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  1. #1
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    Default 2000AD - 30 Years On!

    Give or take a couple of days, this weekend marks the 30th anniversary of my starting to buy 2000 AD regularly - Prog 335 cover dated 24/09/83.

    With hindsight, I don't know why I didn't get into it earlier than I did, given my liking of sci-fi. From the same stable, I had been reading Eagle since its launch early 1982 and also Battle from 1982 (I will expand on this on the Comics Thread, bear with me!).

    One of my schoolfriends did buy 2000 AD and I remember reading a few issues in August 1983 and enjoying it and decided I'd start buying it myself. Whether by chance or design, I don't recall, but Prog 335 proved to be a good starting point, with new stories for Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog, Slaine and Nemesis The Warlock Book III beginning.

    I kept buying until shortly after Prog 1000 in 1996 as I hadn't been enjoying it so much for a while and it had become a habit rather than a pleasure.

    Anyway, I've kept all those Progs but not looked at them certainly in the 20 years since I moved out of home, so am going to start re-reading them, 1 per week, aiming to keep pace with their original releases 30 years on - call it my second childhood! I'll aim to report back on how I get on and to comment on particular stories/events.

  2. #2
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    Apparently they had a big 'Jumping On' issue of 2000AD this week. Might still be in stores if you're feeling brave and wealthy.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Oh I look forward to this thread, I started with (I think) 118 in 1978, and kept going till around 1988 I believe. What was the cover on 335, Jonno?

    P.S. You might want to check out Mac's excellent 'Cover of the Day' thread, for more comic-based wonders.
    P.P.S. Nice to see you back on P.S.!

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    Thanks Andrew - it's nice to be back! 335 had a split cover featuring Strontium Dog and Nemesis. Just prior to this had been some great wraparound "poster" covers of Slaine and Dredd - Requiem for a Heavyweight. Loved the image of the fatties on their wheels! I also just missed out on Robohunter - Sam Slade's Last Case which ran from 331-334.

    Steve - how odd that they have a "jumping on" issue exactly 30 years on from my one!

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    While I'm looking forward to your thoughts, Jonno, I can't say that I'll be able to chip in much in the way of memories regarding this period...quite simply, it was after my time and I'd stopped reading it by this point (regularly, at any rate...I'd occasionally pick up an issue out of curiosity...still do occasionally as a matter of fact) My own personal jumping on point for 2000AD was way back at the very first issue in 1977 and I was a regular reader for the first year or two then gradually faded away as more and more American comics became very easy to find and used up most of my money! A couple of years ago, I began reading them again from the start and found them really enjoyable but really didn't get very far due to time constraints...I'll maybe give it another shot soon.

    Jonno needs no introduction to this issue (as he's obviously going to read it!) but for the rest of us...


    A quick run-down of the contents, as Jonno said new stories for several characters including the return of Nemesis the Warlock and Strontium Dog.

    Free gift: Judge Dredd poster (art: Ron Smith)

    Cover: Kevin O'Neill (Nemesis the Warlock)/Carlos Ezquerra (Strontium Dog)

    Judge Dredd - The Graveyard Shift (part 1) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Ron Smith)
    Slaine - Warrior's Dawn (Pat Mills - Mike McMahon)
    Nemesis the Warlock - book three (part 1) (Pat Mills - Kevin O'Neill)
    Strontium Dog - The Moses Incident (part 1) (Alan Grant - Carlos Ezquerra)
    Rogue Trooper - From Hell to Eternity (part 1) (Gerry Finley-Day - Brett Ewins)

    I'll try to track down a copy of the poster...so far I can only find scans of what looks like the top half...


  6. #6
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    I have a feeling I've got that poster upstairs in the same drawer as my Eagle comics, Mac. And at the risk of sounding like a show-off, it's the bottom half as well as the top!! I'll have a look later on and if I can find it, scan it in. Thanks for the cover image BTW.

    And for the record, my 'jumping-on' point was 118 & 119 - by which I mean it was an advert for 119 (Bond in Moonraker) that sent me off to the Newsagent, but they still had 118 so I got that. A rather confusing set of 'final episodes'!!

    Anyway, now that we've seen the cover - Jonno, it's over to you!

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    Thanks guys - nice to see your feedback and I no longer have that poster so would be delighted to see all of it if you can do that, Andrew! Having read the issue now, I can reveal that I entered the competition for the Atari home computer - it was spread over 4 issues and I have cut out an entry token from this issue - needless to say, I didn't win!!

    As for the issue itself, as I said it's a great jump in issue. At this stage the comic was 32 pages with only the front and back covers and the centre-spread in colour. Normally Dredd got the 2 colour pages but here the honour is given to Nemesis. The back cover is an advert for Weetabix with Mike Read featured on the boxes with pop cards and facts - Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Kajagoogoo and so on.

    Dredd is an interesting one in that there's no main plot but it covers one night in MC1 and covers lots of different crimes, pointing out there were 9000 crimes committed in the hour between 9 and 10pm! Well, that's the first part anyway so remains to be seen if the rest of the story focuses on a longer segment. I won't be looking ahead to spoil! There is quite a graphic scene of a judge being attacked by a gang of juves, covered in barbed wire and being axed to death!

    I did enjoy the early stories of Slaine but this one is drawn by Mike McMahon and I'm afraid I never liked his work (he did Junkyard Demon for DWM). The previous story, and some of the subsequent ones, were drawn by Belardinelli (who also did Ace Trucking Co.) and I love his work, gorgeous.

    I remember not being too keen on Nemesis Bk III at the time, but really came to like it with Book 4 which focused on his son. This episode focused on a battle between his wife and a love rival.

    Strontium Dog was always a favourite of mine - not much happens in this first part, it kind of serves as a reintroduction to him and Wulf (old cucumber!) and this was his first strip for about 2 years.

    Rogue Trooper was never a great favourite of mine, but this story is certainly well drawn by Brett Ewins (who was also good on Dredd) and features the female GI, Venus Bluegenes.

  8. #8
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    I entered the competition for the Atari home computer - it was spread over 4 issues and I have cut out an entry token from this issue
    My word, this was an utterly horrific thing for magazines to do. What do you do if you have to cut out a token?! What if you wanted to read the article on the reverse page? Do you buy two copies? Do you trudge down to find a photocopier somewhere? I don't think photocopiers really came to the fore until the late '80s anyway!

    Jonno not a fan of Mike McMahon?!! Tut tut, how did you cope with the Block Wars?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    I was no fan of McMahon either - I guess his art was a bit like Marmite, you either loved it or hated it. The Slaine stuff was a lot better when he wasn't on it, and thank goodness he wasn't involved in The Apocalypse War that came in after Block Mania.

    And in further bad news, I couldn't find that poster, which is now niggling me. I feel a tidy up coming on...

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    Before I move on to the next issue (which I've yet to read!), I should just add that there was an advert in Prog 335 for Eagle (which I also bought at the time). It was giving away a free Spud Gun, which I vaguely remember - did we really fire bits of potato out of it?! Also, it made reference to a new look and 4 extra pages which I believe was when it took on the style of 2000AD, Battle etc. with the cheaper paper quality and went all artwork, removing all the photo strips.

    Oh and Steve, regarding the cut out tokens - the first two at least were handily placed so that you only cut out part of the writer/artist credits on Nemesis on the reverse. I didn't worry about butchering issues in those days, including writing in some of them!

  11. #11
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    You'll be right enough about Eagle, Jonno. It was around issue 78 or 79 when it changed format, 18 months after its launch in early 1982, so the dates match up. It was at this point the photo strips disappeared, but the photo covers were long gone by this time. Dan Dare had been a cover fixture since around issue 50, and I always thought that those 25-30 issues or so showcased the cover art so much better than the cheaper paper used after the change.

  12. #12
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    I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of McMahon either, his Slaine was always a little cartoonish for my liking and I much preferred Simon Bisley's work on the series.

    Out of interest, has anyone ever read the 2000AD fanzine Zarjaz*? I've only read the one issue so far, as a friend had a Zenith/Invasion crossover story printed in it, but I was impressed by the overall quality, with some stories being much more fun than their 2000AD versions are these days.

    *http://thequaequamblog.blogspot.co.uk/
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    It was giving away a free Spud Gun, which I vaguely remember - did we really fire bits of potato out of it?!
    Yep, we did. I remember them well. You could get red guns or black ones. My Mum went nuts when she realised that there weren't enough potatoes for Sunday dinner once...we'd had a great battle the previous Friday & used up over half.

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    @ Tim! I bet comics don't give them away these days!

    Moving on, I've read Prog 336, cover dated 01/10/83 - basically, all the stories reach Part 2 bar Slaine, which is technically a complete story (The Beltain Giant) but all these stories in this intial unbroken batch of 30 odd issues all interlink into each other. Again it's drawn by McMahon, so thumbs down on that, and it also gets a pretty poor wrap around cover too.

    Strontium Dog has a cracking cliffhanger in which a young lad has been excitedly watching Johnny Alpha taking on the villain but as he is shot, the villain also fires and hits the boy straight in the chest! I recall that this is a rather poignant story and this is my favourite of this line up, followed by Dredd, Rogue, Slaine and Nemesis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    it's drawn by McMahon, so thumbs down on that, and it also gets a pretty poor wrap around cover too.
    I don't know...McMahon isn't my favourite artist either but I actually quite like this.


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    I like everything about that apart from the depiction of Slaine! His body just looks a bit wonky in it (the arms especially), and the haircut's awful too, did they even have blue hair dye back then?
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

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    With all the excitement of the recovered episodes, plus a busier than usual week at work last week I've fallen behind with PS posting. I did read Prog 337, 08/10/83, last week. This has a Nemesis cover as his son Thoth is born (or hatched!) and the episode ends with his wife tearfully predicting her own demise - such a common dramatic event, new life and death going hand in hand.

    Elsewhere, we've gone past midnight on The Graveyard Shift with Dredd and fortunately Belardinelli is back drawing Slaine as the multi part Bride of Crom begins - introducing us to the Lord Weird Slough Feg.

    Adverts in this Prog include Eagle again, this time with a free Space Spinner, and No. 1 pop magazine, which rings a bell, although my first foray into pop magazines circa 1982 had been Smash Hits. By 1983, I think I was onto Sounds, which was more indie/rock as I was discovering a liking for heavy metal!

  18. #18
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    !Heavy metal Jonno!

    I blame Judge Death.
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    Heh heh - actually, have just remembered that in 1983 I was buying Record Mirror - it seemed a bit more "grown up" than Smash Hits, and it published full charts - singles, albums, and various off-shoots like indie and rock charts. I was always fascinated by the charts, and in the pre-internet era I loved having the information available to hand.

    Off-topic, but I remember they'd publish the Top 5 or 10 from 5/10/15 years ago - namely 1978, 1973 and 1968 - scary!

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    Just for the record, the cover to #337 by Kevin O'Neill...


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    Thanks ever so much for posting the covers to complement my ramblings, Kenny - really good of you! I should be back tomorrow with 338 - was too busy reading the latest DWM last night which took priority!

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    So, prog 338 cover dated 15/10/83 with a Dredd cover by Ron Smith which I quite like - it's quite colourful with the pale yellow. A settled line up with Part 4 for 4 stories and Part 2 for Slaine, in which Slaine and Ukko are led to the wickerman - at the time, I'm sure I wouldn't have seen the famous film.

    Some quite dark and poignant scenes in Strontium Dog last prog and this, as first of all Johnny attends the funeral of 10 year old Moses Quest but has his face scratched by the boy's mother, leaving 2 nice deep scars on his cheek. He returns the next day and digs up the coffin, taking it to the Island of the Living Dead on another planet, leaving the mother distraught the following day when visiting the grave...

    One of the adverts is for a new comic called School Fun - amongst its strips is a Grange Hill one with the likes of Zammo, Fay, Annette etc. You wouldn't have the cover to that woud you, Kenny? It sort of rings a bell, though I'm sure I didn't buy it.

    And one of the letters kindly offers an "answering service" for any newer readers from a long-time reader in which you can send an SAE and he will answer queries - how wonderful! Now of course, we'd just go on a forum and ask...

    All this, along with the adverts, is part of what's making this a fun thing to do - it's not just re-reading the strips.

  23. #23
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    I agree, Jonno. Reading old comics isn't just about reading the stories...it's about experiencing the comics again, isn't it? That's where graphic novels/TPB collections fall down...they're fine if you simply want to read the stories but they're disappointing in other ways. The letters pages, ads, editorials etc are all just as important a factor as the stories themselves, imo.

    School Fun is on the list, Jonno, as are numerous other British comics I haven't mentioned yet. I think this week I'll stay clear of any mention of reprint material and concentrate on British stuff!

    And here's the cover for 2000AD #338...


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    Oops - fallen behind a bit! First up, Prog 339 dated 22/10/83. Nice front cover of Strontium Dog posing with his gun - simple but effective. Not too much of note inside with all ongoing storylines coming along nicely. Tharg's Nerve Centre letter pointed out the reappearance of an old character in Nemesis - it's MekQuake of Ro-Busters fame, although as a newbie I wouldn't have been aware of any of that at the time.

    Also, one of the letters is from the editor of 3000AD, sending his letter back 1000 years in time and referring to the Judge Anderson solo strip - this would come along in fact in a couple of year's time!

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    And on to Prog 340 dated 29/10/83. It's cover poster time again, this time for Nemesis featuring the siege of the castle of the basilisks that Nemesis is helping to protect against the forces of Torquemada. The strip itself is only 4 pages this prog (it's been varying between 4 and 6) which gives us a couple more pages for adverts - notably for issue 3 of School Fun and the latest Battle Action Force (which I bought at the time). There's also an ad for a quarterly sports magazine which cost a mighty 65p!

    Elsewhere, Dredd's Graveyard Shift reaches its penultimate episode - having dealt with a mini block war (thousands of casualties mind!) we're now onto a perplexing case of a killer who leaves behind only the left hand of his victims - how can Dredd locate and apprehend this perp?

    And Rogue - From Here To Eternity concludes. Venus Bluegenes has murdered some Southers and dumped their bodies in a lagoon. Rogue decides to keep quiet about it and she vanished - the lagoon was then nuked after Rogue was rescued. Quite a good story this and the maritime setting made a change from the usual land warfare.
    Last edited by Jonno; 1st Nov 2013 at 5:05 PM. Reason: Prog number corrected

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