Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From artist Garen Ewing

Nemesis the Warlock by Garen Ewing

Name: Garen Ewing

Web site: www.rainboworchid.co.uk 

Currently working on:

I’ve just completed The Rainbow Orchid volume 3 which is to be released on 2nd April 2012, published by Egmont (Dutch edition from Silvester Strips is out in May). That completes the story.  

First memory of 2000AD?

I can’t remember when I first started getting 2000AD, but I know I read irregular issues from early on. Looking at a cover gallery online I remember having Prog 18 and then a few from Prog 47 onwards with the Dan Dare covers.

I know I didn’t read ‘The Cursed Earth’ first time around but was definitely a mostly-weekly reader by the time of the ‘Judge Child Quest’. For a couple of years, cira Judge Death’s second appearance with his Dark Judges, I was totally obsessed … enough for my mum to voice her concern that 2000AD was getting in the way of my school work!

Judge Death by Garen Ewing

Favourite Character or Story?

My absolute favourite story from 2000AD was the Judge Dredd tale ‘Block Mania’ and the ‘Apocalypse War’, with the ‘Judge Child Quest’ coming a close second. Alongside that would be ‘Portrait of a Mutant’, the Strontium Dog story. I remember reading, re-reading and re-re-reading that.

I loved Nemesis – both the Kevin O’Neill and Bryan Talbot versions. I also had a strange fondness for Ace Garp!

I must also mention the brilliant 1982 annuals (2000AD (red Bolland cover) and Judge Dredd (green McMahon cover) – I don’t think I put them down for a month.

What do you like most about 2000AD?

I loved its slightly surreal and often disturbing humour, all mixed in with a great sense of sweeping adventure. Story and art throughout were a real strong-point – it was quality.

What would you most like to see in 2000AD as it heads to its Forties?

 You’ll notice in my last answer I used the past-tense, because I have to admit I haven’t bought 2000AD for a long time. I’ve got hold of the occasional issue (sorry, prog!) but haven’t stuck with it again for some reason. So I don’t feel qualified to answer this question, I’m afraid!

I will say that for a few years 2000AD was a huge influence on me and I harboured (now diminished) ambitions to see my work within its pages.

Quinch by Garen Ewing

So a very happy birthday to 2000AD – I’m glad it’s still going, and knowing some of the artists that currently work for it the quality must still be right up there.

If you worked on 2000AD, do you have an anecdote you’d like to share about your experience of Tharg and his minions?

I didn’t work for it but I would like to add that 2000AD led to me winning my first ever competition – I won a copy of the Titan collected edition of The Cursed Earth part 2, I think for naming the parts of a Lawmaster.

My prize arrived on the morning I left for a week-long school trip to the Isle of Wight, and it came with me! 

• This post is one in a series of tributes to 2000AD to mark its 35th birthday on 26th February 2012. More about 2000AD at www.2000adonline.com

2000AD © Rebellion

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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