2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Prog 82

Over a year after The Sex Pistols were interviewed by Bill Grundy on live tea time telly, during which they swore like troopers, 2000 AD introduced its first punk character, Spikes Harvey Rotten. Admittedly, he did appear in a two part Judge Dredd story prior to the start of The Cursed Earth, but then he was clearly a biker, maybe even a grebo. Whatever, all the cool music writers were saying that punk was over by the time the definitive version of Spikes appeared.

I was nine years old and terrified of punk rockers. I actually saw the Grundy interview live as it happened. My mum was washing up in the kitchen and oblivious to the barrage of bad language that was dismantling all that I had previously assumed about those who swore; school children, basically. Later, I treated with great suspicion, a man (who, in retrospect, was probably just a bigger boy) that I would see around the town centre with spiky hair and a studded, leather jacket.

Punks were weasel like, sneering, fowl and contemptuous individuals. Spikes, especially when drawn by art droid Brian Bolland, reminds me of an American version of a punk rocker; dumb, slightly grubby and looks like he works out regularly in the gym. Yet, when Tweak tells Dredd that Spikes will die during their crossing of Death Valley, the final leg of their journey to Mega City Two, I feel very sad because, due to having read the story before, I know that there are no loopholes to his foresight and there is nothing that will prevent it from coming true.

2000 AD may have been slow with the cultural use of the word punk but it was punk to my mind from the start. Its inky, low quality reproduction was a direct opposite to the overall strong quality of writing and art. It oozed attitude and almost certainly tapped into the same cultural influences that kicked off punk. Gob on you if you think different.


  • Hello mate, Belardinelli update for you: 2000ad still haven't made an official announcement, but their profile page for him says 1938-2007 which doesn't bode well.

    I've scanned a few bits and bobs from Meltdown man (my favourite Belardinelli story) on my site if you are interested by the way.

    By Blogger Dom Sutton, at 1:56 pm  

  • Cheers Dom. I was going to contact you and conceed that he has probably passed away given the coverage over the last few days. Pat Mills writes a tribute at Down The Tubes if you're interested.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 3:00 pm  

  • That picture of Spikes and Tweak? Is that a more recent bit of art from McMahon or was it from around that time? Looks very new (or different) to me, but I could be wrong, over 20 years since I read Cursed Earth.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 12:50 pm  

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