Exhibition checklist

No. 1
Carlos Ezquerra: 2000 AD, prog. 181, 11 October 1980.
Cover: Strontium Dog.
Pencil, pen and ink.

Strontium Dog was originally created by Alan Grant and Carlos Ezquerra for 2000 AD’s sister paper Starlord. The stories are set in a post-holocaust future and feature the adventures of a team of mutant bounty hunters. Carlos Ezquerra’s very personal style was a major factor in this character’s popularity which soon rivalled Dredd’s.

Born in Zaragoza (Spain) in 1947 and currently living in Andorra, began working in British comics in 1972 and since 1974 has worked extensively for Fleetway Editions. He created the look of many characters including Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Al’s Baby. For DC Comics he drew the series Bloody Mary in 1997 and Preacher: ancient history in 1998.

No. 2
Mike McMahon: 2000 AD, prog. 178, 20 September 1980.
Cover: Judge Dredd.
Pencil, pen and ink.

A classic Dredd cover with McMahon’s trademark big boots and innovative style. Whereas Carlos Ezquerras was responsible for the original look of Judge Dredd, very early on McMahon’s modifications resulted in the definitive version.

McMahon's first professional work was for 2000AD. He drew the first Judge Dredd adventure in prog. 2, published in March 1977. His celebrated style of big boots and crumpled clothes soon developed influencing the work of many later Dedd artists. For 2000AD McMahon also graphically created the Angel Gang in 1980 and drew the first full-length series of Slaine in 1983. In the United States he has drawn The last American for Epic in 1990/1991 and various episodes of Batman: legends of the dark knight for DC Comics in 1993-1994. He is currently working on an ABC Warrior story for 2000 AD.

No. 3
Dave Gibbons: 2000 AD, prog. 123, 28 July 1979.
Cover: Dan Dare.
Ink and gouache.

A more forceful but not less British re-interpretation of the classic Eagle character.

Dave Gibbons began his career in 1970 with art for Fantasy advertiser. He contributed art to 2000 AD since its inception with Harlem Heroes (prog. 1) and Dan Dare (from prog. 28) stories. For the same magazine he co-created Rogue Trooper. In 1982 he started his collaboration in the U.S. with DC Comics on Batman and Green Lantern stories. International recognition arrived in 1986-1987 with his acclaimed collaboration with writer Alan Moore on DC Comics’ Watchmen. For Dark Horse Comics he illustrated the Martha Washington (from 1990) and Star Wars series (from 1999). In more recent years he has scripted many stories as the revised Rogue Trooper (illustrated by Will Simpson), Batman versus Predator and Batman vs Aliens for DC / Dark Horse.

No. 4
Brendan McCarthy: Poster art.
Kano: Bad company.
Pen, ink and gouache.

Kano, the leader of Bad Company, created by Pete Milligan, Brett Ewins and Jim McCarthy, has been thus described: ‘He didn't look like a man. He didn't look as though he had been born. He looked as though he had been quarried, hewn from granite pits and assembled by a lunatic with delusions of grandeur’. Brendan McCarthy has continually surprised with his design, colour and characters. Regarded by many as one of 2000 AD’s true visionaries.

McCarthy graduated from Ealing College in 1975. He has worked for both small independent publishers as well as major companies. For 2000 AD he has done several series including Zenith and Judge Dredd. For DC Comics he has drawn Shade the Changing Man. For Crisis he drew the story Skin, later released in book form by Tundra. The psychedelic Rogan Gosh (originally serialised in Revolver) was later published by DC Comics in 1994. He created the characters of the cartoon show ReBoot and currently works on film projects.

No. 5
Brett Ewins: 2000 AD, prog. 372, 9 June 1984.
Back cover: Judge Dredd.
Pencil, pen and ink.

Judge Dredd was thus introduced in 2000 AD: ‘Life is harsh in 22nd century Mega City 1. Atomic wars have devastated the planet, and left it a mean and lawless place. Out of this chaos a radical new system of justice has arisen. Here law and order is upheld by a new force: the Judges. They are judge, jury and executioner, and Judge Dredd is the toughest of them all.’ By far the most successful character in British comics, the witty, black satire appealed to adults, whilst the over-the-top violence appealed to younger generations. Brett Ewins’ explosive art style, coupled with the dead-pan delivery of humour, epitomises 2000 AD’s appeal.

Brett Ewins graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1977. He started his career drawing covers for 2000 AD moving to the stories in 1978 with the Judge Dredd episode The day the law died. In subsequent

years he worked on Judge Dredd, ABC Warriors, Rogue Trooper, Judge Anderson, Bad Company, Kelly's Eye. In the U.S. he created with Pete Milligan Strange Days and Johnny Nemo for Eclipse in 1985. For DC Comics, from 1988 onwards, he has drawn issues for Swamp Thing, Hellblazer and Skreemer. At present he is working on a new Bad Company story for 2000 AD.

No. 6
Dave Gibbons: 2000 AD, prog. 260-263, 14 April – 8 May 1982.
Back covers (sequence to form a postergram).
Pencil, pen and ink.

Rogue Trooper is a blue skinned genetically engineered infantryman capable of breathing the atmosphere on a poisoned planet. Essentially an updated S.F. version of the familiar platoon soldier character of countless British war comics. Originally conceived by Gerry Finley Day and Dave Gibbons. This drawing was published over 4 issues on the back covers of 2000 AD as a postergram. Encapsulating the Rogue Trooper story in a nutshell, this artwork showcases the style which would launch Gibbons’ international career.

No. 7
Mike McMahon: 2000 AD, prog. 79, 26 August 1978
Cover: Judge Dredd.
Pencil, pen and ink.

This cover from Dredd’s first epic story ‘Cursed earth’ shows McMahon’s evolving style, brash, bold and razor sharp.

No. 8
Ron Smith: 2000 AD, prog. 117, 16 June 1979.
Cover: Judge Dredd.
Pencil, pen, ink and watercolours.

Ron Smith was one of the most prolific Dredd artists. His ability to draw cityscapes and crowd scenes sets him among one of the finest, if underrated, 2000 AD artists.

Ron Smith was born in 1924 and his first work was in 1949 for the comic strip Deed-a-Day Danny. He contributed to 2000 AD from 1979, working on Judge Dredd, Chronos Carnival, Robo-Hunter, Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog, Mean Machine, Survivor and other stories.

No. 9
Mike McMahon: 2000 AD, prog. 125, 11 August 1979.
Cover: ABC Warriors.
Pencil, pen, ink and Dr. Marten’s coloured inks.

ABC Warriors (Atomic Bacterial Chemical Warriors), a motley crew of robots involved in wild adventures on Mars, were created by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill and debuted in 2000 AD in 1979. They had evolved from the "Ro-Busters" strip in the short-lived Starlord. After the merger with Starlord in 1978, 2000 AD was published for a short time with full-colour covers, allowing the artists more scope for experimentation, as demonstrated here.

No. 10
Dave Gibbons: 2000 AD, prog. 91, 18 November 1978.
Cover: Ro-Busters.
Pencil, pen and ink.

This strip originated in the sister Fleetway comic Starlord. The characters would later evolve into a new strip: ABC Warriors. Hammerstein, the hero of the Ro-Busters, a team of old robots sold by their owners and used to combat disasters across the globe, is here masterfully caught by Gibson’s classic style - a mixture of American influences and innovative design.

No. 11
Mike McMahon: 2000 AD Annual, 1985.
Cover: Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Slaine.
Pencil, ink and gouache.

The hard-back Annual was published from 1978 to 1990. It contained original strips and reprinted material, with painted covers featuring the star characters. Its novelty consisted also in the fact that, unlike the early 2000 AD, some of the stories were printed in colour. The annual is a publishing concept common to most mainstream British comics.

No. 12
Trevor Hairsine: Judge Dredd Megazine, no. 64, April 2000.
Cover: Strontium Dog / Judge Dredd.
Pencil, pen and ink.

Judge Dredd Megazine was born in 1990 as a monthly spin-off from 2000 AD capitalising on its most popular character. It featured new Dredd story lines and was a vehicle for introducing new characters (e.g. Devlin Waugh). Trevor Hairsine’s dynamic and powerful style helped launch the ‘new look’ Judge Dredd Megazine under the editorship of Andy Diggle.

Trevor Hairsine started his 2000 AD career in 1996 working on Judge Dredd stories. In 1999 he contributed a story to the collection of short stories Perfect timing. At present working on the comic Class war for Com.X.

No. 13
John Hicklenton: privately commissioned piece.
Nemesis.
Pencil, pen, ink and enamel spray.

Nemesis is the self-proclaimed leader of the Cabal, an interplanetary alien alliance. The twist of Nemesis’s stories is that the aliens are the heroes whilst the humans are cast as the scourge of the galaxy, and their dark humour targets racism and imperialism. John Hickleton’s heavily stylised work owed much to Kevin O’Neill’s original vision for Nemesis, a nasty edge which won him as much praise as criticism.

With his distinctive style of drawing contorted bodies, Hicklenton gave books 7 and 9 of Nemesis the Warlock (1987-1989) a truly outlandish style. He also worked on Third World War for the short-lived Crisis in 1989, Deadline's Aggre-Siva, and co-created Pandora for the Judge Dredd Megazine with Jim Alexander.

No. 14
Trevor Hairsine: Judge Dredd Megazine, no. 51, February 1999.
Cover: Judge Dredd.
Pen, ink and acrylic.

Trevor Hairsine’s covers illustrate the increased dynamism visible in recent issues of 2000 AD. One of the reasons for the longevity of the comic has been its consistent willingness to import new talent and new graphic approaches.