2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, March 23, 2007

Prog 57

In an extra big but not extra long editorial, Tharg the Mighty reprimands previous winners of the £2 and £10 readers art prizes who ripped their designs off from other comics. No names are mentioned but someone difficult in the publishing biz seems to know who he is talking about.

This is 1978. Half the country is on strike, we're in the midst of a recession (or just coming out of one or just going into another, I can't remember), unemployment is on the rise and isn't there something about a three day working week happening? I remember that there were lots of power cuts and my school canteen trying to pass massed suede off as mashed potato. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that money was tight. Is anyone really surprised by a small child, or even an adult for that matter, trying to pass stolen space ship designs off as their own for a cash prize?

Think about it, £10 was probably a lot of money in those days. 2000 AD in 2007 costs £1.75, but this prog in 1978 cost 9p. Dividing £1.75 by 9p equals 19.44, the amount I've decided to multiply the £10 prize money by to determine it's current value. Ten pounds times 19.44 equals £194.40. That's a lot of money for ten minutes sitting down at a table with a piece of paper, some pens and an old Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds book.

Anyone challenging my maths by saying that the production quality of 2000 AD is better in 2007 and so, is therefore, in real terms, more expensive, should consider this; Prog 57 contains four pages drawn by Dave Gibbons and eight by Brian Bolland. Which prog do you think cost the most to make?


  • I don't know - I seem to recall an interview with Dave Gibbons a couple of years later where he claimed they were getting paid around £20 per page. He earned more than the typical Brit artist at the time simply because he could produce more than one page a day, without it showing (unlike a certain C Ezquerra). How much does the average artist get paid now?

    Wouldn't it be fairer to say that inflation has made prices double three times in the last 30 years? That seems to be the rule of thumb the financial services sector uses. That would turn £10 into £80 - still a pretty sum for a kid. So, that means 2000ad should cost 72p? Perhaps if it were printed on newsprint again...Hey, I'd still buy it! Maybe then we could get artists back to being better at drawing (B&W) instead of Photoshop colourists...

    I'm rambling.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 8:50 pm  

  • Ken, your inflation equation seems about right. I did have a look around the internet for something, failed to find anything and so opted for some maths that is obviously incorrect.

    I wonder is today's artists then get paid around the same as Dave Gibbons did after applying your sum. 2007 2000 AD would still cost more to make, obviously, because of the paper quality and colour reproduction.


    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 1:51 pm  

  • Paul, take a look at

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 4:56 pm  

  • However, the money it would cost to get Gibbons and Bolland up off their arses and draw that many pages would obviously be about a million times what it was back then

    By Blogger Peter, at 12:25 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger mike, at 11:02 pm  

  • According to various different indexes, £10 in '77 is these days worth between £40 and £90...
    Inflation calculator, 1977-2005

    and i preferred 2000AD in newsprint myself. dirty fingers=thrill power overload

    By Blogger mike, at 11:05 pm  

  • Wow - so is this the origins of the infamous practice of 'swiping'? Fascinating to see the 2000AD top brass get hot and bothered about it.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 12:28 pm  

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