Happy Birthday, 2000AD! From art droid Arthur Ranson

Mazeworld, written by Alan Grant, drawn by Arthur Ranson

Name: Arthur Ranson

Website, with blogs: www.arthurranson.com/

Present work:

Rather recklessly I have recently commenced producing in Paint software a ‘comic’ – Sirius. An Intergalactic Adventure – appearing on my web-site. Intended for my amusement, it has become a time consuming addiction that is probably ruining my chances of ever running a marathon.. Or running.

First memory of 2000AD?

My first memory of 2000AD was, hoping for work, nervously taking my samples to editor Richard Burton. Even at that time the young 2000AD’s reputation had grown to where many artists considered it was the hip place to be.

Unlike the impression that US comics gave – that they generally demanded a house style – 2000AD gave artists great scope for individualism. To my surprise, I not only got a promise of work but lunch too. A pint of beer, a curly sandwich and a career changing commission.

Judge Anderson pencilled by
Brian Bolland (inked by Gary Martin)

Favourite characters?

Apologies but number one really has to be Psi Judge Cassandra Anderson. Cass was my favourite when Brian Bolland was drawing it so I was well chuffed to be offered it and Alan Grant’s stories were great, giving Cass a greater consistency and humanity than any other comic strip character I can think of.

Johnny Alpha created by T.B. Glover, aka John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra in Strontium Dog. It never kept its appeal but it was one of the strips that on its early appearance, I would have liked to draw. A dramatic story with potential for a wide range of stories and settings plus character design that looked great.

Slaine, if only for the extraordinary art work by two exceptional artists. Glen Fabry and Simon Bisley. Whether in line or painted both men produced pages that were a real pleasure to see.

What do you like most about 2000AD?

The impressive thing about 2000AD is its courage. It has always seemed willing to try something new, use fresh artists, writers and concepts. Several things I was involved in would not have happened in a more hidebound comic and I got to read unexpected stuff and see some very good artwork. A list of people who have drawn or written for them will demonstrate just how good they are at talent spotting.

What would you like to see in 2000AD as it heads into it’s Forties?

I have had many amazing ideas about what 2000AD might do over the years. Luckily none of them were ever taken up. My record on unsuccessful commercial ideas makes me ill suited to offering advice and reluctant to offer any concrete suggestions now.

Some platitude about keep up the good work is best I can do. Life begins at forty?

Do you have an anecdote you’d like to share about your experience of Tharg and his minions?

Despite his authoritarian manner not being the managerial style a liberal like myself should approve of, Tharg does seem to produce among his minions a marked sense of commitment.

This is not just a shabby attempt at self promotion but I was really impressed by the dedication and care of those responsible for the production of the MazeworldMazeworldgraphic novel. So respect to backroom boys Graphic Novel Editor Keith Richardson, Graphic Designers Simon Parr and Luke Preece and judging by the book’s coverage, PR guy Michael Molcher.

• This post is part of a series of birthday tributes from a wide range of comic creators celebrating 2000AD‘s birthday on 26th February 2012. For more about 2000AD, visit www.2000adonline.com

2000AD © Rebelllion

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics

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2 replies

  1. Apologies for nit-picking an otherwise lovely post; the Bolland Judge Death image is only half Bolland… A pencil prelim, inked by Gary Martin as a commission: http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=717341&GSub=11022

  2. Thanks David, I’ve ammended the caption.

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