I hope you’ve been enjoying BBC4’s excellently-made Comics Britannia series, which ended its three-part run on Monday. My guess is that it was well enough received to get a repeat on BBC2 in the near future, if you missed it. I was delighted to be asked to contribute to part three, Anarchy In The UK, which looked at British comics’ development from the late 70s to the present day, taking in Viz, Action and graphic novels. Cornerstone though was 2000AD. Those that did see the programme will know that I had a drawing reproduced in the comic in 1977. Here’s the illustrated story:
An avid reader of 2000AD I leapt at the chance, aged 12, to send in a drawing of what we thought the comic’s Deputy Editor looked like. My drawing was of a tough-looking individual in a tight-fitting spacesuit, with a kind of graphic haircut and sideburns. How shocked I was to receive this envelope one morning, with a London postmark and IPC Magazines stamped on the back.
Inside was this frankly photocopied letter from editor Tharg. It thrilled me to my very bone marrow. My picture was to be printed in “Programme 25” (that’s issue 25 to you, Earthlet).
Duly, Prog 25 arrived in the week of August 13, 1977. “In orbit every Monday: 9p Earth money.”
And on a page towards the back was this array of readers’ drawings, stylised by one of the house artists rather than just reprinted, with my burly Deputy sat at the table beside a scaly fish creature and a big woolly octopus thing.
Our names were printed in a panel to the bottom left. I was over the moon. My name in 2000AD! I’m glad I kept all of this ephemera. Not least for being able to show it to the nation on a BBC documentary. Old comics are beautiful to look at, years later, as they’re like photo albums. It’s funny – I could have sworn that the artists and writers’ names were credited on the strips, but they’re not. That obviously came later. Anyway, Splundig Vur Thrigg, and all that.