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Drokk back in anger! 40 great things about 2000 AD

It’s 40 years since Tharg the Mighty, a gentleman alien from Betelgeuse with a penchant for eccentric phraseology, first shared with us Earthlets his mighty, thrill-powered organ, 2000 AD!  To celebrate four decades of drokking good comic-strip stories, here are – in no particular order – 40 great things about 2000 AD…

1) “GAZE INTO THE FIST OF DREDD!” – (See above).

2) Fetishising King’s Reach Tower – (Left) Built in 1972, and pretty shabby to be honest, the 364ft-tall building was refashioned as ‘Tharg’s Nerve Centre’ upon the comics’ launch. And remained as such until 2000 AD retired to the less pulse-pounding locale of Oxford in the space year 2000.

3) “Note for readers on Mercury – your delivery shuttle delayed by solar storm.”

4) That logo.

5) The first TV advert…

6) “NO! PLEASE LET ME DROWN BEFORE THE GIANT SCORPIONS GET TO ME!” – (Left)

7) IPC sub editor Kevin Gosnell’s original pitch document for 2000 AD, circa 1976 – “It must make money while riding the crest [of the Star Wars sci-fi boom] and could be used for a merge when it becomes uneconomic”.

8)20p Earth Money ($1.45 Malaysia; 0.5g Asteroid Belt; 100g Saturn)”

9) Ro-Jaws’ movie review of TRON – “A real treat for the old optic circuits”

10) Readers’ art

11) Rob Hubbard’s music for the Nemesis The Warlock computer game…

12) “SOME KIND OF ELECTRO-MAGNETIC BEAM!” – Dan Dare is made-over as a superhero, complete with beam-ejaculating ‘cosmic claw’.

13) …And his subsequent rebuttal in Prog 500’s self-referential strip ‘Tharg’s Head Revisited’: “First you made me a complete freak, then a Biggles look-alike with a clunky space fort, and, finally, you gave me this… this cosmic claw and turned me into a – choke – super-hero™”

14) “WE – ER – BROUGHT YOU THESE FLOWERS AND CHOCS, BUT I GUESS YOU WON’T BE NEEDING ‘EM NOW” – (Left) The final page of 2000 AD prog 1 sees one of the Harlem Heroes left as but a brain in bell-jar following a hover-powered road-liner accident.

15) “KEEP CALM + + + THRILL FACTOR OVERLOAD + + + KEEP CALM”

16) Postage stamp dealer advertisements not much larger than a postage stamp

17) “COMMUNICATION TERMINATED” – The 1994 revamp merits a TV ad…

18) Papier-mâché-inations! – in the Nemesis The Warlock photo-strips (left).

19) “AIEEEE! BLAKEE PENTAX!”

20) “Enter Our Bubblicious 2000 AD Competition! Win a super Sansui Hi-Fi System!”

21) Warp spasm!

22) Destruction of the Cyril Lord block – “BUT CHIEF JUDGE, CYRIL LORD’S A LISTED BLOCK!”/”CYRIL LORD’S A LUXURY WE CAN’T AFFORD!”

23) …And the coda to that – “ARGUING WITH THE CHIEF JUDGE – YOU’LL BE ON THE CARPET FOR THIS, WILTON!”

24) How many can you name? – That Prog 500 wraparound cover (below).
25) Mutants In Mega-City One…

26) “I’M JUST NOT SCRATCHING”

27) “Sole agents for Australia and New Zealand: Gordon & Gotch Ltd.”

28) “NEXT PROG: SOMETHING SOMETHING ORANGES SOMETHING…” – (Below) NB. Additional points for Clive James cameo
29) Zenith – Smart-arsed, self-centred superhero-cum-pop star from the SAW era, who’d more likely be hanging out with Big Fun than fighting big baddies. Managed by Richard-Wilson-in-TUTTI-FRUTTI-lookalike Eddie. Once battled Noel Edmonds.

30) The 1993 Summer Offensive – (Left, but not politically)

31) “IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT… CREEP!” – Long overdue reinstatement of classic (but non-chrome) logo.

32) Kevin O’Neill draws himself into an episode of Nemesis.

33) “NEXT PROG: HAVE A NICE DEATH!”

34) The mid-1980s Titan reprint volumes – bestowing a kind of Continental-style credibility upon Dredd, Nemesis et al, plus allowing Pat Mills editorial  space to recall the time his father-in-law attacked the television set while watching Saint Joan, and artist SMS to snipe at Simon Bisley’s contributions to the ABC Warriors’ development.

35) “WHO THE HELL’S GONNA MESS WITH US?”

36) “In Orbit Every Monday”

37) “I remember sitting in a linoleum cupboard office 10 years ago when we hatched out the idea…”

38) ‘Twas ever thus

39) Continuing remorse for its 1990s excesses – (Below).

40) The perennial Tharg’s Future Shocks outro…

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Rupert

    March 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Ace Garp trying to romance Feek’s wife”I loooves Yah!” in Ace Trucking Co

    Wulf Sternhammer gives Hitler the “Sterhnhammer Silencer” in Strontium Dog

  2. Applemask

    February 23, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    SHAKO WAS ANGRY

  3. THX 1139

    February 23, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Took me till this year to get the Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein pun. *is ashamed*

  4. DarthFlanflinger

    March 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    The “Yanks” plundered movie ideas and comic character reimaginings aplenty from 2000AD (would Robocop, Lobo, “dark” Batman and “dark” Wolverine have happened at all without Judge Dredd?)

  5. Droogie

    March 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    I seem to remember 2000 AD being the first British comic to list the names of the artist and writer on each strip. American comics had been doing this for decades, but not UK ones. This was very important to me as a budding comic artist to make me realise you could actually make a living drawing comic strips in this country.

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