What are the essential Judge Dredd stories? In which progs did The Ballad of Halo Jones run? What year was the first appearance of Nemesis the Warlock? Just who are the Thrillsuckers? Look no further, Earthlets! Every strip and major character from 2000 AD’s trailblazing 45 year history is catalogued and detailed, accompanied by stunning artwork and illustrations. With this show-stopping hardcover collection, must-read characters and storylines from across the cosmos are at your fingertips!
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Alphabetically travel through the 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Magazine Worlds of Sci-fi Mighty Wonders... Scott Montgomery shares his encyclopedic knowledge of these two British science fiction comic magazines with captivating characters and compelling tales and so much more. Before delving into this encyclopedia, I’ll be honest my knowledge about these British comic magazines, 2000 AD and Judge Dredd was just a wee bit more than zilch. As four years after meeting my Darlin Husband, we’d watched the 18 rated Dredd (2012) film based on a character, Judge Dredd who was featured in these magazines. And that was about it. After the film, my then Darlin Boyfriend told me more about the lawman, and self-confessed “judge, jury and executioner” Judge Dredd. He stressed that this 2012 film version – with Karl Urban in the title role – was miles better than the “terrible travesty” of the earlier Sylvester Stallone film, Judge Dredd (1995). This particular film and character was vividly described by Roger Ebert as; “… about that future time, when anarchy reigns, and the citizens massacre one another in “Block Wars,” using machineguns to fight violent battles just for the fun of it, I guess, since the movie never really provides their motivation. The only force for law and order are the Judges – heavily armed and armored cops who double as judge and jury, and often execute criminals right on the spot.” Darlin Husband shared how had read the 2000 AD anthology comic magazine series as a kid. He enthusiastically told me more about the wild array of characters and their zany but imaginative stories and plotlines found in 2000 AD. This was his favourite comic book magazine in the 1980s, and you could tell. His vivid and warmly told descriptions of the plots and characters found in these magazines included those with bounty hunters, dinosaurs and even real-life British Prime Ministers. It sounded admittedly much more captivating than that time I heard about those Star Wars prequels, set in that saga set in a galaxy, far, far away. Then by chance, just recently, I spotted the 2000 AD Encyclopedia by Scott Montgomery meaning – at last – I could get more understanding of all these characters and this comic strip lore. After reading a wee bit more about these comic magazines on the internet – and then feeling equipped with a wee bit of basic knowledge – I tentatively started this book and entered the enticing world of Tharg, Judge Dredd and Tank Girl to name just three (from the contents page)… This extensive, well-researched and lovingly written encyclopedia is a tantalising tribute to these comic book magazine series. It was written by a lifelong fan of both magazines. To my joy, I learned the book was recommended for those of us who are new to these magazines. It also is a must-have book for those who have read them on and off since it all began in 1977 or devotedly collected every copy in these nearly 45 years. Scott Montgomery’s adoration for his subject is felt and seen on every page of his book. Be it in the meticulous and relevant detail that he provides for every character or entry, his deep insights and vivid descriptions into relevant storylines or his abundant knowledge of characters’ comic strip contemporaries within their stories over the entire four and a half decades since its inception, it’s a constant and unwavering love. The book includes an inviting colourful crazy mosaic of what seems like a zillion random characters from this comic magazine. This picture was created by Stewart K Moore and includes illustrations of characters of all shapes, sizes and colours. And as Montgomery advocates they; “present the unique idea engine that the 2000 AD anthology has always been.” This intricate picture compelled me to read more simply after observing those random, interesting and creatively drawn characters, robots, aliens and more. The book then has full two pages listing the contents, with an amazing 325 individual entries and these are listed in individual subsections in alphabetical ordered chapters. This impressed me for a book of just less than 340 pages, with less is more as I gained a deeper understanding of both characters and stories. Each alphabetical section in the contents and within the book is colour-coded as the same colour from a rainbow of bright colours. This colour code makes those individual entries easy to find, as each letter is a different colour than the preceding one. These entries have titles of “numerous scrotnig stories and characters”, from 13 (Thirteen) to Zumbo. Montgomery unintentionally (or intentionally) proves those writers have a strong creative streak as every letter has an entry. I just read through the titles alone and I discovered captivating and enticing titles from these comic magazines such as B.L.A.I.R 1, The Fargo Clan, Dreams Of Deadworld, Tales From The Doghouse and The Streets of Dan Francisco. The contents also include more Judges and Chief characters than your average fancy dress party. The book starts with an introduction in a huge slime green title saying Borag Thungg, Earthlets! This phrase I can assure you is not as scary as it sounds. But as any 2000 AD devotee will tell you it is in fact, a hearty familiar extra-terrestrial welcome to the book. The book’s foreword was written by (The Mighty) Tharg. This green alien has been the face of this magazine’s editor of these comics since it began and this comic magazine is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2022. Tharg, himself (itself?) is seen in an accompanying full-page picture. He writes this foreword with the help of Matt Smith – who is not also the Doctor Who (1963-) actor as I thought – the current real life editor. He reports enrolling Montgomery for what sounds like a mission impossible; When you picture that vast cast, Terrans, all those iconic series, spin-offs and reboots, it seems like a monumental thrill powered mountain to climb to gather all that info together under one cover. Tharg – with the help of Smith – then shares his exuberant joy that it was then a case of mission accomplished as the “Montgomery droid” achieved this monumental task. Tharg then endorses this book as an “encyclopedia of zarjazness” and that “No self-respecting Squaxx’s shelf should be without it.” Then it’s on to the individual content in this encyclopedia. Each individual entry is divided into two main parts named as Situational Report and a Supplemental Report. These reports are followed by a short summary of the character relevant progs – or series numbers of the magazines – these characters or stories are found in and relevant creators such as writers and illustrators are listed. The Situational Report shows Montgomery’s understanding of each character or story with warm vivid descriptions, such as Absalom as “Defiantly old-school and decidedly un PC” and Griffin’s “highly manipulative and ruthless mind.” Montgomery masterfully outlines each character and tells of their quirks and personalities. He elaborates about their origin stories and blends these with their relevant storylines within this comic magazine series. Other characters found in their individual comic strips are highlighted in bold capitals in this text and are often added in individual entries. His individual descriptions are always written in a non-patronising and non-mansplaining way but more like someone talking passionately about his best friends and lifelong companions and the adventures they had. Individual entries describe the characters stories and their tasks and missions. Montgomery outlines their motivations and their reason for being. These missions are varied – such as their involvement in wars between planets and as a private eye investigating murders – and found in short, but meaningful subsections. There is a wide range of character types and stories. To my surprise, these stories included werewolves, cowboys, Australian female bounty hunters and detectives. Their stories were also set in a variety of past, present and future years and genres. Montgomery’s warm and creative descriptions of their stories often reflect the content of the story itself in its genre and style. As a film fan, I could easily hear these descriptions read by Montgomery as part of a trailer narration for a spin-off film containing these characters or stories. Montgomery supports his writing with appropriate quotes from both the magazine series. Montgomery usefully explains acronyms, such as M.A.C.H. as Man Activated by Compu-puncture Hyperpower. These individual descriptions of this alphabetical array of characters and stories often hold up on their own, without further reading or explanation. The Supplemental Report is akin to the behind the scenes story of a movie. Montgomery gives detailed descriptions of the character’s historical entries throughout this comic series. He also references relevant numbers of magazines making this book useful for any collector. He often adds his analysis and supports his thoughts with quotes surrounding these storylines. He also writes affectionately about those who brought these characters to comic strip life, such as writers – such as Alan Grant and Grant Morrison – and illustrators such as Mark Harrison. Montgomery also adds more about the inception of the storyline and characters. Here he shows a strong love of pop culture and this comic book series. Here Montgomery recalls series which were written as homages to books such as Moby Dick. He also relates to their pertinent genres and those individual comic strip series’ contents were influenced by film and television series as varied as Escape from New York (1981) and Sapphire and Steel (1979-82). Other relevant in- comic strip story characters are seen in bold capitals. Each individual entry is accompanied by a well thought out, wonderful black and white line or full-colour picture as selected from those comic magazines. These creative and imaginatively drawn illustrations add substance to Montgomery’s vivid descriptions. After both seeing the picture and reading the plots, together these show the versatility, creativity and fantastically fertile imaginations and teamwork of those writers and illustrators. Often these pictures have cartoon speech bubbles, and this written text often supports Montgomery’s vivid descriptions of their personalities. Finally, in a separate coloured section, Montgomery gives a summary of the characters entries throughout this entire comic series. He lists and names relevant progs (progs are the numbers of these individual comic books). He also credits the series creators, its writers and illustrators behind each individual entry. The book itself ends with a separate index listing the editors, creators and illustrators before going full circle. This is as Montgomery returns to explain his ideas as represented in the earlier mosaic as he relates to both the picture’s characters and style. Then he lists the characters in this cover picture, and you should (hopefully) recognise a shed load more characters. Montgomery helpfully adds a number key naming the individual characters and their corresponding place within the picture. As a newbie, I learned so much more about this much-beloved comic book series. Most importantly that it’s not just one for the boys, but one for me too. It is a series for anyone who loves supernatural, sci-fi and quirky stories, everything from werewolves and killer ants, and political satire and pop culture be it films, books or TV. I now know it’s one magazine I would have loved reading as a kid. But I’ll be making up for it now as I check out my Darlin Husband’s 2000 AD collection. So for now, it’s splundig vur thrigg (farewell) but not goodbye to an encyclopedia, which had me at welcome to those comic books of now and yesteryear. And as a blogger who loves those pop culture references, I’m looking forward to sharing more insights from Montgomery, a new guide who took me to different times and spaces, and a mighty one he is too.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Rebellion Publishing for providing me with a digital ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.* Whether you're a long-time fan of the series, or have just recently gotten into it, the 2000 AD Encyclopaedia is your perfect companion! Jam-packed with detail, and stunning illustrations from the comics, if you ever needed a reason to start reading the classic 2000 AD comics, this book certainly will do the job.
An absolute treasure trove for any 2000 AD fan! Everyone knows at least a few characters from this ground-breaking comic (think Tharg, Strontium Dog and, arguably the most famous, Judge Dredd) but here is over 350 pages of every character that has ever appeared with a summary of each and also story highlights and first appearance details. Packed with detail and with reproduction illustrations from the comics - and believe me some are stunning for a weekly comic - this is a must have for any 2000 AD collector. May thanks to Rebellion Publishing and Net Galley for the ARC for review purposes.
"Borag thungg, Earthlets!" The year 2022 will mark the 45th birthday of 2000AD.. And let's clear up any confusion from the start: this refers to the popular weekly science fiction comic, 2000AD (which started in 1977) as opposed to the actual year, 2000AD (which started in...the year 2000).).. I hope that's clear.. Back in the pre-Star Wars, halcyon days of 1977, 2000AD burst onto the nation's newspaper shelves, transforming the world of British comics forever. Over the next 2,000 or so issues (or progs, as they are known in 2000AD-world), tens of thousands of pages of sci-fi and fantasy featuring everything from Mega-City lawman, Judge Dredd ("I am the law!"), eternal warrior of Nu Earth Rogue Trooper, intergalactic Hoop girl, Halo Jones, the alien Nemesis and his deadly human foe Torquemada ("be pure, be vigilant, behave!"), Celtic Conan, Slaine ("and he didn't think it too many") and countless other thrills, all courtesy of editor of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic, Tharg the Mighty. has appeared and indeed continues to do so today. And now, in the highly unlikely event you've missed anything, this new, comprehensive, fully illustrated new encyclopaedia is here to get you fully up-to-speed. covering everything from Ace Trucking Company to Zippy Couriers or from Anderson PSI to Zenith. So if you don't know your Ro-Busters from your Robohunters, your Wulf Sternhammers from your Wolfie Smiths, your Joe Dredds from your Joe Pineapples or your Gronks from your Grobbendonks, then this is the perfect book for you..
A completely scrotnig guide to everyone and everything that has ever graced the pages of 2000AD, still officially the galaxy’s greatest comic, and its sister title, Judge Dredd Megazine. This is the definitive concordance of thrillpower, 44 years in the making, from the A.B.C Warriors to Zombo. For those who used to read 2000AD back in the day, this thrill-packed tome is perfect to dip into for a nostalgia fix, while scholars of the comic will appreciate having all this zarjazz information in one place for easy reference. The cover art features over 40 characters from 2000AD’s colourful history, some obvious, others hidden in little incidental details. (There’s a guide at the back if you can’t identify them all). Each entry in the book has full details on the character or story’s first and subsequent appearances in the comic, artist details and related prog numbers, and every page is fully illustrated. The “2000AD Encyclopedia” is highly recommended, nay essential, for veterans and newbies alike.