THE MIGHTY ONE Thrill-powered memoir
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.