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  1. #1
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    Default A 2000AD Christmas

    The festive season is almost on us again, and what better way to get in the mood than a look at some of those classic Christmas-themed covers from 2000AD over the years, not to mention the Judge Dredd Megazine and some old 2000AD Annuals? Admittedly the annuals don't look particularly Christmassy (is that a word? ) but annuals were always part of Christmas as much as anything else...

    The covers featured will be pretty much in a random order (and may duplicate some of last years featured covers, although I'll try to avoid this - some of them were great though and deserve another look) but where better to start than at the beginning with the first-ever Christmas cover from 1977: Prog 44 dated 24th December. A Kevin O'Neill cover featuring Dredd and Walter The Robot.


  2. #2
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    What a great cover, not seen that one before (Prog 44 was before my time I'm afraid). I always hoped that Walter the Wobot would make an appearance in one of the Judge Dredd films (and Max Normal!) but nothing yet alas!!

    Just noticed Darth & C3P0 in the top corner, that must have been one of the very earliest bits of Star Wars 'advertising' in the UK I'd think.

    Great idea for a thread, Mac, I look forward to a festive wallow in nostalgia over the next few weeks

  3. #3
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    Sticking with the early days for the moment, due to a series of strikes which hit the country there was no Christmas 1978 issue. In fact distribution was very patchy around this time, and just like Marvel UK were hit badly just as they were relaunching their British range, so also did IPC suffer. Several weeks during this period saw no issues published, and so the next Christmas cover came with Prog 145, dated 29th December 1979, courtesy of Carlos Ezquerra.


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    Now that one I do remember. Was there a poster on the back page of that issue, Mac? Only because my memory of that issue is of it with the cover hanging off, presumably because I'd removed the back page!!

    Ah, 1979, heady days!

  5. #5
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    There is a poster there, as a matter of fact, Andrew! I'll post it in the morning before I move on to the next cover...maybe it'll refresh your memory!

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    Never mind waiting till morning, here it is...


  7. #7
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    Yes, that does ring a bell, thanks Mac. They're the VCs, which was slang/short for 'Vacuum Cleaners' I think - a future war sort of strip with them fighting against 'the Geeks' (I see there's actually a mention of them at 14). I suspect that if I read it again now, it may well have been 'inspired' by the Vietnam war, but that probably wouldn't have registered with me when I was 8!! But yes, I'm pretty sure I cut that poster off - and probably the next Prog's Colour Cutaway of the VC Ship too!

  8. #8
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    The Christmas cover became something of a tradition appearing most years (but not every year), but until the final one appeared in 1996, after which they disappeared. In fact, it was probably around this time, or shortly after, that they stopped publishing issues during late December. There would be an issue dated early December, then a several week gap with the next issue appearing early January, a publishing schedule which continues to this day.

    So here's that final 1996 Christmas cover, from Prog 1023 by Paul Johnson...certainly a major deviation in style from the more fun covers of previous years.


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    The Christmas covers were phased out in the mid-1990s, but have had a revival in recent years, albeit in the Judge Dredd Megazine. Five out of the last seven years have featured Christmas themed covers and we'll look at those as well during the course of this thread. Hopefully another Christmas cover will appear this year to round the thread off...

    Anyway, here's the cover from 2007 which resurrected the Christmas cover tradition, this one by Greg Staples...


  10. #10
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    We go way back in time now to 1977, and the first ever 2000AD Annual by artist Gerry Woods. These hardcover editions ran for 14 years until 1990 (the 1991 Annual) and this first year was the only time that only one annual was released...for the remainder there was a companion annual, firstly Dan Dare followed by the more popular Judge Dredd.

    I wonder how many kids found this 2000AD Annual 1978 under the tree that year?


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    Wow, I've never even seen that before Mac. I had always assumed (wrongly, it appears) that the 1979 annual was the first 2000AD one - I got that as a surprise present sometime around October 1978 from Gran & Grandpa, for reasons that now escape me. And I have a feeling that, like the one above, it came 'undated' (that is, no year on it).

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    I'll have to check that out to confirm, Andrew...not to fear though, it's on the sidelines and will be making an appearance here soon. I know that the early 80s ones are dated, not sure about 1979/80 time though

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    It has been a long time since I saw it, so it could well be that 'the memory cheats' (to coin a phrase)...

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    1980 is dated, it's the earliest one I have. Great thread Kenny - I've never seen those 70s Xmas covers.

    I have Prog 1023 as shown above and in fact Prog 1027 dated 28/01/97 is my last issue as I had grown disenchanted with it.

    A bit sad to learn that they no longer publish over the festive period.

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    I sometimes think my life is like living in the QI studio - all the things I think I know turn out to be wrong & klaxons go off!! I've just looked online, it turns out the first annual I got was the one released in 1979 (so that would be the third one I guess) and did indeed have 1980 on the cover (along, of course, with Judge Dredd, Bill Savage, and the Mighty One).

  16. #16
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    More annuals coming soon, but as I didn't post any covers at the weekend, we have a double-bill today. You regularly hear about a film, tv series or a novel etc having a sequel, but how often do you hear that about a cover? I love these two...

    First up we have the Christmas 1987 issue (Prog 554, with cover art by Mick Farmer) featuring Tharg dispensing with the old 2000AD logo...


    Quickly followed by the New Year 1988 issue (Prog 555, cover art by John Higgins) featuring Dredd enforcing use of the new logo...not to mention a price rise!


  17. #17
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    Wow I'd forgotten about those! Very very clever but I was disappointed at the time to see the old logo go.

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    Oddly, I remember the first cover but not the second! I liked the old 'Prog 178' logo, I always thought that 'new' one looked a bit like a fist!

  19. #19
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    Today we have the Christmas 1993 edition of the Megazine, the first issue of that title to feature a Christmas themed cover. No Santas or snow or tinsel here though, but rather a Dredd take on that Jimmy Stewart/ Frank Capra classic It's A Wonderful Life...

    Cover art by Gregg Staples


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    Christmas 1988 today, with a cover from Simon Harrison...


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    Well that one's certainly... different isn't it!

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    It would make a good advent calendar


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  23. #23
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    1979 Annuals today featuring a pair of Kevin O'Neill covers...the first of which answers Andrew's comment from a few days ago about the dating on these books...




  24. #24
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    A Mick McMahon Dredd cover today from 1982, Prog 296...one of my favourites which I'm pretty sure I included among last years Christmas covers, but I think it's a great cover which deserves a second outing...


  25. #25
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    Missed yesterday's annuals - yep, it was definitely the 1980 one I had then, I think I'd remember if I got the 1979 one! What a weird cover, a bit 'cartoony' really. And I never even realised before that they'd done a Dan Dare one too.

    And yes, great cover for the Christmas 1982 prog.

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