Hello – ! Welcome to my first round-up of the most recent goings-on in the mighty world of 2000AD. The first big deal is the current US-size mini-series version of Edginton & Culbard’s Brass Sun – the second issue is due out in the coming week whilst the first sold out on the first day of release but is still available digitally.
It’s not hard to see why this particular series is making such a commercial and critical dent – when the first episode of “The Wheel of Worlds” debuted back in Prog 1800 it was the most instantly exciting introduction to a new story I’d seen for a long time and the impact has not dimmed with time – when reading Issue 1 of the mini-series I was immediately drawn right into the world again. Culbard’s art is incredible throughout; deftly mixing deceptive simplicity with stunningly effective storytelling – his muted colours are perfectly pitched throughout. The only tiny negative for me – and I’ve seen that this isn’t present in the physical edition – was a lack of credit in the preview for veteran 2000AD letterer Ellie de Ville.
It’s a phenomenally strong first part and I cannot imagine a better introduction to the diverse canon of 2000AD for curious new readers – the idea of highlighting a single series through a stylish focussed run (the physical copy has a very swanky paper density OH YEAH) is a stroke of genius – putting you immediately in mind of European publishers and honestly I think Brass Sun stands up very well next to European arty glorybooks like Cinebooks and Humanoids titles let alone all the US stuff of a similar size.
The next mini-series is Gordon Rennie & Simon Coleby’s Jaegir which has more explicit (although not overwhelming) ties with 2000AD‘s enormous back-catalogue and there’s talk of a Dredd series later in the year. Although backtracking a little the idea of 2000AD creators collaborating on original Cinebooks-style albums has always driven me mad with joy… imagine Al Ewing and Henry Flint given creative freedom over that kind of space. Actually don’t it might break your mind.
A lot of other 2000AD news this fortnight is merch-based (action figures, keyrings and t-shirts oh my) but I want to focus on contenty things here and The Third Law – a new e-book by premiere Dredd writer and very nice man Michael Carroll went on sale the other week and you can get ahold of it here. This is from Rico’s perspective as he stews on Titan and adds further dimension to Dredd’s clone-brother-gone-bad. He may seem like a forgotten physical presence in the canon now but the spectre of Rico looms large and more exploration of his psyche is never a bad thing. Interestingly the cover is by the author himself who frequently dabbles in 3D – with some assistance by Rebellion design-king Pye – you can see a break down of it all on Mr Carroll’s blog here.
For those wantin’ thrill-power cheap the online store began a flash sale last Wednesday and there are still plenty of cut-price thrills available. The enormous 250-page leviathan written history of 2000AD Thrill Power Overload as told by David Bishop is only £5 and Rennie & Irving’s deeply unsettling Necronauts, which began running in my first ever year of proggery and split my mind apart, is a cool £4. Not to mention the beautiful Bendatti Vendetta, the hilarious Taxidermist and the evergreen pulp-glory of Fiends of the Eastern Front. What are you waiting for? A HORSE?
Finally, a bit of pimpery for the competitions that run over on the 2000AD forum. Above is Gary O’Donnell’s entry for this month’s “Re-panelled” art competition – where talented squaxx are reinterpreting their favourite 2000AD panels and it ends this Sunday. If you’re a 2000AD fanatic but favour the more writery side of things there is also the short story competition – the theme of which is currently centered around Savage story Invasion although be wary as it could close ANY SECOND. Winners of both competitions get graphic novels hot from the nerve centre itself also in the art comp a legendary art droid chooses their favourite entry and this month that droid will be GLENN FABRY. CRIKEY.