¦ Features ¦ 2006AD
Best thing about 2000AD this year
Gavin Hanly: The
last six months of the weekly have proved to be another golden age for a comic
that has had quite a few of these recently, so singling out one "best thing"
is incredibly difficult. But Nikolai Dante making a
complete turnaround and once again becoming one of the most exciting things in
the comic has certainly been a high point for me.
Other things - the improvement in quality of the trade collection
range is worthy of mention and the Rogue Trooper game actually being quite good
was also very welcome.
James Mackay: Matt
continued rise to the position of greatest editor the comic’s ever had. In
a completely thankless job, with huge opportunities for grandstanding, scoring
freebies, arguing with fans and generally being a tit, Smith has quietly got
on with the job of producing a comic at the highest consistent quality threshold
since 2000AD began aiming at a teen/adult audience.
Robert Cornell: Rebellion
trade paperbacks. A year ago, they were an erratic and poorly
directed range. Now an ambitious series of must-buys, providing nostalgia from
glorious past, supporting present storylines and discretely skipping over the
1990s. My credit card has RSI.
Alex Frith: The Tom Frame tribute
spread. It's always fun to see old hands return to redraw some classic
characters, not to mention unsung heroes of the comics world receiving their
Stephen Watson: The
fact that the brand is going from
strength to strength with a great publishing schedule of books, t-shirts
and games. Hopefully this rude health will continue
A return to form for Nikolai Dante. In a double-whammy (sorry, if I've inadvertently
reminded you of the Dredd movie) the return of Simon Fraser to art duties after
almost five years (heralded by the amazing cover of prog
1511) alongside the
writer's decision to take Dante back to the core plot strands (left dangling
since the end of Tsar Wars in 2001's The Romanov Empire) turned this strip from
a veritable smorgasbord of doldrums (or an overly cloying dysfunctional mother-son
relationship stretched far too thinly) back into a compelling must-read cornerstone
of 2000AD, with Sword of the Tsar.
There was internet chatter about this
being solely due to the change in artist, but that's been proved wrong with Prog
2007's tale, featuring the return of the one character in the saga with any consistent
moral depth (Sergeant Elena Kurakin), beautifully rendered by John Burns.
Andrew Howe: I’ve given the writers
a hard time this year, but the quality of the artwork is undiminished. The
sheer variety on display is astonishing – Davis
and Cook working with colours so bright you gotta wear shades, Smudge and Coleby
flitting in and out of the shadows, Burns and Langley looking to the cinema for
inspiration, Garbett and Harrison defying categorisation, Yeowell and Ezquerra
checking in from the old school – most U.S. publications count themselves
lucky if they retain a single great artist for an entire year, while the weekly
has at least fifteen on high rotation (and that’s not counting the alumni
who were kind enough to make a guest appearance when a story required their particular
talents, for which thanks are due to Ian Gibson, Cam Kennedy and Brian Bolland).
Rogue Trooper - the game
Bryan Coyle: Rogue Trooper,
the game. So
good that a clone version (Gears Of War) was used as a major selling-point for
the newly-launched Xbox 360. Not actually that unmissable as a game, as
it was more or less a retread of aging PS2 duck and cover blaster 'Killswitch',
but still good fun, and had some clever ideas that I can already see being ripped
off elsewhere. It was a while before I realised that hearing Rogue, Helm,
Bagman and Gunnar speak with American accents was a bit 'off', though.
Adam Crabtree: 2006:
A good year for sudden turnarounds in fortunes (the astonishing revivals of Sinister Dexter and Nikolai
Dante, and the alarming backlash against Robbie Morrison’s previously lauded
Low Life (to be fair, Con Artist was rubbish…)).
It was a good year for
The Little Guy, with the Megazine playing host to some really incredible work
in its innovative new small press section (Mr Amperduke, Bulldog Empire and Dr
Roberto Tesla were all brilliance incarnate). It was also a good year for one-time
series’, with Malone (Yes!), Go Machine (Yes!), London Falling, Chiaroscuro
(Yes*2!), and Stone Island (Ack!) all carving a place in our hearts.
David Knight: The
Rogue Trooper game.
not a great computer games player myself, but the Rogue Trooper game made an
impression on my brother and nephew, and it was fun joining them on the PlayStation
2. There aren’t enough computer games based on 2000AD
properties, and from what I saw, this is a good one. With this game, Rebellion
is reaching an audience that would never bother reading comics.
The Hunting Party
Martin Charlton: It’s got to be the
graphic novel line up, I think. A mix of the old & the
new, putting out what fans want rather than ‘named’ product (See
Red Razors and a great deal of the DC line), with a constantly improving output
in terms of style & production values. Another great year from the invaluable
WR Logan: It has to be the continually
well put together graphic novel line and two books stand out especially.
Leviathan book is simply a work of art and a must for any 2000 AD fans collection
Case files are fantastic
but just piping those to the best soft cover prize is The
Complete Nemesis the Warlock: Volume 1, it’s thick & chunky
and there’s a hell of a lot of Nemesis for your money. The artwork by Kevin
O’Neill is fantastic, Redondo’s book two is still one of my favourite
pieces of 2000 AD art Pat Mills at his best before he started treating the reader
with the contempt he has in later years.
The Dredd Case files paved the way for
Rebellion to do these larger style books but the design team have surpassed themselves
with the Nemesis book.
Pete McCosh: The past six months have been
extraordinarily good. Of course there have still been duds, but the overall quality
has been exceptional and the signs are that this quality will continue for a
while yet. Prog 2007 – although I’m
not including it in my review of 2006 – was a real high-water mark: eight
stories and not a single crock amongst them must make it one of the best issues
in history. There have also been significant returns to form for Dante, Sin/Dex
(“discovery of” might be more appropriate than “return to” here),
Pat Mills and the Meg with it’s last issue of the year being a bit of a
corker after a very ropey period.
So, in my opinion, the best 2000AD related thing this year
has been 2000AD in
all its glory.
Joseph Saxton: Consistent
high quality in the weekly prog, I expect.