After what seems like an eternity (well,a few months anyway), the three way match up finally reaches its’ conclusion. No one likes to be kept waiting do they? Whilst hardly sitting on the edge of his seat with anticipation, Luke reviews the whole series.
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens
2000AD : 40 Years of Thrillpower Festival
Seth unpacks, takes stock and counts the pennies after a whirlwind weekend of thrillpower.
Lat night I was lucky enough to go along to a crowded preview night at London’s Cartoon Museum for a new exhibition of 2000AD original artwork celebrating 40 years of the Galaxy’s greatest. The small exhibition space was crowded with many of the great and the good rubbing shoulders. I spotted horror author Kim Newman there, and managed to chat briefly with Barry Nugent from Geek Syndicate, Mike Molcher, and the show’s curator Steve Marchant.
Steve and his crew have managed to squeeze 87 examples of gorgeous art in, and he has another 10 pieces waiting to be hung in the upstairs extension gallery. All the greats are represented: Bellardinelli, Gibbons, McMahon, Bolland, Ezquerra, Gibson, O’Neill, Dillon, Ewins and many more. You can drool over some truly gorgeous pages from Dan Dare, Dredd, Anderson, Strontium Dog, Nikolai Dante, Slaine, and Halo Jones. I note that Colin MacNeil’s painted cover for America, “From the collection of John Wagner”, is still there as well.
The cheerful crowd drinking the free wine did make it slightly difficult to really appreciate the beautiful pieces and I shall certainly be going back to pay my £7 entry fee for a closer look before the exhibition closes on the 23rd April. I wrangled an invite to the preview because I donated some pieces from my own collection and six of them are on display including this Carlos page featuring the “Judge Child” Owen Krysler from the Destiny’s Angels story in Prog 281.
If you are in the capital then do get along to the museum and feast your eyes on the wonders, including some of Bolland’s pages from the Judge Dreath Lives story which are worth the price of admission alone. And check out the 2000AD official Twitter and Facebook streams for some sneak preview photos taken on the night.
Brand new from Hibernia Press comes another of their comics archives titles, It’s Ghastly, the untimely demise of Scream! is an excellent addition to the histories of British comics from the seventies and eighties.
Scream! was a well remembered but sadly short-lived horror comic that ran for 15 issues in 1984 before industrial action by the National Union of Journalists led to its premature cancellation. David McDonald has interviewed the editors and many of the comic’s creators to detail the trials and tribulations of publishing a scary comic when Britain was gripped by the video-nasties frenzy and IPC still had bad memories of the media outcry that ended their Action title. The result is another fascinating glimpse behind the scenes that fits in nicely alongside Steve MacManus’ memoir The Mighty One, and Hibernia’s previous archive about Action.
I didn’t read Scream! at the time and confess I knew very little about it until 2000AD published their collection of Monster. However I find the background facts and stories about titles from this period fascinating and McDonald has produced an absolute stunning history of a comic that has now acquired cult status.
Inside you will find interviews with Mr Ghastly McNasty himself, Ian Rimmer, and creators including Simon Furman, as well as snippets from Dave Gibbons, Ian Gibbons and David Roach. The multi-talented Mike Carroll has produced some stunning recreations of the planned covers for the unpublished issues 16, 17 and 18, the highlight of which may be the wraparound Haunted Wood image by Jose Casanovas, another Spanish artist that I know far too little about.
There are also intriguing glimpses of stories that were not published, or ideas that never came to fruition. Alan Moore’s unused plot for the Monster strip is chief amongst these, but there was also a shelved idea for a Werewolf story which the editors intended to ask the late, great Steve Dillon to draw. We all know and love Dillon’s Cry of the Werewolf story in the Prog so the idea of him creating more fanged menaces for Scream! is a tantalising glimpse at what might have been.
Also included is an unpublished story called The Nightcomers with art by Jose Gonzales. Original writer Simon Furman has rescripted the tale and Jim Campbell has done a splendid job of restoring and lettering the artwork.
It’s Ghastly is another wonderful book from Hibernia. Sixty pages, ten of them in colour and available for a mere £7.50 from their website. Their print runs are limited so grab a copy now while stocks last and learn more about “Britain’s creepiest comic”. Highly recommended.