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  1. #1
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    Default 2000AD - The Early Years

    It's been a while since we've done a covers thread, and I think we're overdue an in-depth look at some classic 2000AD covers. In this thread I'm intending to concentrate on covers from the titles first 10 years or so, ie the first 554 issues up till Christmas 1987 after which both the cover logo and overall design morphed into something more modern looking.

    In December I'll be featuring covers from the month of December 1977 - December 1987, in January it'll be January dated covers from the same period, etc. All covers will be from the period before this one, in which Tharg was preparing for the new look:


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    I won't be able to comment much on the characters because 2000AD passed me by, but I can comment on the design ..... and to these eyes the "28p" looks like it's the same logo as used on "Cheggers Plays Pop"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyder View Post
    I won't be able to comment much on the characters because 2000AD passed me by, but I can comment on the design ..... and to these eyes the "28p" looks like it's the same logo as used on "Cheggers Plays Pop"


    Very similar, actually, Dave...is that a hint to an answer you may have been researching for a certain quiz by any chance...?

    Nah...not likely!

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    I'm looking forward to this thread, I only started reading 2000AD in 87 but I quickly picked up a lot of back issues from my sister's friend which made me deliriously happy.

    I wish I liked 2000AD these days, but I've picked up the odd issue a few times over the years and bar Dredd there's not been many stories I've enjoyed at all. And Prog 2000 was a big disappointment, I hoped they'd do something really special for it but it was mostly by the numbers and not that fun.
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

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    What a great idea, I look forward to it Mac. I started getting 2000AD with something like issue 118 or 119, oddly I'd never even heard of it until then, when they did an ad campaign based around Moonraker - Roger Moore was on the cover, and it was a great 'jumping-on' point as we'd say nowadays, because a lot of new stories started that issue. My favourite by far in those days was the ABC Warriors.

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    What better place to begin than at the start? The first ever December issue of 2000AD was #41, cover dated 3rd December 1977. This featured one of the last in the series of 25 'Supercovers' (a series of covers which represented a text story featured within its pages rather than a cover featuring the regular comic strip characters) by Brett Ewins and Brendan McCarthy (who also often illustrated the text story as well)


    Inside this issue:
    Judge Dredd - The Mega-City 5000 (part 2) (John Wagner - Brian Bolland)
    Invasion - The Prince (part 5) (Gerry Finley-Day - Carlos Pino)
    Bonjo From Beyond the Stars (part 1) (script/art: Kevin O'Neill)
    Tharg's Future Shocks - The Runts (Steve Moore - Pat Wright)
    Dan Dare - Star Slayer (part 6) (Gerry Finley-Day - Dave Gibbons)
    M.A.C.H.1 - Death Ray (part 2) (Alan Hebden - Lozano and Marzal Canos)
    Inferno (part 6) (Tom Tully - Massimo Belardinelli)

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    WE jump forward a few years now to to the 5th December 1981 issue, #241 which features a Dave Gibbons Rogue Trooper cover.


    Inside this issue:
    Ace Trucking Co. - Hells Pocket (part 3 of 5) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Ian Gibson)
    The Mean Arena - The Edinburgh Executioners (part 3 of 8) (Tom Tully - Mike White)
    Tharg's Future Shocks - The Masks of Arazzor (Steve Moore - Jose Casanovas)
    Judge Dredd - Block Mania (part 6 0f 9) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Ron Smith)
    Rogue Trooper - Blue Moon (Gerry Finley-Day - Colin Wilson)
    Tharg's Future Shocks - Joe Black's Tall Tale (Kelvin Gosnell - John Higgins)
    2000AD Star Pin-Up - Ace Trucking Co. (art: Massimo Belardinelli)

    The cover was reprinted here...


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    Those troopers have some serious dental issues! Too many sweets on the front line me thinks


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    Now that one I remember. I must admit I was never a huge fan of Rogue Trooper, it seemed a great idea but just never quite 'clicked' with me, and I'd really struggle to recall any particular stories of it. Whereas Ace Trucking Co, daft as it was, I used to love - the artwork was just so 'rich' with detail, and so witty.

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    I enjoyed Ace as well whenever I read it. The art was by Massimo Bellardinelli (usually...! edited to add that I've just noticed this issue the art was by Ian Gibson), who maybe wasn't the most prolific artist ever, but his lack of pages published was offset by the high quality of his work. A vastly overlooked name in the ranks of comic artists, imo.
    Last edited by MacNimon; 3rd Dec 2016 at 11:07 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    Now that one I remember. I must admit I was never a huge fan of Rogue Trooper, it seemed a great idea but just never quite 'clicked' with me, and I'd really struggle to recall any particular stories of it. Whereas Ace Trucking Co, daft as it was, I used to love - the artwork was just so 'rich' with detail, and so witty.
    I liked the original Rogue Trooper, but hated it when they rebooted the series with "Friday" in the lead role. Big fan of Ace Trucking Co as well though, it's a shame they don't have fun and whimsical series like that in the comic very often these days.
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

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    There you go, I didn't even remember/know that they'd rebooted it! That probably shows how much interest I had!!

    I notice the 'content listing' you've put up, Mac, also mentions Block Mania. I wasn't all that interested in that one initially, I think the art by... was it Mark McMahon (the same guy who did the 'love it or hate it' art for DWM's Junkyard Demon)? put me off. But at the end when it ***SPOILER ALERT*** led into the big Apocalypse War storyline, I must say I was taken totally by surprise.

    Talking of JD, is there a Christmas cover coming with him? I have a half (or alternatively, false!) memory of a cover with him one Christmas/December, either standing in a rain shower, or maybe snow....?

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    Was Bellardinelli the same artist who did (some of) the Dan Dare strips in the early 2000AD days? I managed to track down a very few back issues when I first got into 2000AD, and although following the plots wasn't very easy (!) I sort of feel that the DD stuff had a similar 'organic' look to it as some of the Ace Garp stuff.

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    Yes, that was the same guy. I much prefer his work on Dan Dare as compared to that of his successor on the strip, Dave Gibbons...not that there's anything wrong with Gibbons run on the series, but it was simply the detail which went into Bellardinelli's art which made it a cut above most of the others. Here's an example...


    The other artist you were thinking of was Mick McMahon, and his style of art certainly wasn't for everyone! An acquired taste, shall we say...?

    And as for the JD Christmas cover, it's coming up during the week running up to Christmas along with a few others from the period.
    Last edited by MacNimon; 3rd Dec 2016 at 11:05 AM.

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    Today we jump forward another few years to Prog 447, cover dated 7 December 1985. We have a Slaine cover by Glenn Fabry, which spotlighted a one-off role-playing sort of storyline where the reader could help Slaine out.


    Inside this issue:
    Slaine - Tomb of Terror (part 1) (Pat Mills - Glenn Fabry)
    Tomb of Terror - YOU are Slaine game (part 1) (Pat Mills - Garry Leach and Glenn Fabry)
    Mean Team (part 11 - final part) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Massimo Belardinelli)
    Judge Dredd - The Uglybug Ball (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Cliff Robinson)
    Strontium Dog - Max Bubba (part 3) (Alan Grant - Carlos Ezquerra)
    Rogue Trooper - Return to Milli-Com (part 4) (Gerry Finley Day - Jose Ortiz)

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    I remember the cover, and a vague sense of there being a 'role-playing' element to it. I was never a big fan of Slaine to be honest - bit like Rogue Trooper it just never sort of 'gelled' for me. I guess role-playing would have beeny very 'in' at the time, what with Warlock of Firetop Mountain, etc?

    In fact, didn't 2000AD have a spin-off mag for a very short period which was all 'role-playing'? I don't think it lasted more than about three or four issues, but I have a feeling at the time that I picked them up.

    The other artist you were thinking of was Mick McMahon, and his style of art certainly wasn't for everyone! An acquired taste, shall we say...?
    Very tactful, Mac!

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    WE have our first Dredd cover of the thread today, courtesy of this Ron Smith effort from Prog 394, dated 1st December 1984


    Inside this issue:
    The Stainless Steel Rat - For President (part 2) (Kelvin Gosnell - Carlos Ezquerra)
    Nemesis the Warlock - book four: The Gothic Empire (part 8) (Pat Mills - Bryan Talbot)
    Tharg's Future Shocks - Medusa! (Peter Milligan - Cliff Robinson)
    Judge Dredd - City of the Damned (part 1) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Ron Smith)
    Ace Trucking Co. - Strike! (part 7) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Studio Giolitti)
    The Helltrekkers (part 8) (John Wagner and Alan Grant - Horacio Lalia)

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    Always nice to see an epic story written around a lame pun!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Yes, it sort of makes you wonder who they were aiming that at!! I really enjoyed that particular story, it was another of the 'Judge Child' stories (I think - if not I know Mac will put me right ). Something about Mega-City sending two judges into the future in a time machine (did they just find it?) to look at what the future as predicted would be like. I also, as just a general sort of observation, thought the Judge Child premise was very clever, starting off with them thinking the child would save them from the future, but it ending up he was the actual cause of it (again, I think).

    Although I think it's a shame the strapline didn't say "TOMORROW'S EVIL... TODAY!!"

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    ****SPOILERS****





    You're correct about the storyline - Dredd and Anderson find that a clone of the Judge Child has taken control of Mega City 1, and has turned all the judges into undead (they end up bringing back a zombie version of Dredd). They manage to stop the clone from being made by destroying both its creator and surviving genetic material.

    The role-playing mag was called Diceman, incidentally. (And no, Tim, it wasn't that sort of roleplay...)

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    Diceman, yes that name rings a bell. Well done, Mr Wallis!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    Yes, it sort of makes you wonder who they were aiming that at!! I really enjoyed that particular story, it was another of the 'Judge Child' stories (I think - if not I know Mac will put me right ). Something about Mega-City sending two judges into the future in a time machine (did they just find it?) to look at what the future as predicted would be like. I also, as just a general sort of observation, thought the Judge Child premise was very clever, starting off with them thinking the child would save them from the future, but it ending up he was the actual cause of it (again, I think).

    Although I think it's a shame the strapline didn't say "TOMORROW'S EVIL... TODAY!!"
    To be honest Andrew, I haven't read these in a long time and, like you, only have a vague memory...Classic JD is on on my to-read list but it's so long I never seem to get close to completing it! Thankfully Stuart has helped out though...

    We have Dredd once again today, this time Prog 189 from 6 December, 1980. A Ron Smith cover, once again.


    Inside this issue:
    Strontium Dog - Mutie's Luck (Alan Grant - Carlos Ezquerra)
    Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tale - Final Solution (part 1) (Alan Moore - Steve Dillon)
    Dash Decent (part 11) (Dave Angus and Kevin O'Neill - Kevin O'Neill)
    Judge Dredd - Mega-Way Madness! (Alan Grant - Ron Smith)
    Meltdown Man (part 12) (Alan Hebden - Massimo Belardinelli)
    Return to Armageddon (part 5) (Malcolm Shaw - Jesus Redondo)

    Character first appearances this issue: Billy Glum (Strontium Dog) and Abelard Snazz (the four-eyed double-deckered genius!) in this prog's Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tale.

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    Abelard Snazz (the four-eyed double-deckered genius!)
    If I remember rightly, he was in the Alan Moore Future Shocks collection, always getting hoist by his own super-intellgence and ultra-arrogance. Didn't he build a giant Rubik's Cube?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    I heard there was a collection of the complete Abelard Snazz - keep meaning to look out for it.

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    Gosh, I haven't heard that name in a long time! Meltdown Man was another early favourite for me, sort of a 'planet of the apes' but with all sorts of animals I think!

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