Posts Tagged ‘2000AD’
A friend of mine sent me this old-skool comic, recently re-issued. ‘Shako’ is an old story from the early days of 2000AD featuring a polar bear going about eating people. Oh and just to complicate matters it swallowed a capsule filled with poison that the CIA lost. Why? Don’t ask silly questions. Having a Cold War twist means that Shako can not only eat Yankies but Russkies as well. And if that’s not enough it also features the best character name in the whole history of comics – Buck Dollar.
We will never see the like nowadays, mores the pity. It’s utter rubbish but, by god, it’s entertaining (especially if you put your irony goggles on).
This got me wandering if given a depth of water that gave no advantage to either party who would win in a fight between Shako and Hookjaw. I suppose it will have to remain one of those great unanswered questions. If you’ve not heard of Hookjaw go and have a look at my Action article.
There’s also the story ‘Project Overkill’ in this compilation. But as this makes literately no sense whatsoever I’ll leave it at that.
The story of the banned comic Action.
(Originally published in Vector, Nov 1999)
Action was a short-lived comic that was first published on 14th February 1976 and was ‘killed’ towards the end of that year. It was content was unique, not so much for the subject of its stories but for their tone, written with a maturity not seen before in this field. It was, on the one hand massively popular with its loyal army of fans whilst on the other, nationally infamous and reviled by its critics. The following is a brief history of the comic, and of some of more its more controversial and interesting stories.
During the 1950s and 60s the sales of comics boomed. The two main publishers, IPC (later Fleetway) and D. C. Thompson published comics for boys to a formula established by Eagle. It was middle class, written by middle-aged men and aimed to instill a high moral tone in Britain’s youth. Clean cut heroes had simple adventures against unproblematic baddies, and it was always obvious who was going to win. This formula had worked successfully for twenty years, but by the late 60s things were changing. Sales were sliding, comics had folded and many titles that were left were at close to brake-even point. The Eagle itself went in 1969. Both companies decided to act. D.C. Thompson brought-out the gritty Warlord in 1974 with all its stories based in the Second World War. It was much more aggressive than previous titles, with greater realism and heroes who found life that bit tougher than before. It sold well, so IPC had to respond. The problem was that virtually all of IPC staff firmly rooted in the traditions and values of the Eagle. In secret the Editorial Director, John Sanders, hired in two freelancers Pat Mills and John Wager to produce Battle. The in-house staff naturally did not like this, but Battle was a hit. Wager was given Valiant to revive whilst Mills was asked to work on something new and without precedent – Action.