Its planned original launch last year kiboshed by COVID, Rebellion has announced the Autumn 2022 launch of its highly-anticipated new graphic novel series, Best of 2000AD.
The brand-new quarterly 200-page graphic novel series, originally due to launch last April, debuts in September and features a hand-curated selection of the most incendiary and exciting new science-fiction comics from one of the world’s biggest and most influential comic book brands.
Six volumes of the US comic book-size, perfect-bound series will be released quarterly in book stores, distributed into the book trade via Simon & Schuster and the comic book direct market through Diamond Distributors.
Rebellion describes Best of 2000AD as the perfect gateway into the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic – an ultimate ‘mix-tape’ anthology of full-colour stories specially chosen to be accessible to a whole new generation of comic readers who may never have picked up 2000AD in its traditional format.
Each 200-page volume will be headlined by a self-contained contemporary Judge Dredd adventure, followed by a mixture of hidden gems from 2000AD’s vaulted history, a classic Judge Dredd case, and a graphic novel length feature presentation featuring global comics legends including Sean Philips (The Fade Out, Kill or Be Killed), Frank Quitely (We3, All Star Superman), Fraser Irving (Batman Incorporated, Die! Die! Die!), Kevin O’Neill (Marshal Law, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Mick McMahon (The Last American, Batman), Pete Milligan (Enigma, X-statix), Rob Williams (Old Haunts, Suicide Squad), Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk, We Only Find Them When They’re Dead), Alan Moore (Watchmen, From Hell), Alan Davis (X-Men, Batman) and so many more.
Each volume of Best of 2000AD will also feature newly-commissioned critical essays by prominent comics journalists and popular culture writers, including Tom Shapira, Chloe Maveal, Rosie Knight, Ritesh Babu, Tiffany Babb and Adam Karenina Sherif.
The title boasts brand-new covers from an all-star line-up of New York Times best-selling and Eisner award-winning artists including Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked and The Divine), Becky Cloonan (Gotham Academy), Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), and Annie Wu (Hawkeye), with more to be revealed.
The entire six-volume series will feature design by highly-acclaimed designer Tom Muller (House of X/Powers of X).
“Even in the teeth of the pandemic, graphic novels had one of their best years ever and Best of 2000AD has been tailor-made to give bookstores a great way to stock the very best of British comics,” said Trade and Special Sales Manager, Owen Johnson. “With eye-catching covers, design, and impeccable storytelling, the title brings the energy and creativity of Britain’s biggest comics brand to the book trade in a new and fresh way, giving readers curious about getting into graphic novels an irresistible sampling of stories that will appeal to all palettes.”
Delayed, but not Defeated!
Best of 2000AD was originally intended to capitalise on momentum gathered after Rebellion’s hugely successful ‘Day of Dredd’ promotion in September 2019, which reached over 20 million individual social media accounts and saw 2000AD‘s international sales spike. Comic stores, libraries and creators celebrated the cultural impact of the fan-favourite character Judge Dredd, and although the pandemic knocked plans for six, you clearly can’t keep a good idea down!
With the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic celebrating its 45th anniversary next year, Best of 2000AD is intended as the Oxford-based publisher’s next step in building a wider international audience, and stands as a major jewel in the crown of Rebellion’s 2022 publishing initiatives, in addition to its announced collection schedule, just revealed.
“It’s called the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic for a reason,” enthused Rebellion CEO, Jason Kingsley OBE when the Best of 2000AD project was first announced in November 2019. “If you love your comics dangerous, thrilling and life-affirming but have never read 2000AD then this is your moment. This new publication is precision-engineered for new and curious readers.
“We want the Best of 2000AD to convert a whole new generation into 2000 AD readers for life.”
This isn’t the first time the “Best of 2000AD” theme has been used, of course – The Best of 2000AD Monthly was an all-reprint title which ran for 119 issues between October 1985 and August 1995, each issue featuring selected reprints from 2000 AD, with some stories being carried over into the subsequent issue. After the title’s cancellation, it was relaunched as the slimmer Classic 2000AD.
In 2008, Prion Books released its The Best of 2000ADhardback collection, licensed from Rebellion, a 400-page “primer” to the 2000AD-verse that included the first Judge Dredd story and the complete “Call-Me-Kenneth” series; plus opening episodes of stories such as “Invasion”, “Harlem Heroes”, “M.A.C.H.1”, “The Ballad of Halo Jones” and more
• The first volume of Best of 2000AD is scheduled for release in September 2022. It will be available from book-stores and comic book stores globally through Simon & Schuster and Diamond Distribution