In Three Short Weeks, Action comic is back!

It horrified prudes and censors alike – but the ground-breaking British comic Action is back, in just three short weeks!

Action 2020 Special - Final Cover

Celebrate the legacy of the comic the establishment tried to ban (as detailed on our “Sevenpenny Nightmare” micro site compiled by Moose Harris) with the new Action 2020 special.

The special comes packed with the same blend of unbeatable characters and no-holds-barred action as the original weekly comic – all brought to you by the best talents of today, including Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys), Ram V (Batman, Paradiso), Henry Flint (Judge Dredd) and Staz Johnson (Dracula).

Artist Mike Dorey at work on the all-new “Hellman of Hammer Force” strip by Garth Ennis, for the Action 2020 Special - out in March

Artist Mike Dorey at work on the all-new “Hellman of Hammer Force” strip by Garth Ennis, for the Action 2020 Special – out in March

This Special, on sale in newsagents and comic shops from Wednesday 23rd March, and as a great web exclusive edition from the Treasury of British Comics here, features the killer shark Hook Jaw by Dan Lish, juvenile delinquency in “Kids Rule OK” by Ram V and Henrick Stahlstrom, frontline German Panzer with “Hellman of Hammer Force” by Garth Ennis and Mike Dorey, merciless secret agent action with “Dredger” by Zina Hutton with art by Staz Johnson, and the brand new “Hell Machine” by Henry Flint and Jake Lynch.

Action Issue 1, cover dated 14th February 1976 - with free gift

Action Issue 1, cover dated 14th February 1976 – with free gift

Action Issue 2, cover dated 21st February 1976, with Hookjaw transfer gift

Action Issue 2, cover dated 21st February 1976, with Hookjaw transfer gift

Action - 21st February 1976 Cover Art

Original cover art

Launched in 1976 by Pat Mills, Action‘s blend of no-holds-barred action, unbridled anarchism, and violent riffs off popular films earned it immediate acclaim.

The first page of the first episode of the Action strip "Hook Jaw", art by Ramon Sola

The first page of the first episode of the Action strip “Hook Jaw”, art by Ramon Sola

Action is savaged in The Sun, Friday 30th April 1976

Action is savaged in The Sun, Friday 30th April 1976

The gritty tone and graphic gore of strips such as “Hook Jaw”, “Hellman of Hammer Force”, “BlackJack”, “Death Game 1999”, “Kids Rule OK”, “Dredger”, and “Look Out For Lefty” delighted readers but quickly attracted the attention of public moralists, with the comic branded “The Sevenpenny Nightmare” by The Sun newspaper.

A campaign by Mary Whitehouse and the National Viewers and Listeners Association led to threats of a boycott of all publisher IPC’s titles by newsagent chains such as WH Smith and John Menzies. This in turn led to pressure from publisher IPC’s higher management and the issue cover dated 23rd October 1976 was pulped, the few copies that survived selling for thousands of pounds.

Action Issue 37

A copy of the very rare Action Issue 37 that was sold on eBay.

When the title returned, the violence was heavily toned down. Sales of this neutured Action dropped dramatically and it was folded into stablemate Battle a year later.

However, Action remains one of the most influential comic books in British history, leading to Mills creating 2000AD and also inspired a generation of comic book readers and creators…

Action 2020 Special – on sale 23rd March 2020 in comic shops and newsagents

Buy the web exclusive Action 2020 Special here | This edition, exclusive to the 2000AD and Treasury of British Comics webshops, comes bagged with a reproduction of the ‘banned’ issue of Action cover dated 23rd October 1976!

Check out the downthetubes Sevenpenny Nightmare micro site compiled by Moose Harris

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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.



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