Sunday 26 February 2023

2000 AD - January 1985.

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon

There's only one reason you're reading this post.

And that's because it has a domain name which enables you to actually find it.

And, for that, this post can thank the month of January 1985.

Verily, it be true. In that very month, the internet's Domain Name System was created - and things would never be the same again.

But, away from such futuristic fare, January saw a project that some may have feared was lagging behind the times a little, as the charity single We Are the World was being recorded by USA for Africa, making it far too late for that all-important Christmas market. Then again, maybe it was merely spectacularly early for the next Christmas market.

No such tardiness on the UK singles chart where, thanks to it being mere days after the Festive Season, the month kicked off with Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? in top spot. But, inevitably, with Yuletide gone, it soon had to relinquish its crown. And it did so to Foreigner's I Want to Know What Love Is.

Love is, of course, a failure to score in tennis. I'm surprised a band of their resources and clout didn't have any means of discovering that.

Over on the British album chart, the month began with Various Artists' The Hits Album sitting pretty before forced to move aside for Alison Moyet's Alf which then, itself, gave way to Foreigner's Agent Provocateur

That was all delightful. But what of the galaxy's greatest comic?

It was still giving us the familiar diet of Rogue Trooper, Tharg's Future-ShocksNemesis the Warlock, Judge Dredd, The Stainless Steel RatThe Hell Trekkers and Ace Trucking Co.

However, there was one new element, thanks to the addition of the 2000 AD 1985 Calendar, Parts 1&2.

Interesting to see Prog 400's cover giving us a tribute to Roy Lichtenstein.

Or perhaps it was a tribute to whichever artist Roy'd borrowed the image from. Who can know? Not me, I'm a Philistine.

2000 AD Prog 399

2000 AD Prog 400

2000 AD Prog 401, Rogue Trooper

2000 AD Prog 402, Judge Dredd


Matthew McKinnon said...

I remember that Foreigner single suddenly being number one. But for some reason it reminds me of the science lab at school [?!!].
Maybe I heard it on the radio that morning and it was still going around in my head at school.

Brendan McCarthy wins with that cover.

Pop quiz: do you prefer the early 'shiny' Brendan McCarthy artwork, or the later 'inky' stuff?

I like that Nemesis / ABC cover though. Quite muscular.

I'm very surprised Prog 400 didn't feature a massive picture of Tharg congratulating himself, like most special issues did. There was still a fair bit of Tharg action going on at this point, wasn't there? He hadn't become passe?

For all its pop art referencing and explosions, it is a weirdly inert cover. Is the back of the wraparound any better? Does it make sense of it?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the best cover is the one for prog 402, Matthew. Also, the Future Shock inside is a Milligan/McCarthy joint.

As for your pop quiz, my preferred Brendan is early Brendan.
Not counting the first years in the progs - some of that stuff was pretty iffy - but from when I was first really struck by his work in an American anthology called Vanguard* that included 'Freakwave' in the first three issues - to around the mid-90s.
I was mad for his contributions to Strange Days, 'Sooner or Later', 'Rogan Josh', and his Dredds, especially the colour ones.

The later stuff is fine, but for me it lacks something in comparison. He still has the ideas but its like he can't quite be bothered to realize them as stylishly. Fair enough really: comics never appreciated him enough, and films pay better.

*Fun fact: Vanguard #1 came out the month before Swamp Thing #20, which means technically it was Peter Milligan that started the invasion of British writers in American comics, not Alan Moore (yes, I know I've mentioned that here once before, but its such a strange and unlikely factoid I daresay I'll bring it up again in the future).


Anonymous said...

On the subject of thrill power in America - and because I have nothing better to do just now than waste time looking up stuff - Camelot 3000 #12 finally came out this month, drawn by Brian Bolland of course.
As did Swamp Thing #35 - the first part of the Nukeface Papers - and Detective Comics #549, with the Green Arrow back up 'Night Olympics' by Alan Moore.

And from Marvel, Dr Who #7 featuring Sontarans and ninjas drawn by Dave Gibbons, and Absalom Daak by Steve Dillon. Both written by Steve Moore.

Also: Green Lantern #187 came out. Nothing to do with the progs - unusually at this point, no Dave Gibbons artwork - but I thought I'd mention it anyway because of the intriguing title of the Marshall Rogers GL Corps back-up, 'Forever Blowing Bubbles'.
One for the West Ham supporters out there maybe...


Anonymous said...

I like all of this month's covers and most featured Talbot on Nemesis, Cam Kennedy on Rogue Trooper plus decent-ish Dredd (Steve Dillon, Ian Gibson etc) and so overall passes (albeit a lowly C-). So Alan Moore has been on Swam Thing over a year before book 2 of Halo Jones had appeared? I'd have gotten that wrong in an alternative pop quiz.

Speaking of... I like early Brendan, but was mostly attracted to the colouring. I don't remember Vanguard but did buy Strange Days and Paradax (want there a one shot?). Having, presumably, come in half-way I don't recall much about Freak-wave, but it certainly looked nice. I did really liked Paradax, which in many ways is the spiritual predecessor to Zenith.

I think Marvel US planned a UK-centric reprint title featuring Gibbons' Dr Who and the Moore/Davis Captain Britain, which was derailed by Moore's toys and pram parting company. That would have ben a tasty baxter title in early 85. The good news is Moore planned seven books of Halo Jones and so we still had lots of UK Moore to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

*had been on Swamp Thing* and *wasn't there a one-shot?*

So few words, so many mistakes...


Matthew McKinnon said...

OK, this’ll separate the men from the boys…

Did anyone else buy the STARLORD annual from 1980? It was one of those Fleetway annuals they kept banging out even after the comic itself had folded (cf Action).

As per SOP it was full of bilge landfill reprints from old 50s and 60s comics, but it did feature a short Strontium Dog strip by none other than Brendan McCarthy - which was some of the most incredible artwork I’d ever seen.

It was reprinted a few years ago in a hardcover collection. It’s amazing.

Anonymous said...


I just downloaded that annual and while I wouldn't have picked the SD artwork at McCarthy, its very vividly coloured and very much in his style. It looks like they sprang for painted art for the six, or so, original pages.

BTW (sorry Steve if this breaks any rules - and please delete if so) however this site has almost every British comic:


Anonymous said...

Brendan McCarthy always had a great colour sense, even very early on.
Around the same time as 'Funfair of Fear' he did some nice colour for the double page spread of the first ABC Warriors episode - at the start of the progs' '& Tornado' era, when they briefly had better paper and printing - but then you turn the page, and the rest of its in black & white... not so good.

But obviously his work got a LOT better before long. Heres another Brendan Johnny Alpha with striking colour from a few years down the line -
Misattributed there, to Jim McCarthy

Fairly sure there were two issues of Paradax, Matthew. But I think the second was a reprint of the Strange Days stories, 'remixed' with different colour.


Steve W. said...

Matthew, sadly, I've never seen the back cover and, so, cannot comment.

I must confess I'm not familiar enough with Brendan McCarthy to judge his eras.

I didn't even know there were any Starlord annuals, let alone ones published after the comic's demise.

DW, thanks for the link.

Sean, thanks for the comments.

PS. Has anyone seen the Northern Lights, the last couple of nights? They're supposed to have been visible much further south than usual but I've seen neither hide nor hair of them.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you're not Northern enough, Steve. Er, no offence.

DW, Matthew - apologies for getting you mixed up with each other when I replied on the Paradax/one-shot thing.


Anonymous said...


Watch the skies! Some kinda weird stuff is going on up in the magnetosphere. I saw on the local news a day ago that the Aurora Borealis was supposed to be visible from South Dakota, which I think is rather rare. I'm on the south-eastern tip of the state and I haven't seen it. Also, I live in a city so there's a lotta light pollution, sadly.
I did see it once, in northwest Iowa. It's really something.
To quote Leonard Nimoy from that Simpsons episode he was in, "The cosmic ballet...goes on."