Monday, 3 October 2016

Celebrating 2000 Issues of 2000AD Comic

Last week saw the publication of issue 2000 of one of my all time favourite comics - 2000AD. I have been collecting this weekly anthology ever since it first launched in 1977. Yes, I do have all 2000 issues of it! I wouldn't normally write a post about a comic I like but this is a very special occasion and it warrants both a mention and a celebration. I have grown up with this comic. I have watched it grow and evolve. Originally produced as a children's comic, it has now matured and has a more adult outlook. We have grown up together and 2000AD is very much a part of my life. I look forward to getting my thrill power fix every week. I have remained loyal to it throughout its chequered history. It has had some low points and frankly, dire stories, but they are vastly outnumbered by its hits and successes.
This quote taken from the comic's Betelgeusian alien editor, Tharg the Mighty One, in the editorial of issue #2000  sums up why the comic has endured. "How has my illustrious organ managed to keep going for so long, in an industry marked by multiple reboots and retcons? Because we all - I, my meks, and you, my Squaxx dek Thargo - believe in it. We invest in it. And we know that 2000AD and its spirit of independence and rebellion, and all that it represents, is too important to lose."
Issue #2000 comes with a bigger page count than normal and contains six new stories featuring many old favourites and one brand new series. Each story is preceded by a one page introduction from Tharg, printed in black and white and illustrated by different artists. First up is the comic's greatest hero, and longest lasting character - Judge Dredd. This one-off story gets the comic off to a great start with artwork by the brilliant Carlos Ezquerra, an introduction from the legendary artist, Brian Bolland and script by John Wagner. The story sees Judge Dredd once again teaming up with Johnny Alpha in a time-travelling adventure that is a load of fun. (If you're reading this, Simon, Johnny Alpha is back from the dead!)
Nemesis the Warlock was always another favourite of mine but in this one-off story I found both the artwork by Kevin O'Neill and story by Pat Mills to be rather lacklustre. This was my least favourite story of the comic.
Next up, comes another return of an old favourite - Rogue Trooper. Scripted by Gordon Rennie with artwork by Richard Elson, this was a nice reminder of why Rogue was so popular, although the story goes over far too quickly and we don't see enough of Rogue himself.
The next story, Psi Judge Anderson, features stunning artwork by David Roach and an excellent script by Alan Grant. Anderson's long time nemesis, Judge Death, returns to haunt her once more. This was my favourite story in the comic although, Judge Dredd comes a close second.
Next up is the return of Downlode's lovable hit-men duo, Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter. The story, scripted by Dan Abnett and drawn by Mark Sexton, sets up the next arc of their ongoing adventures and made me wishing for more. I have always been a fan of the Sinister Dexter stories.
Finally, is the comic's one totally new series - Counterfeit Girl. This cyberpunk yarn was written by Peter Milligan and artwork was assigned to Rufus Dayglo. The basic premise of the story is to do with identity theft and it certainly gets off to a promising start.
All this, plus a free poster, drawn by Cliff Robinson, showing many of the comic's favourite characters, makes this a must have edition. 2000AD goes from strength to strength and shows no sign of ever stopping. Long may it continue, I say. It is certainly far superior to anything produced by the big name American publishers like Dark Horse, DC, Image or Marvel. It is such a shame it isn't more popular in the U.S.A.
Anyway, to help celebrate this landmark event I want to offer a prize giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment stating what you like the most about the comic. Make your answer as long or as short as you want - amusing or serious.  I'll announce the name of the winner in my next Monthly Musings post on Halloween (Monday 31st of October). So what's the prize? It's a bundle of 28mm scale 2000AD figures.

First up is this rather over-scale figure of Hammerstein from the ABC Warriors. He was produced by Wargames Foundry. He stands roughly 55mm tall but for a combat droid that doesn't bother me too much.





Next up is this Warlord Games figure of a Mega City One Street Judge. He is nicely sculpted although his shoulder pads look a bit odd. They appear to be standing too high on his shoulders. He would make a good figure for a player character.








Also from Warlord Games is a Cursed Earth Desperado with Dual Weapons (Spit Gun and Sawed Off Stump Gun). He makes a great gang leader. I have mine leading a street gang known as the Apathetic Anarchists. I called him Major Apathy. You'll be seeing him and his gang in my upcoming Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign.








These seven figures from Warlord Games make up an Ape Gang for use in Judge Dredd. They consist of three Chimp Punks, three Gorilla Enforcers and an Orang Utan Sniper. I ended up with them when I ordered the Orang Utan Gang Leader (not shown) and rather generously received the whole gang instead. So these guys are surplus to my requirements. If anyone plays 5150 by Two Hour Wargames, they will make great figures for Zhuh-Zhuhs.
Finally, I'll add a selection of 8 Indy Heroclix 2000AD characters (Judge Dredd, Judge Hershey, Judge Fear, Judge Fire, Judge Mortis, a Brit-City Judge, Johnny Alpha and Torquemada). Please note that the metal figures are all unpainted and the Heroclix figures have their basic paint jobs. I may well add a few other figures to the mix before announcing the winner. Best of luck!

27 comments:

  1. I am the right age for 2000ad It came out as I was starting secondary school and it was my comic. Favourite all time stories were probably Harlem Heroes, Flesh, Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper. Not nessercarily in that order. And sometimes the Future shocks were just brilliant.

    Childhood memories.

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    1. I was 19 years old when I bought issue #1 of 2000AD. It resonated with me then and still does today. My top ten favourite stories are in alphabetical order - ABC Warriors, D.R. and Quinch, Defoe, Durham Red, Judge Dredd, Psi-Judge Anderson, Rogue Trooper, Sinister Dexter, Skizz and Strontium Dogs.

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    2. Oh you have not taken this to be an entry.

      Let me be clear the best thing about 2000AD for me is.... Childhood memories

      I hope that clarifies my position for you.

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    3. Understood and duly noted. Sorry for the misunderstanding. You're in the draw.

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    4. Thanks Mate I should have made it clearer.

      having re r-eead it it is not at all clear so all my fault.

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    5. No problem. We got it all sorted in the end.

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  2. Oo I love competitions. Yes I`m in please. Okay my reason why I like this magazine, is rather unusual and unique. I dated Alan Moore and was in on the creation of the magazine in its original conception. I sat and listened to the guys discussing the aims of the magazine and its intended audience. I saw original art (including the concept art for Dredd) and I even have a few photos of me and Alan together somewhere in my collection (shhhh!! don't tell Stevie). Alan really was a wild hippy back then, and I was a young innocent Goth girl hehe. So yes, I has inight into the magazine before it even hit full publication, and loved it from the start, and feel like even had a hand in steering its format. as I was politely asked a few questions and I shyly pointed at drawings I liked. Maybe I even had a tiny influence in things. I like to imagine that perhaps I did *grins*.

    Hilary

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    1. That really is a great answer, Hil. Thanks for sharing what must be very happy memories for you.

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  3. Great post Bryan, but by god it makes me feel old!!

    As for favourite bits of 2000AD it has to be the ABC Warriors (no surprise there!), though I'm not sure that they count as they were an extension of Ro-Busters (another favourite) and that originated in Starlord, that was then integrated into 2000AD. If fact they had a bit of a habit of combining and them devouring other titles as I recall didn't they also do that with Tornado as well?

    It was always a great read and British! they even had Dan Dare in it for a little while as I recall. Sadly I sold all of my old issues of it to a lady who sold books and old comics in the local market as a child (probably to buy a stupid Atari game of something equally inane!), if I could go back now I'd punch him in the face!

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thanks, Roger. I regard the ABC Warriors and Ro-Busters as separate stories. Hammerstein is the only common denominator between the two. Ro-Jaws briefly popped up as an ABC Warrior but was soon replaced. You are spot on about Starlord and Tornado being taken over. Other comics were as well. Crisis springs to mind. There could be others as well.

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    2. What about Mek-Quake, he was a warrior as well as in Ro-Busters, and there was a Ro-busters story reprinted (I think) in an annual about Hammerstein being hit on the head (Ro-busters head) and thinking he was back in the war, so Joe Pineapples had to shoot out that part of his brain, ricocheting off of two walls so that one of them fell down onto Mek-quake as he was about to perform a “Big job” on poor old Hammerstein. I do however see what you mean about them being separate story lines. As people seem to be doing this sort of thing I’ll give you my top ten all tome favourite strips…
      ABC Warriors
      Ro-Busters
      Robo Hunter
      Ace Trucking
      Inferno/Harlem Heroes
      Rogue Trooper
      Flesh
      Judge Anderson PSI (sorry liked her better than JD)
      Strontium Dog
      Judge Dredd
      Though I don’t think it counts I also really liked a strip called “Black Hawk” about a black man in the ancient roman army, but that was really a “Tornado” strip, that I think appeared in 2000AD for a short while, but not really Sci/Fi, Oh and “Halo Jones” must get an honorable mention as well. Does this count as my entry?
      Cheers Roger.

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    3. Good recall, Roger. Mek-Quake was indeed a member of both Ro-Busters and ABC Warriors. I even have a figure of him, so how could I have forgotten?

      Cool list of favourites. Black Hawk certainly does count. Halo Jones certainly deserves an honourable mention. She was number 11 on my own list, only just missing out on a top ten placing.

      Yes, this certainly does count as your entry. You're in the draw as well. :-)

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  4. Great post as always Bryan. Anything to do with 2000AD is a winner for me (or Turtles as you know!)

    It's weird isn't it what sparks memories and how they line up in your head following that spark? 2000AD was one of my first comics as a kid in the 70s and 80s, my first was the Dandy. I remember saying to my mum (as clear a picture as anything) that I was too old for the Dandy and I wanted a "grown up" comic and she came back with 2000AD! I remember sitting in my room poring over the stories and impatiently waiting for the next episode, it was definitely a bright spot in a poor childhood (violins please). When I got my first job (paper round) mum stopped buying them and I had to use my own wages, luckily the newsagent ie my boss was really good and ordered it in specially!

    Favourite characters in order:

    Judge Dredd (I'm sorry it has to be the old man himself!)
    Slaine
    Johnny Alpha
    Nemesis the Warlock
    Durham Red
    Judge Anderson
    Rogue Trooper
    Any of the ABC Warriors (hard to pick a favourite)

    Oh yeah count me in baby!

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    1. Yes, when you look back to 1977 it certainly does bring back happy memories.

      I do like your list of favourites. You just about match my own. I'm taking them as what you like best about 2000AD. You're also in the draw, Andy.

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    2. Without a doubt dude. My fave JD is the Apocalypse War and the preceding Block War eps.

      I can still picture my fave Slaine the King strip where he is sitting on a pile of Fomorian bodies/heads along with his fave caption "he did not think it too many..."

      Anything Strontium Dog is just soooo awesome and was an artists dream all those muties...lol

      Nemesis the Warlork was just so dark and gothic - simply brilliant!

      I could go on very easily.....

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    3. Ha, ha, it is soooooooooo easy to get all nostalgic and reminisce about favourite stories, Andy. I could chat all day about my favourite 2000AD memories!

      I love that Slaine quote, "He did not think it too many..." but it does continue with the line "In fact, he did not think it enough!" which you don't often hear.

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  5. Ah, the nostalgia of youth... Hmmm, what does 2000AD mean to me? Original storytelling which didn't talk down to it's readers. Action, adventure and some truly odd stuff. Nemesis the Warlock was always my favourite, just because it was so different, but Robo-Hunter, Rogue Warrior, Slaine, ABC Warriors and of course Dredd himself are all up there. D.R. and Quinch penciled by my favourite artist, Alan Davis, was also a firm favourite. Lucki!y, my experiences with 2000AD didn't feature many of the lows. I still remember the shock I had when I found out that Halo Jones' robot dog was responsible for the murders that had been following her. A very nice article, Bryan, celebrating a unique and definitely British institution.

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    1. Oh and I forgot to say - no need to include me in the draw. I'd rather the figures went to someone who's a bigger fan, as they will appreciate them more.

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    2. Thanks for your comments, Jez. Nice memories, mate. I will bow to your wishes and exclude you from the draw. I'm sure the other contestants will appreciate having less competition.

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  6. What does 2000AD mean to me? Not much, really. I'm certainly aware of it and of many of the major characters, but I'm not a comic fan.

    Here's something I've always wondered, though: just what exactly *is* a spit gun? If taken literally then it sounds unhygienic (!), but not especially deadly. Or should the term be understood more metaphorically, in a similar vein to "grease gun" or "burp gun"?

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    1. No problem, Hugh. A Spit Gun is a weapon with a high rate of fire. It "spits" bullets out at a rapid rate. Yes, it is akin to a "grease gun" or "burp gun".

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  7. Bryan, what an outstanding posting and most generous prize too!! I must confess to having been a reader of "2000 A.D." on and off for many years. But it wasn't until Prog 393, 24th November 1984 when I spotted the wrap-around-cover for "Stainless Steel Rat For President" that I finally became not only a regular reader, but a dedicated back-issue collector too!! Indeed I still remember writing a CBM64 adventure game based upon the Judge Dredd story from that issue "City Of The Damned"; complete with blocky graphics!! Ah... what fun to read and also browse car boot sales looking for back issues. I still recall stumbling across a bin at a charity shop and pulling out two copies of Prog 1, buying them at once and then cycling round to my best friends and giving him one copy (as we both loved the title back then). Happy days indeed :-)

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    1. Thanks,Simon. I was getting worried you might have missed this post, although I would have sent you an e-mail reminder. I had forgotten about the Stainless Steel Rat stories but I did enjoy reading them. I'd hang on to you copy of Prog #1. It is worth a lot of money nowadays.

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    2. Bryan, I did miss it [blush] and also picking up Prog 2000 - which seems to be going for stupid prices on Ebay already!?! I think Stainless Steel Rat must be one of the few novel adaptions which Tharg has allowed. Although at the time I didn't realise. I do recall being increasing disillusioned with "City Of The Damned" though as it progressed and every week a different artist drew it. I think Steve Dillon started and ended it. But some of the inbetweeners weren't great imho. I like the same artist for an entire story and, as you know from my comic reviews, the artwork can make or break a comic for me.

      I actually stopped getting "2000 A.D." around the time of Nikolai Dante becoming popular as I felt the artwork was awful throughout. I think Rebellion were busy trying out all sorts of different illustrators and techniques at the time, and I disliked them all unfortunately. I'm glad though that it's still going strong, and has such enthusiastic followers like your excellent self, supporting them.

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    3. You're not wrong about the eBay prices for Prog #2000. Wow! I also saw Prog #1 going for a staggering £350.00! You can still get a digital copy of Prog #2000 from the 2000AD webstore for just £2.99. Here's the link if you're interested - http://shop.2000adonline.com/products/digital_2000_ad_prog_2000

      Actually, if you go back to such classic stories as the original Cursed Earth saga, Judge Dredd often had a mix of artists working on a single story. I do agree, that it is better if you get the same artist to complete a story. I didn't mind the mixture of artists unless Ron Smith was the artist. I never liked his artwork. Early Mike McMahon was great but when he returned from a long absence his art skills took a huge backward step. It was as if he had regressed.

      I always found Nikolai Dante a so-so story. Sometimes it could be very good but at other times it was really poor. But I am really glad I have stuck with the comic through thick and thin. As I said in my post, it has had far more successes than failures. Happily, this past decade it has really shone brightly.

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    4. Bryan, many thanks for that link - you rotter!! ;-)

      I've actually bought myself a one-month subscription to see what I think of the Vampifan-endorsed "2000 A.D.", and picked up some back issues too. I've also managed to pre-order a reprint of Prog 2000 from Forbidden Planet; which'll be released in a couple of weeks as a second printing.

      Perhaps I should do a "2000 A.D." blog ;-)

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    5. Attaboy, Simon! That is cool that there's going to be a second printing of Prog #2000.

      Hmm, a 2000AD blog? There's an intriguing idea. As this post shows, it is still very popular. Perhaps we should discuss this idea further. Starting from next month I'll be posting a load of Judge Dredd articles. My 2000AD figure collection is huge and as I said in this post, I own every issue of the comic so far. I could very easily devote my blog to all things 2000AD related. I won't - I'm just saying I could.

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