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Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From Scripting and Art Droid David Baillie

Judge Dredd by David Baillie

Judge Dredd by David Baillie

Name: David Baillie

Currently working on:

I’ve actually just this second finished a new script for 2000AD, which was as much fun as it always is. (I still occasionally pinch myself to check that the last few years haven’t just been a hyper-realistic dream that my 15 year-old self is having!)

Next up I have a five-page fantasy comic that needs to be drawn and a TV script to polish for the second round of the prestigious (so they tell me) Red Planet Prize. No rest for the wicked. Or freelancers.

First memory of 2000AD?

I was always a wee bit aware of 2000AD, I think. I remember seeing it in the corner shop when I was picking up my very first Marvel reprints at the age of four. It was very obviously for older boys and scared me a bit. Then there were 2000AD annuals in the school library that were officially only for Year 5 kids, but my teacher could see that I was bursting with curiosity and made an exception for me.

The first copy I actually owned was when I came down with a nasty case of the mumps and my mum brought me a comic to read in my sick bed (or my death bed, as I was sure it was at the time). It was the first issue of The Best of 2000AD – which reprinted the Bolland classic ‘Blood of Satanus’, my first ever Strontium Dog story and a Future Shock by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It blew my mumpy mind.

After that I spent the vast majority of my pocket money on the monthly Best Ofs and acquiring huge wads of 2000AD back issues, which I could sniff out like a bloodhound at carboot sales and flea markets.

Favourite Character or Story?

There are honestly too many to mention… I love the classic Strontium Dog stories, Dredd at his best (I can’t tell you how exciting it was piecing together episodes of ‘Necropolis’ years after it had been published), Hewligan’s Haircut, the first series of Time Flies, the Chronicles of Chaos ABC Warriors stories, Hap Hazzard, Abelard Snazz, Halo Jones, Tyranny Rex

What do you like most about the 2000AD?

When it’s at its best it is like no other comic.

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

I have a major problem with this question. You see, 2000AD and I are almost the same age and I’m not even thinking about my forties yet. (In fact I’m acting like 35 isn’t even on the horizon…)

So instead I’ll tell you that as 2000AD eases into the second half of its thirties, I would love to see more quirky, adventurous, innovative and clever stories – basically what drew me to the comic seventeen years ago and has kept me coming back every week since.

Oh and more stuff by that handsome, bald Scottish fella… What’s his name? David Baillie – that’s it!

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

Last year at I was honoured to be sat at the same table as Tharg at The Eagle Awards. (Lucky too – as Tharg only had eyes for the polystyrene cups and plates and so I got to drink his allocation of free beer.)

During a rare lull in the proceedings His Mightiness leaned across and told me that he had convinced 2000AD legend Jesus Redondo to come out of retirement to draw a recent Terror Tale I’d written.

Between that and the free beer it was probably the highlight of my 2011.

• 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

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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