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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

2000AD part 2

Continuing our little bit of 2000AD coverage in celebration of the paper's 30th anniversary, here's what Pat Mills told me back in 1996 when asked "If you had a chance to do it all again..."
Well, I'd have a different cover to Prog 1, that's for sure. Invasion, the artwork was superb, it served its purpose perfectly because it got the front page of the Guardian. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, that I would make Invasion shorter, but don't think I would alter that because it needed that story to lure in readers who didn't even like science fiction. It was a license for poor writing and stupid writing, because instead of solving things through positive action you gave this guy some sort of weapon and he could get out of a situation.

Mach One was a very cold-blooded piece of commercialism that worked and it was the most popular story in the comic for several issues and I think the only reason it didn't maintain that was the poor standard of artwork and progressively the standard of scripts dropped, which is inevitable with a self contained story unless you've got a premiere writer on it. So Mach One I wouldn't change.

Dan Dare - well, Dan Dare went through four or five versions before Belardinelli's aborted version came out, which was then followed by Dave Gibbon's version, which again unfortunately didn't hit the right spot. I've always had a theory that the second version I did, I should have stayed with. It had that kind of Jet-Ace Logan look about it and I still think that would have stood a chance.

Flesh: I'd have liked better artists on it, but that was right for its time, Harlem Heroes - well, we had a great artist on it. I'd have liked that to be uncensored; if it had, I think it would have been very good. Once they censored it, it was dead. You can't have a death game where people don't die horrendous deaths in the cause of sport.

Even Tharg was right for the first year. This may well be me re-writing history, I don't know, one can tend to block things out one doesn't choose to remember but I think it would be fair to say that we didn't see Tharg as having an indefinite existence. I think the thing was to get what one could out of him and move on and in fact he stayed - for me, I will always maintain that he outstayed his welcome and I know so many people, and this goes back years and years who said 'I don't like picking the comic up because I don't like this Tharg stuff.' It may have almost gone through the pain barrier now.

An updated list of article about the anniversary of the paper:

'Judge Dredd: Dishing out rough justice' by Nicholas Lezard (Independent, 25 February)
'30 Years of the Future' by Finlo Rohrer (BBC website, 26 February)
'30 Year Flashback: 2000AD arrives' by Lew Stringer (30 February)

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