Carlos Ezqurra
Name: Richard Starkings

Blog or web site: www.hipflask.com

Currently working on:
Elephantmen #38, 40 & 41, Elephantmen volume 5: Devilish Functions

First memory of 2000AD?

I remember seeing the cover of #61 in a stack of 2000ADs my brother -- who was a comic dealer in the 70's and 80's -- had at his home in Nottingham amidst all the Marvel imports. I flicked through it and didn't quite get it, I thought Spikes Harvey Rotten was a lead character.

Only when Starlord #1 came out and I saw the mindblowing art of Carlos Ezquerra did I start looking for everything remotely related to the creators of Strontium Dog. Lucky for me, my brother got ahold of a complete run of 2000AD up to issue 80/81... just before Starlord merged with 2000AD. I've bought it ever since.

Favourite Character or Story?

That would have to be Johnny Alpha, with Dredd a close second. Alpha is a much more sympathetic character whereas Dredd is heroic but not quite as accessible emotionally. I think that's why he's never caught on with American readers.

But I think the essential 2000AD story is Judge Dredd: Judge Dredd Lives by Wagner and Bolland; a high watermark in the field of comics internationally, let alone in British comics.

Strontium Dog in either Journey into Hell or The Shicklegrüber Grab would be close seconds.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

The innovation! New ideas and new characters all the time. I remember Brian Bolland telling me that when he was drawing Judge Death, he was thinking of the Joker from Batman. I think comics are at their best when creators channel the affection they developed for the comics of their youth into new characters and ideas.

Hopefully my love of 2000AD is evident in Elephantmen.

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

To keep pushing the envelope -- with new creators and new characters and new ideas. And Bolland back on Dredd -- is that too much to ask? And Halo Jones Books IV-VII. And more D.R & Quinch.

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

My favourite memories would have to be the Marvel UK/2000AD softball matches in Hyde Park. I led a team of Marvel editors and artists while John Wagner and Alan Grant were joined by various creators and 2000AD droids, including Brian Bolland at one point. We'd retire to the pub at Hyde Park Corner afterwards where Wagner and Grant would warn us about the dangers of work for hire. I learned a lot from both of them.

But I also had a very good experience working for the editorial team of Steve McManus and Simon Geller. Simon and then Art Editor Robin Smith gave me a lot of great feedback which undoubtedly made me a better lettering artist. They gave me plenty of time to complete the work and were always responsive and positive. I got to work on Future Shocks, Ace Trucking, Strontium Dog and Judge Dredd a few times when Tom Frame was on holiday or overloaded.

I remember watching Tom letter the back cover of The Fink Brothers 12" single, which was on a wall drawn in the art by Bolland... set at an angle. I thought to myself "F**k! I wouldn't want to do that!" At around that same time, you'd often see Steve Dillon in the office, working on Dredd at an art table, standing up... Robin told me they sometimes had to lock him in a room to make sure he finished.


I owe a debt of gratitude to Ian Gibson for requesting me to work on Halo Jones after he saw my work on a Robo Hunter story. He told me he'd never seen someone letter his work so sensitively before -- those were the days of pen and ink when lettering was done on crackback and then cut out with a scalpel and stuck to the artwork. I would go to great pains to literally cut balloons behind figures heads or bodies, so for a short while I was Ian's letterer of choice. He wrote me a couple of thank you notes on the artwork of the last couple of pages of Halo Jones, which I cut out and kept somewhere.

Undoubtedly working on Dredd and Halo Jones stood me in good stead when Bolland asked DC if I could letter Batman: The Killing Joke for him. I sent samples of my 2000AD work to Denny O'Neill and he readily agreed. Brian was keen to work with me so he could keep the pencil pages close at hand in London. That work opened the door to comics for me in the US, so without 2000AD, I might not be the creator of my own Image comic today.

I stopped by the offices of Rebellion in Oxford last November. It felt to me as if time had stood still... although the current editorial team were working on computers, everyone was clearly working as hard as the editorial team I used to work for, and enjoying it every bit as much. They also jealously guarded their comps just as much as everyone did back in the day.

Splundig Vur Thrigg!

• The Strontium Dog page in this interview is from 2000AD Prog 86 by Carlos Ezquerra. Copyright Rebellion. See it online at: http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=837067&GSub=85905

• 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

Rich Johnston and BOOM! Studios to Parody The Avengers

A fundamentalist Islamic terrorist codenamed The Iron Muslim, the world's leading for-profit deity ScienTHORlogy, and Captain American Idol, a reality TV star thawed out from the 1940s: Avengefuls Assemble!

This April, Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston parodies Marvel's The Avengers in four one-shots from BOOM! Studios that anticipate the biggest movie release this summer.  

No, we're not talking about Step Up 4…

Each one-shot will be released on one of the four Wednesdays leading up to The Avengers' big screen release on 4th May.

First to be published, on 11th April, is The Avengefuls (Diamond Previews code: FEB120845) drawn by Joshua Covey, followed the next week on 18th April with The Iron Muslim (FEB120849) drawn by Bryan Turner.

The week after, 25th April, sees the release of Captain American Idol (FEB120847), penciled by Chris Haley, with the final title, ScienTHORlogy (FEB120851), shipping on 2nd May  drawn by the great Bronze Age Batman artist Michael Netzer!

The Avengefuls #1: Can The Hoff assemble this rag-tag group together into a team ready to face Earth's greatest threats? Well, he better, because that's why we're making this comic! Written by Rich Johnston (yeah, him again) and drawn by Joshua Covey with a cover by Mark Stafford.
 
Iron Muslim #1: Trapped in a warzone, Al Stark has an epiphany: "Americans are a superstitious and cowardly lot. I shall become a Muslim!" Al, newly inspired, takes his jihad to New York City, and a showdown with a Freedom Fighter who resembles a certain Caped Crusader… The Iron Muslim is written by Rich Johnston and drawn by Bryan Turner with a cover by Mark Stafford.

(Cue media-hyped outrage from all quarters before anyone's even seen the book...)

Captain American Idol #1: During World War II, Captain American was America's #1 entertainer, thrilling audiences stateside and on the front lines — until a Komikaze attack on his show seemingly took him away forever. But now, a TV talent show looking for fresh blood instead finds the Captain's frozen body. Written by Rich Johnston, drawn by Chris Haley with a cover by Mark Stafford.

ScienTHORlogy #1: Norse (and comic book) legend says Thor is the son of Odin. But what if he was really the spawn of alien overlords who harness volcanoes for ammunition for their intergalactic war and inspire a sci-fi writer to create a church? What if that church was created to deal with the fallout of that war and recruits movie stars to aid their cause? Written by Rich Johnston and drawn by the great Bronze Age talent Michael Netzer (Batman, Marvel Team-Up).

"Rich Johnston takes us on a raucous ride through politics, fanaticism, and the healing power of Hollywood, and no one is spared," said Ross Richie, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BOOM! Studios. "Expect his typical irreverent personality, along with a big dollop of black humour and some scathing satire. This one's not for the faint of heart!"

Monday, 6 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From art droid Kev Hopgood

Kev has fond memories for the first Cursed Earth saga
Name: Kev Hopgood 

Blog or web site:

www.kevhopgood.demon.co.uk 


Currently working on:

A graphic novel for a French educational publisher called "Liverpool Rocks". Lawless with writer Ferg Handley for Strip Magazine. Valentine with writer Alex de Campi.

First memory of 2000AD?

One of the early Carlos Ezquerra's double page spreads on Strontium Dog.

Favourite Character or Story: 

I've still got a soft spot for the first Cursed Earth Judge Dredd story.

What do you like most about the 2000AD? 

Its unpredictability.

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

A huge TV advertising campaign!

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

None that I can repeat without risking a lawsuit!

• 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

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From script droid Michael Carroll

2000Ad 1733
Name: Michael Carroll


Web site:
www.michaelowencarroll.com

Currently working on:

The seventh novel in the Quantum Prophecy series of Young Adult superhero adventures (www.quantumprophecy.com). The sixth novel - Stronger - will be published in June.

More Judge Dredd stories.

Other stuff that I'm not going to mention until contracts have been signed!

First memory of 2000AD?

It was either seeing one of those half-page ads for the comic in Battle Picture Weekly, or an article in one of the Irish newspapers. Can't remember which came first...

I do recall my dad showing me the newspaper article and telling me about Dan Dare, whom he remembered from the original Eagle. I was already an avid comic reader by that stage (I was almost 11, after all!), but something about 2000AD really got me buzzing.

The evening before the first issue was due I went to the local newsagent's just in case the weekly comic delivery came in early. That didn't happen often, but I figured it was worth a shot. And it paid off: the comics arrived while I was there: the newsagent gave me the very first prog out of the bundle... Ah, such a simple thing, but it meant the world to me.

Favourite Character or Story?

Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, The Stainless Steel Rat... And hundreds more. It'd be easier and quicker to list my least favourite characters and stories (but I won't!)

What do you like most about 2000AD?

The best thing about an anthology comic is that there's alwayssomething new. This alone puts 2000AD ahead of almost every other comic still in print, and the fact that it's weekly is just awesome in an age when far too many Big Name comics have only a single story and still can't manage to keep a regular schedule.

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

More of the same... 2000AD has never been better than it is now, and if it works, don't change it!

That said, if I was Tharg I'd very strongly consider reducing the physical size of the comic to US comic dimensions. Not only would this save money on printing and distribution, it would mean that the prog could be displayed alongside its peers in the US. I'm sure this would help endear the comic to US readers and specialist comic stores.

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

Back in March 2010, I saw a link on the 2000AD message board that said"Bryan Talbot Returns To Judge Dredd – And This Time He’s Bringing His Son."

I'm a huge fan of Mr Talbot, so naturally I followed the link... And that was when I discovered that Bryan and his son Alwyn were illustrating my Dredd story, "Caterpillars."

I usually don't know who's illustrating my scripts (I'm sure Tharg would tell me if I asked, but I kind of like not knowing - it adds to the surprise), so that completely floored me.

I know that's not much of an anecdote from most people's point of view, but it sure made my day!

• 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

In Memoriam: Mike White

One of Mike White's many historical illustrations
We're sorry to report the passing of veteran comic artist Mike White, probably best known to readers of downthetubes for his art on Roy of the Rovers, Commando, 2000AD and strips such as Hell's Highway and Kids Rule OK for the controversial 1970s comic, Action.

Mike passed this weekend after a long illness.

"We used to meet up for some interesting chats once or twice a year in the Lord Salisbury pub in Saint Martins Lane, London," recalls artist and friend Keith Page. "he'd been ill for quite a wile but was still drawing for Commando until very recently."

"His passing will leave a hole in the Commando team," editor Calum Laird told downthetubes, "but, more importantly, a gap in their lives that his family and friends will not be able to fill. My sympathies go to them."

A page from 'The Team Terry
Kept in a Box" for Lion
In a tribute on his blog, artist Mike Perkins, who also often met Mike for a drink in the same pub, describes him as a "a lovely bloke - with a curmudgeonly streak - accompanied by a plethora of tales.".

"He arrived in London during 'The Swinging Sixties'," Mike recalls, "and, by his accounts, he made the most of it - regaling me with tales of drinking Oliver Reed under the table and another, unmentionable tale, involving Felicity Kendal!"

Writing on The Illustration Art Gallery, Steve Holland notes Yorkshireman Mike was first published by Micron  in around 1963/64 in their schoolgirls' libraries. 

White recalled the company would accept artwork from artists who were still learning their craft, but he was not especially proud of these early efforts.

His first major strip was 'Jackaroo Joe' for Valiant in 1965-66 - about a swagman from the Australian outback brought to the UK - followed by strips for Fleetway such as  'School for Spacemen' for Champion, while also working for DC Thomson, usually working on one-off strips rather than series.

'Kids Rule OK', drawn for Action
Mike gained regular work on Action in 1976, filling in on episodes of 'The Running Man' before taking on the series 'Hell's Highway'.

In the revised Action - which was removed from the shelves for some months for retooling - he drew 'Hellman of Hammer Force'.

He then found regular work in 2000AD, drawing many episodes of 'Tharg's Future Shocks', 'Ro-Jaws Robo Tales' and 'Tharg's Time Twisters'. Of note for the SF weekly is his art for the Abelard Snazz strories, plus a run on 'The Mean Arena' in 1981-82.

White racked up a considerable number of football strips for both Fleetway and DC Thomson, for titles such as Champ and DC Thomson's Football Library title, despite knowing little of the game, drawing 'Roy of the Rovers' for six year, from August 1986 to October 1992. The official Roy of the Rovers web site notes Mike gave Roy a more powerful, muscular look.

One of Mike's most popular covers was for the book Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years.

"I worked with Mike when he was doing stuff for the Football Libraries," recalls editor DC Thomson Bill McLoughlin. "He was a good artist and a good draughtsman, never any problem with his layouts. He was in great demand, so I phoned him on a regular basis to badger him into to taking on a story.

"We moaned about life and things in general, but always with his sharp sense of humour shining through. He would take a story and we would put no deadline on it. When he was ready, he did it. A great artist and a great guy."

His last comics work was, of course, for Commando, his most recently published cover appearing last year (Commando 4436).

Mike's cover for Commando 4436,
published last year
"When I took over Commando Mike had retired from work due to really bad arthritis that would no longer respond to treatment so I didn't think I'd be using him at all," recalls Calum Laird. "However he did manage to get further treatment and that allowed him back to the drawing board, initially on covers and later on full books. We were delighted to get him back on the team.

"He was working through Pat Kelleher's Temple Rogers Agency at the time and he'd told Pat that he was worried that his quality might have dropped off due to the arthritis. This was simply not the case - his line was as crisp and accurate as ever. In fact, because we didn't put a deadline on a script for him, he could take as much time as he wanted and the result was a really polished job. Great for Commando!

"His last work for us came in just before Christmas and was as fine as ever. He himself was never anything less that a total professional.

"My dealings with him were by phone. Despite his years in London he never lost his original accent. He'd a dry sense of humour and never trusted the Post Office. He was always re-assured when I called to let him know a cover or a batch of artwork had arrived. The curse of the freelance I suppose."

Comics archivist Steve Holland notes White was convinced that comics were not going to last and began requesting that his agent find him illustration work, mainly for for historical educational books published by various firms.

One commission was one of four new Royal Mail Millennium stamps, issued in June 1999 entitled "World Cup" which celebrates England's win in 1966. The stamp shows former England and West Ham United captain, the late great Bobby Moore, holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy, with the famous twin towers of Wembley in the background. 

"It's my belief that Mike was in love with the theatre and felt compelled to pursue this as a career," notes Mike Perkins. "I have no idea why he didn't but am glad that he chose the path he did - enriching so many lives with his artwork even if he himself believed he left no lasting impression unlike those talented 'kids' Bolland and Gibbons.

"I like to think that, in our times drinking in the Lord Salisbury pub, I had persuaded him, just a tiny bit, that his work was, indeed, influential on, at least, my life."

Tributes

Mike Perkins: http://perkyposts.blogspot.com/2012/02/mike-white-rip.html


Lew Stringer: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2012/02/mike-white-rip.html

Online Credit Notes

Mike White Profile by Steve Holland on the Illustration Art Gallery


2000AD Credits


Roy of the Rovers

Compiled with thanks to Keith Page, Jeremy Briggs, Calum Laird and Bill McLoughlin.



Sunday, 5 February 2012

Call for Papers for third 'Transitions' comic conference in November

Transitions is a one-day symposium promoting new research and multi-disciplinary academic study of comics, comix, manga, bande dessinée and other forms of sequential art, now in its third year, with the next event taking place as part of Comica 2012 on Saturday 3rd November 2012 at the School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, London WC1E 7HX.


Comics studies occupy a unique multi-disciplinary middle-space, one that encourages cross-disciplinary pollination and a convergence of distinct knowledges: literary and cultural studies, visual arts and media, modern languages, sociology, geography and more.

Transitions is intended as a platform where different perspectives and methodologies; cultural, historical, or formal, can be brought together and shared, an event devoted to promoting new research into comics in all their forms. Rather than restricting itself to a specific theme, the symposium will highlight research from postgraduate students and early career lecturers.

By thinking about comics across different disciplines, the intention is to stimulate and provoke debate and to address a wide spectrum of questions, to map new trends and provide a space for dialogue and further collaboration to emerge.

The first Transitions symposium was the successful opening event of Comica 2010 and in November 2011 Birkbeck hosted Transitions 2, testifying to a thriving UK comics scholarship emerging from a diverse range of disciplinary settings.

Transitions 3 is part of Comica 2012: the London International Comics Festival, and is organised in association with Birkbeck, University of London, the School of Film and Television Studies and the School of American Studies at the University of East Anglia, Studies in Comics, European Comic Art, the Contemporary Fiction Seminar and The Comics Grid.

Dr. Roger Sabin, Reader in Popular Culture at Central St. Martins, will once again act as respondent.

Organisers welcome abstracts for twenty minute papers of 250 - 300 words. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

International iterations: manga, bande dessinée , fumetti etc. – children’s comics – superheroes – non-fiction comics – the (im)materiality of comics – formalist approaches – cultural histories –adaptation/ remediation – autographics – early comics – comic strips – small press –alternative comics/ underground commix – comics narratologies – political comics – comics and cultural theory – contexts of production and circulation - audiences – comics and the archive – subjectivity in comics – graphic medicine – fan subcultures – comics as historiography – key creators...

- Abstracts should be submitted by 30th July 2012 to Hallvard, Nina and Ed at transitions.symposium@gmail.com

Bastien Vivès' Polina set for UK publication next year

Bastien Vivès' Polina

 Bastien Vivès' Polina (due to be published by Jonathan Cape in the UK in June 2013) was awarded l'Association des critiques de Bandes Dessinées at this year's Angoulême International Comics Festival.

Polina recounts the joys and torments of a young Russian ballerina in the world of classical and contemporary ballet. 

Vivès' A Taste of Chlorine was previously published to much critical acclaim in the UK. The Observer described it as "extraordinarily beautiful" and the Independent wrote "Every once in a while, a graphic novel comes along that warrants the kind of attention more typically bestowed upon the likes of the Booker shortlist. Bastien Vivès's A Taste of Chlorine is one such book."

In other good news for Cape, Guy Delisle's Jerusalem (to be published in August 2012) was also awarded 'Best Album' award.

The Angoulême International Comics Festival is the largest in Europe. 11 prizes known as the "Fauves d'Angoulême" were awarded in Angoulême on Sunday 29th January 2012, the last day of the 39th edition of the festival. They reward comic books published in French between December 2010 and November 2011; 58 books were shortlisted this year.

Happy Birthday 2000AD! From art droid Jon Haward

Slaine by Jon Haward
Name: Jon Haward

Blog or web site:

hawardarthouse.blogspot.com 

and www.jonhawardart.com

Currently working on:

Art directing Hamlet the graphic novel for Classical Comics, drawing Slaine for Zarjaz magazine just recently finished art duties on Tales of the Buddha before he got enlightened collection 

First memory of 2000AD?

The first issue, being blown away by Invasion, Dan Dare, Harlem Heroes and Mach 1. Basically I loved it and have been a fan ever since

Favourite Character or Story?

Slaine the Horned God by Simon Bisley. Also, Mike McMahon's amazing run on Slaine, Nemesis by Kev O'Neill - both by scribe Pat Mills. Robo Hunter by Ian Gibson - the first stories I adored by  John Wagner and Alan Grant.

Then there's the Judge Child Dredd saga, the Cursed Earth Dredd saga Ron Smith, McMahon, Bolland - genius work. 

Gosh, the list goes on - Gibbons on Rogue Trooper and Dan Dare; Wagner and Ranson's Button Man etc .

My most enjoyable job for 2000AD was drawing Tales of Telguuth  by Steve Moore - a wonderful, zany dark fantasy.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

The mix of fantasy, action and sci-fi mixed with black humour dynamite combo

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

The same energy trying new thrills but build also on its corner stone characters

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

Richard Burton was my first Tharg editor (I've worked for Richard, Alan McKenzie, Andy Diggle and Matt Smith). When Richard gave me my first Dredd job, he told me to get it done in 10 days - that's pencils, inks and colouring.

I got the job finished on time. It was a story by Garth Ennis. Richard told me it was my baptism of fire, he was interested in marathon runners not runners that could start the race and not finish it.

Actually Richard was so impressed with my Dredd and my speed he offered me Shinobi Master Ninja for Sonic the Comic!

• 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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