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Community Forums › Comic books › Other › British comics creators, and comics such as '2000 A.D.'
British comics creators, and comics such as '2000 A.D.'

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darwin
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Joined: Jun 20, 2013
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Location: Colbert

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:15 am    Post subject: British comics creators, and comics such as '2000 A.D.'

I grew up in the UK, though all the first standard comics I read were UK printings of US comics. I also read several British newspaper comics that are printed in books I read there or that relatives & friends sent later, or sent newspaper pages, namely 'Rupert' (some of the greatest sequential art ever), 'Oor Wullie', 'The Broons'... but going back on trips, since I was 12, I read some actual British comic magazines, starting with several kids' humour cartoon ones ('The Beano', 'The Dandy', 'The Topper', 'The Beezer', 'Funday Times') published cheap in newsprint (not always in newspapers), and the boys' non-fiction & sci-fi & fantasy magazine 'The Eagle' (as well as one Marvel printing of a possibly US comics), which is no longer in print but had a classic space hero, Dan Dare, who is much like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, but is a pilot in the RAF or whatever space military the UK has in that series. When I was 12, I also read 'Commando', a long-time war comic that has about as much as the smaller-sized Archie comics but is a different shape (based on metric, of course). At age 13 - 14, I read (in USA) 'Star Wars: Dark Empire', illustrated by Scottish artist Cam Kennedy, one of my all-time favourites. When I returned next at age 18, 'The Eagle' was over, so I read 'Judge Dredd', which I think is ok but am not as big a fan of. After one college roomate, somewhat, and the owner of the comic store of where I lived last often talked about British writers such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, and when I saw art I liked in a Free Comic Book Day '2000 A.D.' comic, I started subscribing to that through Merlyn's.

'2000 A.D.' is actually available cheapest digitally (and secondly, on paper in the UK, etc.), but I prefer to buy it here. The digital versions are DRM-free, but I mostly prefer paper copies and buying from local stores, though if more comic shops start selling digital issues, I might do that from the store I go to one day (I will be going to Merlyn's as long as I am in Spokane, but I am looking for a job and might get one elsewhere in the PNW).

'Rupert', a modern fantasy cartoon/comic, is about a humanoid child bear, and is a beautifully-illustrated old style cartoon/comic done in typically four-panel pages of sequential art without word balloons (it has text at the top of each page, like a description phrase, and poetic couplets beneath each panel, and story text at the bottom). It is my favourite cartoon/comic in terms of style, of which 'Prince Valiant' (an American comic, I think, but in a European/British setting, mostly Camelot) is almost as good, though now, as an older reader, I like the story of that a bit more.

Judge Dredd is said to be a parody of what USA is like in some ways, from a European viewpoint, and how people hope it does not turn out in the future.

There was a Dan Dare comic written by Garth Ennis (a British writer) and published by Virgin Comics (even in USA) several years ago, which was reprinted by Dynamite Entertainment. Many of the old Dan Dare Eagle strips have also been being reprinted. About when I read that, the comic shop owner of where I used to live also sold me some issues of a US printing of an older Dan Dare and maybe '2000 A.D.' series that, IIRC, was published in '2000 A.D.'.

'2000 A.D.' is an anthology, which (though it is magazine-sized like all native British comics I have seen, as of 1997) I would say the most similar American comic is 'Dark Horse Presents' or other sci-fi & fantasy anthologies. Actually, '2000 A.D.' probably also has some horror and maybe other stuff. It has a 'programme' of several stories per issue, i.e., episodes or likely also one-offs, so each issue is also now called a 'prog'. The episodes are short and written in a way that normally allows the artists as much leeway as they want, so the art is usually pretty good, and even great (IMO) often enough to make an artist such as myself like the magazine. The main story of '2000 A.D.' has been 'Judge Dredd' for decades, though it started with Dan Dare or both (maybe originally featuring Dare).

Almost all (modern-day, or at least for decades) British comics writers and probably artists (the only of which I know is Cam Kennedy), who become extremely popular or even known at all in USA have done so after being published in '2000 A.D.' first; I think all the British creators I mentioned have done, or still do stuff, for '2000 A.D.'.

When I mentioned I was getting '2000 A.D.', I recall someone at the counter, probably Scott, saying he likes British comic art (or maybe writing, but I had talked about the art). I like some of the first Free Comic Book Day '2000 A.D.' art that seemed digital, as well as some other stuff, but other than that, I probably like various US & UK art equally... actually I like Alex Ross the most, who if I recall, is from USA. I do not read enough DC & Marvel or whatever to know if I greatly like US digital comic art, but I think the best digital I have seen was mostly in '2000 A.D.'. I think I still like the old pen & ink, painted, and airbrush stuff best, or maybe now, equally to digital. British comic art also has some other styles I have only seen there, like not just colour and black & white (b&w), but something that is almost between because it is colour with just one or two colours used, for dramatic effect. I only saw that in 'The Eagle', as well as b&w, but Cam Kennedy's art is similar, and I would not be surprised to see such a style in '2000 A.D.'.

I only got into cartoons/comics because I have been an artist all my life, so I am basically in it for the art, or characters/teams, and genres/themes I like, and if the writing is good too, that is great... but it seems many people like British writers, or some of them do comics/series that many people like... like an Alan Moore Superman run, Grant Morrison's Batman one, various Neil Gaiman works, etc. As for artists, I recall 'Star Wars: Dark Empire' illustrated by Cam Kennedy going up to $100 value for #1 in the mid - '90s, but I do not know if it was also for the art or because it was the first new 'Star Wars' comic in years. One of my high school art classmates got into a Star Wars character as illustrated by Kennedy.

If I chose a series I liked the writing most of all, it would probably be a Golden - Silver Age American one with classic pre-superhero and space characters... well, actually, I like comics based on classic literature as much, especially mythology, which while the stories are not originally American, most adaptions in comics are.

Probably the British series of which I liked the writing most was 'Promethea' by Alan Moore, a series about a magical superheroine. I would say magic heroes (mythological and modern) have been my favourite for several years, since after I got out of reading superheroes in the mid-'90s (except, in the 00s, '80s cartoon ones), I mostly wanted to read and try to do comics based on mythology/legends or spiritual subjects.

I just wanted to introduce some British comics here, as half-Briton, and wait to see if anyone likes them or even if anyone mentions others, or ones with British creators, that I would like as much.
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