History of 2000AD
2000AD is a British Sci-Fi comic that distributes its progs (short for programmes) weekly as anthologies. It was created by writer and editor Pat Mills and John Wagner for Kelvin Gosnell, a sub-editor at IPC Magazines Ltd who had been inspired by the flux of Sci-Fi films released at the time. The first issue was released on 24th February 1977 and ran under its Fleetway subsidiary until 1987, when it was sold to Egmont UK. Fleetway continued to produce the title until it was bought by Rebellion in 2000.
Under Rebellion 2000AD flourished, with new editors including Andy Diggle (who would later go on to write for Vertigo and Marvel), Alan Barnes and Matt Smith, who took over from Barnes after his move to American comics. He is also editor of 2000AD's sister comic, Judge Dredd: The Megazine. 2000AD has recently discovered new talent in artists Boo Cook, Dom Reardon and writer Al Ewing.
2000AD has now been made available online through Clickwheel, a Rebellion-owned company. It is available to be downloaded and read on an IPod and IPod Touch or in PDF/CBZ format.
2000 AD has launched the careers of some of British comics best known writers and artists such as Alan Moore, Alan Grant, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, Frank Quitely, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, John Wagner, Kevin O'Neill, Pat Mills, Peter Milligan, Simon Bisley and many more.
Annuals & Specials
Throughout its publishing history (from IPC, Fleetway, Egmont and currently Rebellion), there have been many spin-off specials and series, including:
New Annuals (or, end of the year issues)
To mark the millennium (a year nobody thought the comic would see), a new tradition was started with the publication of the new 'Annual Progs' starting from issue number #2000 when the ongoing series had just reached #1173 (12/08/1999).
These 100-page specials slot in between the last prog of the old year and the first of the new. As well as featuring special one-off stories and features, they also kick-off the new years series.
Some of the best loved and most famous 2000AD characters are futuristic lawman Judge Dredd, genetically modified soldier Rogue Trooper, mutant and intergalactic bounty hunter Johnny Alpha, Celtic barbarian Slaine, thief, rogue and nobleman Nikolai Dante.
Judge Dredd has been at the core of the sci-fi anthology since prog 2. As well as appearing in the weekly, Dredd's popularity has granted him his own series, which is still going today having topped 350+ issues as well as appearances in Annuals (1980-1990), Yearbooks (1991-1994) and Mega-Specials (1988-1996).
British boys comics have been in decline since the 1980s and 2000 AD is now the last man standing, having seen off all of the competition. But despite all of these cancellations, only two other comics have ever merged with 2000 AD - Starlord (1978) and Tornado (1979). Both added new characters to the 2000 AD roster including Strontium Dog from Starlord, which is still in the line-up today and still being scripted and illustrated by its original creators.
With such a back catalogue of characters, stories and sagas, reprints were inevitable. In the UK, Titan Books printed the first graphic novel collections, starting with Judge Dredd in 1981. In the US, Eagle Comics began printing a monthly Judge Dredd comic in 1983 (with iconic covers from Brian Bolland).
Over the years there have been countless graphic novel collections and reprint titles. In the UK these have taken the form of the more traditional anthology format (Best of 2000AD, Classic 2000AD and Extreme Editions), but in the US, stories have been resized and recoloured to fit the smaller format and released as specific character series (such as ABC Warriors, Nemesis the Warlock, Sam Slade and Judge Dredd).
Tharg the Mighty is an alien from the fictional planet Quaxxann who works as the "editor" of 2000AD; he writes the intro, answers letters and gives out prizes for art work and stories. Readers could choose whether they wanted paid in pounds sterling or "galactic groats". Other than Judge Dredd, he is the only other character that has appeared in nearly every issue, with the only notable absence being in prog 1014 when the editorial was taken over by the mysterious Vector 13. His favourite food is polystyrene cups.
Judge Dredd IDW's spin-off
In 2012 IDW launched their own original Judge Dredd series (the first time a US publisher has printed new Dredd stories since DC gave us Judge Dredd and Legends of the Law back in 1994).
|Progs||Publisher||Start Date||End Date|
(under license from Rebellion)
#86-126 were published as 2000 AD and Star Lord (10/14/78-08/18/79).
#127-177 were published as 2000 AD and Tornado (08/25/79-09/13/80).
There have been several games based on 2000AD characters. In 1987 Martech released Nemesis The Warlock and Slaine for Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. In 1991 Krisalis Software devolved Rogue Trooper for the Atari ST and Judge Dredd games have also been released on the Game Boy, Game Gear, PlaySation, Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Following the purchase of 2000AD by Rebellion several other games have been made or are under development:
Judge Dredd Vs Death
Judge Dredd Vs Death was a first person shooter released in 2003 for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and GameCube. It starred Judge Dredd in his fight against the Dark Judges and an invasion by Deathworld.
In 2006 Rogue Trooper was released for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and then a revised edition was released in 2009 for the Wii. The player takes control of Rogue as he goes AWOL after the death of all other G.I's to try and hunt down the traitor responsible.
Hardware was a 1990 Sci-Fi horror film based on the 2000AD short story called Shok! Walter's Robo-Tale. Directed by Richard Stanley and starring Iggy Pop, Dylan McDermott and Motorhead bassist Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister. Although it had mixed reviews at the time it later went on to be a cult classic.
Judge Dredd (1995)
Directed by Danny Cannon and starred Sylvester Stallone, Rob Schneider, Diane Lane and Max Von Sydow.
Directed by Pete Travis and written by Alex Garland. It has been produced through Danny Boyle's production company DNA Films. Starring Karl Urban as Judge Dredd, it is not be related to the 1995 Judge Dredd movie and is instead a complete reboot. The film has a darker Sci-Fi edge, with the cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle stating they are going for a Blade Runner crossed with A Clockwork Orange feel.