Wednesday, February 22, 2012
2000AD's 35th Birthday Prog
When 2000AD was launched in 1977 very few expected the comic to survive this long. Least of all the editors, which is one reason they gave it a then "futuristic" title which would date as soon as we entered the 21st Century.
For years, speculation to the point of tedium imagined that the comic would be re-titled 3000AD by now, but the comic wisely stood its ground. After all, what's in a name? "Viz" is a nonsense word, "Dandy" and "Beano" are archaic terms, but the comics soldier on regardless.
Here we are then, at 2000AD's grand 35th anniversary, and the special bumper edition out today delivers the goods. There's a slight price increase for this week to £2.60 but for your extra 25p you get 20 extra pages featuring bonus stories reviving two old characters plus previews of strips to come. There's also an excellent free giant poster by Chris Weston featuring a gathering of characters from past and present.
Chris Weston's artwork is also used for one of the choice of covers to this issue. The other cover being by Mick McMahon. Yes, one of the original greats is back for this special edition and as ever, Mick's work is stunning. He's reinvented himself several times over the years and every time his style advances into a new direction that works brilliantly and uniquely. It's been said before, but Mick is an artist's artist. One of the giants that are always going to be leagues ahead of the rest of us.
I felt that one downside of the issue was that most of the strips are in mid-serial which may be confusing for new readers picking up this anniversary edition. I'd have thought it might have been better to have this as a 'boom issue' as we used to call them, with all strips kicking off at the start of new serials rather than with parts 7 or 9. Perhaps it wasn't possible to schedule for that.
But that's a minor quibble. The main thing is this is a very good issue indeed, and good value too, so if you haven't bought a copy yet, rev up your jetpack and get to your local thrill-merchants now!
Mick McMahon has a website, and it's brilliant:
You can see Mick's preliminary drawings for the cover here: