That powerhouse of British comics celebrates its 36th birthday and to mark the occasion Uncle Tharg has invited back one of the most legendary of the early 2000 AD artists, the magnificent Brian Bolland, to produce the cover image for Prog 1821, which hits shelves this very morning. Give my geek soul, a part of which is forever given to 2000 AD, a warm feeling to see Bolland draw Dredd once more.
Younger reader may be thinking nice art but why such excitement among readers of a certain age? Ah, but those of us of a certain age have grown up with 2000 AD, from the heady days of 1977 onwards, and Bolland was a part of our Holy Trinity of comics artists, along with McMahon and Ezquerra for their Dredd work, and they remain hugely influential right through to new artists taking on the Judge even today. Thinking back on the comics talent we had just in those first few years ofÂ The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, man but we were a lucky generation: Bolland, McMahon, Ezquerra, Belardinelli, Kennedy, Smith, O’Neill, Ewins, … And that’s just a few and even then only naming artists, not the writers who came through Tharg’s offices. And here we sit three and half decades and more on with old 2000 AD hands like myself and newer converts like our own Richard both proclaiming the last few months to have been a remarkable one for the comic – still life in there, still pulling tricks we never saw coming, nodding to its history but still prepared to innovate. Happy birthday, 2000 AD and many more zarjaz years to come.