Tuesday, April 14, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Comics That Shaped Me (Part 2)

2000AD (1977-present)

I read the odd other comic while I was a kid, things like Bullet, Whizzer & Chips, but they were just the odd one here and there when I had a little spare pocket money. Super Spider-Man was my subscription of choice until I picked up issue 2 of 2000AD. I completely missed the first issue, but I was a bit of a fan of the Six Million Dollar Man on TV, and there were these free sticker that you put on yourself to make you look bionic - sorry, "Biotronic" for copyright reasons.

Of course, issue 2 was a bit of a landmark in British comics, as it featured the first appearance of Judge Dredd. I'm sorry to say that a couple of the strips did nothing for me at the time - I wasn't much of a fan of Dan Dare, and the Invasion strip wasn't "sci-fi" enough for me, but I enjoyed Dredd, loved Harlem Heroes and their cool jetpacks, and especially M.A.C.H.1 - the bionic man rip-off.

It was cool and became my regular read replacing Spider-Man (sorry Spidey) for many years.

When Starlord came along as well, I was definitely in my element. I don't think my folks were too unhappy with getting two titles a week instead of one for me, as I was reading at least, but that didn't last long anyway - Starlord only lasted twenty-odd issues before it was merged with 2000AD, bringing with it most of the strips I enjoyed. Ro-Busters was one I really enjoyed, but I seem to remember really liking Timequake as well.

Harlem Heroes became Inferno - a more violent version of the game inspired by Rollerball, and Sam Slade Robo-Hunter started up. But I have really strong memories of some of the 2000AD strips.

The Cursed Earth saga, the Judge Child, and Judge Cal, were all brilliant. I remember the Cursed Earth storyline of Judge Dredd having some marketing tie-in with Matchbox as they produced vehicles for their Adventure 2000 range that became the Killdozer and Landraider in the strip (or vice-versa). I'm sure I've still got my Killdozer somewhere...

The A.B.C. Warriors spinoff from Ro-Busters was a favourite as well, and I think everyone loved Joe Pineapples. And I have a very fond memory of Ace Trucking Co. and their bizarre space-trucking jargon, and the Ballad of Halo Jones.

But my interest was waning, and I kinda gave up on 2000AD, and comics in general for a while, in the mid 80's, selling my collection to Milo from my D&D group (who still has them now as far as I know).

One thing I do particularly remember from my years of reading 2000AD was the Summer Special from 1977. It was a collection of new slightly longer stories if I remember correctly, but something really stood out in that issue.

A double page spread about an upcoming movie called Star Wars. I had no idea what it was but it looked cool. I managed to find someone has written a whole chunk on Star Wars' appearances in 2000AD, including that double page spread, and it's well worth a read. Check it out here.

Which nicely brings me to tomorrow's post...

Stay tuned, stay safe!

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