Friday Flashback – 2000AD

Friday Flashback is where I look back at the books, films, TV shows, and million and one other things that have inspired me over the years in my art, story telling and well... life! This week I'm have a look at the legendary British comic: 2000AD!

2000AD is a weekly British science fiction and fantasy oriented comic that along with its monthly sister title of Judge Dredd Megazine has dominated the British comic industry for as long as I can remember. Both comics are an anthology which means they serialises a number of separate stories in each issue, and each issue is known as a prog.

2000AD was first published by IPC Magazines on February 26 1977, and although very young at the time I can still remember when my father brought home a copy for me (well, really for himself) along with a Dandy and an Eagle. This means the the prog has been hitting my doormat for 35 years this month, which is why I thought I'd use it for this weeks flashback. 2000AD started out life as a publication by IPC Magazines who later became known as Fleetway comics, a subsidiary which was sold to Robert Maxwell in 1987 then Egmont UK in 1991. Fleetway continued to produce the title until 2000, when it was bought by Rebellion Developments, the video games guys.

The weekly comic series is mostly known for its leading character of Judge Dredd. However, due to its anthology nature, and sometimes having six different stories in a weekly prog, 2000AD has spawned more infamous comic characters than you can shake a stick at. Such as (and in no particular order) Nemesis the Warlock, ABC Warriors, Harlem Heroes, Durham Red, Ro-Busters, Rogue Trooper, Indigo Prime, Robo-Hunter, Bill Savage, Strontium Dog, Ace Trucking Co, Flesh, Sláine... The list goes on and on and on and on and on and on...(in a very good way)!
Not only that, but 2000 AD has been a successful launchpad for getting United Kingdom talent out there and to be mostly poached by the bright lights of bigger titles of the American comics market. Some of these writers and artists (known as droids within the 2000AD world) are household names such as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Carlos Ezquerra, Simon Bisley, Grant Morrison, Simon Fraser, John McCrea, Bryan Talbot, Brian Bolland, Pat Mills, Dan Abnett... as before the list goes on and on and makes you dizzy!

The secret behind 2000ADs success?

Amongst the wealth of it's creative talent, the brains of the operation has to take a hefty chunk of kudos for its success, and that is 2000AD's editor.

For such a thrill powered publication no simple human would do. No. The editor of 2000AD has been, and for as far into the future as any can see, will remain to be Tharg the Mighty. Tharg is a green extraterrestrial visiting from Betelgeuse who has brought 2000AD to us Earthlets. Although harsh towards his droids that work tirelessly to create this weekly publication, he sure does get the results.

For me every Saturday for as long as I can remember has been 2000AD day. A day where I eagerly await for my copy of the prog to arrive. When I was a kid it was via my parents, as an adult it is via a subscription. It has over the years served me as a constant input of fantastic fantasy and awesome science fiction and I can't see my life without 2000AD in it. I feel like the prog has hit a new golden age with its creative team and has over the recent years turned out some of its best work to memory, and I hope that it continues to do so too.

I genuinely do not think I have met anyone who has not heard of either 2000AD or its title character of Judge Dredd. Yet, for some reason the prog struggles to break the American comic market. Hopefully this will see a change as this 35th Anniversary year progresses. With 2000AD embracing new publishing formats from 'Manga' sized comic books to digital comics, and let's not forget the this year also sees the Judge Dredd film hitting the big screen. Before you roll your eyes and sigh at that last point, we're not talking about another God awful Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd travesty. No. We are talking about a Judge Dredd film that is using writers and artists from the comic to help capture a 'truer' vision of the hard chinned man of the law. By all accounts, it is looking pretty drokking good too!

Find out more about 2000AD at the following link:


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