I never should have doubted it. Today, at along last, Tucker Stone and Joe McCulloch present some kind of overview of of 2000 A.D. I hope this serves as… who knows? I don’t go to comic book stores anymore! If one opened up again in my neighborhood, I’d probably start reading Matt Fraction comics. Anyhow, I’ll let Joe explain:
The Comics Journal has looked at 2000 AD before, and interestingly enough for a magazine now mostly (and not undeservedly) associated with elitism, it looked upon 2000 AD and the reprinted classics with no small measure of affection. During the time period when Brian Bolland was composing new covers for the Quality reprints of Dredd and other semi-popular stories, the 122nd issue devoted itself almost entirely to British Comics. Behind a Brian Bolland cover that represents both how America views itself as well as how much Britain likes to yank its chain for being so serious about everything, the Journal pretty much stuck to praising the comic, remarking that it was pretty much the best thing that the Brits had produced. They weren’t wrong to do so at the time, and while the art and alt comics scene has certainly become a force to reckon with, 2000 AD is still a thing that the Redcoats (whatever) can hold up as a sterling example of comics as pure entertainment.
Beginning in 2010, Simon & Schuster took over the role of publishing collections of 2000 AD material in hopes of reaching a U.S. audience. What follows is an attempt to give this work some measure of context, review, discussion and/or responsssssssss *ss*sSSsssssssss*ss*SsssssSssssssssSsSss*ssSs*SSsSSSSss
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Hi, this is Joe McCulloch. You might know me from the treasures of wisdom I impart each and every week in the shopping list column elsewhere on this site, but today I am addressing you from the crossroads of time! To the best of my knowledge, the preceding text was written by Tucker Stone at some point in 2011; at that time, Tucker was not yet an active columnist for the Journal, though his keen interest in 2000 AD — coupled with his formidable work as a blogger and outside columnist — had led the editors of this site (then not yet a year into its present incarnation) to suggest he write an overview of the 2000 AD collected editions which Simon & Schuster had begun releasing in North America the year prior. This publishing endeavor remains a work in progress – as did this essay, until earlier this week.
I had initially entered the picture in 2013, when Tucker had approached me with the idea of turning his overview into a dialogue between the two of us. I didn’t (and don’t) own many of the S&S books — which, for the purposes of clarity, are sometimes new collections of 2000 AD comics released especially for the North American market, but more often are simply slight variants on UK editions printed in (or sometimes just distributed to) the United States — but I had read many of the component parts. I do not know if this was intended to speed up the process, but suffice to say involving me in something like that is not so much leaving a fox to guard the henhouse as actually cooking the chickens for the fox and then fastening a bib around its neck. For months (years) we picked at a Google doc, while Simon & Schuster kept publishing books. Lest we forget, 2000 AD itself continued to publish a new issue almost every week. Tucker suspended his Journal column, became a comics publisher, accepted an industry job and his family grew; life took over. As luck would have it, however, *I* remained in complete personal and professional stasis, which made me the ideal candidate for posting something resembling a finished product on tcj.com for all of you to enjoy. Everything written by me appears in italics, while everything by Tucker will look normal.
And that’s going to have to be enough! It’s a day off today!