2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, June 04, 2007

Prog 110

Prior to this prog, 2000 AD was printed on low quality newsprint. The edges were never trimmed down so that they were uneven and the ink would often come off on your fingers when you read it. There was always a sense that the team of editors, writers and artists putting it together rated it much more highly than IPC who published it at the time. 2000 AD defied the expectations placed upon it, in part, by its cheap reproduction.

This prog sees a significant improvement in reproduction quality. This change, which arrives incidentally with no forewarning let alone fanfare, means a full colour cover (before, they were always four colour) that looks amazing despite being bordered and not bled off the page. Although the size is slightly smaller, the reproduction of the interior artwork is dramatically improved so that the strips drawn by Brian Bolland, Ian Gibson and Dave Gibbons look even more fantastic. All this and without any apparent price rise too.

So, it's baffling to me that this improvement turns out to be temporary and that, within six months, 2000 AD will have reverted back to the poor finishing and the paper quality that draws the very water from your fingertips of before. I wonder if the earlier failure of Star Lord, which was printed using higher values, and the continued strong sales of 2000 AD had given IPC the impression that poor reproduction and, therefore, greater affordability in the end was part of the formula on how to make a successful comic.

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  • I recall reading that the stock changes were due to using whatever printing house was available at the time. When Tornado went tits up, it made commercial sense for 2000ad to use the slot already booked months in advance with the lowest quality printing house around at the time. The upgraded quality you've noted soon allows for some splendid colour spreads from Ezquerra, but again I recall that the printing house was losing repro money on each job, as it was taking the repro technicians too long to separate the job. Apparently they were enjoying it too much...

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 8:53 pm  

  • Cheers Ken. That's a brilliant explanation. I'm slightly disappointed that the change wasn't more a creatively driven decision but not surprised.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 9:56 pm  

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