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Former Tharg Steve MacManus Set To Spill the Beans on 2000AD’s Early Days

The Mighty One Book Cover2000AD has announced it is to publish the memories of arguably its most definitive editor – Steve MacManus – in September 2016.

In 1973, 20-year-old Steve MacManus joined Fleetway Publications in London as a sub-editor on one of the UK’s top adventure titles, Valiant. Within six years, he would rise to become editor of the company’s most celebrated weekly, 2000AD, shepherding it through its first ‘Golden Age’ as he commissioned numerous hit series such as “The Ballad of Halo Jones”, “Sláine”, “Bad Company”, “Rogue Trooper”, and “Nemesis the Warlock”, ensuring its place as the most influential comic Britain has ever produced.

While 2000AD’s creator, Pat Mills, set the tone and direction for the legendary title, for many MacManus remains the multi-award-winning SF anthology’s definitive editor.

Now, in the warm and witty memoir, The Mighty One: My Life Inside The Nerve Centre, MacManus lifts the lid on the fiercely creative environment that was British comics in the 1970s and ‘80s.

From the hugely successful launch of Battle to the controversial censoring of Action, from the brief life of Starlord to the stellar rise of 2000AD and Judge Dredd, he details the personalities at play and the corporate politics and deadline battles he and others engaged in on a daily basis.

Robin Smith drew this leaving card for Steve on his departure from Egmont

Robin Smith drew this leaving card for Steve on his departure from Egmont

With keen insight, he also reveals how, against all odds. 2000AD defined comics for a generation and became a global phenomenon – one that would spearhead a revolution in the graphic arts that is still felt today.

“It was when I began to come across people on the Internet warmly remembering their weekly comics of the 1970s,” says MacManus of the book’s origins. “I realised I had had a ringside seat at the creation and development of many of those pioneering titles, so I sat down to see if I could turn my memories into something equally enjoyable.

“I also hoped my recollections would enhance the general appreciation of British comics publishing at the time. It was fantastic to be reminded of all the inimitable creators whose combined talents made 2000AD the galaxy’s greatest comic – week in week out. I reread every Prog from One up to 500 and that was a cathartic experience for sure. But I made it, Marg! Top of the Progs! “

Ben Smith, head of books and comic books at Rebellion Publishing, said: “When Steve MacManus got in touch to say he had written a memoir I practically bit his hand off to get hold of it, such is the respect he is held in by myself and everyone at 2000 AD. That he was capable of writing such an engaging and funny autobiography did not surprise me. What did was his fresh insight into a definitive time in British comics history and the enthralling inside story of the era that marked the foundation of modern comics.”

• On 8th September 2016, 2000AD is publishing both a special signed hardback edition (limited to 200 copies) for £20 – available only from its online shop – or a standard paperback edition for £9.99, available from all good book shops and Amazon. 

• You can pre-order either edition direct from shop.2000adonline.com from Wednesday 27th January 2016

Direct Links

•  The Mighty One: My Life Inside the Nerve Centre [Signed Limited Edition] – Hardback

• The Mighty One: My Life Inside the Nerve Centre – Paperback

• Steve MacManus can be found lurking on Twitter @Mac_1

 

About John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative" who is 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 25 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary, including DEATH'S HEAD II and WARHEADS. At Marvel he wrote strips for THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, THUNDERCATS, DOCTOR WHO and co-created SHADOW RIDERS with Brian Williamson and Ross Dearsley. 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. He has written comics for Marvel UK, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lucky Bag Comic, CGL (an Italian publisher), STRIP Magazine and ROK Comics; and edited some of Titan's British comics collections including Dan Dare and Charley's War. 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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