THE MIGHTY ONE Thrill-powered mem­oir

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re­leased OUT NOW! 320 pages | Pa­per­back Au­thor steve MacManus Pub­lisher 2000 ad

De­but­ing a full 10 months be­fore Star Wars ar­rived in the UK, 2000 AD was the brain­child of a for­ward­think­ing staffer in Fleet­way Publi­ca­tions’ com­pe­ti­tions de­part­ment who had seen the Em­pire loom­ing over the hori­zon. Land­ing, ac­cord­ing to The Guardian, “like a ther­monu­clear bomb” in the Bri­tish comics land­scape, the sci-fi an­thol­ogy mag promised “to­mor­row’s thrills to­day” to an ex­pec­tant gen­er­a­tion.

Un­ex­pect­edly in­her­it­ing the ti­tle when the pre­vi­ous edi­tor walked out, Steve MacManus guided the ad­ven­tures of Judge Dredd, Stron­tium Dog and co through most of the ’80s, when his di­rect re­ports in­cluded the likes of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Grant Mor­ri­son.

This en­ter­tain­ing mem­oir (sub­ti­tled My Life Inside The Nerve Centre) is cheer­ily evoca­tive of the era of Cow Gum and rub-down trans­fers. Ex­plo­sive ac­tion is largely con­fined to the strips, which MacManus dis­cusses with the en­thu­si­asm of a true comics evan­ge­list. Be­hind the scenes, it’s all of­fice pol­i­tics, pay grades and pro­duc­tion dead­lines, but MacManus has a lively eye for de­tail, and afi­ciona­dos will lap up such in­sight­ful minu­tiae about a ti­tle that’s still bring­ing us to­mor­row’s thrills, even to­day. Paul Kirkley

MacManus was once in­ter­viewed by Paula Yates on Chan­nel 4’s The Tube, while dressed as ed Tharg the Mighty.

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