2000AD publishers Rebellion have issued a statement about the stark cover of this week’s “Jump On Board” issue, which features an image of Judge Dredd that some may have interpreted as ill-timed.
The cover, the work of Steven Austin and Quinton Winter, has apparently stirred concern after the terrible events in the United States over the past week following the death of George Floyd – clearly unaware of the comic’s long-standing, anti-establishment, nature.
“2000 AD has always sought be a voice for the disenfranchised,” the publisher has explained, responding to some outside the world of comics who appear unaware of the title’s usual content, and, more widely, the way publishing works.
“We use satire and drama to tell those stories. We stand for inclusion, we stand against racism. Black Lives Matter.
“This week’s issue of 2000 AD features this cover, which was commissioned months ago, went to press two weeks ago, and was mailed out to subscribers last week. Given the unfolding situation in the USA and beyond, it may seem provocative or exploitative but it was not our intent.
“For more than 40 years, the writers and artists on Judge Dredd have used the character to comment on contemporary politics. It was not meant to directly reflect scenes from the week of release.”
Sadly, past experience in the world of publishing indicates that some think it is as near immediate in delivery, and cartoonists whose work proved ill-timed when published despite being printed days or even weeks earlier have erroneously been taken to task for it.
Any suggestion that 2000AD is not an often both satirical and hard hitting swipe at the excesses of authoritarianism is, frankly, both ludicrous and seriously flawed, as even a cursory dig into the title’s history would tell you.
The work of 2000AD creator Pat Mills, writers such as Alan Grant, John Wagner, Alan Moore, Dan Abnett, Gordon Rennie, Kek-W, Rob Williams and many, many others, complemented by the amazing work of countless artists, stands as evidence across 40 plus years of publication.
With a line-up of all-new stories, Prog 2184 lands in stores today (Wednesday 3rd June) with five hot Thrills by top creators such as Chris Burnham (Batman), Rob Williams (Suicide Squad), Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy), Dom Reardon (James Bond) and more.
This issue of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic is perfect for new and lapsed readers to jump back on board…
• “End of Days”, a new Judge Dredd epic story by Rob Williams, Colin MacNeil, and Henry Flint begins
• Brand new “Caballistics Inc.” spin-off, “The Diaboliks”, by Gordon Rennie and Dom Reardon begins
• The return of gunsharks Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter in “Sinister Dexter: Boys in the HUD” by Dan Abnett and Steve Yeowell
• A brand new series of time-bending thriller “The Order” by Kek-W and John Burns, as time is fractured and the tyrannical polymath Francis Bacon now has access to future technology..,
• A one-off “Future Shock” written and drawn by Batman artist Chris Burnham
This issue comes ahead of the first full series of SF epic “Full Tilt Boogie” by Alex De Campi (Madi) and Eduardo Ocaña (Messiah Complex), which debuts in Prog 2185, out 10th June.
Regular readers will notice that one previously-announced thrill, the return of Celtic warrior Slaine for the first book of the “Dragontamer” saga, “The Web of Weird“, by Pat Mills with art by Leonard Manco, is absent from the line-up. That tale is now reportedly scheduled to begin in September.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.