Friday, November 1, 2019

2000ad in 2019: State of the prog

The other week I couldn't get to the one place in town that still sold 2000ad, and I asked a locally-based online 2000ad community if anybody had any idea if there was somewhere else in the country's biggest city that I could find it, and nobody knew. They like to show off original artwork and autographed memorabilia, but nobody was actually getting the actual every week anymore.

They're missing some great comics. I haven't missed an issue in years and years, and getting it every Tuesday remains one of the great tiny pleasures of my life. Because 20 years after the millennium made its futuristic name a bit ridiculous, 2000ad remains one of the strongest anthology comics published anywhere in the world, producing great comics on a weekly basis.

Current Tharg Matt Smith - who has now served as editor of the galaxy's greatest comic for far longer than anybody else - has nailed down a winning formula that continues to deliver: some great artwork, an impressive drive to foster new talent, eye-catching covers and the glory of the ongoing Judge Dredd saga (there will be more on all of these factors here at the Tearoom over the next few days).

There are, as always, still a few dud stories. It's the nature of anthologies that everything isn't always going to connect. For this Earthlet, Kingmaker has never really lived up to its 'sci-fi crashing into fantasy' premise; there's a bit too many Judge Anderson stories; a lot of recent Future Shocks have been decidedly half-baked; Skip Tracer felt like it was desperately missing an injection of patented 2000ad irony; and Indigo Prime has been a slog ever since creator John Smith stopped writing the stories and the new writer decided this metaphysical mindfuck needed more guns and random guests (the Patrick Bateman cameo was particularly painful, but the JG Ballard one was even worse.)

But overall the general quality remains high, and the comic is still publishing some truly great comics. The ongoing War of the Worlds sequels by Edginton and D'Israel sequels are a goddamn delight; Jaegir remains a meaty and uncompromising excursion into the the world of Rogue Trooper; the long-running Absalom story came to a satisfying end - the last page was the only way it could ever really finish; Brink has been truly stellar; and Guy Adams' Max Normal revival was pleasantly meaty.

Even though it was hard to get into town, I didn't miss an issue in the end, I just had to make some effort to get to the newsagents, but I'm still getting a weekly dose of thrillpower, out there in the streets. Combined with the ongoing excellence of Judge Dredd  - and there have been times when it has been truly brilliant this year - it's been another strong period for 2000ad. Whatever year it is, and wherever I can get it.

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