FCBD20 Interview: The Best of 2000AD is the Gateway to the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic!
Mar 06, 2020
Rebellion Comics is celebrating a summer of sci-fi and they’re kicking it off with their Best of 2000AD series, with The Best of 2000AD #0 serving as a special issue primer available exclusively on Free Comic Book Day!
The Best of 2000AD #0 brings together some of comics’ greatest talents to open the gates to the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic! The sampler collects a selection of all-new, pulse-pounding stories from some of comics’ finest, including Al Ewing, Erica Henderson, Alan Grant, Arthur Ranson, and Carlos Ezquerra, among others!
In fact, we got the chance to interview Al Ewing and Erica Henderson to get their takes on what makes comics so great, why everyone should read, and where they’ll be celebrating on Free Comic Book Day!
Check out the interview below and keep scrolling to see some preview pages for Rebellion’s The Best of 2000AD #0!
Free Comic Book Day (FCBD): Set up your title for those that might be new to your comic book: What will new readers need to know before diving into your Free Comic Book Day issue? Who are the characters and what’s the storyline?
Rebellion: 2000 AD is the legendary science fiction comic which was first in publishing some of comics’ greatest names including Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar and more! Running for forty years and counting, it’s hard to know where to start with 2000 AD. Best of 2000 AD is the answer – a 100-page monthly design for new readers. The essential gateway to the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic. In this special primer issue zero leads directly into the new series and features an exclusive Judge Dredd story by Immortal Hulk’s Al Ewing and Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl).
FCBD: What are some of the themes of your book and what do you hope readers get out of it?
Rebellion: Collecting the finest stories of the UK publication’s modern era, Best of 2000 AD features a self-contained 48-page Judge Dredd adventure supported by three of the legendary comic’s stand-out series. Boasting work from legends John Wagner (History of Violence), Alan Moore (Watchmen) and Dan Abnett (Aquaman) and many more. Readers will find in the pages of Best of 2000 AD a highly curated mix-tape of the greatest comics ever produced and a gateway into an entire new universe of comics.
FCBD: What other comic books would you compare to this title? “If a comic reader likes _______ , they should pick up my title?”
Rebellion: Perfect for socially conscious, edgy science fiction fans. Comparative titles include Image Comics titles like Saga, Bitch Planet, Barrier, Vs, Extremity, Motor Crush as well as anthology titles like Dark Horse Presents and Heavy Metal magazine. Other great similar comics would be Space Riders, Sentient and Eve of Extinction from TKO, Resontant and Test from Vault Comics.
At it’s core, Best of 2000 AD is for that kid, wherever they may be, who really loves comics but wants something wild and challenging and explosive. Something they’ve never read the like of before. As long as you need for a jolt of rebellion, 2000 AD will be there.
FCBD: Looking to the future, is there anything you can tease about what's coming up for the title and its characters?
Rebellion: Collecting the finest stories of the UK publication’s modern era, Best of 2000 AD features a self-contained 48-page Judge Dredd adventure supported by three of the legendary comic’s stand-out series. Boasting upcoming stories by legends Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Chris Weston (The Filth), Rob Williams (Suicide Squad) and Frank Quitely (All Star Superman) with brand-new covers by Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked and the Divine), Becky Cloonan, Charlie Adlard, Erica Henderson, Annie Wu and many, many more!
FCBD: What got you into reading comics?
Al Ewing: Like most UK folk of my generation, it was one of the humour anthologies for kids - Buster, IPC's answer to The Beano. And from there I moved onto 2000 AD, and after my first taste of the thrill-power offered by the Mighty Tharg, I never looked back!
Erica Henderson: My father was a writer and kept a lot of comics in the house. There really wasn’t any barrier to entry for me.
FCBD: Many newcomers will pick up comics for the first time on FCBD—what was the first comic you remember reading?
Al Ewing: The first comic that stands out in the memory is 2000 AD Prog 423 - "Dark Judges In Crash Dorm 2!" That one had it all - a great introductory Dredd, Anderson versus Judge Death, Rogue Trooper with Jose Ortiz art, Strontium Dog and Slaine - I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to comics, or 2000 AD.
Erica Henderson: I’m not 100% certain because, like I just said, there were so many comics in the house. My guess would be one of the Carl Barks Library Uncle Scrooge collections.
FCBD: What are some of the titles you're reading today?
Al Ewing: I'm enjoying DAREDEVIL at the minute, as well as the X-MEN stuff, GREEN LANTERN, DIE, ONCE AND FUTURE and CRIMINAL, to name but a few. And I've heard amazing things about ASSASSIN NATION, so I need to catch up on that.
Erica Henderson: For monthly books I’ve been picking up Dial H for Hero (Sam Humphries, Joe Quinones) and Steeple (John Allison). I’ve been hunting down a lot more French albums as well lately, just to look at how beautiful a lot of them are.
FCBD: What is your favorite part about working in the comics industry?
Al Ewing: The chaos! After a while you need it to feel alive.
Erica Henderson: I find the act of creating a visual story to be very satisfying. Composing a page is all about editing down a scene to its most crucial moments and then displaying them in a way that flows naturally with our understanding of how to read English. If it isn’t already clear, I’m a person who enjoys puzzles.
FCBD: Tell us why everyone should read comic books!
Al Ewing: The comics medium is still my favorite artistic medium - you can do just about anything with it, and you can start making your own any time you like. It's still a comic if it's stick figures on photocopy paper! And once you've done the first one, the second will be better.
Erica Henderson: Comics are a varied medium with the potential to tell any sort of story. To be a reader and not read comics is placing an arbitrary limitation on yourself.
FCBD: What is your favorite part about Free Comic Book Day?
Al Ewing: These days I'm usually somewhere signing stuff on that day, so for me it's always seeing the kids grabbing free comics. There's always that huge influx of young readers getting their first fix, and parents rediscovering the joys of the medium. It's great.
Erica Henderson: I mean... free comics are always good. I like seeing all the people who come out to the stores, too. We have several comic shops in the Boston area and we’ll go around to several of them on Free Comic Book Day to see how they’re doing.
FCBD: Where do you plan on spending Free Comic book Day?
Al Ewing: I'm going to be signing copies of the FCBD Best Of 2000 AD, as well as other things people bring me, at a store I believe is yet to be announced! Either down in London or in the North.
Erica Henderson:: Hm. I think I answered this question with the last question. I’ll probably be spending a lot of time at Hub Comics (Somerville, MA), Million Year Picnic (Cambridge, MA) and Comicazi (Somerville, MA).
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