This week’s 2000AD, with a terrific, eye-catching cover from Cliff Robinson, leads an unstoppable charge of thrills from publisher Rebellion this week, and what better way to do that than with featuring newly-promoted “Department K” on the cover of Prog 2235? And that’s not the only thrills coming up from Rebellion this week, and there’s much more in the near future, gathered here for today’s vital new British comics briefing!
I enjoyed this storyline when it debuted in 2000AD Regened, but last week’s opening episode written by Rory McConville had me hooked… and, of course, wondering if the number Mega-City set stories might not be a hint of the flavour of the still-in-the-works TV series.
This is a smashing ongoing thrill with great art from Dan Cornwell, who seems to have no trouble at all delivering us a cast that includes a number of bizarre aliens!
Alongside the much-to-enjoy Tammy & Jinty Remixed, this week’s Rebellion releases also include the arrival of a cracking collection of Roy of the Rovers stories – Who Shot Roy Race?, which includes the story inspired at the time by the TV show Dallas with its own “Who Shot JR?” mystery… although I think it fair to note that good old Roy was never the villain!
Recent online discussion of both the weekly sports-themed Tiger and Roy of the Rovers among fans more attuned to 2000AD and action adventure comics creators has exposed a surprising failure to understand just how popular Roy of the Rovers was, and remains.
I’ll admit that neither Tiger or Roy of the Rovers comics were my titles of choice back at the height of their popularity, but there’s no doubt in my mind that editor Barrie Tomlinson, who’s since written books on his experiences as editor, was really attuned to his audience, with a mix of football highs and lows, soap opera and more. There really wasn’t another boy’s British comic strip quite like ROTR, and the sales success of both Tiger and Roy of the Rovers prove… well, how on the ball Barrie and his team, especially writer Tom Tully, were in keeping readers happy. And, more importantly, keeping readers!
Moving on to upcoming titles in coming months, it seems to me that while there are a few vocal naysayers out there bemoaning the speed of release of collections of the past material they own, Rebellion have a good commercial handle on exactly what is working for them, while still affording opportunities to experiment. Their hardcover edition of The Stainless Steel Rat, for example, sold out within 48 hours from the 2000AD webshop. The paperback edition is due for release in September, along with the third collection of The Fall of Deadworld – the ever-popular series charting the rise of the Dark Judges.
With digital editions now commanding some 10 per cent (or more) of a title’s overall sales, it’s no wonder Rebellion introduced its own digital first range, something some US publishers have been doing for a while. There are two new digital-only collections coming up soon – the second collection of Gordon Rennie and Leigh Gallagher’s Aquila and John Smith and Paul Marshall’s classic eco-tale Firekind, which may or may not have been the inspiration behind Avatar.
Here’s our latest checklist of this week’s releases and upcoming titles…
2000AD Prog 2235 – on sale today, Wednesday 9th June
Featuring second episodes of “Chimpsky’s Law”, “Department K” and “Mechastopheles”, the penultimate part of “Feral & Foe”, and a complete Judge Dredd story from the Niemand and Teague droids!
Judge Dredd: Brief Encounter by Ken Niemand (Writer) Dylan Teague (Artist) Annie Parkhouse (Letterer)
Mechastopholes: The Hunting Party by Gordon Rennie, Laurence Rennie (Writer) Boo Cook (Artist) Annie Parkhouse (Letterer)
Department K: Cosmic Chaos by Rory McConville (Writer) Dan Cornwell (Artist) Len O’Grady (Colourist) Simon Bowland (Letterer)
Feral & Foe II by Dan Abnett (Writer) Richard Elson (Artist) Jim Campbell (Letterer)
Chimpsky’s Law: The Talented Mr Chimpsky by Kenneth Niemand (Writer) PJ Holden (Artist) Chris Blythe (Colourist Simon Bowland (Letterer)
Also out This Week…
The dawn of this new decade was one that Melchester Rovers would want to forget. The 1980/81 season was far from their finest hour with the threat of relegation snapping at their heels all throughout the season and exits from the FA Cup and the European Cup leaving the trophy cabinet bare.
For star striker Roy Race it couldn’t be worse. His obsession with the team had caused a strain on his marriage and fractured his relationship with teammates like the hot-headed Vic Guthrie. And then there was an attempt on his life… After being shot in December 1981, Roy lay in a coma for several weeks while Sir Alf Ramsey stepped into the dugout for Melchester. Life in a lower division beckons, but at least the Rovers will be the most stylish team on the pitch with their new Gola sponsored kits!
This book collects the most sensational storyline from Roy of the Rovers history.
• Tammy & Jinty Remixed – 10th June
There’s a great line-up of creators on this collection, including Kate Ashwin, best known as the creator of the Victorian-era wizard adventure Widdershins; Rachael Ball, currently working on her third graphic novel The Patsy Papers which is based on her experiences of teaching in secondary schools; Emma Beeby, whose credits include “Judge Dredd” and several other strips for 2000AD; DaNi, artist on 2000AD’s “Fiends of the Eastern Front” and IDW’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agencyand DC’s Sandman – The Dreaming; V.V. Glass, an illustrator and cover artist who’s worked with Titan, Oni Press, 2000AD, and MTV; 2000AD stalwart P. J. Holden; and Yishan Li, whose recent works include: Swing for Top Cow/Image) and Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1956, for Dark Horse.
Recent Rebellion Releases
Judge Dredd Megazine 432 – still on sale
Two new stories started in this issue – Devlin Waugh commences a major arc in “The Reckoning” by Aleš Kot and Mike Dowling, and The Returners are back for their final series, “Amazonia”, scripted by the much-missed Si Spencer and drawn by Nicolo Assirelli.
Elsewhere, there’s the latest instalment of “Diamond Dogs II”, the concluding chapter of “Judge Dredd: Don’t Drokk With Bob”, and the penultimate part of “Deliverance”, plus there’s chat with writer Cavan Scott – who collaborates with Paul Davidson on another “Anderson, Psi-Division” strip in the new 2000AD Regened prog, out 26 May – and ahead of this month’s new Adam Eterno collection from the Treasury of British Comics, Stephen Jewell takes a deep dive into the history of one of the UK’s most popular newsstand anthologies, Valiant, home to The Steel Claw, Captain Hurricane, and many others characters.
A brand-new paperback edition reprinting the earliest adventures of one of the post popular characters in British comics – the time-travelling adventurer to rival Doctor Who!
From the high seas of 1770 to the Western Front in 1916, follow Adam Eterno’s earliest adventures from the pages of Thunder.
• Slaughter Bowl (Digital Only)
• Judge Dredd: Guatemala – 22nd June
• Battler Britton – War Picture Library by Hugo Pratt – 24th June
July 2021 Releases
• 2000AD Regened Volume 2 – 6th July
Aquila Vol. 2 (Digital Only)
By Gordon Rennie, Paul Davidson and Patrick Goddard
Release Date: 7th July 2021
Aquila was a gladiator and slave who joined Spartacus’s failed revolt and was crucified. He called out for vengeance and was granted immortality by the goddess Ammit the Devourer, in return for keeping her fed with evil men’s souls. Aquila wants to be rid of his soul-destroying bond, but he’ll have to find the goddess first. His journey to freedom won’t be easy…
• The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire Volume III – 20th July
• Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 37 – 22nd July
August 2021 Releases
• Bad City Blue (Digital Only) – Release Date: 4th August 2021
• Ken Reid’s Football Funnies: The First Half – 5th August
• Lawless Volume 3: Ashes to Ashes – 5th August
• Hershey: Disease – 17th August
• The Stainless Steel Rat – 19th August
• Essential Judge Dredd: Origins – 31st August
September 2021 Releases
• Firekind (Digital Only)
• Sláine: Dragontamer – 2nd September
• Dark Judges: The Fall of Deadworld Vol. 3 – 14th September
• The Thirteenth Floor Volume 3 – 16th September
October 2021 Releases
Black Max Volume 2
Out: 4th October 2021
Format: Standard paperback and webshop exclusive hardcover with cover by Ian Kennedy
Bi-planes vs giant vampire bats in this thrilling collection of war comics with a horror twist! Lieutenant Tom Wilson returns to battle Baron Maximilien Von Klorr and his attack force of giant vampire bats in a continuation of the popular series.
The World War One era story moves to England with a monstrous albino bat attacking London with each page beautifully drawn by Alfonso Font working on one of his very first comic series.
• Fiends of the Eastern Front – 14th October
• Megatropolis – 14th October
• Roy of the Rovers: New Digs – 28th October 2021
November 2021 Releases
• Tales from the Black Museum Volume 1 (Digital Only) – 3rd November 2021
• Judge Dredd: Dreadnoughts – 9th November
• Misty Presents: The Jaume Rumeu Collection– 11th November
• Brink Volume 4 – 23rd November
• The Treasury of British Comics Presents: The Tom Paterson Collection – 25th November
December 2021 Releases
• Durham Red – Born Bad (Digital Only) – 1st December 2021
• Hellman of Hammer Force – 9th December
• Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Volume 38 – 9th December
• Scarlet Traces Volume 3 – 9th December
2000AD AND TREASURY OF BRITISH COMICS SPECIALS 2021
All three Specials will be available from all good newsagents and comic book stores, as well as from the 2000AD and Treasury of British Comics webshops
Black Beth and the Devils of Al-Kadesh
Publication date: 23rd June 2021
After her appearance in Rebellion’s previous Scream! & Misty Specials, the sword-swinging Black Beth is back, written by Alec Worley (Durham Red) and drawn by DaNi (Coffin Bound),
2000AD Sci-Fi Special
Publication date: 7th July 2021
This year’s 2000AD Sci-Fi Special – a staple part of 2000AD’s publishing DNA for decades – offers a fantastic collection of original Dredd-world stories, all connected to the same over-arching narrative and plotted by writers Mike Carroll (Judge Dredd) and Maura McHugh (Anderson, Psi Division).
Dive into the dystopian world of Judge Dredd as he brings law to the lawless on the mean streets of Mega-City One!
The Monster Fun Halloween Spooktacular
Publication date: 22nd September 2021
Back for Halloween 2021, join the Treasury of British Comics’ creepiest and coolest goblins, ghouls and vamps for brand new, HELL-arious comic strips.