Check out the main DTT site!

PLEASE NOTE: The main downthetubes.net now features all our news direct, as well as interviews and other features on British Comics. This blog is no longer being updated.

Latest News on downthetubes.net

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Warren Ellis re-opens 'Three Panels Open' Challenge

Three Panels Open by PJ Holden. Copyright PJ Holden

(with thanks to Matt Badham): Last year, top comic writer Warren Ellis did a thing for people who make comics called Three Panels Open. Literally, a three-panel comic. The only rules were that it had to be legible at a width of 640 pixels, which is the width of the content bar on his official site, and that it had to be three panels long.

He's now re-lauched the challenge, so perhaps you’d like to do a three-panel comic to be posted on his site. If so, email the image to warrenellisATgmail.com but please include your name and the website and/or twitter account you’d like it to be associated with.

The same rules apply: three panels, and it can’t turn to mud when he runs it at 640px.

The ones Warren likes best will be run on his site betwee 10th - 31st March.

- Read Warren's post on this here: http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=13771

Image by and copyright PJ Holden

It's Life Jimmy, But Not As We Know It

National Library of Scotland

In 2008, the National Library Of Scotland in Edinburgh put on their Local Heroes exhibition which displayed some of the library's collection of comics and graphic novels and, impressively, Cam Kennedy's original artwork for the Waverley graphic novel Kidnapped. This was not just a page or two but the entire artwork for the 68 page book plus its cover and Cam's preliminary design sketches.


The curator of that exhibition was John Birch and downthetubes interviewed him about the exhibition and the library's work in preserving such publications for the nation. At the end of the interview John told us that he would like to put on a fantasy/science-fiction/horror exhibition.


Fast forward to 2012 and part of that wish has come true as, in conjunction with the Edinburgh Science Festival, the National Library of Scotland will be presenting a free exhibition under the amusing title of It’s Life Jimmy, But Not As We Know It covering science fiction written in Scotland.


The publicity tells us, "From pop icons such as Doctor Who and Judge Dredd, to political extrapolations and universe-jumping space operas, Scottish writers have been producing science fiction in its many forms for the past 30 years. But the keyboards of Iain Banks, Steven Moffat, Ken MacLeod and others were not the first to explore this territory. Whet your appetite for discovery with the National Library of Scotland’s selection of science fiction treasures, and journey into the past, present and future of this little explored space of Scottish writing."


The exhibition takes place at the National Library Of Scotland on Edinburgh's George IV Bridge and runs as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival from Wednesday 28 March to Sunday 15 April 2012. The NLS is open every day although times vary and entrance to the exhibition is free.


- There are more details of the exhibition on the Edinburgh Science Festival website and also on the National Library Of Scotland website.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Egmont's new 'Bin Weevils' gets massive promotion

Bin Weevils Magazine Issue 1
Egmont recently launched BinWeevils magazine, described by the publisher as the ultimate extension to the already successful online entertainment platform - and the second most visited website in the UK for children aged 7-13 and boasts a 91 per cent growth in users over the past 12 months.

The BinWeevils.com website was voted the website of the year at the children’s BAFTA’S last November, ahead of the Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin websites, with an average 105,000 visitors per day in December, according to Comscore. The brand is also set to further expand its physical profile with a range of toys and merchandising.

Egmont says Bin Weevils magazine will be “jam packed full” of exclusive content and secret hints that will enhance the online gaming experience and add a whole new level of interaction for fans. The magazine is also intended help experienced players and novices alike get more out of their virtual world.

The first issue launched on 15th February with six free gifts, and inPublishing reports the launch of the magazine has been backed with a substantial digital marketing campaign that will span the BinWeevils.com digital platform. The new title has also been promoted in other Egmont titles, including Go Girl and TOXIC, across miniclip.com and TV advertising on CITV and Nickelodeon channels.

“We are delighted to be adding Bin Weevils magazine to our market leading portfolio," commented Debbie Cook, Director of Magazines at Egmont UK.

"As well as sitting comfortably alongside other Egmont titles, Bin Weevils magazine is particularly exciting due to its hugely popular social gaming website (Binweevils.com) and the unique world that has been created by Bin Weevils Limited. We are proud that our magazine offers players an enhanced gaming experience and we see our magazine growing alongside the game.”

- Bin Weevils magazine is on sale now as a monthly title, priced at £2.99.

GOSH Comics host Tom Gauld 'Goliath' book launch

Tom Gauld is a firm favourite at GOSH Comics in London, so they’re properly chuffed to be hosting the launch of his new graphic novel Goliath, a stripped-down, reworking of the David and Goliath myth, published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Goliath tells the story of the famous giant from the Bible from his side, and is not what you’d expect at all. Far from being the towering, bloodthirsty killer we remember, this Goliath is a gentle giant, who has been unwillingly conscripted into the army, and would rather be doing paperwork than fighting.

You may be familiar with Tom Gault’s work in The Guardian, and this book brings to life a melancholy, sad, earnest, bewildered character, in sparse and striking images and prose that reworks this story in any manner of ways: from the futility of warfare, how we judge others wrongly on their appearance, the macabre humour of cumbersome bureaucracy that takes over even on the front line of a battlefield, questioning whether a power structure is a good thing if orders have to obeyed unthinkingly, and more.


We've seen an advance pages of the book, and it's tremendous fun - well worth tracking down.

On Friday 9th March, Gauld will be at Gosh to sign copies of the book from 6.30pm, then at 7pm they’ll get down to the important business of wetting the baby’s head. Get along and shake his hand! 


"Not only is he one of the finest cartoonists in Britain, he’s a thoroughly lovely chap too," say the GOSH team.

Gosh will even have an exclusive Gosh! Bookplate Edition available on the night.

The Rest of the Tom Gauld Goliath Tour so far...

10th March: Signing at Forbidden Planet, Cambridge. Details
15th March: Signing at Here, Bristol. Details
29th March: Signing at NoBrow HQ, London. Details

4th April: Signing and talk at Analogue, Edinburgh. Website
5th April: Signing and talk at Travelling Man, Leeds. Website
21st April: Comica Comiket, London. Details

Tom then hops across the ond for events there...

28th and 29th April: Signing at MOCCA, New York. Details
5th and 6th May: Signing at TCAF, Toronto. Details

More US and Canada dates coming soon. 

• Check Tom's web site for signings info at: www.tomgauld.com

Renegade set to release 'Tales of the Buddha' collection

Renegade Arts Entertainment have announced that they will be publishing the first ever complete collection of Alan Grant, Jon Haward and Jamie Grant's long-running humour strip Tales of The Buddha Before He Became Enlightened.

Collecting the entire 66-page saga to date initially for digital release in April, followed by a print release in the autumn, Tales of the Buddha answers the much asked questions about just what this holiest of men got up to before gaining enlightenment.

The strips take a very lighthearted approach to Buddha's journey of discovery as he samples other religions and hangs out with well known religious icons, as well as getting the chance to experience life's pleasures along the way.

"I've been aware of the strips for a long time thanks to Wasted magazine and working with Alan," explains publisher Alexander Finbow, "and I was intrigued when the guys suggested we release the collection through Renegade.

"I sat down with the strips to get up to speed and found myself laughing out loud which was reason enough to say yes straight away.

"I'm overjoyed that Renegade will be releasing Tales of the Buddha as an e-book," says Alan Grant. "I consider it to be my funniest work since the sad demise of Lobo. It contains some of Jon Haward's most beautiful and delicate art, with colouring and lettering by Jamie Grant of Superman fame. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll...with a smattering of violence. My copy is already ordered!"

“I'm very pleased that after 10 years, the Buddha's tales has a publisher with 'faith' in the crazy funny tales written by my inspirational friend Alan Grant," adds Jon. "It's been a total joy and honour to work on these stories. I have laughed at every story and I hope the collection will entertain and raise a smile for all readers.

"Let the enlightenment begin!”

Alan Grant is without doubt one of the most successful and prolific comic book writers in the industry. Having written many stories for the UK's 2000AD including the man himself, Judge Dredd. His work then found an international audience at DC Comics, with Lobo, Batman and The Demon amongst his many successes.

In 25 years in the publishing world Jon has worked on iconic comic titles and characters including Judge Dredd, Dan Dare, Spectacular Spider-Man, Shinobi, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and Doctor Who.

Renegade is a creator owned publisher of comic books - but only a few and they are very discerning with their choices. Their mix so far has been from experienced A list writers - including Gordon Rennie and PJ Holden's amazing and much-anticpated Monsterology - and artists and newer blood who pitched projects just too good to turn down.


• Official web site: www.renegadeartsentertainment.com

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From artist and fan Simon Wyatt

2000AD memories by Simon Wyatt


Name: Simon Wyatt

Blog or web site:

Strangely Drawn: http://simonwyatt.blogspot.com

Currently working on:


Alpha Gods with Ian Sharman for Orang Utan Comics, Phantom Lung & The Garden of Dead Liars with Cy Dethan and Volume 2 of my graphic novel series, Unbelievable: The Man Who Ate Daffodils for Markosia.

First memory of 2000AD?

Early Dredd, McMahon, Ezquerra and Bolland art blowing me away.

Favourite Character or Story?

Too many really, I loved Flesh, Dan Dare with the Eternicus gauntlet, Skizz, Tyrrany Rex, Harry Twenty, Dredd versus Death but I guess my all time favourite story was 1979's Ro Busters classic featuring Charlie, the giant pilot robot defending Northpool from the Terra Meks, led by Mek-Quake, just an absolute stand out story!

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

The variety and ingenuity of its long storytelling history, the eclectic characters, the best of British comic art and the fact that the anarchic humour is still intact and still translates well to this day.

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

More of the same!

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 2000AD, submitted a few times previously (who knows, maybe one day in the far flung future).

• 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 Mike Perkins

Carver Hale


Name: Mike Perkins

Blog or web site:

www.mikeperkinsart.com and http://perkyposts.blogspot.com/

Currently working on
:

I've recently finished up illustrating Marvel's 31-issue adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand and am now wonderfully embroiled in an open-ended run on Astonishing X-Men, collaborating with Marjorie Liu.

First memory of 2000AD?

I remember the first issue but the space spinner didn't grab me. Now the subsequent issues gifts of spy decoder and boi-tronic man stickers hooked me completely!

Favourite Character or Story?

Gah! Too many to mention. Dredd, obviously - I just love the way he's grown and developed through the years...no perpetual youngster in these stories. Strontium Dog - one of the coolest characters in comics with easily one of the best costumes.The early Robo Hunter stories - up until the all singing all dancing extravaganza I was the hugest Sam Slade fan....illustrating pages and pages of my own comics featuring the same character.

The V.C.'s. Skizz. Fabry's Slaine. Zenith. Devlin Waugh. Bad Company. I have a weird soft spot for Bad City Blue! Durham Red. Winwood and Cord. Harry 20. Tyranny Rex. Early Nemesis. My very own Carver Hale. Bison. Firekind and all the way up to Defoe, Zombo and Nikolai Dante.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

The constant experimentation of fitting a 22-page story ( or sometimes and entire story arc) into five pages.

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

More of the same in the respect of constant innovation - if that makes any sense.

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

I just loved the complete thrill of getting to work on the comic I had loved since it first hit the stands. I recall the pants-wetting moment of receiving a Judge Dredd script for my second piece of published work (a character I feel I need to go back and draw again just to make up for it - preferably in a long form epic tale!) and the pleasure and honour in developing, with Mike Carey, our very own addition to its roster of characters in the form of Carver Hale.

Mike Perkins is an illustrator for Marvel Comics having previously worked on Captain America, X-Men and Thor he is currently depicting the adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. He has been nominated numerous times for Eisner and Harvey Awards and, as well as winning the Eagle Award, counts being on the New York Times Bestseller list amongst his career achievements.


• 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

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! from artist and fan Neill Cameron

Mo-Bot Judge Dredd, as originally appeared on my blog, here: http://neillcameron.blogspot.com/2011/12/giant-robot-judge-dredd.html)
Name: Neill Cameron

Web site: www.neillcameron.com

Blog: neillcameron.blogspot.com

Currently working on:


Currently drawing The Pirates of Pangaea and writing and drawing How To Make (Awesome) Comics for fantastic new weekly kids' comic The Phoenix! (www.thephoenixcomic.co.uk)

First memory of 2000AD?

My strongest memory of my first prog is of John Hickleton's artwork on Nemesis The Warlock - utterly strange, vivid, sexy brutal and feeling very 'grown up'. It was a bit of a swerve from Whizzer and Chips, let me tell you.

Favourite Character or Story?

I was lucky enough to fall in love with 2000AD during what must surely have been one of it's all-time hot streaks: you had 'The Dead Man', you had 'Slaine: The Horned God' kicking off, you had the never-read-anything-more-epic-before-or-since Phase 3 of Zenith. It was all rather extraordinary.

As to personal favourite strips: I've said it before and I'll say it again: Medivac 318 was the bomb.

I loved Zippy Couriers, too.

I know, I know. I'll get me coat.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

Back when I was a regular Squakk Dok Thargle (sic) one of the things I loved most about the comic was it's sheer variety; there was a great vibrant, chaotic feel to it, so you got things like Hewligan's Haircut and Time Flies slotting right in there alongside Dredd and the rest. And when it was on one of those great hot streaks, you had that variety of style and subject matter but the quality level stayed uniformly high. Of course, from time to time you'd get a run where the quality went a bit variable, too, but that seems to me an acceptable price to pay for a willingness to experiment.

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

I wouldn't presume to offer any advice, as whatever they're doing now it seems to be working, evidenced by the simple and extraordinarily wonderful fact that it still exists.

Although, that said: a Zippy Couriers revival would be pretty sweet.

• 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 Review: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes

Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes 
by Mary and Bryan Talbot
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Out: Now

The Book: Part personal history, part biography, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes contrasts two coming-of-age narratives: that of Lucia, the daughter of James Joyce, and that of author Mary Talbot, daughter of the eminent Joycean scholar James S. Atherton. Social expectations and gender politics, thwarted ambitions and personal tragedy are played out against two contrasting historical backgrounds, poignantly evoked by the atmospheric visual storytelling of award-winning graphic-novel pioneer Bryan Talbot.

Produced through an intense collaboration seldom seen between writers and artists, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is smart, funny, and sad - an essential addition to the evolving genre of graphic memoir.

The Review: 

Father/daughter relationships can be fractious at best of times. Either the former is too protective of the latter, becoming inadvertently overbearing and prescriptive or, conversely, too immersed in work or personal projects and thus aloof and distant. It’s rare the father that can tread this tightrope successfully. It’s this relationship that Mary Talbot examines in her new graphic novel, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes. Juxtaposing her own relationship with her father, James S. Atherton, a noted Joycean scholar, with that of James Joyce and his daughter Lucia, Talbot has created a bittersweet drama that will resonate with anyone who has a parent.

For a debut graphic novel, Mary’s writing is incredibly confident and assured. This may be partly due to her being an established, published scholar in her own right, and partly due to the fact that the book is drawn by her husband, Bryan, one of the UK’s most accomplished masters of the art. Bryan’s artwork mellifluously transports us up and down the timeline so effortlessly that we simply go with the flow. He very cleverly uses highly simplified, full-colour Julian Opie-like characters for the present day and Mary’s life story; a washed out sepia tone for Mary’s post-war childhood; and finally, a more rendered reality in a blue-wash to recount the tale of Lucia.


The majority of this collaborative endeavour is incredibly smooth, but there are a couple of points where Mrs. Talbot has to highlight her husband’s inaccuracies (such as how her classroom was laid out) in margin notes. While this is an endearing insight into the creative process, it feels like too much fourth wall breaking to sit comfortably, instantly reminding the reader that they are reading a graphic novel, rather than being engrossed in the fascinating tale.

Perhaps it is unsurprising that Mary’s academic career has focused on gender politics and power, once you have read this story. Being the only daughter with four elder brothers; a domineering father; the appalling repression and treatment meted out to women in the pre-Feminism era; and that she had two sons; all indicate a natural, and understandable, desire to readdress the balance somewhat. Yet despite the obviously painful, and joyful, recollections, and analysis of her relationship with her father, Mary never descends into mawkishness or hand-wringing self-pity, and remains refreshingly clear of the mire of the “misery memoir” that the book could so easily have become. Mary’s writing remains constantly engaging, and brings every character to vibrant, empathic life, as she contrasts her coming-of-age with that of Lucia’s. Where Mary’s father seems distant yet authoritarian, Joyce appears weaker, agreeing with his wife Nora’s more bombastic and conservative views on womanhood, as both girls are belittled for failing to live up to their parents’ expectations.

Thankfully, Mary’s tale ends happier than the tragic Lucia’s, but both resonate long after the final page has been turned. This is destined to become a set text for graphic novel scholars.

I’ll confess my ignorance when it comes to Joyce, but this book sparked an interest in his life and writing and I started actively searching out further information, and no greater compliment can be paid than that. Fortunately there’s a comprehensive bibliography in the back.

Most fathers remain enigmas to their children, and it’s this attempt to understand her father’s motivations and moods—to get behind both his public and home personas, and in turn closure—that makes Mary’s writing so intriguing. Like the title’s pun suggests, Mary Talbot is wrapping up her father’s business, his memory and legacy. Dotting his eyes and crossing his tease.

• This review is cross-posted with permission from the Comic Book Alliance web site: the web site championing British comics and their creators 

More about Dotter of Her Father's Eye's on Mary Talbot's official web site

Blogs/Interviews about the Book





More Reviews

"Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes is a fascinating addition to the emerging tradition of autobiographical graphic novels by the offspring of complex, often difficult, parents..."

"The book... not only educates but it inspires"

"Dotter of Her Father's Eyes will strike chords far beyond those interested in James Joyce and his own creativity; but it will be additionally fascinating both for those devotees and followers of Bryan Talbot, for there are insights to be gleaned into the comic creator's teenage years when first meeting Mary, and their shared trepidation of life under the threat of nuclear annihilation."

"The Talbots continue the recent excellence in using the graphic novel as a tool to educate of important social issues. Although the issues are from a distant past, Dotter reminds us of the urgency in women’s issues and keeps the momentum moving along in the present and into the future."

"Talbot’s illustrations show exceptional dexterity in moving from the monochromatic past to the more colorful present, with the changing color palette suggesting the changing social climate for women. Those looking for a graphic memoir that provides an insightful study of how 20th-century sexual politics played out on the home front will be hard pressed to do better than the present title."

"Talbot has a keen eye for the revealing detail, an important skill if you are working in comics. She makes connections, but never labours them."

"There are some very deft little touches where she comments on her husband’s artwork – the fact her mother would have never worn a frilly apron; the way he doesn’t segregate the sexes in the classroom scenes. This is within the context of a wider awareness, from education to ballet lessons to obstetrics, on how women’s lives were directed into the 'unnatural. There can’t be many more frightening and saddening moments in graphic novels than the account of the birth of a first child, and the terse note 'without anaesthetic'."

"Borrowing its punning title from Finnegans Wake, this compact graphic memoir mixes Mary Talbot’s memories of growing up alongside her father, the irascible Joyce scholar J S Atherton, with a biographical sketch of Joyce’s troubled daughter Lucia.
"The hazy parallels between the stories have to do with clever men being so absorbed in their work that they neglect and inhibit the women in their lives which, in the autobiographical segments at least, makes for some forceful bouts of score-settling."
"I am still reeling from the impact of the combination of images and texts, and this book had me both laughing out loud, crying, nodding my head, and enraged at the prevalent attitudes of other people in Lucia and Mary’s life."

Limited edition British Comics First Day cover announced


Following up on our previous report about the Post Office release of stamps featuring British comics such as The Beano, the Comic Book Alliance has announced it is working with  Sheridan Covers, releasing an extremely limited edition First Day Cover commemorating the Royal Mail’s launch of their comic book stamps on 20th March

The stamps are celebrating 75 years of British Comics (yes, we all know British comics have been going for longer than that) and the First Day Cover features the Comic Book Alliance logo and stamp, plus all 10 of the Royal Mail’s First Class comic book stamps which include Desperate Dan and The Dandy, Dennis The Menace and The Beano and Dan Dare and Eagle.

“I have produced similar First Day Covers for 11 years now" said Ms Sheridan of Sheridan Covers, "and I have had the pleasure to produce covers featuring organisations such as the William Morris Society, The Mary Rose Trust, The Historical Maritime Society and Friends of the Earth.”

“This is a really special day for British Comics getting the recognition they deserve from the Royal Mail," said Tim Pilcher, Chair of the Comic Book Alliance.

"The Comic Book Alliance are extremely pleased and excited to be involved in what is an important of part of both philately and comic book history.

"Sadly, only three of the publications featured are still being published (2000 AD, The Beano and The Dandy), but there are new titles on the newsstand to replace them including the recently launched The Phoenix and Strip Magazine, proving that the British comics industry is alive and thriving.”

Produced on best archival paper the first Day Covers come with an insert card and protective pocket and cost just £15 (plus postage and packaging) and part of the proceeds go towards supporting the CBA.

• You can pre-order this exclusive First Day Cover, featuring all 10 of the comic stamps now, until 12th March 2012, from P. Sheridan, P.O. Box 99, Widnes, Cheshire WA8 0NN caitsher@aol.com Tel: +44 (0) 7939 832 184

Leah Moore and John Reppion go Scouting!

Scouting for Bots by Leah Moore and John Reppion. Art by D'Israeli. Copyright Rebellion. Issued for PR purposes by 2000AD
Writing couple Leah Moore and John Reppion are to make their debut for the publishers of legendary British comic 2000AD.

Leah’s father, the writer Alan Moore, first got his break in the pages of 2000AD in 1980 and went on to write classic stories such as The Ballad of Halo Jones for the title. Moore and Reppion have forged their own writing career with titles such as Albion, Doctor Who: The Whispering Gallery, The Thrill Electric and adaptations of Alice in Wonderland and Dracula.

Their first work for 2000AD's publishers Rebellion, a Tales from the Black Museum story entitled 'Scouting for Bots', will appear in Judge Dredd Megazine issue 322, on sale in the UK on 28th March and in North America on 11th April.

Art on the nine-page tale has been supplied by another 2000AD fan favourite - D’Israeli, otherwise known as artist Matt Brooker.

“We are really excited to be finally working for the comic we have all grown up with (some of us more than others!),” said Leah. “I remember my dad taking me to the 2000AD office when I was small (maybe eight?) and meeting Tharg in the flesh!

“I said “Borag Thungg, O Mighty One”. He said “Borag Thungg, Earthlet Leah”. It was awesome. It’s nice to see that bit of early networking paid off over two decades later.

“I have to say I am more excited about getting a short story in the Judge Dredd Megazine than I have been about lots of our much bigger projects elsewhere. Not sure why. Some kind of loyalty-chip implated during my visit to Tharg maybe?

2000AD has always been somewhere for British talent to cut their teeth, and learn their craft. Even though we have been in the business now for nearly ten years, I am certain that we have more to learn, and what better way to do it than at 2000AD?”

“Leah Moore and John Reppion are amongst the exciting new generation of comics writers,” said Matt Smith, editor of 2000AD, “and I’m delighted to have them contributing for the first time – hopefully, we’ll see more from their pen in the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comics in the future!’

 

David Lloyd's 'Kickback' set for digital release

Digital publisher Panel Nine will be releasing its second deluxe graphic novel in March for the iPad: Kickback by V for Vendetta co-creator David Lloyd.


First published in 2005 in French by Carabas and in English in 2006 by Dark Horse, Kickback is about a corrupt detective in a corrupt force and how and why he decides to change direction. 

"He's a tough cop, but in all other aspects a regular guy," David Lloyd explained in an interview for downthetubes in 2006, "and he's corrupt because everyone else around him is on the take. He's just going down the same road as everyone else because it's easier to do that than face up to his moral responsibilities. 
 
"It's something we all do in life, I'm sorry to say - in little ways or big ways. If we didn't, we'd have a much better world to live in."

The app has the full graphic novel as previously released by Dark Horse but supplements it with a host of unseen extras, including production sketches, thumbnails and cover roughs.

"There's also an explosive interview with David Lloyd exclusive to the app, in which he has some choice words on the comics industry and one publisher in particular," publisher Russell Willis tells us.

"As a special extra Lloyd has provided page-by-page commentaries on each page of Kickback -- providing a masterclass in the making a graphic novel."


Headquartered in Tokyo, Panel Nine publishes graphic novels exclusively for the iPad and has two lines: one which publishes some of the best comics work already existing as deluxe digital graphic novels for the iPad - they released Eddie Campbell's Dapper John last year -- and another which will publish new work that is created with the iPad in mind from the beginning.

• Panel Nine official site: www.panelnine.com

Read our 2006 interview with David Lloyd about Kickback


Read David Lloyd's Kickback pages on his own official web site

Alski's baby celebrates 35 years of 2000AD



Journalist, musician and 2000AD forum member Alski - who has created many a 2000AD inspired song or video in the past - wrote this song to celebrate the 35th anniversary of 2000AD this week, "the best anthology comic in the world".

 The original covers compilation vid is by AeroVidTube.

Watch the 2000AD Tribute on YouTube


View Alan's YouTube Channel

• Check out Alski's "Flatscreen Flatline" - a Blog about TV and Film: http://flatscreenflatline.blogspot.com

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From script droid Al Ewing

Al Ewing

Blog or web site:

I'm on Twitter! @Al_Ewing

Currently working on:


Currently writing The Zaucer Of Zilk for 2000AD and Jennifer Blood and Ninjettes for Dynamite Entertainment. More 2000AD work is on the way, some of which I can talk about, some of which remains a secret. But 2012 is going to be yea big.

First memory of 2000AD?

I have a vague memory of seeing the 1985 Sci-Fi Special - 'I, Beast' sticks in my mind as the first thing I ever read of 2000AD, and that Cam Kennedy art freaked me out good and proper.

The first prog was 423 - 'Dark Judges In Crash Dorm 2!' - and it had one of the best introductions to the Dreddverse a growing boy could have, which was the story where the Judge goes mad. And the week after that you're into the Midnight Surfer.

Meanwhile, in those first few weeks... you've got Strontium Dog and the Slavers Of Drule. You've got Jose Ortiz on Rogue Trooper and he's rescuing a horse from some moths. Nemesis the Warlock gets a done-in-one with some perfect Kevin O'Neill art. You've got Ace Garp dying - the first 'death-and-rebirth' I ever experienced in comics. You've got Slaine getting cliffhangers like 'The Type 2 Battle Orgot killed ten guards getting it back in its cage - and you're fighting the TYPE 3!'

After a cliffhanger like that, there's no going back, is there? And it just got better and better. It's impossible to describe the energy radiating out of those times, when you're a kid and you're listening for the letterbox on a Saturday morning, waiting for your turn to read the prog. These days it's all Aquaman getting upset about internet memes from 1998.

Favourite Character or Story?

So hard to pick just one! Favourite character - Judge Dredd. Obviously. Because he's not quite a total bastard - there's a sliver of actual justice and fairness in there - but he's never, never the hero.

Douglas Wolk described him memorably in one of his blog entries as a 'useful monster'. I was lucky to get into writing him at a point where he was being put through the mill a bit in terms of the larger plot John Wagner was doing, so I got to write the continuing adventures of a tired old man who was keeping himself going through sheer bloody-mindedness.

Dredd's got an incredibly complex personality - if you don't get the nuances exactly right, you're buggered - but 'bloody-minded' is a good starting adjective. Another good tip is to never have him show an emotion when he can imply one. Or imply implying one. Even the omniscient narrator represses his emotions in Judge Dredd!

Favourite story though... it's a tough one, but I have a special fondness for the Strontium Dog story Mutie's Luck. It was a done-in-one in six pages, and is just... perfect in so many ways. The moment when Alpha tips the table over is one of my favourite moments in comics. It's available to read on BARNEY, the 2000AD database.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

This is a hard one, because... it's the same as asking what I like most about comics. The two things are inextricably linked for me. 2000AD is the heart of comics, or the soul of them - it's everything comics can be. And at the heart of that is the concept of thrill-power, which people are still trying to define thirty-five years later. My brother's written articles on how it relates to pop music, and I mostly agree with his version - the additional kick, the buzz, the rocket-fuel infused into the comic, the way of looking at what a comic is, what it can do. Jack Kirby was thrill-powered. Kevin O'Neill was so thrill-powered the Comics Code had to ban him in case he made children explode. Irony is the enemy of thrill-power - that's why the word awesome doesn't quite mean the same thing. Brevity and density are thrill-power's friends. Thrill-power!

So I guess that's what I like most. The thrill-power. And the freedom.

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

I'd like to see it continue. I have no doubt it will - if anything it feels like it's in a healthier position than a lot of Marvel and DC, at least to me. I guess I'd also like more people to come on board, both lapsed readers and brand new ones, but I think any comic is wishing for that at the moment.

Do you have an anecdote you'd like to share about your experience of Tharg and his minions?

A lot of people think Tharg isn't real, but I remember having a chat with him recently which ended with Mek-Quake crashing through a wall, grabbing me with his metal tentacles and tearing great chunks of pseudo-flesh away from my metallic endo-skeleton while shouting about "BIG JOBS".

Which would have been fine - it's all part of the work-for-hire process - except Tharg had actually been loudly asking for a milkshake and didn't want Mek-Quake at all. Also, it happened in the middle of the New York Comic Con, and several convention-goers were mercilessly crushed to death beneath Mek-Quake's vicious treads.

You'd have probably heard all about it except Marvel happened to be releasing a special Wolverine pog that day which obviously dominated the news cycle.

• 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 Harrison-Davies

Halo Jones by Paul Harrison Davies
Name: Paul Harrison-Davies

Blog: paulhd.blogspot.com

Tumblr: http://pmhd.tumblr.com/

Currently working on
:

A book cover. A pitch for a children's comic. Short strip in Ink+Paper and any other odds and ends that take's my fancy.

First memory of 2000AD?

A friend bringing a big bag of 2000ADs into school, he'd found them in a skip. Not sure what date they'd be, but there was Ro-Busters, Robo-Hunter in 'Verdus' and 'Day of the Droids', so it was a random sampling of prime early progs. They felt.... wrong, and brilliant. We actually sneaked to a hiding place to read them.

It was a couple of years later that I started buying it regularly - I was surprised to finally see it in a newsagents, as I thought it was quite an illicit item.

Favourite Character or Story?

It's tricky, there's so many. I've always loved the escalating farce of Robo-Hunter. Ro-Busters is one of Pat Mill's finest. John Wagner has done so much incredible work on Dredd, and many others. But I'd have to go with Halo Jones, there's just so much humanity to it. Amazing art from Ian Gibson doesn't hurt either!

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

Probably the same things everyone else does, wit and black humour. As a kid it felt like it had been made to help me understand and have a healthy distrust for the adult world.

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

Finding new ways to exploit the internet to reach a wider audience. As that happens, content wise, I'd like to see 2000AD looking to appeal to a younger audience again.


• 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, 22 February 2012

In Review: XIII - El Cascador

Who is XIII?

Book 1 - Mr Alan Smith?
Books 2 and 3 - Captain Steve Rowland?
Book 4 - Corporal Ross Tanner?
Book 5 - Agent Jason Fly?
Books 6 and 7 - Writer John Fleming?
Book 8 - Agent Jason McLane?
Book 9 - Arms Dealer Karl Meredith?

While holidaying with Jones at the Caribbean home of Marquis Armand Preseau and Sgt Betty Barnowsky, XIII has become involved with the Santosista rebels on the neighbouring island of Costa Verde. XIII goes to Costa Verde undercover to help free the imprisoned Maria, sister of Angel, the rebel leader, and just possibly the amnesiac XIII's wife, but he is exposed and imprisoned. Jones, Betty and the Marquis lead a rebel attack on the prison island to free XIII at the same time that the main rebel force launches their revolution but, in the aftermath, XIII is accused by Angel of conspiracy with the old regime and put on trial by a revolutionary court.

Leading on immediately from the previous book, For Maria, El Cascador is very much a book of two halves - the fast moving and vicious battle for the prison island leading to the freedom of both XIII and Maria, which is then followed by the considerably slower and more static explanation of the complex motives of the various characters and XIII's trial in a kangaroo court. Indeed after the action of the beginning of this book, the talking heads of the trial could have been something of a let down, yet writer Jean Van Hamme maintains the intrigue as the various factions in the story vie for supremacy in the courtroom. It gives away nothing of the Costa Verde story to say that the book ends on a revelation that sets the scene for a continuation of the "Who is XIII?" story arc into the next book.

William Vance's artwork as always remains impressive, maintaining his usual level of accuracy from the Bo 105 helicopter to the mixture of Kalashnikovs and Armalites that the rebels use in their struggle against the regime. As we have seen from earlier stories, Vance seems to enjoy drawing his characters in rainstorms and this book is no exception with the prison attack taking place in a deluge while the subsequent hunt through the swamp also throws up a lot more water into the panels.

Prior to Cinebook releasing their first XIII book, I had read some of Van Hamme and Vance's stories via the American ComCat Code XIII publication but that, along with the Marvel US version, never got past the third French album yet, with El Cascador, Cinebook have reached the halfway point in the original 19 album series. When they published the first XIII book less than two years ago, they included English language versions of the covers of all 19 books in the series in colour on the inside covers of the book. They have continued to print these in all their subsequent XIII books and with El Cascador they have now completed all the books on the inside front cover and the next book, Three Silver Watches, will take them onto the inside back cover. Cinebook's dedication to XIII is impressive and they have taken English language readers far beyond where any other publishing house got to with the series. As a reviewer I am wary of getting used to how good each XIII title is as it arrives every other month. Having read the first book in the series the writing and art left me wanting to read the second and now, another nine books later, I'm still just as eager to read the next book.

El Cascador, in conjunction with the previous XIII book For Maria, provide something of a jumping on point for new readers. These two books could be read and followed without the need to have read the preceding eight XIII titles whilst giving the reader a revelation that will draw them back for the next instalment.

• There are more details of the English language XIII books on Cinebook's website.
• There are more details of the original French XIII albums on the official XIII
website (in French).

• You can read an interview with Cinebook publisher Olivier Cadic and XIII translator Jerome Saincantin on downthetubes at XIII Questions About XIII.

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From art droid Jonathan Edwards

Strontium Dog by Jonathan Edwards
Name: Jonathan Edwards

Blog or web site: www.jonathan-e.com and http://jonathan-e.blogspot.com/

Currently working on
:

My vinyl figure Inspector Cumulus is being released in its second colour way over the summer and I'm currently working on ideas for a graphic novel featuring him. I've got a few ideas for a alternative 1950s London where a cloud-headed detective would fit in.

I've also redrawn my strip from the 1996 anthology "It's Dark in London" (being reprinted by Self Made Hero this March).


Apart from comics I'll be working with my partner, Louise (AKA Felt Mistress) on more character design work. Hopefully, we've got some exciting projects and exhibitions coming up this year which we'll be able to reveal soon.

First memory of 2000AD?

I was given a copy of issue 2 of 2000AD just before I went to see my future primary school when I was five. I remember wearing the "Biotronic Man" stickers on my arm. Perhaps I thought I'd get away without going to school if they assumed I was a robot!

I never saw another copy until I was about eight or nine. It was a rainy day and we had to stay in during break time. There was a pile of comics donated to the school. Amongst them was a copy of 2000AD with a Mick McMahon episode of the Judge Child saga. It was an issue featuring the Angel Gang. I was immediately obsessed with McMahon's work and have been ever since. A constant artistic influence throughout my life. I think I saw Brian Bolland's work for the first time that same day! Thank God for rain.

Favourite Character or Story?

It's definitely the strips I read as child just because they had such a huge impact on me. Dredd stories such as "Judge Death Lives", "The Cursed Earth", "The Judge Child", "Block Mania". Such clever funny, exciting strips. I also really loved Strontium Dog, Nemesis the Warlock, Halo Jones, Future Shocks, Sooner or Later, Rogue Trooper, D.R & Quinch. Aaargh! Too many to mention.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

The sheer inventiveness of those first 10 years. So many great writers and artists.

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

I'd like to see it become more eclectic and embrace more unusual styles. Well, what I'm really saying is I'd like to draw a Dredd strip! I'd even settle for a poster. Y'know, just for the 10-year-old 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 http://www.2000adonline.com/

2000AD © Rebellion

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! from art droid Ade Salmon

Spikes Harvey Rotten by Ade Salmon
Name: Ade Salmon

Blog or web site:

http://adriansalmonart.blogspot.com


Currently working on:

A Baron Frankenstein back up strip for Monsterverse' Flesh @ Blood book 2, 3 and 4, plus monthly Time Team art for Doctor Who Magazine. Open to offers.

First memory of 2000AD?

I remember vividly cycling down on a saturday to Guffogs newsagent with my mate to get Prog 1. I'd recently been turned onto American colour comics and so to find a British sci-fi comic to match the imports changed my world. I was most impressed by Bellardinelli's Dan Dare (and that knockout colour centrespread). M.A.C.H. 1 reminded me of The Six Million Dollar Man so that shot right up my must reads. Judge Dredd in prog 2 really kicked things off though!

Favourite Character or Story:

The Cursed Earth - the first Dredd mega epic. It's where I properly fell in love with the art of Mick McMahon after initially being a Bolland only man! I love, love the Last president of the United States vampire story and still rate that segment as my favourite 2000AD strip.

Naturally, Spikes Harvey Rotten gets my vote for fave character. A couple of issues previous (prog 58) I got my first drawing in the Nerve Centre - a punk biker called Hyper Punk . I can't say for sure it sowed any seeds though one of the creators of Cursed Earth recalls my drawing...

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

It's punky, contemporous stance. It felt like a comic made for Brit kids who liked cop shows , future sport , robots, monsters - all that cool stuff. The fact it had the best artists around knocking out the thrillpower helped. I hated when my fave artists weren't in it each week, but it opened my eyes to many styles which I eventually appreciated/ tolerated.

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

As long as it continues to reflect contemporary kids interests I think it will stay on track. To lose its sense of humour would be disaster and maybe more regular work from some of the old hands who dug the trenches wouldn't go amiss. Old dogs can teach new kids.

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

Although most of my strips for Rebellion have appeared in the Meg, I drew one cover for the Andy Diggle Tharg. Wished I'd done him a better job - maybe I'd of contributed more? Ah performance nerves...


• 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, 21 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From writer and fan Stephen Walsh

Name: Stephen Walsh

Currently working on:


WarWorldz for Strip Magazine with John Freeman and the artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo. Also working on scripts for Commando ("The Flaming Dagger" is out now) and further adventures of Charlotte Corday with Keith Page ("The Iron Moon" is available from Print Media; "London Calling" is available from TimeBomb Comics).

First memory of 2000AD?

I saw the "Tharg Arrrives on Earth" animated TV ad in February 1977. So I rushed down to the newsagent, only to find that a pal of mine had snagged the last copy. He proceeded to drive me mad for the next week with hints about the great stuff in the comic. Dinsosaurs! Politicians hung from lampposts! He completed my frustration by refusing to let me even glance through the issue. However, as sometimes used to happen in those days, extra copies of number one arrived the next week. So I had progs 1 and 2 in one go. Thrill power overload! Massimo Belardinelli's Dan Dare centre-spreads melted my brain. Organic spaceships! Yottleberry sun-shakes!

Favourite Character or Story?

Pat Mills' Dredd story "The Man Who Drank The Blood Of Satanus", drawn by the great Ron Smith; The early chapters of The ABC Warriors, with one-of-a-kind artists like Mike McMahon, Kevin O'Neill and Brendan McCarthy taking turns on episodes; Halo Jones; Frank Hart, the Visible Man...a very long list. We should resume this chat in the nearest pub.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

What I remember most is the great sense of anticipation that each issue generated; the feeling that anything could happen; that whole universes of weird wonder were being opened and their howling, mad-eyed denizens unleashed on the readership.

Looking back, it's also clear that John Wagner's work on Judge Dredd is one of the greatest sustained feats of the imagination in comics. His influence is everywhere now; as a maker of stories and ideas that came to pervade the culture, he's right up there with Jack Kirby.

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

Unfortunately 2000AD stopped jumping off the shelf into my hand quite some time ago. I'd love it to jump out at me again; to be essential.

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 bombarding the Nerve Centre with a different Future Shocks script every day for six weeks one summer. Later, when I chanced to meet the then-current Tharg, he told me where I could stick them. Golden days.

• 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

99 Per Cent launch record label - backed by Alan Moore



Occupation Records is a benefit record label set up to fund Occupy London and the global occupy movement. The label is run under the ethos of Occupy and has recently been backed by V for Vendetta creator Alan Moore.

In the drive to gain funds for the project, Occupation Records are offering signed "V" masks by Alan, as well as signed copies of V for Vendetta, limited and signed prints by Jamie Reid (who designed all the Sex Pistols album art) as well as vinyls, CD's and T's in exchange for donations to support the label and the work of Occupy.

"Music has the power to inspire and reach people who haven't heard about Occupy yet - and that's what Occupation Records intends to do," said a team spokesperson. "Also lots of artists want to find a way to help and thank those already involved and we can help them with that.

"We are creating a new record label that plans to help musicians and artists around the world to get involved, build, support and fund the Occupy movement in London, around the UK and Ireland, and globally.

"All profits from Occupation Records releases will go to Occupy London, occupations across the UK and Ireland, and the global movement."

Financial support will help fund start up costs for Occupation Records as they prepare for the release of the Folk the Banks album - and the other four albums currently being lined up! The initial funding asked for includes office set up costs, marketing, licensing, manufacturing and worldwide distribution costs.

• To fund the project and be in with the opportunity to grab some of those goodies, visit: www.sponsume.com/project/occupation-records-99-cent-launch-record-label

Harvey Awards 2012 nominations launched

The Executive Committees of the Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con have just released the official Nomination Ballot for this year's Harvey Awards. Named in honour of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry's most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art.

Ballots are due for submission by Monday 16th April 2012. In addition to being available on the website, ballots will be sent to all major publishers and distributed at comic conventions. 

Returning for his fourth consecutive Harvey Awards, Scott Kurtz will be the Master of Ceremonies for the awards banquet, to be held Saturday 8th September 2012 as part of the Baltimore Comic-Con. 

"After Scott, Stan Lee, and the Fake Stan Lee brought the house down again last year, we had to have him back!" said Marc Nathan, promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "We are thrilled that Scott agreed to come back to Baltimore and help to make the Harvey Awards ceremony as fun and exciting as the last few years have been!"

Scott Kurtz has been creating his own comic strips since he got hooked on Garfield in the 4th grade. In 1998, his comic strip, PvP, debuted on the world wide web (pvponline.com) with 700 daily readers. Over the last 10 years, PvP has grown into a genuine Internet phenomenon, growing in readership to an estimated 150,000 readers per day, a monthly title from Image comics, winning a Harvey Award in 2010 for Best Online Comics Work, and winning the Eisner Award for best digital comic in 2006.

Scott co-wrote the excellent book How To Make Webcomics and co-founded webcomics.com to help assist others in forging their own creative destinies.

Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected exclusively by creators - those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field. The Harvey Awards are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals.

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held 8-9th September.  The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, 8th September.  Additional details about the Harvey Awards and the awards ceremony will be released over the next few months.




• Ballots can be downloaded from HarveyAwards.org and completed forms can be e-mailed to harveyballotsAThotmail.com. All ballots must include requested professional verification information. The  Harvey Awards may be voted on exclusively by Comic-Book creators, those who write, draw, ink, color, letter, design, edit or are involved in the creative aspect of comics. Fans, retailers, distributors, and accounting personnel votes will not be counted.

• Convention info: www.baltimorecomiccon.com

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From writer and fan Paul H. Birch

Name: Paul H Birch

Blog: http://blogs.birminghammail.net/speechballoon/

Currently working on:

Hardware. Once upon a time there was a little stripzine that caused quite a stir and that will be coming back, bigger and way badder than ever before. How so? Well, if you saw the video at 2011 B.C. that gave some clues. Robotic mayhem & heroic disasters, vampiric victories & forbidden lusts, sci-fi double-dealings & eclectic slice-of-life twists in the tale... And oh so very much more guaranteed, all to be revealed in due course.

First memory of 2000AD?: 

My brother bought an early issue from the newsagents over the road from where we lived. He’d been into Action and I could see that it was similar but with a sci-fi slant.

Favourite Character or Story?  

I started picking it up myself in the late 1980s-early 90s, the new UK comic art superstars were moving on heading for DC and elsewhere, and while some might declare it became a less anarchic beast the contents throughout felt more editorially well-balanced and if anything the tone had matured to just the right pitch where, if not being subversive its writers were certainly trying to create debate in their predominantly young readers at the same time as doing a bang-up job of entertaining them. So, to me, it was more about the comic as an entity itself rather than the individual strips.

Ron Smith gave a balanced, more homogenised look to Judge Dredd, and as John Wagner and Alan Grant got ever more inventive, politically active and downright outraged by the burgeoning society they saw around them, Smith’s visual take had Dredd playing the straight man to perfection. And that stood out.

Whereas, about the same time something like Mike McMahon’s art on Pat Mills’s Slaine had the potential to revolutionise comic strip storytelling in ways that appeared not to fully be appreciated at the time and abandoned thereafter: as if derived from the fundamentals of DC Thomson superstar Dudley Watkins having been spiked with acid and shown far too many European comics than could be soaked up in one trip; the resultant work was dense, dynamic, intense and seemed to be heading towards the direction of a Liberatore for kids. Beyond brilliant.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

That it is weekly, and so remains traditionally British.

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

I guess I’d just like to see it. My local newsagent used to sell a few copies, but its visible presence on the shelves tends to be lacking in my neighbourhood.

• 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 Rob Davis

Judge Dredd by Rob Davis
Name: Rob Davis

Blog: http://dinlos.blogspot.com

Currently working on:


Writing and drawing second Volume of Don Quixote and working on strips for The Phoenix.

First memory of 2000AD?

I bought prog 1 of 2000AD from the newsagents on Ashley Road in Parkstone, lost the spinner down the back of Chris Morrel's fridge. I couldn't read very well as an eight year old, but I loved Belardnelli's Dan Dare art. Space Hyper Hero!

I probably read most of the first 100 issues more by the pictures than the words. Within a year or so I was doing my own 2000AD style comic called "Space". I still have issue 3.

Favourite character or story?

Favourite character as a child was Robo Hunter. Halo Jones stands out to me as a writer because it spun everything around, made writing about anything seem possible. Dredd is the great icon of the comic and contains all the cleverest and most witty writing, it's what 2000AD is all about.

Artwise Mick (then Mike) McMahon's work surpassed, and surpasses, anything else in British comics and waking up one Saturday and rushing to the newsagent to get my hands on Prog 335 to see the first pages of McMahon's Slaine work on 'Warrior's Dawn' is the No. 1 art experience of my life. Not sure I'll ever recover from the moment I saw that opening page.

Having said all that, my personal favourite read ever was the first book of Nemesis. Genuinely alien and familiar, futuristic and historical, mythical and satirical. Top stuff!

What you like about 2000AD?

2000AD tricked me into thinking this is how thinks are; there's a 12p newsprint rag I could pick up every in the same shop that sells my dad his fags and it contains more invention, creativity, peerless art than I'd ever encounter in one place again. I thought that is what we should expect, it's what I intended to do with my life - keep that illusion going, make the world seem that impossibly giving to kids so they'd grow up as bursting full of imagination as I was.

Sadly the comic wanted to grow up with me, but it grew up to be a retarded, heavy metal fan who thought women smelt of magazine paper. I didn't want to be its friend anymore.

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

We don't keep in touch, but I'm assured it did grow up and sort itself out. It keeps the best of company now, so it must have turned out ok, I've seen D'Israeli's marvelous Stickleback for example! We probably just grew apart and we've gone our separate ways. 

 

Mean Machine

Part of me harbours an ambition to do something for the comic, but it would have to be an homage to one of the great inspirations of my life and therefore would have to be startling original and staggeringly good.

If you worked for 2000AD, do you have an anecdote to share about Tharg and his minions?

And here's the rub. I did draw Judge Dredd for a while in the 1990s, in Lawman of the Future, and I found the experience draining and soul destroying. I had nothing to add to Dredd that could improve upon what Mick McMahon had done. I could do something different, for the sake of it, but nothing better. This didn't appeal to me. I had no kids or mortgage in those days so I just walked. I didn't like the scripts or the ideology or the lack of ambition. Sadly the very thing that had made me want to make comics ultimately made me give them up as a career.

• 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 Paul Cornell

IGN describes this scene from Flesh (one of Paul's favourite strips) as one of 2000AD's "Top Shocks". Read their list
Name: Paul Cornell

Blog or web site:
www.paulcornell.com


Currently working on: 
 
Cops and Monsters, my urban fantasy novel, out from Tor in October.

First memory of 2000AD?

I'd avoided it, until Mark from up the lane lent me a whole pile, from the first prog on.

Favourite Character or Story?

I loved Dan Dare, Flesh and Harlem Heroes.

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

It was the way it all felt of one mind, that it seemed to portray a unified way of looking at the future, that it was kind of a genre in itself, that really attracted me.

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

New strips, attempts at new iconic characters.

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

I am one of only two British creators working in US comics who's never worked for 2000AD.  (The other is Paul Jenkins, I think.) I've only ever worked for the Megazine, where I pestered editor David Bishop until he agreed to the strip he'd turned down a year before.


• 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

Digital Comics Week for scholars

The US-based academic collaboration In Media Res is putting Digital Comics in the spotlight this week with a contribution from highly-acclaimed comic creator Mark Waid, who is launching his own web comics this summer.

The series of presentations are sure to interest anyone interested in this constantly-evolving comics form, especially with increased digital sales and the opportunities and pitfalls it presents.

"After a 25-year career in the print comics industry, my passion for the ink and paper of my youth is waning," says Waid. "Storytelling through comics’ unique alchemy of words and pictures is still my first love, and it’s probably the thing in the world I’m best at—but as print costs continue to rise and profitability drops to unsustainable levels for smaller publishers who aren’t backed by media juggernauts like Disney and Warner Bros, I no longer see designing for print-first as viable."

Organised by Roger Whitson from Emory University, the line-up is as follows:

Monday, February 20, 2012 - Roger Whitson (Emory University) presents: What Makes a Comic Book Digital?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - Mark Waid (Independent Scholar) presents: Truly Digital Comics

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - Mark Sample (George Mason University) presents: Meanwhile is Big but not Boundless

Thursday, February 23, 2012 - Zach Whalen (University of Mary Washington) presents: It Moves

Friday, February 24, 2012 - Laurie N. Taylor (University of Florida) presents: Re-Born, Born-Again Digital Comics

In Media Res is dedicated to experimenting with collaborative, multi-modal forms of online scholarship. Its goal is to promote an online dialogue amongst scholars and the public about contemporary approaches to studying media. In Media Res provides a forum for more immediate critical engagement with media at a pace closer to how we experience mediated texts.

Each weekday, a different scholar curates a 30-second to three-minute video clip/visual image slideshow accompanied by a 300-350-word impressionistic response.

The site uses the title "curator" because, like a curator in a museum, "you are repurposing a media object that already exists and providing context through your commentary, which frames the object in a particular way.

"The clip/comment combination are intended both to introduce the curator’s work to the larger community of scholars (as well as non-academics who frequent the site) and, hopefully, encourage feedback/discussion from that community.

Theme weeks like this week's on Digital Comics are designed to generate a networked conversation between curators. All the posts for theme weeks thematically overlap and the participating curators each agree to comment on one another’s work.

To receive links for each day’s posts and stay up to date on In Media Res latest calls for curators, please be sure “like” their newly launched Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/mediacommons.inmediares. You can also follow us on Twitter at @MC_IMR

Monday, 20 February 2012

Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From author and fan James Swallow

2000AD 98
Name: James Swallow

Blog or web site:

I blog about writing and stuff over at http://jmswallow.livejournal.com/ and http://twitter.com/jmswallow.

Currently working on:


A whole bunch of stuff! I’ve got a new novel called Fear To Tread out later this year as part of the Horus Heresy series, and Stargate SG-1 and Blake’s 7 audio dramas, plus some top secret videogames work.

First memory of 2000AD?:

Prog 2. I remember me and my schoolyard pal George Sawyer going nuts for the Biotronic Man stickers that came with that issue – and then peeling off all the hair on my arms when my mum wouldn’t let me keep them on at the dinner table. I managed to find a copy of Prog 1 soon after, although the Space Spinner went missing pretty quick.

I remember my dad – a reader of The Eagle in his youth – taking it off me to read the new Dan Dare strip... But I still recall the first Judge Dredd story with keen clarity – “Looking for me, lawbreakers?”

Favourite Character or Story?

Dredd, natch. The enduring legacy of this character says it all – a uniquely British take on an American archetype, the unbreakable rock in a sea of crazy. If I had to pick a favourite Dredd story, it’s between “Judge Cal” and “Block War”.

But 2000AD had also always had a good line in military SF stories, something I’m a big fan of, and while Rogue Trooper holds the top spot there, I have a lot of love for The VCs.

I always had fondness for 2000AD’s “future sport” stories, too – stuff like the Harlem Heroes, Inferno and Mean Arena.

What do you like most about 2000AD?

The turn-over of strips always means that there is new and interesting stuff in every issue; you never get bored reading a Prog, and that format means you can have stories that might never have made it to the page in a single-title format. Abelard Snazz or DR & Quinch, Joe Black from PEST and Harry 20? Ant Wars and Ro-Busters...?

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

On the one hand, as an aging nerd I’d love to see some classic old-skool strips return, but I think what 2000AD needs to keep doing is what it has always done best – create cool and engaging SF & fantasy stories with grit and edge. I’m always interested to see a new story, wondering if the next one will be something with the staying power of Dredd, Strontium Dog or Slaine.

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

It’s a point of geek pride for me that I got to write for Joe Dredd and the Rogue Trooper, albeit in audio drama and novel formats, but I’ve never worked directly for the comic (although I’d love to – Tharg? Call 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

Contact downthetubes

• Got a British Comics News Story? E-mail downthetubes!

• Publishers: please contact for information on where to post review copies and other materials: editor@downthetubes.net

Click here to subscribe to our RSS NewsFeed

Powered by  FeedBurner


downthetubes British Comics Events Calendar

downthetubes Newsletter

Receive an email version of the downthetubes blog!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner