The documentary about one of the most important and influential comics in Britain - no, sorry - one of the most important and influential comics in the world - gets a UK DVD release courtesy of Metrodome.
It’s difficult now to describe the effect 2000AD had when it appeared in newsagents back in the late 1970s. I can remember it because I was there, and I was the proud owner of the first 50 issues until my father decided they would be better off down the local market rather than cluttering up my bedroom.
I was also a keen 8 year old reader of Action, the comic that preceded 2000AD but set the tone for its graphic, ultra-violent approach to storytelling. The story of Action provides a nice introduction to the subject of the documentary proper, which features interviews with many of the main movers and shakers including creator Pat Mills (who also gets the last word), a number of editors from the comic’s history, and some of the artists and writers who worked for the comic and went on to become superstars in their own right (Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison and more).
We get some insightful and biting comments on the Stallone JUDGE DREDD movie and quite a bit of praise for the more recent Karl Urban-starring DREDD (Mr Urban is also interviewed). The influence of the comic on other movies is also touched upon - Nacho Vigalondo pops up to talk about his movie TIMECRIMES and there’s a bit of chat about Richard Stanley’s HARDWARE as well.
Are there any glaring omissions? Well I’ll admit British comic history is not something I know a lot about, but I was surprised there was no mention of Starlord, the short-lived IPC sister title that gave rise to John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s Strontium Dog, itself one of 2000AD’s most popular characters that remained following the merging of the two titles.
Overall, though, this is an excellent documentary, both of the changing face of Britain through the 1970s and 1980s and how 2000AD became an unlikely voice for some of the angriest and most creative satirists in the country, even if some might not have realised it at the time.Metrodome’s DVD comes with a pdf file as an extra that’s a fantastic introduction to some of the comic’s most famous characters. Basically you get the first episode of the adventures of Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Slaine, Nemesis the Warlock, Strontium Dog, Halo Jones, Nikolai Dante, ABC Warriors, Kingdom, and Shakara. Pop it into your computer and glut yourself on the very best the UK comics industry has to offer. After you’ve watched the documentary, of course.
Metrodome are releasing FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY OF 2000AD on Region 2 DVD on 7th December 2015