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  1. #101
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    It's another Ace Trucking Co. cover today from Massimo Bellardinelli today. Prog 251, 13th February 1982.


    Inside this issue:
    Ace Trucking Co. - The Great Mush Rush (part 1) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Massimo Belardinelli)
    The Mean Arena - The Oxford Invaders (part 4) (Tom Tully - Mike White)
    Tharg's Future Shocks - All of Them Were Empty (Alan Moore - Paul Neary)
    Judge Dredd - The Apocalypse War (part 7) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Carlos Ezquerra)
    Nemesis the Warlock - book two (part 6) (Pat Mills - Jesus Redondo)
    Rogue Trooper - The Buzzard (part 1) (Gerry Finley-Day - Colin Wilson)

  2. #102
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    Love the Thrill-Power Warning!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  3. #103
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    Shame that some of us have now reached the age where we need a getting up in the morning warning...

  4. #104
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    It's a wraparound Ian Gibson Thrill-Suckers cover today from Prog 198, dated 7 February 1982...




    Inside this issue:
    Wraparound cover: Ian Gibson (Thrill-Suckers)

    Tharg in the Revenge of the Thrill-Suckers (part 1) (Tharg the Mighty - Ian Gibson)
    The Mean Arena - The Southampton Sharks (part 15) (Tom Tully - John Richardson)
    Return to Armageddon (part 14) (Malcolm Shaw - Jesus Redondo)
    Judge Dredd - Pirates of the Black Atlantic (part 2) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Ron Smith)
    Meltdown Man (part 21) (Alan Hebden - Massimo Belardinelli)
    Dash Decent (part 20 - final part) (Dave Angus and Kevin O'Neill - Kevin O'Neill)

  5. #105
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    And now we know how politicians and TV executives are made.

  6. #106
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    Today's cover, another wraparound by Massimo Bellardinelli, has striking striking similarities with the Doctor Who story Enlightenment which was originally broadcast on tv only a few weeks after this issue saw print...Prog 304, 19 February 1983.




    Inside this issue:
    Wraparound cover: Massimo Belardinelli (Secret of the Bermuda Triangle?)

    Sam Slade: Robo-Hunter - Play it Again Sam (part 13) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Ian Gibson)
    2000AD prog one reproduction cut-out micro-prog (part 5 of 8)
    Harry Twenty on the High Rock (part 18) (Gerry Finley-Day - Alan Davis)
    Judge Dredd - Prezzel Logic (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Ron Smith)
    Tharg and the Mice! (Tharg the Mighty - Carlos Ezquerra)
    Rogue Trooper - Fort Neuro (part 13) (Gerry Finley-Day - Cam Kennedy)

  7. #107
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    That's a fantastic cover!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  8. #108
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    Just noticed the date - just too late to inspire Enlightenment!

  9. #109
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    I remember that one - brilliant cover.

  10. #110
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    We jump to 1986 today, with this Dredd cover from Robin Smith; Prog 458, dated 22 February 1986.


    Inside this issue:
    The Ballad of Halo Jones - book three (part 7) (Alan Moore - Ian Gibson)
    Slaine - Tomb of Terror (part 12) (Pat Mills - Glenn Fabry)
    Tomb of Terror - YOU are Slaine game (part 12) (Pat Mills - Garry Leach)
    Judge Dredd - The Secret Diary of Adrian Cockroach aged 13 and a half months (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Cam Kennedy)
    Ace Trucking Co. - The Doppelgarp (part 8) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Massimo Belardinelli)
    Strontium Dog - Max Bubba (part 14) (Alan Grant - Carlos Ezquerra)
    Poster - The New Masters - Brett Ewins (art: Brett Ewins)

  11. #111
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    We have a Ron Smith Dredd cover today, from Prog 153 dated February 23rd 1980.


    Inside this issue:
    Sam Slade: Robo-Hunter - Day of the Droids (part 2) (John Wagner - Ian Gibson)
    Judge Dredd - Blood of Satanus (part 2) (Pat Mills - Ron Smith)
    Captain Klep - To the end of Time...and back! (part 4) (Dave Angus - unknown)
    Judge Dredd's Hall of Heroes (centrespread colour poster) (part 2 of 4) (art: Ron Smith)
    Fiends of the Eastern Front (part 2) (Gerry Finley-Day - Carlos Ezquerra)
    Black Hawk (part 26) (Alan Grant - Massimo Belardinelli)
    The VCs (part 13) (Gerry Finley-Day - Cam Kennedy)
    Backcover feature - Top Ten Sci-Fi Movies (02) Things to Come

  12. #112
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    Now that cover I remember very well... simply because I cut out/off the backcover 'posters' of the top ten sci-fi movies, which meant that forever after the cover was flapping around loose, getting very tatty in the process!!

    Fiends of the Eastern Front was another 'early favourite', I notice it listed there. I can't remember now quite why exactly, but at that time I think our paperboy delivered 2000AD on a Friday, but we were always in WH Smiths of a Thursday evening (it may have been, now I think about it, en route or on the way back from picking up bruv from swimming lessons). Anyway, the upshot being I can remember several weeks where I was so excited to find out what happened in the next instalment that I'd more or less read the whole strip in Smiths of a Thursday, before getting it 'properly' on the Friday. I don't know whether nowadays I'd find it as thrilling or innovative, but certainly at the time the War/Vampire Platoon strip was really compelling.

    Ah, happy days!

  13. #113
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    I don't remember ever reading that one, Andrew...it must have been during one of my gaps away from the title. However it looks intruiging...and a Fiends cover will be appearing here soon...it's more like a cover for Scream! than 2000AD though!

  14. #114
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    It's Dan Dare and the Mekon today, in this Dave Gibbons cover from 24 Feb 1981 (Prog 101)


    Inside this issue:

    Ro-Busters - The Terra-Meks! (part 4 - final part) (Pat Mills - Dave Gibbons)
    Judge Dredd - The Day the Law Died (part 13) (John Wagner - Brian Bolland)
    Judge Dredd Mega-City Hyper-Cop poster (part 2 of 4) (art: Mike McMahon)
    Sam Slade: Robo-Hunter - Verdus (part 11) (John Wagner - Ian Gibson)
    Dan Dare - Servant of Evil! (part 2) (Tom Tully - Dave Gibbons)
    2000AD Futuregraph - Holiday to Mars! (part 5) - Free-Fall Space! (design and art: Bill Le-Fevre)

  15. #115
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    Sorry for the lack of updates on this thread recently, we've had visitors for the past couple of weeks and I'm finding it hard to get the easy access and time I'm used to for posting here...normal service should be resumed next week though!

    For today though, we have this Robin Smith cover from Prog 456, dated 8th February 1986, featuring the Dave Cluck Five.



    Inside this issue:

    In Slaine adventure 'The Tomb of Terror', Mogrooth's daughter - Tlachtga is eaten by the dragon Nidhug, while under its spell.

    Cover: Robin Smith (The Dave Cluck Five - Ace Trucking Co.)

    The Ballad of Halo Jones - book three (part 5) (Alan Moore - Ian Gibson)
    Slaine - Tomb of Terror (part 10) (Pat Mills - David Pugh)
    Tomb of Terror - YOU are Slaine game (part 10) (Pat Mills - Garry Leach)
    Judge Dredd - Beggar's Banquet (John Wagner and Alan Grant - John Higgins)
    Ace Trucking Co. - The Doppelgarp (part 6) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Massimo Belardinelli)
    Strontium Dog - Max Bubba (part 12) (Alan Grant - Carlos Ezquerra)
    2000AD Star Pin-Up - Slaine (art: M K Dunn)

  16. #116
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    I remember the cover... although I don't think at the time I got the joke!!

  17. #117
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    I wish they'd leave the awful puns to me...

  18. #118
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    On sale 40 years ago this week...dated 26 February 1977, Prog 1 with this cover by Kevin O'Neill...not one of his best, but seemingly designed to frame the cheap cover-mounted free gift. At least the contents of this issue were of a much superior quality than the cover!




    Inside this issue:
    Invasion - The Resistance (part 1) (Pat Mills - Jesus Blasco)
    Flesh - book one (part 1) (Pat Mills - Joan Boix)
    Dan Dare - Hell Planet (part 1) (Pat Mills and Ken Armstrong - Massimo Bellardinelli)
    M.A.C.H.1 - Vulcan (part 1) (Pat Mills - Enio)
    Harlem Heroes (part 1) (Pat Mills and Tom Tully - Dave Gibbons and Carlos Trigo)

    Here's an early dummy cover for the comic (artist unknown)...the free space ship would have been a much better free gift than the Space spinner which was actually produced!


    A bit of background for the first issue (lifted straight from Wiki!)...

    In December 1975, Kelvin Gosnell, a sub-editor at IPC Magazines, read an article in the London Evening Standard about a wave of forthcoming science fiction films, and suggested that the company might get on the bandwagon by launching a science fiction comic. IPC asked Pat Mills, a freelance writer and editor who had created Battle Picture Weekly and Action, to develop it. Mills brought fellow freelancer John Wagner on board as script adviser and the pair began to develop characters. The then-futuristic name 2000 AD was chosen as no-one involved expected the comic to last that long.

    Mills' experiences with Battle and Action in particular had taught him that readers responded to his anti-authoritarian attitudes. Wagner, who had written a Dirty Harry-inspired tough cop called One Eyed Jack for Valiant, saw that readers also responded to authority figures, and developed a character that took the concept to its logical extreme, imagining an ultra-violent lawman patrolling a future New York with the power to arrest, sentence, and if required execute criminals on the spot. Meanwhile, Mills had developed a horror strip, inspired by the novels of Dennis Wheatley, about a hanging judge, called Judge Dread (after the reggae and ska artist of the same name). The idea was abandoned as unsuitable for the new comic, but the name, with a little modification, was adopted by Wagner for his ultimate lawman.

    The task of visualising the newly named Judge Dredd was given to Carlos Ezquerra, a Spanish artist who had previously worked with Mills on Battle, on a strip called Major Eazy. Wagner gave Ezquerra an advertisement for the film Death Race 2000, showing the character Frankenstein clad in black leather, as a suggestion for what the character should look like. Ezquerra elaborated on this greatly, adding body-armour, zips and chains, which Wagner originally thought over the top. Wagner's initial script was rewritten by Mills and drawn up by Ezquerra, but when the art came back a rethink was necessary. The hardware and cityscapes Ezquerra had drawn were far more futuristic than the near-future setting originally intended, and Mills decided to run with it and set the strip further into the future. By this stage, however, Wagner had quit.

    IPC owned the rights to Dan Dare, and Mills decided to revive the character to add immediate public recognition for the title. Paul DeSavery, who owned Dare's film rights, offered to buy the new comic and give Mills and Wagner more creative control and a greater financial stake. The deal fell through, however, and Wagner walked. Mills was reluctant to lose Judge Dredd and farmed the strip out to a variety of freelance writers, hoping to develop it further. Their scripts were given to a variety of artists as Mills tried to find a strip which would make a good introduction to the character, all of which meant that Dredd would not be ready for the first issue.

    The story chosen was one written by Peter Harris, extensively rewritten by Mills and including an idea suggested by Kelvin Gosnell, and drawn by newcomer Mike McMahon. The strip debuted in prog 2, but Ezquerra, angry that another artist had drawn the first published strip, quit and returned to work for Battle.

    The opening line-up

    Mills had created Harlem Heroes, about the future sport of aeroball, a futuristic, violent version of basketball with jet-packs. Similar future sport series had been a fixture of Action, and the similarly-themed film Rollerball had been released the previous year. Wanting to give the new comic a distinctive look, Mills wanted to use European artists, but the work turned in on Harlem Heroes by Trigo was disappointing. Veteran British artists Ron Turner and Barrie Mitchell were tried out, but the newcomer Dave Gibbons won the editor over with his dynamic, American-influenced drawings and got the job. Mills wrote the first five episodes before handing the strip to Roy of the Rovers writer Tom Tully.

    Dan Dare was extensively revamped to make it more futuristic. In the new stories he had been put into suspended animation and revived several centuries in the future. Several artists were tried out before Mills settled on Italian artist Massimo Belardinelli, whose imaginative, hallucinatory work was fantastic at visualising aliens, although perhaps less satisfying on the hero himself. The scripts were endlessly rewritten in an attempt to make the series work, but few Dan Dare fans remember this version of the character fondly. Belardinelli and Gibbons later switched strips, with Gibbons drawing Dare and Belardinelli drawing the Harlem Heroes sequel Inferno. When Gibbons took over Dare in Prog 28 the strip was refashioned as a 'Star Trek' style space opera.

    The other opening strips were M.A.C.H. 1, a super-powered secret agent inspired by The Six Million Dollar Man; Invasion!, about a "Volgan" (thinly disguised and originally billed as Soviet, but changed before printing to a "neutral" antagonist) invasion of the United Kingdom opposed by tough London lorry driver turned guerrilla fighter Bill Savage; and Flesh, a strip about time-travelling cowboys farming dinosaurs for their meat.

    After 16 issues, Mills quit as editor and handed the reins to Kelvin Gosnell, whose idea it was in the first place. Gosnell appeared as the fall guy in the Tharg photostrips that were a feature of the comic in its early years.
    Last edited by MacNimon; 23rd Feb 2017 at 8:20 AM.

  19. #119
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    My dad would've agreed with you about the space spinner - my brother decided to throw it around indoors one day, and it flew into a vent in the gas fire. Grief! the smell of burning plastic...

  20. #120
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    Although I agree that the first cover isn't maybe all that exciting, the 'dummy cover' looks a bit old-fashioned in a way that the actual one doesn't.

    There was a new Bill Savage strip just after I started getting 2000AD (although I'm struggling to think what it was called) but I didn't realise at the time that he was a returning character.

  21. #121
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    the space spinner - my brother decided to throw it around indoors one day, and it flew into a vent in the gas fire. Grief! the smell of burning plastic...
    That space spinner could have been worth at least a few quid if he'd held on to it!

    Mind you, it was probably for the best that he didn't hold on to it while it was in the gas fire.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  22. #122
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    Dad would've saved a few quid if he'd held on to it!

    I think the Bill Savage prequel would've been Disaster 1999.

  23. #123
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    The final cover for February is this Carlos Ezquerra Strontium Dog effort, from Prog 354 dated 4th February 1984...


    Inside this issue:
    Slaine - Sky Chariots (part 3) (Pat Mills - Mike McMahon)
    D.R. and Quinch - Go Girl Crazy! (part 3 - final part) (Alan Moore - Alan Davis)
    Judge Dredd - Are you Tired of being Mugged? (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Ian Gibson)
    Rogue Trooper - Colonel Kovert (part 5) (Gerry Finley-Day - Cam Kennedy)
    Strontium Dog - The Killing (part 5) (Alan Grant - Carlos Ezquerra)
    2000AD Star Pin-Up - Slaine and Ukko (art: Massimo Belardinelli)

  24. #124
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    We move into March with another Carlos Ezquerra cover, this time Fiends of the Eastern Front. Prog 158, 29th March 1980.


    Inside this issue:
    Sam Slade: Robo-Hunter - Day of the Droids (part 7) (John Wagner - Ian Gibson)
    The VCs (part 18) (Gerry Finley-Day - Cam Kennedy)
    Judge Dredd - The Judge Child Quest (part 3) (John Wagner - Ron Smith)
    Fiends of the Eastern Front (part 7) (Gerry Finley-Day - Carlos Ezquerra)
    Captain Klep - The Case of the Five Bang! Six Dead Taxi Drivers (part 3) (Kev F Sutherland - Robin Smith)
    Black Hawk (part 31) (Alan Grant - Massimo Belardinelli)
    Backcover feature - Top Ten Sci-Fi Movies (07) Invasion of the Body Snatchers

  25. #125
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    Brilliant! Unsurprisingly given how I enjoyed the strip itself, I remember that cover very well.

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