I had planned on writing this yesterday when the 2000AD Winter Special was released, but it appears these days that to get any sort of comic you can no longer go to your local newsagent; a trip to the fancy shops in the city is required.
But now I have it and, along with this summer’s Sci-Fi Special, it’s making me feel old. Which I am not. The specials disappeared 18 years ago! I remember many of these in my youth, which I didn’t quite realise was so long ago…
I’ve been wanting to write about 2000AD for a while, as, when it comes to comics, it was my first love, but I’m a little behind on the weekly thrills so this is a perfect place to start.
In the past the specials could sometimes be hit and miss, mainly because they have often been a testing ground for new talent, which is still true. But with both these specials the talent on display means there is nothing to worry about.
The Winter Special features a cover by Australian artist Ben Templesmith who is best known for horror comics such as 30 Days of Night. I only know him from the excellent (and still to be completed) Fell, another comic written by the brilliant Warren Ellis. He’s also working on a soon-to-be-released Batman series, Gotham by Midnight, which will surely be worth a look.
Inside the special, the Dredd story features art by Riccardo Burchielli, another artist best known for his work on American comics. For almost 40 years 2000AD has been discovering great artists, many of whom go on to work in America. So it’s nice to see a reversal of this trend recently, most likely thanks to the Dredd movie.
In recent months we have had Hellboy artist, James Harren, and Batman artist, Chris Burnham, do Judge Dredd stories in 2000AD, while over in the Megazine, Scalped artist R.M. Guéra did a very nice Dredd story. Also worth mentioning was a Guy Davis Dredd story a few years back in the Megazine.
I’m hoping this is a trend that continues. I love that 2000AD focuses on home-grown talent, but it’s nice to have artists not normally associated with the galaxies greatest comic do some work, especially if that work could potentially bring in new fans. And when it comes to other things that I hope continue, 2000AD specials are pretty high on the list.