2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, April 23, 2007

Annual 1979

The early annuals are becoming a bit of an enigma to me. For example, the strips are now hand lettered instead of type written and we're seeing more characters that we recognise from the weekly but they still seem to be rendered in a non standard style. Judge Dredd is drawn by Brett Ewins but his version seems more in line with how the character was being drawn a year before. In Invasion, Bill Savage's number two (titter), Peter SIlk, is alive again.

The cover is a painting by Kevin O'Neill that references no characters that readers would recognise from the weekly. It's as if the reader surveys from the actual comic have so far revealed that Dan Dare isn't the most popular strip but not yet shown that Judge Dredd is. It's interesting I think that the publishers believed that the cover being science fiction themed was enough to attract the attention of potential buyers.

It makes me wonder how far in advance of publication the annuals were prepared. My recollection is that they were usually published at the end of the summer, although they were expected to sell significantly over the Christmas/New Year holidays (hence them being dated for next year). But even considering a late August publication date, the two annuals so far seem very old fashioned and quaint in comparison with what is happening in the main comic at the time. It makes me think that work might have started on them the Christmas before.


  • I seem to remember reading something, years ago, that work on the following year's annual had to be completed by around February/March time, which means that the annuals were always out of sync with the comic. As such, even a story that had been running for six months and had been incredibly popular would probably not be able to appear in the annuals.

    I'm not sure exactly how early on Dredd became a hit with the readers. When I read Judge Dredd the Mega History about 10 years ago, the writers complained that Dredd was one of the least favourite strips to begin with but because Mills and Wagner wanted to take the comic in his direction, they persevered with him until he became the comic's icon. Mach 1 was not just my early favourite, but apparently other readers too. I don't have the Mega History in front of me, but from what I recall, I think it was only around the time of the Cursed Earth saga that Dredd really began to take off with readers.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 1:02 pm  

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