I loved them growing up, and I still love them now.
My first was obviously the Beano, but I quickly moved on to Battle, Bullet and Action. Three amazing titles from my childhood.
Hookjaw in Action was about a huge Great White shark that had a harpoon through its chin. It was a supremely gory graphic, and was always in colour, which made my already growing inner horror fan smile with delight. As soon as someone entered the water, you just knew it was going to end badly.
In Bullet there was Fireball, a secret agent. Totally over the top but again I loved the stories, and I even sent off for the Fireball kit pictured above. I remember that little package dropping through my letterbox. I tried to be a secret agent but failed miserably – I couldn’t stop telling people about it, so I was obviously never cut out for a career in espionage. Three Men in a Jeep was just one of many awesome war tales in Battle. Then there was Crazy comic. At its launch, and for a few months after, there was always a free toy on the front, usually a joke of some description. Crazy took over from the Beano for me. It was completely anarchistic.
Then, the Big One arrived.
I remember there used to be comic adverts on the TV, and I saw the Mighty Tharg telling us Earthlets to go out on Wednesday to our local Thrill Merchant and get a powerful input of Thrill Power. It was 1977. I was 12 years old, and 2000AD entered my life. Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Nemesis the Warlock, Slaine, over the years countless classic characters and stories. It can only be Tharg’s majestic directing that made that possible. Every week without fail his mighty organ landed in my hands. And then came the others, like Judge Dredd Megazine, and 2000AD monthly.
When the year 2000 arrived I wondered what they would do. Would they change the name to 3000AD? Would it be daft buying a futuristic comic called 2000AD in 2016? In truth it didn’t matter at all. They changed nothing and that was fine. 2000AD really talks of this next millennia, not just the year that has now passed. And although I have literally boxes of old 2000AD comics, for the past few years I’ve been downloading them through the app on my iPad – a very 2000AD thing to do. The app isn’t as good as the Comixology app, which is simply brilliant, but it does the job and each Wednesday I sit down to have my regular dose of Thrill Power.
This love affair began in 1977 when I was 12. I’m now 51 and I still love it.
Last Wednesday 2000AD reached an amazing milestone. It was the 2000th issue and it saw the return of many of the characters that had first turned me onto the comic, and SciFi in general back in the day. A bumper issue that I’m not rushing through. Battle, Action, Bullet and Crazy all gradually stopped production, but 2000AD is still there. A wonderful link and journey that has been with me almost my entire life.
That’s really quite something.
Well done Tharg and his Droids! Here’s to many more!