Future Shock! The story of 2000AD

Future Shock! The story of 2000AD

Wed, 2016-02-24 19:07

This is a documentary created by Nick Harwood, Jim Hinson, Sean Logan, Helen Mullane, and Neil Collymore. The film is largely a talking heads event but the heads do have some noteworthy things in them. I will carp and cavil about it later but it is an interesting, informative and even entertaining 105 minutes.
Ostensibly about the history of 2000AD its chronology is less than rigorous and some later artists, editors and writers get a word in while some early ones are absent. The warm recollections of the early guys creates the impression of a group of enthusiastic and committed friends with a belief in themselves and each other to be able to create something new and idiosyncratic. It is a one-voice-at-a-time presentation of some of the good old boys and their recollections.
The longest and loudest of the voices is that of 2000AD first editor Pat Mills and there is at times the implication that the comic sprang fully formed from his noble head. What he did do was allow a new relationship with the creators, embodied in the credit panel identifying artist, writer and lettering artist. They were given the freedom to be individualistic - and get artwork back. Judging from the stories and art of the early issues it looks as though the wish was to do another boys comic only rowdier. With the punk movement quoted as a stimulus there are claims of its content being anti – authoritarian but politically it was more impudent than revolutionary - though some of its writing and art were both.
There was some pride and some resentment offered at the number of steals made from 2000AD though no apologies for all the pilfering and cashing in (giant shark anyone?) that they have been capable of.
There is a short piece being polite about the absence of women as creators and characters. Red Durham and Halo Jones - who differed from the male characters pretty much only in the body shape - are mentioned as exceptions, but no reference to Judge Anderson??!!! Even without special interest that does seem a remarkable omission.
There are notable absences from the creator role-call too. There is a brief mention of Simon Bisley but of the ground breaking and influential Mick McMahon or Glenn Fabry not a word. The two longest serving editors, Steve MacManus and Richard Burton, are strangely absent too.
The images are limited, artwork flashing by. Visually the most captivating thing was the variety of furry face furniture on display. At times you might think Jim Henson provided the cast rather than Jim Hinson.
Somebody should do a fully researched and genuine history of 2000AD while the people who made it are still around to consult. 2000AD’s longevity is greater than most British comics managed and its effect wider than any. Creating a space for innovation and originality it served as a nursery for many of the most successful artists and writers in the English-speaking comics world, a surprising number of these going on to have an impact on a wider popular culture.
My un- studied take has always been that the success of 2000AD was due to the collective and individual genius of Alan Grant, John Wagner, Brian Bolland and Mick MacManus. It was their intelligence, boldness and originality that created what was best and most singular in the look and outlook that was to become so influential.

This is a documentary created by Nick Harwood, Jim Hinson, Sean Logan, Helen Mullane, and Neil Collymore. The film is largely a talking heads event but the heads do have some noteworthy things in them. I will carp and cavil about it later but it is an interesting, informative and even entertaining 105 minutes.
Ostensibly about the history of 2000AD its chronology is less than rigorous and some later artists, editors and writers get a word in while some early ones are absent. The warm recollections of the early guys creates the impression of a group of enthusiastic and committed friends with a belief in themselves and each other to be able to create something new and idiosyncratic. It is a one-voice-at-a-time presentation of some of the good old boys and their recollections.
The longest and loudest of the voices is that of 2000AD first editor Pat Mills and there is at times the implication that the comic sprang fully formed from his noble head. What he did do was allow a new relationship with the creators, embodied in the credit panel identifying artist, writer and lettering artist. They were given the freedom to be individualistic - and get artwork back. Judging from the stories and art of the early issues it looks as though the wish was to do another boys comic only rowdier. With the punk movement quoted as a stimulus there are claims of its content being anti – authoritarian but politically it was more impudent than revolutionary - though some of its writing and art were both.
There was some pride and some resentment offered at the number of steals made from 2000AD though no apologies for all the pilfering and cashing in (giant shark anyone?) that they have been capable of.
There is a short piece being polite about the absence of women as creators and characters. Red Durham and Halo Jones - who differed from the male characters pretty much only in the body shape - are mentioned as exceptions, but no reference to Judge Anderson??!!! Even without special interest that does seem a remarkable omission.
There are notable absences from the creator role-call too. There is a brief mention of Simon Bisley but of the ground breaking and influential Mick McMahon or Glenn Fabry not a word. The two longest serving editors, Steve MacManus and Richard Burton, are strangely absent too.
The images are limited, artwork flashing by. Visually the most captivating thing was the variety of furry face furniture on display. At times you might think Jim Henson provided the cast rather than Jim Hinson.
Somebody should do a fully researched and genuine history of 2000AD while the people who made it are still around to consult. 2000AD’s longevity is greater than most British comics managed and its effect wider than any. Creating a space for innovation and originality it served as a nursery for many of the most successful artists and writers in the English-speaking comics world, a surprising number of these going on to have an impact on a wider popular culture.
My un- studied take has always been that the success of 2000AD was due to the collective and individual genius of Alan Grant, John Wagner, Brian Bolland and Mick MacManus. It was their intelligence, boldness and originality that created what was best and most singular in the look and outlook that was to become so influential.

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