It was one of the staples of hazy childhood summers, an extra dose of Thrill-power for the holidays. But now the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is back and with a new mission – to unveil a new generation of comics creators!
Comic summer specials died a death for most publishers when newsagent distribution systems changed, meaning “Specials” were considered separate titles, resulting in additional ‘promotional’ an distribution’ costs. The promotional benefits of raising the profile of the parent title – be it 2000AD, Whizzer and Chips, The Beano or The Dandy for example – were therefore wiped out by the costs of getting this “new” title into newsagents, even though it was considered the same comic by reader.
As a result of this greedy move on the part of distributors, the special was considered by most publishers to be too expensive a tradition to maintain, even though it was a great way of introducing their comic and its character to new readers. So it’s great to see that Rebellion are taking the plunge and reviving the tradition because if it’s a success, then it’s possible other publishers might follow their lead.
Featuring a cover by American artist James Biggie this 50-page special, on sale soon, not only helps promote 2000Ad to new readers but also provides new and upcoming creators with the chance to work on some of 2000AD’s finest characters – including Rogue Trooper, Robo-Hunter and Durham Red.
The 2000AD droids have given us a sneek peek of the Special – and it looks great, leading with a new (and funny) Judge Dredd story, “Jinxed” involving a stolen ancient artefact from the first female writer to ever write Mega-City One’s greatest lawman, Emma Beeby, with stunning art from Eoin Coveney,
Also in the Special:
Sam Slade is back! And he’s doing a little shopping. A missing droids case leads the veteran robo-hunter and his companions – dimwit droid Hoagy and robo-cigar Stogie – into the depths of a nightmarish furniture emporium, where death comes flat-packed and escape is out of stock. Great art and story!
Humanity is finding life easy, thanks to the robotic “Companions”… but then they start destroying themselves… and an investigative reporter tires to find out why… A smashing old-school chiller with a deft fresh look
A gorgeous Psi-Judge Anderson poster by Fay Dalton
Durham Red -“The Calling” by Robert Murphy and Duane Redhead
A young gun finds himself very out of his depth when he joins up with this deadly bounty hunter… The story has a great twist
Orlok’s on a mission in Brit Cit. It soon turns into a deadly trap… but who for? Wonderful black and white line art from Jake Lynch and some deft charaterisation from Arthur Wyatt on this one
Rogue Trooper -“Dregs of War” by Guy Adams and ace 2000AD cover artist Darren Douglas
Even the dead are Nort recruits in this chilling tale from the front! Simply stunning art in this all-action tale
All told, this is a terrific-looking Special, with all the action and adventure you’d expect from 2000AD. It’s brilliant to see this kind of comic one shot is on its way back on British news stands. Let’s hope there are plenty more of them in future.
• The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special will be available from all good newsagents and comic book stores on 28th May, as well as worldwide DRM-free digital through the 2000 AD webshop, and for iPad and iPhone through the 2000AD app. Web: www.2000adonline.com
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.