2000AD -> Rebellion -> US Graphic Novels

ColanutColanut Siedge WealdRegistered User regular
edited January 2011 in Graphic Violence
Oh joy, 2000AD is “back” in the US.

2000AD has had a checkered history with US distribution, but there is a new owner of the whole franchise and strong US distribution deal in effect (more info). Rebellion and Simon and Schuster have delivered several volumes and laid out a distribution plan through September.

I loved reading the weeklies in the mid 80’s. Unfortunately my shop got them in sporadically and they were quite expensive for my meager paper route earnings. Collecting the Eagle comics and then the Quality and Fleetway floppies, sufficed for a while, but they became unreliable and incomplete in their collections. More, Titan collections were expensive, hard to acquire and also incomplete. Eventually I gave up reading.

That seems to have changed; I’ve got two books from the US Launch and looking to get more. I picked up Judge Dredd Case Files 1 and Nemesis 1. Nemesis is one of my favorite titles (along with Slane, ABC Warriors and Rogue Trooper). The Judge Dredd is pretty much just for fun. The books are on decent quality paper and are just over 300 pages long. They list at $20, but Amazon seems to have them for ~$14. I think they are based off the UK printings so, if S&S stops distribution, I could probably just suck it up and pay for those editions. The UK books have great covers, very striking. They changed the Dredd cover for the US version, but it’s not bad.

Cover difference:
51TdaHiVGOL._SL500_AA300_.jpg vs judge_dredd_case_files_01.gif

More covers:
51X7SMYG78L._SL500_AA300_.jpg519b%2BXoVJkL._SL500_AA300_.jpg61W%2BTHBE7XL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

The Nemesis book covers the early pre-arc introductions, Books 1-4 (up to the Gothic Empire war) and a couple of one-offs from the Annuals. The art is fairly well reproduced though smaller than the weekly news print. Fortunately it hasn’t been scaled as badly as they were in the Spellbinders floppies. Some of the color covers and darker panels are smudgy, but so were my newsprint versions. I’m not sure the method they used to reproduce them. Also the books are the same height as most graphic novels but a little deeper to account for the tabloid format of the original.

The Case Files start with Prog. 2 and go chronologically from there. This set appeals to the complete-ist in me; however, there are the Mega City Masters which seem to be best of collections. It is typical Dredd one shots with a few extended stories. I think Case Files 2 starts with the Cursed Earth arc so that is when we see the more mature story lines develop. The UK books are up to Vol. 12 or 15.

Reading Case Files reminded me how much JD relied on the weekly format. They seemed to balance longer arcs, one offs and new stories well. Nemesis is a book that you can read through since the story arc develops early on. Case files seem better when read a few stories at a time.

My main attractions were the worlds that were created and the variety of artists who interpreted them. With these large collections you can really see the evolution of both. Plus the premises and stories were pretty out there. Lots of artists, writers, stories, themes- something for just about every one.

Next I plan to pick up ABC Warriors and Slaine. Some of the other stories I don’t know very well or didn’t pay attention to. I’d be curious if anyone has thoughts or recommendations on those outside of the regulars for 2000AD.

Colanut on

Posts

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Love me some 2000AD

    They are so eighties and so very cool

    Solar on
  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I've read pretty much all the Rebellion comics in different doses over the years. Outside of the ones already mentioned, some of the best stories you can find are:

    1. The whole Strontium Dog/Durham Red sagas. There was a reboot recently and it makes the continuity kind of wonky, but the individual stories are still great. It's a bizzare post-apocalyptic bounty hunter story, and there have been some crossovers with Dredd, but I don't think those were cannon.

    2. Caballistics, Inc. - The British goverment branch for dealing with the supernatural. Falls somewhere between MI-13 and Hellblazer in the storyline department.

    3. Fiends on the Eastern Front - Vampire special forces fighting on the Eastern side of WW2. Great read, and I hear it's been turned into a series of novels now, too.

    Hensler on
  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Oh, and I'd be remiss not to mention Big Dave, the baddest motherf'er in England, created by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar.

    Hensler on
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Hensler wrote: »
    Oh, and I'd be remiss not to mention Big Dave, the baddest motherf'er in England, created by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar.

    Ah yes, Big Dave

    My favourite 2000AD stuff is still either Dredd or Strontium Dog. Both are just badasses of the highest order.

    Solar on
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I've wanted to read some 2000AD for a long time. Thanks for the update.

    DouglasDanger on
    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
  • ColanutColanut Siedge WealdRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I think I will give Strontium Dog a reread when it comes around. I didn't like it much at the time, but I think I was heavily in a "mystical" phase and preferred the fantasy-ish stories. I didn't read much Bad Company or Halo Jones either which I hope to look into now.

    Zombo looks interesting too.

    Colanut on
  • WildcatWildcat Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Zarjaz stuff! I'm a big Rogue Trooper fan personally, but Halo Jones is another that I've meant to read for ages.

    Also props for Eagle - I loved The Thirteenth Floor.

    Wildcat on
  • ColanutColanut Siedge WealdRegistered User regular
    So, update or something. 2000AD has released a "Day and Date" iOS app where you can get individual issues or subscribe for a month, 3 months or a year with a discount on the price and access to the archives. The archives are not very deep right now, but if it expands it may be worth it. There is still the Click Wheel, app as well, and I think you can get issues direct from their web site. I was surprise to see the app show up in my Newsstand. It makes sense as it is a weekly, but now it is segregated from my Comixology and Darkhorse apps and lives next to The New Yorker. There is a free sampler issue in the app. I don't know if an Android app may be coming. (Did I write app in that paragraph enough? App, app, appa app.)

    The books are still rolling off the presses and are scheduled out to May 2013. I finlally got to read Rogue Trooper from the beginning. It's another huge volume of weekly strips. However, Slaine Invasions is a full color glossy and is much thinner by comparison. Probably for cost considerations. The art is over the top, but I feel slightly miffed and them skipping past the chronological story.

    Also the new Dredd movie is getting some good geek press and that may goose some interest. The movie sounds to be a decent take on ol' Stoney Face, but I don't predict any major break through in awareness. I'll probably see it by myself- none of my friends have outed themselves as Dredd fans.

    Anyways, there seemed like enough new developments to warrant an update post. I do wonder if the story/artist/writer collections are interesting enough to people outside those invested in the archival series.

  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    So, I've only ever caught the odd 2000AD mag over the years, but I do love me some gritty futuristic totalitarian shenanigans.
    If I wanted to look into more, can someone help me out with a few queries?

    If I want Judge Dredd stories, are their collections of just his arcs? (if so, what's cool?) Or is everything a collection of broader stories from the 2000AD universe? What other stories are worth checking? Rogue Trooper?

    I'm rambling, but what I really want to know is where should I start? And are their Dredd only TPB's?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DarkseerDarkseer Registered User regular
    I have ALL the ABC WARRIORS books if anyone wants them (PM me!)
    Happy to let them all go for £50+postage
    All are in near mint condition. Just can't get rid of the darned things on eBay, because not enough people love 2000AD.

  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    Fallingman wrote: »
    So, I've only ever caught the odd 2000AD mag over the years, but I do love me some gritty futuristic totalitarian shenanigans.
    If I wanted to look into more, can someone help me out with a few queries?

    If I want Judge Dredd stories, are their collections of just his arcs? (if so, what's cool?) Or is everything a collection of broader stories from the 2000AD universe? What other stories are worth checking? Rogue Trooper?

    I'm rambling, but what I really want to know is where should I start? And are their Dredd only TPB's?
    There are quite a few good starting points.

    There are as many Judge Dredd collections as the rest of the 2000ad books put together. They can be divided into two categories:
    - The Case Files, which collect every single Judge Dredd from the beginning, in order. They're currently up to 19 volumes. Volume 1 is ropy as anything, as the strip tries to find its feet. You could start there if you want everything, and don't mind powering through some weaker stuff. If you want to start with the modern Dredd strips, start at volume 2 or 3.
    -Otherwise, most of the more recent Judge Dredd arcs have been released in standalone graphic novels. Particular high points are generally recokened to be The Pit, Mandroid, Origins and Tour of Duty, with the absolute standout Dredd story being America. If you just want to try a random story, I'd go with one of those.

    For other 2000ad, I'd especially recommend Nikolai Dante, Strontium Dog, The Ballad of Halo Jones, Nemesis the Warlock and Shakara. If you wanted to look into the horror stuff they do, as well, there's Caballistics Inc, Absalom, and all the one-offs Ian Edgington keeps doing.
    Rogue Trooper's ok, but beaten at its own weird-future-war game by Bad Company.

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