Gaze into the art of Dredd & co

Comic cu­ra­tion Forty years of 2000 AD are cel­e­brated in a dis­play of orig­i­nal art from the ‘galaxy’s great­est comic’…

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Since first go­ing into Earth’s or­bit in Fe­bru­ary 1977, weekly sci-fi comic 2000 AD has gone on to be­come one of the most im­por­tant ti­tles in the in­dus­try. The im­pact of the Bri­tish pub­li­ca­tion con­tin­ues to this day: 2000 AD re­mains an en­dur­ing crit­i­cal and com­mer­cial suc­cess.

Given its im­por­tant place in comic his­tory, it seems only right that 2000 AD is be­ing cel­e­brated by an ex­hi­bi­tion at Lon­don’s Car­toon Mu­seum. From fu­tur­is­tic law­man Judge Dredd to 50th cen­tury busi­ness­woman Halo Jones, orig­i­nal art­work of the pub­li­ca­tion’s most iconic char­ac­ters are on dis­play.

“The Car­toon Mu­seum would have been derelict in its duty of pre­serv­ing and pro­mot­ing the best of Bri­tish cartoons and comic art by not cel­e­brat­ing the mile­stone that is the 40th an­niver­sary of 2000 AD, ‘the galaxy’s great­est comic’,” says comic artist, tu­tor and the Car­toon Mu­seum’s cu­ra­tor Steve Marchant. “Many of the great­est artists and writ­ers we have ever seen have sprung from its pages, and it con­tin­ues as a home for the very best to this day.”

Many of the great­est artists and writ­ers we have ever seen have sprung from its pages

Fea­tured artists in­clude Carlos Ez­querra, the orig­i­na­tor of Judge Dredd and Stron­tium Dog, Rogue Trooper co-cre­ator Dave Gibbons and award-win­ning fine artist Si­mon Davis. There’s also work by stal­wart 2000 AD artists Brian Bol­land, Mike McMa­hon, Ian Gib­son and Henry Flint.

There’s over 80 pages of orig­i­nal art­work, so vis­i­tors will get a taste of each decade. “Whether peo­ple only read it in their youth or have con­tin­ued buy­ing it to this day, there’s plenty here to en­joy,” Steve re­veals.

Sup­ported by Re­bel­lion Pub­lish­ing, Fu­ture Shock: 40 Years of 2000 AD in­cludes rare pages loaned by artists and collectors. The ex­hi­bi­tion runs un­til 23 April at Lon­don’s Car­toon Mu­seum – for more de­tails, visit www.car­toon­mu­seum.org.

The stylish art­work for Halo Jones was cre­ated by Ian Gib­son. The Har­lem He­roes, il­lus­trated by Dave Gibbons, were part of 2000 AD’s orig­i­nal line-up. Ron Smith started draw­ing Judge Dredd in 1979, giv­ing the feared law­man more re­al­is­tic pro­por­tions.

Mu­tant bounty hunter Stron­tium Dog, drawn here by Carlos Ez­querra, was orig­i­nally cre­ated for 2000 AD’s sis­ter ti­tle, Star­lord, which lasted for 22 is­sues.

Si­mon Davis’ cover cel­e­brates 2000 AD’s Bri­tish ori­gins, dur­ing the era of punk music.

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