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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From creator and fan Owen Watts


Name: Owen Watts
 

Blog or web site: crazyfoxmachine.blogspot.com
 

Currently working on:

I'm a small press artist and editor currently putting together the second issue of my psychedelic Doctor Who comic anthology Dr WTF?! that features a whole host of familiar (and unfamiliar) small pressers including a cover this year from a bonafide 2000AD legend!

I've drawn a strip for an upcoming issue for the 2000AD fanzine Zarjaz which features the old stoney-faced mug of law and I'm also working on a comic with steampunk chap-hopper Professor Elemental!

First memory of 2000AD?

I started with the Dandy and Sonic the Comic and then... I became a Marvel freak, I'll admit it. I used to read Panini's Marvel Heroes Reborn reprint comic almost exclusively - drawn to the appealing anthology format (each issue had Hulk, Fantastic Four and Iron Man). It was cancelled in November 2000 and I was gutted. The other Panini Marvel titles just didn't draw me in (one character per issue - pffff) - and then as if by magic Prog 1218 appeared.

I was 13. It had Ezquerra on Dredd, Flint on Deadlock, Fraser on Dante, MacNeil on Vanguard and Wilson on Rain Dogs. Five artists who are still my favourites. Five different stories every issue in radically different styles - each completely different universes each telling completely different stories. Then - Necronauts, D'Israeli Future Shocks, Kevin Walker, John Burns, Arthur Ranson, the logo!

I was utterly totally smitten and I've accepted no substitute ever since.

Favourite Character or Story?

It would be easier to name the few stories I don't like! Briefly though -  Ian Edginton can do no wrong with me - the very fact that he's knitting all of his stories into one glorious continuity cake is just amazing. Leviathan, for example,  is one of the most captivating and atmospheric stories ever printed in 2000AD. I recommend everyone get the graphic novel. Bryan Talbot did a story called Memento in Prog 2002 that just knocked me for six.

In terms of on-going characters I've always loved Nikolai Dante - the constant back-and-forth between two radically different but consistently amazing artists (Fraser and Burns - at least since 2000 anyway) is phenomenal and some parts of the narrative have packed such an emotional punch it's been inconceivable.

The real testament of Dredd is that there's still room in his world and his character for progression - from smart one offs to sprawling epics - Dredd is still captivating and even if it goes on for another 35 years I'm certain there'll still be more to tell without his universe becoming tired and convoluted like those of the mainstream American comics.

 Also - in terms of a single graphic novel - Alan Moore's Time Twisters is one of the greatest single collected editions of anything. Ever.

What do you like most about 2000AD?

The community. The variety. The personality. No other comic comes close, it's completely unique. In terms of community: I couldn't recommend the forums at 2000adonline higher - without them my anthology would be empty and every convention I go to would be a parade of terrifyingly unfamiliar faces.

Quick Plug: For this most 35th of Februaries, the forum's art competition and story competition are combining to become a collaboration spectacular - that should hopefully be chock-a-block with wonderfully heartfelt tributes to the glorious prog!

Come and take a look (or take part) and see what creativity the forum is capable of!

What would you most like to see in 2000AD as it heads to its Forties?
The Megazine used to do a wonderful feature called "Small Press" that highlighted ... well, the small press. 2000AD is fantastic with new creators - although especially over the last two years a lot of the Future Shocks (and similiar "tryout" strips) are being drawn by established artists and written by only two or three different writers - so it would be nice to see more of the outright nutters and weirdos from our humble small press scene get a bit more exposure in the prog in some form.

My subscriber copy arrived on my mat this morning with an absolutely breathtaking cover from relative newey Tiernen Trevallion - Flint is on Dredd, Fraser on Dante, Ezquerra on Strontium Dog and Trevallion on Absalom. I feel as excited as I did twelve years ago - and as I understand it, even if this had been my 35th year with it, I would still feel the same as I did when I first gingerly flicked through it in my local newsagent... excited!

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

2000AD © Rebellion

Check out The Chili! New Markosia title on sale soon

On sale at the London SuperCon next weekend is The Chili, a new trade paperback from UK indie publisher Markosia, featuring the talents of ace British creator Nigel Dobbyn as colourist.

Created by Christian Rodríguez, like many comic book fans, young Mike Alvarez dreams of one day drawing his favourite heroes and working with legends like Stan “The Man” Lee. Those dreams change rapidly when Mike accidentally illustrates the blank pages of a magical compendium, thus transforming him into the mighty Chili!

Join Mike, his sidekick Skip and the most bizarre villains you’ve ever encountered, as our unlikely hero fights for all of humanity against the diabolical Taco Bravo! 


This mix of comedy and action will dare you to ask:  Do you believe in comics?

• For more information and previews visit: http://thechili.wordpress.com

• The Chili written by: Christian Rodríguez and Chris Campanozzi - Art by: Marcelo Salaza - Inks: Kal J. Moon - Colours/Letters: Nigel Dobbyn - Cover artist: Marcelo Salaza
96 pages  - Full Colour - £10.99 ISBN: 978-1-905692-72-9

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From comic creator and fan Dan Goldman

Name: Dan Goldman

Blog or web site: http://dangoldman.net

Currently working on:


I'm entering my third year of working on my comic series Red Light Properties, which is coming soon to Comixology and Graphic.ly and a host of others. It tells the story of a family-run Miami real estate office that exorcises and flips "previously-haunted" houses.

First memory of 2000AD?

I grew up in Miami pre-internet, when you actually had to find things, special order imports as well. One day on the way home from a short-lived series of bass guitar lessons, I found a comic shop I'd never seen before called BAM! (unbeknownst to me patterned after London's GOSH! by its Anglophile owner Alex Gimeno, who's gone on to become superstar DJ-producer Ursuala 1000). I pulled into the shop and found that they not only spotlighted in pre-Vertigo fare (I'd been reading Shade and Sandman and Animal Man before the imprint launched), but BAM! also  featured a wall of imports... and it was there I found 2000AD.

Long after my interest in bass guitar faded, my lust for UK comics was stoked by this shop: Alex always played the best Madchester and Britpop bands (and their remixes) while I stopped, and I found myself hanging out and talking with him and the other cat I remember who worked there, a talented fellow named Georges Jeanty. I picked up many many things there, it was a doorway into a whole education of UK comics/music/culture that informed my own tastes and techniques as I inevitably picked up the bristol on my own soon after.

This was the early 90's, mind, and American comics absolutely sucked then. Without 2000AD (and Deadline and Tundra and BAM! Comics) showing me how flexible and intelligent the storytelling medium really was, I don't think I'd still be mucking around with comics today.

Favourite Character or Story?

"The Gothic Empire" from Nemesis the Warlock which still rattles my teeth to look at, any/all volumes of ABC Warriors, naturally The Ballad of Halo Jones as a single piece of work. And of course, Zenith.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

Its unbridled energy, almost musically blasting off the page with anger and satire and ugliness. I learned a lot of about how to make comics by studying the self-contained shorts in each prog, how they worked standalone and were even better read together. It was clear to me from my first contact with 2000AD that these were a smarter calibre of creator writing up to a smarter audience.

It took the US a long time to catch up, mostly by imitating this work and TV/film.

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

To be totally and unabashedly sincere... a comic of my own creation running in its pages. That would be a thrill and an honour and a tick off my dream list. I know Tharg isn't fond of hiring Yanks, but I'm currently living in Brazil. That's got to count for something, no?

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

2000AD © Rebellion

Rare Dan Dare merchandise, Comic Cuts Number 1, up for auction

The Spring 2012 auction at Compalcomics is open and includes some terrific Dan Dare artwork and toys, an issue of Eagle signed by Dan Dare co-creator Frank Hampson, Trigan Empire art by Don Lawrence and the first issue of Comic Cuts - published in 1890.

There are 203 lots in this catalogue and Dan Dare rules the interplanetary airwaves with a wonderful collection of comics, artwork and toys.

Offered are two magnificent Eagle artworks from "Operation Saturn", copies of Eagle No 1 and No 52 signed by Frank Hampson, the impossibly rare Dan Dare Figures Set in original box by Crescent Toys and the Horlicks Dan Dare Spaceship Cup and lid which you could only get if you sent off 6d and a jar label in the early 1950s. It’s in mint condition.

A Space Pistol, and Eagle and Girl Table tennis Set (surely proof of the popularity of the tites in the 1950s), interplanetary Stamp Folder, Eagle Membership Card and letters are some of the other lots from this high grade collection featured in lots 74-93.

Other key artwork boards on offer showcase The Trigan Empire by Don Lawrence, full of action, Thunderbirds by Frank Bellamy, Oor Wullie in a terrible tangle with his pet mouse, Wee Jeemy and a Kit Carson cover from Cowboy Picture Library in 1958.

For those intrigued by the origins of British comics there's the first issue of Comic Cuts, publishd in 1890, alongside a 1901 Sherlock Holmes’ Hound Of The Baskervilles, all episodes collected from Strand Magazine in a bound volume.

Also offered is a very battered Beano No 1 at No Reserve, Beano Books 1 and 2, the first Beezer with free gift Whizz Bang, plenty of early Cowboy Comics to ride the range and Playhour 1 with free gift Red Indian Head-dress to fight them off.

Meet the Saint features in number one of Super-Detective Library and Robin Hood, Black Arrow, Battler Britton and Spy 13 in Thriller Picture Library.

If it's rarities you're after, then Lot 128 has the original printer’s dummy copy of Buster No 1 along with the actual first issue

There's also a bound set of the first 250 issues of 2000AD,  Bionic Woman art by John Bolton from Look-In, Faceache art by Ken Reid and much more, but the Dan Dare items realy need to be checked out by fans.
 
The US section offers an early run of 1940s Classic Comics from #1-42 including key first editions along with Fantastic Four #1 and a good run of Silver Age DC comics.

• Bidding closes on Tuesday 13th March at 8.00pm UK time. To go directly to the main page for this catalogue click here: www.compalcomics.com/catalogue/index.htm

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From writer and fan Benjamin Dickson

Name: Benjamin Dickson

Currently working on:


The Kestrels with Mick McMahon, a creator-owned children's adventure story set on the home front in World War 2. There's no publication date yet - mainly because we don't yet have a publisher on board - but more about this story will be made public soon.

In the meantime you can see some of Mick's concept sketches here: http://tuggingyourcoat.com/2011/06/08/kestrels/

The first part of a much more adult book, Unfinished City, should be published through Scar Comics later this year. Co-written by me and Jelena Stanovnik and illustrated by Robert Solanovic, it's the story of a woman's journey through the criminal underworld of a city in Former Yugoslavia to find justice for her murdered sister.

But that's already written - right at this moment I'm co-writing a book about the history of protest with Sean Michael Wilson.

First memory of 2000AD?

Reading a friend's copy in his bedroom after school, and marvelling at some awesomely bizarre Nemesis artwork by Kevin O'Neill.

I didn't really read 2000AD so much myself as a child, I read Eagle instead, but I picked up the Best of 2000AD fairly regularly, so I guess I've always been a collected edition reader more than a weekly reader.

I particularly remember reading "The Midnight Surfer" in that format - it was a hell of a ride.

Favourite Character or Story?

Judge Dredd is by far my favourite recurring character, but my favourite story published in 2000AD has to be Button Man.

Pretty much every "how to write" book you ever read will tell you that Button Man shouldn't work. Harry Exton is a central character with absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever, yet Wagner makes you root for him anyway. That alone is a great lesson in storytelling.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

That it's adapted itself over time to ensure it never became outdated, yet never lost touch with the core principles of what Pat Mills set out to create in 1977. It must be a difficult balancing act. But more recently I've been really impressed with the line of graphic novels that have been coming out, particularly the chunky Dredd trades. It's been great to revisit the bits I knew and to read the stuff I missed.

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

Primarily I just want to see it keep going! In terms of specifics, I'd like to see James McKay being given a full colour strip to draw, as his painted work is really extraordinary.

I won't say I want to see X or Y return, as to me the point of 2000AD is to keep looking to the future and developing new stuff. So yeah, I guess that's what I'd like to see.

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 being Tharg's bitch, but I'd like to be at some point. You never know, it might happen!

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

2000AD © Rebellion

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From writer and fan Jeremy Briggs

Name: Jeremy Briggs

Website: Err… this one.

Currently working on:

Deputy editor on STRIP Magazine as well as writing factual articles on British comics for Spaceship Away magazine, Illustrators journal and Eagle Times fanzine, plus the Bear Alley and downthetubes blogs... and in my spare time I have a real job.

First memory of 2000AD?

My friend Colin showing me the biotronic stickers on his arm that came free with Prog 2. The local newsagents didn’t have any more copies of that issue but I got Prog 3 and never looked back for the next six years worth of thrill power. Then Warrior came along and I finally jumped ship (so blame Unca Dez).

Favourite Character or Story?

I have fond memories of Belardinelli’s amazing Biog art from the first Dan Dare strip (although having had the chance to re-read it recently, the story isn’t up to much); Judge Dredd of course (I remember much debate in school when he removed his own helmet in the antique car thieves episode and his face was “censored”); I still remember reading over and over again Comic Rock: Going Underground, the story that started the whole Nemesis The Warlock saga, with Kev O’Neill’s amazing artwork; and the "Airbase Hell" Future Shock in Prog 210 with terrific artwork by Ian Kennedy that inspired me to write my first article for Ian Wheeler and John Freeman way back in the days of Eagle Flies Again.


What do you like most about 2000AD?

The fact that I still get much the same excitement reading those early issues as I did some 35 years ago, yet the tales that came along after I had stopped reading the weekly, such as Halo Jones, Durham Red and Nikolai Dante, also keep me coming back for more of the reprint books.

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

Despite some attempts over the years I never did get back on the weekly bandwagon but I kept the candle burning with the Titan, Fleetway and Rebellion reprint books. So what would I still like to see reprinted? It’ll never happen but a reprint of all the 2000AD Dan Dare stories – Belardinelli’s Battle of Jupiter, Dave Gibbons’ Eagle shuttles and Ian Kennedy’s beautiful painted strip from the 1979 Dare annual.

Also, while on the subject of reprints, how come I can get colour Durham Red graphic novels by Peter Hogan and Mark Harrison in Flemish when I can’t get the same ones in English? C’mon Rebellion, get the finger out on that one.

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

I never had my name in a 2000AD credits box but my name is in the artwork of one of the more recent issues, put there by an art droid who is still on the run from 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

Friday, 17 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From artist and fan Rodrigo Diaz Ricci


Robo Hunter cover for 2000AD by Ian Gibson Name: Rodrigo Diaz Ricci

Blog or web site:
http://www.ligeia-the-vampire.com/

Currently working on:

At the time of writing this I'm on holiday - my first in three years! I've just finished my third Ligeia adventure, Moonchild, and I'm working on the new series Which will also be published on my website.

I'm also writing and drawing a series in Spanish for a Chilean Strip Magazine calling Sintoma, with my own story called Matrioska. (It's a a mix between Tom Clancy and David Cronemberg!)

First memory of 2000AD?

I started to read Judge Dredd in the early 1990s and I love the character.

Favourite Character or Story?

I've read a huge number of 2000AD stories, but their high quality makes me think it's unfair speak of only one. But since I have to choose, I think: Cry of the Werewolf, Robo-Hunter, Future Shocks and others. Too many of the latter to pick out just one!

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

Well - 2000AD is a Magazine that has given work to a lot of new professionals. It has a Rock spirit and maintains the spirit of comics for young people, but in an intelligent way. It's a fetish of popular culture from 20th century and now the 21st.

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

I want to read an story with Iron Maiden-like characters. Rock and comics always will be a cool mix!

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

2000AD © Rebellion

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From artist and fan Conor Boyle






Shakara by Conor Boyle
Name: Conor Boyle

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


Currently working on:


A graphic novel for Markosia, lead artist on another for Accent UK and in the process of assembling a small press anthology under the banner of Disconnected Press which is due to launch at the Bristol Comic Expo this year.

First memory of 2000AD?

My mum buying me a copy (Prog 226) on a ferry to Ireland to keep me quiet. The Beano wasn't available in the little shop on board so she reasoned comics were all the same...

That prog had Judge Death killing someone in the shower (along with the four Dark Judges standing over a pile of bodies in a colour centre-spread) and Widow Grundy realising it wasn't dark, but that the walls were covered in flies in Nemesis The Warlock.

I didn't sleep much on that ferry crossing.

Favourite Character or Story?

Nemesis The Warlock (and everything that spun off from it). I drifted away from comics for a few years but happened to pick up prog 557 which had Nemesis drawn by John Hicklenton and Simon Bisley drawing the ABCs Black Hole story. My father's dreams of me being an
accountant died that day.

What do you like most about 2000AD?

I love the whole satirical premise that it was founded on and the massive but often uncredited influence that it has today.

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

2000AD was born out of the discontent of the 1970s and the subsequent effect of 'Thatcher's Britain'. It'd be great to see more stories reflecting the popularity of the current social and political climate...

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

2000AD © Rebellion

Flaming Heck! It's some new Commandos

Commando 4471
Just because it was Valentine’s Day this week, Commando hasn’t gone all lovey-dovey. Oh no! Four More action-packed tales are now on sale in all good newsagents for adventure fans...

Commando No 4471: The Flaming Dagger
Story: Stephen Walsh Art: Keith Page Cover: Keith Page

As a 12-year-old living in Paris in the early days of the Second World War, Isaac Vidal hoped that freedom would soon come again to France. He had every confidence that it would for did not his favourite comic have a battling British hero who would thwart the Nazis at every turn?

His optimism was not shared by all, for the Flaming Dagger was a character from fiction and everybody knows that fictitious heroes never win wars. Do they?


Commando 4472
Commando No 4472: Battle In The Snow
Story: Ferg Handley Art: Vila Cover: Janek Matysiak

December, 1944. In the midst of the German Ardennes Offensive, an American GI — Corporal Joe Wallace — regains consciousness after a skirmish. Suffering from a head wound, he has no memory of who he is or what happened to him and his buddies.

As he fights to regain his memory, Joe has to battle for his very survival…

Commando 473
Commando No 4473: Killer Ship

Originally Commando No 44 (Nov 1962)
Story: Eric Hebden Art: Cecil Rigby Cover: Ken Barr

Every night as darkness spread over the Mediterranean, sailors of the German Navy who were on duty grew nervous and uneasy. For this was the time the ghost ship would strike.

Out of the night would roar a sleek, black E-boat with the skull and crossbones flying from its masthead.

And on its bridge stood a British sailor as bold as any pirate of the Spanish Main, Lieutenant Bart Mason of the British Navy — running his own private war.

"1962 was the second year of Commando’s history and they struck gold time after time," notes title Editor Calum Laird of this re-issue. "Writers like Eric Hebden used their full imagination to come up with classic characters and plots, just like here. Eric’s son Alan has the same talent.

"Cecil Rigby’s inside artwork works very well here, with a strong line and skillful use of black for the night scenes. There’s very little you can say about Ken Barr’s cover art that hasn’t been said before, but his capture of the speed of the killer E-boat really is something. You can almost smell the salt and the diesel!

Commando 4472
Commando No 4474: Hit ‘Em Hard!
Originally Commando No 2111 (August 1987)
Story: Alan Hebden Art: Jose Maria Jorge Cover: Tony Corbett

Nick Bonner led a squadron of Curtiss Kittyhawks against Axis forces in North Africa in 1941. They were slogging it out with the Italians for supremacy of the skies. It was a tough fight, but one which was about to take a savage new twist when a ruthless group of Luftwaffe pilots arrived…

"This super air tale from 1987 was written by Alan Hebden, who still crafts many a cracking script for us today," says Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor. " Interestingly, Alan’s dad, Eric, was also a veteran Commando author. Check out his sterling work on “Killer Ship”, (No 4473) the 1962 classic reprinted alongside this story.

"The inside art here was by the great Jose Maria Jorge, another Commando stalwart, who sadly died in 2010 and is much missed. It’s a small consolation but at least his dynamic, wonderfully-detailed black and white line art is still with us to enjoy all over again."

• The Draw Your Weapons exhibition featuring art from Commando continues at the National Army Museum in London this month and runs until 30th April 2012. For the latest information visit: www.nam.ac.uk/exhibitions/special-displays/draw-your-weapons-art-commando-comics


• Official Commando web site: http://www.commandocomics.com/


Commando Official Facebook page


• Click here for subscription information or write to: D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd, The Subscribers Department, Commando Library, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL or Freephone (UK only) 0800 318846


Commando is also available for iPad and iPhone. The apps are free to download through the Apple iTunes App Store and a digital subscription is priced at £4.99 per month, compared to a £99 annual print subscription. For those not sure there are four free issues to download prior to making a purchase.


Commando Comics iPhone App on iTunes


Commando Comics iPad App on iTunes

Beano Sales Are Up and Dandy Sales Are Steady

The Audit Bureau Of Circulations, the industry body for media measurement, have released the July to December 2011 sales figures for UK consumer magazines which include British comics. After rather a lot of doom and gloom six months ago when the sales figures for The Dandy in particular appeared to have collapsed, things have steadied for The Dandy while The Beano sales have increased.

Before blinding you with the numbers we should say that the ABC headline sales figures are the average sales for a title over the six month period and include both newsstand and subscription sales for the UK, Eire and other countries.

The Beano headline figures in the last half of 2011 are up by 3% on the previous period to 38333 average sales per issue with the subscriptions included in those numbers up by 10%.

After the shocking drop between the last half of 2010 and the first half of 2011, the headline figure for The Dandy in the last half of 2011 was 7489 average sales per issue, which is still a frighteningly low number but is actually a rise of 0.5% on the previous six month period. While this means that more people subscribe to The Beano by post than buy The Dandy from all the shops in the UK and Eire combined, it is interesting that subscriptions for The Dandy are actually up by 50% on the previous period.

The monthly BeanoMAX headline figures are down 9.6% to 22094 with its subscriptions down by4.6%. The interesting statistic that can be teased out of the BeanoMAX figures is that in other countries, ie outside of the UK and Eire, shop sales of BeanoMAX are almost the same as the shop sales for The Beano and The Dandy combined.

Egmont's TOXIC comic magazine has seen an uplift in sales from 40,503 to 41,521 for the reporting period, while Titan's Simpsons Comics is only marginally lower, from 64,882 to  64,078.

The move from BBC Worldwide to Immediate Media in November 2011 does not seem to have hurt young reader titles such as Toybox and CBeebies Weekly  - in fact many are up on the last reporting period.

Immediate enjoyed an excellent performance across its pre-school portfolio, up 24.1 per cent year on year (y-o-y). This includes excellent growth across the CBeebies portfolio including CBeebies Art, at 63,679, (up 23.4% y-o-y), and from CBeebies Weekly, at 55,516, up 2.2% y-o-y, as well as a strong debut from Octonauts magazine at 61,750. CBeebies Weekly remains the UK’s top children’s title in terms of circulation.

While not a comic, there's good news, too, for satirical cartoon-packed magazine Private Eye, with its sales at 230,000 fortnightly sales. The Guardian notes this is its highest circulation for more than 25 years as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Editor Ian Hislop, who credits the recent successes to the magazine's journalists and satirists said: "10% growth in a year, I feel like the chancellor – in his dreams.

"I would like to say it was down to my brilliance but the razzmatazz over the 50th birthday helped and there have been some great issues," he added. "The anniversary issue was a great cover. It was a very special year and a lot of our stories came good, whether it was hacking, or PFI or the Hartnett [tax sweetheart deals] story."

One final batch of figures from ABC that may be of interest are the sales figures for the Sunday Post newspaper (Commando by the way is not ABC rated). This Scottish Sunday paper is the home of The Broons and Oor Wullie and during January 2012 the average sales figures per issue were 302,388 which was made up of 215,861 issues in Scotland, 85,326 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined, 823 issues in Eire and 378 issues in other countries. Since it is generally accepted that Sunday papers are read by more than one person, that is a lot of potential readers of Wullie, Maw and the rest of the family.

• The Audit Bureau of Circulations website is here


British Comic Sales Table on downthetubes

• The Beano and BeanoMAX website is
here and subscription details are here for The Beano and here for BeanoMAX.

• The Dandy website is
here and subscription details for The Dandy are here.

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

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From artist and fan Paul O'Connell

Name: Paul O'Connell

Blog or web site: 

www.soundofdrowning.com

Currently working on:


Artwork for Future of the Left and stories for The Sound of Drowning Issue 15.

First memory of 2000AD?

I read 2000AD every week from the very first issue when I was seven up until I was about 18. I very clearly remember running around my grandad's driveway when I was seven covered with the cyborg stickers that were given away with the second issue. (I remember the first issue came with a free plastic 'space spinner' frisbee type toy).

Favourite Character or Story?

From the early years I particularly remember liking Flesh and The Visible Man. Later on I liked Nemesis, Future Shocks and Judge Dredd (though more than Dredd himself it was the world of Mega City 1, it's stories and the recurring characters like Walter, Otto Sump et al).

I also liked early Alan Moore stories like Halo Jones and Skizz. But it was all good!

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

There's nothing else like it. It's influenced and fulled the imaginations of generations of readers.

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

I'm not it's readership any more so I don't feel like it's my place to say.

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 picture I drew published in the reader art section. It was a loaf of bread with a judges badge on it - 'Judge Bread'. It was pretty rubbish. I'd sent in a bunch of silly things like that just to try and get them to print one. Someone else had sent in a picture of Strontium Dog, which they also published.

I had just got my first job after leaving school as an apprentice in a graphic art studio. I showed my boss the copy of the comic with my drawing in it.

Unimpressed, he handed it back to me and said: "That's you is it? Maybe we should have employed the person who drew the dog picture".

• 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 Kev F Sutherland

Name: Kev F Sutherland

Blog or web site:  comicfestival.co.uk

Currently working on:


Self-published comics Captain Clevedon and Hot Rod Cow, with the book of my classic Tales Of Nambygate and Phallas strips from Gas and Brain Damage comics now all available.

You can still get some of my best Beano strips from Amazon in the Beano annuals 2007, 8 & 9.

First memory of 2000AD?

I bought Prog 2 then read it on my paper round. As a result it bears the ink smudges of a few dozen Leicester Mercurys as it slid in and out of my bag, so is probably worth less than some copies. I was addicted to the weekly Marvel reprints at the time so took a while to start getting 2000AD regularly, only becoming a subscriber when it merged with StarLord.

Favourite Character or Story?

For a long time it was Dredd, and I'm the reader who still thinks Gerry Finley-Day's Rogue Trooper remains the best version of the character, but once Alan Moore's strips started, nothing else compared. DR & Quinch, Halo Jones and Skizz are pretty unbeatable.

What do you like most about the 2000AD

In its heyday it quite simply led the world in the quality and originally of its creators and creations. I was privileged to be the right age to live through 2000AD's golden age as a schoolkid and student.

At the age of 18, in 1980, I got to visit the 2000AD offices in Kings Reach Tower when Alan Grant and Steve McManus were in charge there. To that date it was probably the most exciting day of my life.

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

Sadly I have lost touch with 2000AD, drifting from it in the early 2000s, but I hear good things. I look forward to hearing more.

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

• My first cheque from 2000AD, for either a Captain Klep script or an illustration in an annual (circa 1980) was made out to the Rev F Sutherland.
• I wrote a Ro-Jaws Robo Tale in the 1981 Sci Fi Special whose credit-box fell off en route to the printers, so no-one ever knew I wrote it. It was the robot with the knife out the bottom story drawn by (equally uncredited) Steve Kyte.
In recompense, a recent Titan reprint volume of ABC Warriors and Ro-Busters credits me as the author of a story from an early annual which I had nothing to do with!

• 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, 15 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From writer-artist and fan Paul Eldridge


Name: Paul Eldridge

Blog or web site: 
http://kerchow.webs.com
(I don't blog, it brings me out in a rash...)

Currently working on: 

Numerous personal projects in production. After completing the Rubbernorc ebook I keep thinking of printing hard copies and of course pulling my finger out and working on a sequal.

I have plans to do more with some of the characters I created at Rok Comics who featured in Tales From My Mindverse, some more appearances of Gonad The Barbarian are on the cards and not neccesarily in comic form, and I will eventually start the ongoing Cheesy Warriors From A Dairy Dimension strip. Apart from the sillyness involved in all that I am hoping to develop some less silly adventure strips soon, I feel that it's about time.

I also continue to contribute to the Temple APA, the latest issue is out now or at least very soon. And I am currently shamelessly selling some of my wares through the likes of Cafepress and Zazzle, plastering t-shirts and the like with some of the nonsense that seeps from my mind.

First memory of 2000AD

Finding annuals in my christmas stocking, was around 82/83, I still remember quite a few of the stories vividly, alien zoo's, old G.I.'s and Stogie.

Favourite Character or Story?

Too many to choose from. Dredd, Johnny Alpha and Rogue always seem to be the main three to me, possibly because they were all in those early annuals, but it seems awfully unfair to pick a favourite, so many other names come to mind now, if I write a list it'll take up half the internet.

From my early readings The Chopper for OZ storyline is always memorable, I can still cheer him on now and D.R. and Quinch were a laugh, but I dunno, off the top of my head... Ro-Jaws, 'cos that's how I'd program a robot.


Full list of 2000AD Games here on BARNE

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

Something to do with the worlds the characters live in, they are all instantly memorable, it's the little touches like the use of language that make all the difference.

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

More of the same? It seems to be working quite well. Maybe it would be nice to see the some classic characters revisted, to see what they're doing as they get older.

• 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

Cybermen, Borg, set to battle in Doctor Who-Star Trek crossover

Following up on our earlier report that a Doctor Who/Star Trek comic crossover was in the works, US publisher IDW have released more detals about the eight-issue mini series.

In conjunction with BBC Worldwide Consumer Products and CBS Consumer Products, IDW Publishing will make history when two of the greatest science-fiction properties of all time come together in a comic book for the first time. The world’s most popular time traveler teams up with the U.S.S. Enterprise crew in Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation 2.

“By joining these two sci-fi powerhouses, fans will be taken on the ultimate adventure through time and space,” said Liz Kalodner, executive vice president and general manager of CBS Consumer Products.

Launching in May but, as far as we know at presnt, only to be on sale officially in the US, Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 will feature fan-favourite villains the Borg and the Cybermen as they create an unholy alliance resulting in potential disaster for all humanity. Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise find themselves joining forces with the Eleventh Doctor and his companions, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance.

This eight-issue series will be written by Scott and David Tipton, two of the regular IDW Star Trek writers, with a helping hand from longtime Doctor Who writer Tony Lee, and will feature fully painted artwork by J.K. Woodward (Fallen Angel).

“We are excited about this new adventure for the Doctor and the fact that he will be travelling with Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his iconic crew," says the BBC's Soumya Sriraman, executive vice president Home Entertainment and Licensing.

"This is a perfect partnership for not only Doctor Who’s incredible fans, but also for the brand. We have just celebrated our most successful year yet. Doctor Who’s latest season delivered record ratings for BBC America and it was most downloaded full TV seasons of 2011 in the U.S. on the iTunes Store,” .


The fisrt issue variants include a rare wraparound photo cover and an alternate cover from Star Trek Ongoing artist Joe Corroney featuring the Doctor and friends aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. 

The bad news for British comics fans is that getting hold of this crossover series might be difficult. Because Panini license Doctor Who comic rights in the UK for Doctor Who Magazine and the BBC publishes its own Doctor Who Adventures title, IDW's Who comics are not usually available officially in the UK.

• Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 ($3.99, 32 pages, full colour) will be available in US comic stores in May 2012.

• Visit IDWPublishing.com to sign up for updates and learn more about the company and its top-selling books.

® & © 2012 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc.

BBC, DOCTOR WHO (word marks, logos and devices), TARDIS and CYBERMAN are trade marks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under license.

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From artist and fan Martin Geraghty


Name: Martin Geraghty 

Blog or web site: Yeah, need to get onto that someday, probably...

Currently working on: 

Knee-deep pencilling my next strip for Doctor Who Magazine, a tight little Eleventh Doctor two-parter by Scott Gray.

Other than that, Storyboarding and Visualising for the advertising business is keeping a roof over my head for the time being.

First memory of 2000AD

Buying the first issue in my local newsagents. I'd been bereft ever since ACTION bit the bullet and the rich diet of Dan Dare, Dinos and Dredd seemed the perfect pick-me-up.

It launched with a TV ad -- I'm sure it was an anticipatory purchase rather than an impulse buy.

Favourite Character or Story?

Well, Dredd is, and always will be, the icon of the mag but I'll have to plump for Slaine, as drawn by Mick McMahon. Those stories he illustrated are just some of the most exquisite black and white comic art I've ever seen.

What do you like most about the 2000AD

That it's still here, 35 years on. Longevity is a great comfort.

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

That it continues to experiment and retain it's place as a breeding ground for peerless home-grown comic-strip talent.

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

Never worked for 'em, Just lots and lots of happy memories of reading 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

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From writer, editor and fan Richmond Clements

Zarjaz 12

Name: Richmond Clements

Blog: http://thequaequamblog.blogspot.com 

Hi-ExConvention:  www.hi-ex.co.uk

Currently working on:

Turning Tiger has just been released by Renegade Arts Entertainment.
I'm also working on a couple of books for Markosia and one for Com.X. I have a series called Operation Inferno, drawn by Nick Dyer, starting soon in Strip Magazine and a Brian Ború bio-strip for the new Irish comic imprint Lightning Strike.






First memory of 2000AD?

The TV ad with Tharg floating down over London (yes, I really am that old! Amazing, isn't it?). I do remember suffering what I now know to be a Thrill Power Overload at the sight of dinosaurs and cowboys and Volgan invaders and the like too.

Favourite Character or Story?

Torquemada is, I think, not only the greatest villain ever created in comics, he's arguably the greatest villian in fiction. Hyperbole? I don't think is.

The strip Strontium Dog and lead character Johnny Alpha are my favourite strip and character in comics, not just in 2000AD. I feel really fortunate that we're allowed to play around with these characters in our SD fanzine Dogbreath.


What do you like most about the 2000AD

Anything and everything goes. It isn't afraid to experiment. Yes, sometimes it fails, but mostly, when this happens, the fails are still more spectacular than a thousand lycraed muscle men hitting each other.

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

It just needs to keep doing what it's doing. I'd like to see it sell more, but then I'd like to see every comic sell more!

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

I haven't worked for 2K, but I could tell you some tales, and will do in exchange for a drink at the nearest comic convention.

• 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, 14 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From art droid Smuzz

An unpublished panel from the 'tryout' strip Smuzz did for ABC Warriors

Name: Smuzz
 

('Sms' is soooo Last Millenium)

Website: www.smuzz.org.uk

Currently working on:


Crucible with comics Guru John Freeman and coloured by Kris Carter.  To be published in the new Strip comic magazine (available in all good comics shops now), as from Issue 7, on sae in late May 2012.

Superficially a 'Sword and sorcery' strip but - since both John and I dislike the S&S genre - it's actually a covert way to sneak in a proper SF story about cargo cultures, PROPER aliens and massive engineering projects.

Oh dear. Now I've told you that, I have to kill your computer ...

First memory of 2000AD?

Looking at the comic in the newasagent with the word 'Flesh' on the cover and wondering "How can a comic for kids have a strip about 'Alien sex-slaves?' " ... I was high on teenage hormones at the time.

Favourite Character or Story?

It's a cliche to mention Judge Dredd, but the Dredd strips do have the advantage of having single-episode stories you can pick up and put down in one issue without having to remiond yourself what the story-arc is.

As an older reader, I keep falling into the trap of saving a story until it's finished before reading the whole thing... this isn't the proper 'Comic' experience and I should know better.

Shakara, 'coz it's like Nemesis used to feel, but even more Tekky, Alien and Relentlessly Inhuman.

Nikolai Dante 'coz it has wit, lovely art, a credible and coherent Universe and the story arc feels like a natural evolution of the character.

Halo Jones  and Skizz. It might be summatt to do with the writing ...

What do you like most about 2000AD?

That there's a proper comic on the shelves of small newsagents which kids (Not comics cognoscenti) can see without going into a specialist shop. Something they can take down, flick through and learn that there's more to their culture than Sky, The Sun and Zoo and that comics do not have to incorporate a TV or toy spinoff.

This - more than any single story or element of 2000AD's history - is vital to the health of our Nation and the future of our Yoof.

Seriously.

Never mind the 'Punk' trappings of '77 - this is the most 'Anti-Establishment' thing about 2000AD, and it's genuine.

A big part of this is that it's not owned by a massive multinational. Plainly, the owners have an idea of what they own and are doihng the best they can for it.

Thanks for that.

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

Satire.

It's where it started and it's mostly missing from all but the Dredd strips.

In a world in which the worst nightmares of the early 2000AD (A comic for kids!!) are on the daily TV News (Or worse - buried and only available on papers like the Guardian or alternative Net sources), 2000AD's still obsessed with guns and the ever-arch 'English Eccentric' hero.

Bring back satire.

- And employ me (And John) to do it.

An unpublished panel from the 'tryout' strip Smuzz did for ABC Warriors

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

When working on ABC Warriors: The Black Hole, I'd just bought a house and the Council Improvement Grant kicked in at exactly the same time as the ABC Warriors job came up. Since I was doing part of the building work myself, I was working in a house with no electricity. No bathroom/toilet facilities and no back wall.

The very helpful Steve MacManus commented that the Letratone (Stikky back plastic with tone on it. Ask yer dad) was mysteriously lifting off my artwork "As if it was really old". In fact, the tone was shop-new but the brickdust in the air was getting under the stikky-back plastic.

I didn't dare tell anyone this (Not even ever-helpful and supportive Pat Mills), as I was afraid they'd take me off the job. Instead, I started applying Letratone in the garden, when it wasn't raining.

Meantime:

Chief editor Richard Burton delayed and withheld my scripts "To teach Pat (Mills) who the editor is" (This is a common story amongst Pat Mills artists, aside from Simon Bisley). Steve tried - and failed - to get the last two episodes to me, as requested by Pat.

Years later, Burt was still telling writers I'd "Turned their scripts down". Apologies to the writers I'd "Turned down". I was never offered 'em.

Thanks Steve, for your help at a difficult time. Appreciated. Decent chap.

• 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 Boo Cook


Name: Boo Cook

Blog:  www.boocook.blogspot.com

Tumblr: http://boocook.tumblr.com

Tumblr: http://cro-magnonbulletin.tumblr.com


Currently working on: 

I'm currently working on a new five-part Judge Anderson, Psi strip called 'Stone Voices' with Alan Grant. That should be surfacing in the Judge Dredd Megazine in the summer... aside from that, i have regular cover duties ongoing for Richard Starkings' Elephantmen comic over at Image.

I've got various other bits and bobs in the pipeline, but it's too early to mention them yet... fingers crossed!

First memory of 2000AD?

My first memory of 2000AD was sifting through a stack of back progs at my pals Tom and Ian's house in Devon when I was 9. i can remember being totally blown away by the sheer craziness of the "Judge Child Quest" and ABC Warriors and frankly had to get me some...

I got the 1982 2000AD annual for Christmas that year and had the comic sent to me by my Grandpa each week from then on... I need a spare room just for my progs!

Favourite Character or Story?

I love Dredd. who doesn't? My favourite story for him has to be the whole Block Mania/Apocalypse War saga I think, but actually if I really had to name my favourite all time character it would have to be Johnny Alpha/Strontium Dog, with Wulf Sternhammer coming a close second. I always read Dredd last in the weekly comic, unless Johnny is in the prog , then he gets the fabled slot.

Strontium Dog has had so many amazing story arcs i'd struggle to name all my faves, but "Rage", "Portrait of a Mutant", "The Killing", that crazy "Moses Quest" story... I could go on all night!

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

The thing that really works for me about 2000AD is its unflinching approach to experimental and groundbreaking strips. I think the secret of its success is that it just keeps on pushing and inventing newer and crazier strips and characters.

The old staple heroes are treated with respect, and new ideas are always given a chance to flourish - since its birth right up to the present day Tharg and his editorial minions have had a brilliant policy of giving creators free reign with their ideas and really nurturing new talent - many of whom have gone on to be some of the biggest names in comics.

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

More of the same! Johhny Alpha is currently back in the prog, but if they could work out a credible way to bring Wulf back too I'd be a happy cyber bunny.

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

I have loads of anecdotes about the 2000AD crew to tell, from Colin MacNeil's wife punching Dom Reardon over a hedge to Al Ewing's amazing dance moves.

But many of them are terribly damning and incriminating(!) so i'll just pay my birthday respects to the comic itself by saying; since I was 10 it has been like a brother to me, a massive part of my life. My Grandpa probably had little idea that he was filling my brain sci-fi rocket fuel that would instil a crazed yet balanced moral code in me that will last a lifetime.

Since those early days it has become my job and my passion for it and sci-fi in general hasn't dwindled in the slightest.

It is part of my core, and without it I wouldn't have met the most amazing person on the planet: my lovely wife. We met exactly 10 years ago at the 2000AD 25th birthday celebration at the Ministry of Sound in London.

So Tharg.... I SALUTE 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

Monday, 13 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From artist and fan Paul Rainey

The cover of Prog 377 featuring Judge
Dredd and Mean Angel by Ron Smith
Name: Paul Rainey

Blog or web site: www.pbrainey.com

Currently working on: 


Thunder Brother: Soap Division, the first two stories of which can be read for free online here http://thunderbrother-soapdivision.blogspot.com, and F.O.E. Magazine, a project that may or may not reach fruition.

I also produced a blog for a few years called the 2000 AD Prog Slog Blog where I re-read and reviewed the first 1188 issues of the comic along with associated publications such as the Annuals, Sci-Fi Specials, Star Lord and The Megazine.

I finished the ridiculous project a couple of years ago but it’s still available to read online here http://progslog.blogspot.com/

First memory of 2000AD

I bought the first issue, or “programme”, when it came out in 1977, which is something that may impress you. However, I was a big reader of Marvel UK at the time and I didn’t know what to make of it. I remember my brain being boggled by Messimo Belardinelli’s colour Dan Dare centrespread but it wasn’t enough to keep me investing my pocket money in it. I think I stopped after three issues, I mean, progs. I thought the free gift, a “space spinner”, was great.

Favourite Character or Story?

It wasn’t for nearly seven years that I began buying the comic every week. I was by then a big Alan Moore fan and I heard that he was writing a new strip for it called DR and Quinch starting in prog 350. Despite really enjoying the thrill, I realised very quickly that I preferred Judge Dredd, Slaine, Strontium Dog and Rogue Trooper.

However, despite initially being an idiot, I did dip in and out of 2000AD between progs 1 and 350. For example, I have a clear memory of reading The Judge Child Quest part 11 “The Hungry Planet” by John Wagner and Mike McMahon. I still consider McMahon’s artwork on that story to be stunning. Later, his artwork on the Slaine: Sky Chariots storyline was even more amazing.

I have a special affection for the story “Dredd Angel” by John Wagner, Alan Grant and Ron Smith which ran between progs 377 and 382 (or thereabouts). In it, Judge Dredd and Mean Machine Angle team-up to save some Judge babies that were onboard a Justice Department ship that crash landed in the Cursed Earth. The strip is both funny and exciting. I remember distinctly a feeling of exhilaration when Mean’s brain washing wears off, he recognises Dredd for who he is and then goes on a head butting-frenzy.

What do you like most about the 2000AD

As far as I am concerned, for at least its first ten years, 2000AD was more creatively vital than, say, Silver Age Marvel, which today seems to be regarded quite highly. When you consider the turnover of characters, ideas and stories in 2000AD during that period, well, it’s amazing. Today, 2000AD could, if it wanted to, continue to flog all of its long-standing characters and concepts in the same way that Marvel and DC do with theirs, but instead, it rotates its most popular strips and ensures space for all-new thrills.

However, the best thing about 2000AD when I read it was its sense of humour. During the eighties, it was one of the most subversive and astutely satirical publications around.

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

I would like to see it re-launched as an all-ages comic called 3000AD.

Ron Smith's Dredd-Mean Angel cover is currently being offered on eBay, latest bid at £2250

• 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

Kapow!@GFF 2012 Kicks Ass


As Jeremy Briggs first reported last month, Glasgow Film Festival ambassador and local superhero Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch are to helping to kick ass with Kapow!@GFF – Glasgow Film Festival’s film strand next week, dedicated to graphic novels, gaming and beyond.

Now in its second year, Kapow!@GFF offers superhero classics old and new, unmissable discussions and debates, documentaries and premieres and this year includes appearances from artist Charlie Adlard and writer Gordon Rennie.

This year Mark introduces Flash Gordon and tells us why it’s his favourite ‘Geek Film’, while Bryan Hitch does the same for the 1978 groundbreaking Superman. Other vintage screenings are Alex Proyas’ brooding, bravura The Crow and David Cronenberg’s taut thriller A History of Violence.

Coming right up to date they have Tatsumi, a completely animated tribute to Yoshihiro Tatsumi, the father of gekiga (‘dramatic pictures’), by former comic artist Eric Khoo. Death of a Superhero is a poignant story of a teenager dealing with cancer who finds a retreat in his comic book drawings and becomes a brawny superhero in his alternative universe. The screening is introduced by a representative from Teenage Cancer Trust.

Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters is Adam Cornelius’s addictive documentary about one of the most addictive games in the world as he follows the preparations for the Tetris World Championships in Los Angeles, while Superheroes examines the appearance of an extraordinary American subculture; the self-appointed caped crusader.

Emerging Scottish talent is represented by Night is Day, filmmaker Fraser Coull’s Glasgow-set sci-fi tale of a normal teenager who ends up having to save the world, a film that was self-funded with the help of local supporters and businesses.

Plus there's the eagerly-awaited Electric Man - an impressive micro-budget Scottish comedy-chase thriller set in the impoverished world of the owners of Deadhead Comics, directed by David Barras.

In a series of events with very special guests, potential comickers get the chance to hear expert testimony of adventures in the graphic art industry when Mark and other premier exponents relate their journeys through time and space. Bryan Hitch, Kate Brown, Frank Quitely, Charlie Adlard, Rhianna Pratchett and Gordon Rennie will all take part in conversations with the audience while Dr Chris Murray and John McShane discuss Scotland and the Future of Comics and Denise Mina, Penny Sharp and Gillian Hatcher talk about women’s experiences in the industry and the future of how women are drawn.

KAPOW!@GFF 2012 FILMS

Flash Gordon (Geek Night Special) Glasgow Film Theatre, Tuesday 21 February, 20.15 (PG)

Superman GFT, Wednesday 22 February, 17.45 (PG)

The Crow GFT, Thursday 23 February, 23.00 (18)

A History of Violence CCA, Thursday 23 February, 15.00 (18)

Tatsumi Cineworld, Tuesday 21 February, 18.00 and Wed 22 February, 12.00 (15)

Death of a Superhero Cineworld, Wednesday 22 February (20.30) Thursday 23 February, 13.00) N/C 15+

Superheroes GFT, Thursday 23 February, 19.20 N/C 15+

Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters CCA, Thursday 23 February, 13.15 N/C 12+

Night is Day CCA, Wed 22 February, 18.30 N/C 12+

Electric Man CCA, Thursday 23 February, 16.45 N/C 12+


KAPOW!@GFF 2012 EVENTS

Setting the Scene: Scotland and the Future of Comics
Tuesday 21 February (14.00), CCA, £8/6, N/C 8+

Two of the stars of the BBC film Scotland’s Amazing Comic Book Heroes will use their powers to step off the screen and expand the discussion on the future of comics in Scotland. Dr Chris Murray runs the Comic Studies MLitt/PGDip course at the University of Dundee. John McShane is chairman of the Scottish Cartoonists Society and his company, Fat Man Press, published The Bogie Man, one of the early examples of a comic book to film adaptation. John and Chris will expand upon ideas raised in the film and answer your questions.

Mark Millar and Frank Quitely
Tuesday 21 February (16.00), CCA, £5, N/C 8+

Writer Mark Millar and superstar DC and Marvel artist Frank Quitely talk about their first collaboration together in ten years, taking us through the step-by-step process of an idea becoming a script, a comic book and eventually a big budget movie. Both living and working in Glasgow, they explain how geography is no disadvantage in the world of Hollywood movies or New York publishing. Their new, yet-to-be-revealed project is already one of the most anticipated comic-book events in 2012.

Writing for Games and Comics
Wednesday 22 February (12.30), CCA, £5, N/C 8+

If you have a great idea for a video game or comic where do you start? A panel of distinguished video game and comic book writers, including Rhianna Pratchett and Gordon Rennie, give tips on how to get into the industry and get ahead. They discuss the ups and downs of being involved in the industry, the difference between writing for games and comics and the challenges to be faced.

Kate Brown in Conversation
Wednesday 22 February (13.45), CCA, £5, N/C 8+

What does it take to build a full-time career as a comicker? Kate can tell you everything you want to know. In 2010 Kate was awarded the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Graphic Novels. She used it to fund the completion of her self-published comic Fish + Chocolate which has since been picked up for publication by SelfMadeHero. Kate will speak about her wide experience in the comics industry and take questions from the audience.

Bryan Hitch in Conversation
Wednesday 22 February (15.00), CCA, £5, N/C 8+

British comic book artist Bryan Hitch is widely recognised as one of the industry’s leading artists and storytellers, with his books regularly selling over 100,000 copies an issue in America alone. His designs have appeared in the successful relaunch of Doctor Who in 2005 and numerous feature films, including Captain America and Star Trek (2009), as well as the upcoming The Avengers film, based on The Ultimates comic book by himself and Mark Millar. Bryan will discuss his career, including his new book co-written with Jonathan Ross.

Walking Dead illustrator Charlie Adlard in Conversation
Wednesday 22 February (16.15), CCA, £8/6, N/C 15+

Apocalyptic graphic novel The Walking Dead, a survival story of a world overtaken by zombies, captured the imaginations of a legion of fans and is now a multi-million dollar US TV series. In this unique event, the Shropshire-based artist discusses how he came on board as illustrator for the series and the effect it has had on his career. After the conversation we will screen one of Charlie’s favourite episodes from the Golden Globe-nominated series.

Women in Comics
Thursday 23 February (15.15), CCA, £5, N/C 8+

Casual graphic fiction readers might see the way women are represented and decide that the medium must be male dominated and that the industry is a prejudiced place for women to work. But is all as it seems? And what are the actual experiences of women working in the comics industry? Women in Comics presents original research by Graphic Scotland and brings together Denise Mina, Kate Brown, Penny Sharp and Gillian Hatcher to talk about the difficulties of getting into the industry and the future of how women are drawn.

• Tickets for all shows are on sale now from the Central GFF Box Office at GFT, by phone on 0141 332 6535 and online via www.glasgowfilm.org/festival. Tickets for events taking place at the CCA can be bought there on the day of the event.

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