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Author Topic: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020  (Read 4587 times)

SmallBlueThing(Reborn)

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2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« on: 19 June, 2020, 10:16:22 AM »
Is the forum getting slow to respond to things? The scifi special unexpectedly dropped through the letterbox yesterday, and was devoured last night.

100 pages, four new strips and features, a double page spread, and an interview- in total roughly a 50/50 new/reprint, £7.99. And while that may seem more expensive than usual in comparison to the similarly 100 page end of year progs, I have to say I enjoyed this one more than perhaps any similar 2000AD publication in memory. Going back to the original prog 2000, at least.

The reason? Two of the new strips- Dredd and Kingdom- are among the best of their kind I've ever read. The Dredd one will just make everyone smile, and Kingdom brought a lump to my throat, and made me briefly consider dripping writer Dan Abnett a line thanking him. How often does that happen? Fans of The Red Seas and Storm Warning, two strips I'm not usually enamored with, will be pleased to hear both are back in here, with new stories- and both are very, very good.

The reprints include my favourite Sinister Dexter episode, what is probably the best single episode of Dante, Al Ewing's first work for Tharg- a particularly effective Terror Tale- and 'Leaving Rowdy Yates', a Dredd that deserves to be read again and again.

The feature article on "the best strips of the Rebellion years" is considered and serves as a delicate pointer to readers that there is a hall of a lot more where this came from. And the interview with Jason Kingsley is candid and should placate a few worries when it comes to things such as sales and circulation, as well as the future- which is spoken of in terms far more specific than we are perhaps used to.

Theres a double page art spread, that in past years would have been a Star Scan, but these days does seem somewhat of a man odd relic of the days when we would have eagerly stuck these things on our walls. Lovely though.

I couldnt be happier. As a stand alone sample of everything the modern prog is, they couldnt have put together a better package. I hope it sells by the bucket load.

SBT

Bolt-01

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #1 on: 19 June, 2020, 10:21:25 AM »
I think that my thrill-buffers were damaged by this episode of Kingdom as Storm Warning made me cry.

All of the strips were judged well and thoroughly deserving of being seen.

Thanks to Cyber-Matt for holding the command Module together and giving us such a fantastic treat.

SmallBlueThing(Reborn)

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #2 on: 19 June, 2020, 10:30:03 AM »
It was indeed. Inwas reminded throughout of that old squarebound 'Best of 2000AD' special, that reprinted Red Planet Blues and The Secret Life of The Blitzspear- and which has always been my absolute favourite 2000AD publication, full stop- and the one "desert island prog" I'd always grab, if forced. That one was all reprint- that this one was half new, and the new half managed to be even better than the old, just makes this wary old squaxx beam from ear to ear.

As an aside- can we PLEASE have an "edit" function back? Even with the "preview" function on posts, typos still creep in when dealing with the eccentricities of smartphones, and I hate looking like someone who cant use the English language.

SBT

IndigoPrime

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #3 on: 19 June, 2020, 10:59:05 AM »
Perhaps we can look into expanding the edit window (which, IIRC, is currently five minutes). Although we are now in a good place with the forum, it’s unlikely we will leave posts to be permanently editable.

Colin YNWA

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #4 on: 19 June, 2020, 08:58:58 PM »
Wow. Just wow.

When 2000ad gets things right it just gets things so very, very right. This years Sci-fi Special is one of those things and to be fair therefore encaptulates perfectly Rebellion's 20 years at the helm. 2000ad done perfectly.

Somewhere in these parts we (and I include myself) questioned quite why there was so much reprint in this comic. The answer is its just what it needs. The choices are just absolutely spot on. Worth noting was well it makes it a bumper package. So no one is being short changed.

Then there's a couple of text articles - but they don't feel like filler. Karl Stock puts his entry in for Broodblik's The Rebellion Years Top 10 Series - Tournament. Except he get it wrong, does a top 20, includes the Meg and doesn't add all the strips I love most (he gets quite a few mind). Its like he didn't even bother to read the opening post.

Then there is a nice interview with Jason 'The talky one' Kingsley. And it nothing new, but really rather nice. Just perfect warm fuzzes.

So all of that before you get to the real highlights. There's no need to give blow by blow accounts on how good all this is, you simply have to name the strips, all built on the simple premise of what if Rebellion 2000ad met pre-Rebellion 2000ad. So we get:

Kingdom vs. Shako
Storm Warning vs Blackhawk
Red Seas vs Ant Wars - f**k me, have you ever heard of anything more perfect than Red Seas vs Ant Wars - oh that this was 8 parts not 8 pages!

and the absolute highlight of all this Dredd vs Zombo. Simply the funniest things I've, seen / read / heard / consumned in any form in a long time (well this isn't true as I watched a Bill Hicks documentry recently, but aside from that). Its just perfect. Page 4 alone as Dredd makes it clear that 'Mister Helmet' isn't a name that's going to carry, is worth the cover price along. 12 perfect panels. Al Ewing and Jake Lynch just deliever it so perfectly. Oh and they pack quite the fantastic punchline too.

So yeah this is the perfect Special and not too damned far off the perfect comic. If you haven't buy it now. In fact buy 4 and give three away - just superb.

Okay I'll stop saying 'Perfect' now...

Oh and you know what the cover just sums it up. Its so exciting to see Jock draw Dredd on a cover again. But he's looming over the famous panorama of... Oxford... that shouldn't work. But a magnificent creator, like those inside of course pulls it off perfec... sublimely.

Richard

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #5 on: 20 June, 2020, 01:05:58 PM »
I really enjoyed this. Four new stories, five very well-chosen reprints, an interview, a best-of-the-last-20-years feature, and two star scans. It's nice to see Al Ewing back, and his Judge Dredd vs Zombo story is mental.

Unexpectedly, though, the highlight for me was the interview with Jason Kingsley, because he reveals that four times more people are reading 2000AD now than when Rebellion acquired it 20 years ago. Yay!

IndigoPrime

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #6 on: 20 June, 2020, 01:07:50 PM »
The Kingsley interview might be nothing new in terms of subject matter, but some of the pieces of information — as noted earlier — were surprisingly candid. Also, if retail has only dropped slightly (COVID aside), that’s a big deal for any publication over the past 20 years. (Most I work on have lost anything up to 50%.) If subs are ramping up, that can only be a good thing. (Subscriptions mean more of your money goes directly to the publisher, rather than to a retailer, and is more likely to help keep said publication alive.)

Tomwe

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #7 on: 20 June, 2020, 01:37:50 PM »

Tomwe

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #8 on: 20 June, 2020, 01:40:12 PM »
I am loving this issue. It was delivered to my neighbour by mistake and I'm sure she had a good 'ol peek before letting me know.

I've not read the Terror Tale before and it is quite something. Dredd interacting with Zombo was hilarious and yes the Kingdom strip makes me yearn for more of Gene!

Top notch stuff all round!

Tomwe

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #9 on: 20 June, 2020, 01:40:56 PM »
too late to edit now - sorry if saying who Dredd is interrogating is a spoiler!

Colin YNWA

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #10 on: 20 June, 2020, 01:41:21 PM »
The Kingsley interview might be nothing new in terms of subject matter, but some of the pieces of information — as noted earlier — were surprisingly candid. Also, if retail has only dropped slightly (COVID aside), that’s a big deal for any publication over the past 20 years. (Most I work on have lost anything up to 50%.) If subs are ramping up, that can only be a good thing. (Subscriptions mean more of your money goes directly to the publisher, rather than to a retailer, and is more likely to help keep said publication alive.)

Yeah and more significently the assumption has always remained that numbers have dropped - as most publications I think (???) over the last 20 years but 2000ad numbers - during the 20 years of Rebellions time are up overall. This includes physical sales being up overall and subs and digital being four times as much.

That's got to be great news right? Or have I misread / interupted that?

IndigoPrime

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #11 on: 20 June, 2020, 01:46:28 PM »
Short of what’s being said in the interview being wildly misinterpreted, you’re not missing anything. Kingsley states that readership is up on when Rebellion took over. By any measure, that is against the grain of publishing, whether that’s comics or beyond.

Richard

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #12 on: 20 June, 2020, 04:36:19 PM »
Physical sales in shops are actually slightly down, but not by much. But subs and digital are up fourfold.

TordelBack

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #13 on: 20 June, 2020, 05:20:20 PM »
Is the Summer Special not on the App yet, or am I missing something? 

Interesting about the digital sales - since I shifted to digital (against my will), I find I'm buying a lot more Rebellion downloads with the savings - so for example I've started getting the Meg too, for about the same money I'd spend in a month on just the physical Prog, and I find myself grabbing Specials and back-Megs I've missed every few weeks. I haven't really been buying the Treasury volumes physically (just Charley's War and Marney), but having really enjoyed the Valiant 'origin stories' in this week's Meg floppy I'm becoming seriously tempted to do so digitally. 

That's not doing my LCS any good, and I do intend to buy up the physical progs I've missed through them when all this shite is over, but it has to be a lot more moolah going direct from my bank account to Rebellion than there has for many years.

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL 2020
« Reply #14 on: 20 June, 2020, 05:29:34 PM »
Hrmn...I'm wondering if this is going to be available digitally ... shop currently says no.
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