The spotlight is on the early days of British sci-fi comic 2000AD with a new documentary coming out soon called Future Shock. The trailer is here and it’s every bit as anarchic as you’d expect. I’ve interviewed quite a few of the creators over the last couple of years and the thing I love about comics writers and artists is how blunt they are. There’s no pussyfooting around with these guys.
You can buy reproductions of almost all the main stories from 2000AD from Rebellion but as with the early reprints by Titan, there’s always one glaring omission. Every early issue of 2000AD was in black in white, with two colour pages in the middle of the comic. When they’re reprinted, they are almost never shown again in their full colour glory, so later fans miss out. For people who’ve never seen them, here are some of my favourites.
Judge Dredd got the vast majority of the colour spreads. The best ones are all by the awesome Brian Bolland. Check out this massacre by the Dark Judges from Prog 225 (15 Aug 1981) – you can click on all of these to enlarge them:
Here’s a cinematic shot of Mega-City One from the pen of Cam Kennedy in my all-time favourite story, The Midnight Surfer from Prog 427 (20 July 1985):
Occasionally, other characters got a look-in too. Here’s mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha caught in the Desert of the Living Dead from Prog 111 (5 May 1979). It’s a jagged modernista composition from Spanish artist Carlos Ezquerra. Check out the lines around the panels. The blue logo is cool too, and very unusual:
Just to get in on the act, later, Bryan Talbot’s art on Nemesis the Warlock was promoted to the centre spread. For me, his Gothic take on the alien sorcerer is the most atmospheric of all, in the true Grand Guignol style. Here are the middle pages of Prog 483 (14 Aug 1986):
These spreads are BIG, which explains the slightly poor quality of my reproductions. The pages are too large to fit on my scanner so I had to capture them with my digital camera.
It’s not easy tracking down these issues. When I was last in Glasgow, I went to a back issue shop seeking out old 2000ADs. I was directed to a clothes-horse type rack outside the shop where ragged issues clung on to life, at the rate of three for a pound. I bought the last ones flapping on the rack, so worthless or not, 2000AD is still flying off the shelves.
Anyone else got any favourites from the colour spreads?