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Brett Ewins, the influential British artist perhaps best known for his work on Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper, has passed away at age 59.
An early collaborator of Peter Milligan, whom he met at Goldsmiths College, and Brendan McCarthy, Ewins began providing covers for 2000 AD before soon reteaming with McCarthy on Future Shocks and Judge Dredd. His other 2000 AD work included ABC Warriors, Bad Company, Judge Anderson and the aforementioned Rogue Trooper.
U.K. publisher Rebellion has an Android app selling 2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine and its large selection of classic graphic novels. Signing up for a digital 2000 AD subscription also unlocks access to three months of back issues so readers can get caught up.
According to the publisher, 2000 AD and the Meg will be available for purchase day-and-date in-app and as DRM-free downloads in either PDF or CBZ format. The new Android app complements Rebellion’s existing iOS app, noteworthy for being one of the few not run through leading digital comics distributor comiXology.
To celebrate the launch of the 2000 AD app for Android, Rebellion shared with ROBOT 6 Greg Staples’ unreleased cover to 2000 AD prog 1915, featuring the return of Judge Death in “Dark Justice” by John Wagner and Staples. One of the first issues to debut inside the new Android app, prog 1915 goes on sale in-app on Feb. 1.
The 2000 AD app for Android is available now on Google Play.
This will not be a post about how Saga is awesome. I’ve written 30 of those already. No thrilling over Lying Cat here, no desperation for the next issue, none of my hopes to see The Will return to action or for [SPOILER] to [SPOILER] and [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER].
Nor will I lose my cool over the fact that, right now, my bookshelf contains two excellent and weird and hilarious China Mieville (China Mieville!)-penned trades of Dial H, complete with blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em anti-MPAA digs. Or that Neil Gaiman, in the – yikes — almost two decades since I picked up my first Sandman trade, has evolved from Sensational Comic Book Writer Neil Gaiman to MechaGaiman, Devourer of Worlds, Savior of Publishing and Champion of Art. Or that Genevieve Valentine is writing Catwoman!
I won’t flip out about The Wicked + The Divine or Chew or either Marvel, Ms. or Captain.
The venerable British anthology 2000 AD will now available digitally worldwide, through the Apple Newsstand, the same day copies go on sale in the United Kingdom. That’s good news, certainly, for U.S. fans.
“Making 2000 AD as accessible as possible is something we’ve been working towards for some time,” Editor Matt Smith said in an announcement on the magazine’s website. “For the first time we can offer easy, quick digital subscriptions so that readers can download the latest issue with a single push of a button. If you’ve ever had trouble getting hold of the latest 2000 AD, don’t like waiting for the physical Prog to reach your shores, or you just want the ease of having digital copies then our new app is ideal.”
As an introduction for new readers, Rebellion is offering a free 69-page sampler issue featuring such recent 2000 AD stories as “Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos,” “Zombo” and “Ichabod Azrael.”
Subscribers can save up to 24 percent, and gain free access to a range of back issues. Single issues can be purchased for download for $2.99; a one-month subscription is $10.99, while three months is $2.99. An entire year goes for $109.99.
Christopher Butcher has a nice reminiscence of how he discovered comics that shows up both the advantage the newsstand had and its fatal shortcoming. Little Christopher spotted The Transformers #3 in his local convenience store:
I loved Transformers, and didn’t realize that there were comics. I knew that there WERE such things as comics, I’d see them in the Beckers’ convenience store across the street from my house, but I wasn’t really interested … I asked (probably demanded) that my mom get it for me, that there are TRANSFORMERS ADVENTURES NOT ON TV AND LOOK IT ALSO HAS SPIDER-MAN IN IT THAT’S CRAZY. She relented.
But when he went back to the store, he learned that, unlike TV, the comics industry doesn’t churn out a new episode every day, and he would have to wait a month for the next comic — which, when it came in, was Issue 5. Which was equally awesome, but … what about Issue 4? I remember this problem — specifically, I remember when comics went from being mostly self-contained in a single issue to four-issue arcs, and suddenly it mattered what the number on the cover was. Here’s the thing about newsstands: They were everywhere, and you had the serendipity of just running across a comic you never knew existed, but because distribution wasn’t consistent (and neither were trips to the drugstore), you never knew if you would be able to get the next issue. Chris’ story has a happy ending (spoiler): His parents discovered a local comics shop and got the missing issues, and now grown-up Chris runs one.
On the other side of the coin, David Brothers writes about how he has gradually given up his Wednesday visits to the comics shop for reasons of both quality and space.
Portishead co-founder Geoff Barrow and Emmy-winning soundtrack composer Ben Salisbury have announced the May 8 release of DROKK, an album inspired by Mega-City One, the sprawling city-state that serves as the backdrop for Judge Dredd. “Drokk” is, of course, the all-purpose swear word used by the citizens of Mega-City One (akin to “frak” on Battlestar Galactica).
Written over a six-month period between Barrow’s Portishead world tour and Salisbury’s composing gigs for the BBC, DROKK is described not as a “definitive sound” of the vast city, but rather as the duo’s “personal, outsider’s interpretation.”
The album arrives even as 2000 AD marks its 35th anniversary. “2000 AD is delighted that Judge Dredd continues to inspire artists in the year of the character’s 35th anniversary, especially such high profile talents as Geoff and Ben,” the magazine said in a statement. “You can tell, from their vision of the Big Meg, that they’re massive fans of the strip.”