Lawless 2022: The ‘2000 AD’ Panel

by Olly MacNamee

The last panel of the weekend was, appropriately enough for a 2000 AD themed comic convention, a relaxed chat amongst creators of the galaxy’s greatest comic hosted by Steve Hargett. Here’s the highlights from that panel.

Guests: Rob Williams, Simon Davis, Steven Austin, Tom Eglington, Boo Cook

How did you get into 2000 AD?

Eglington– Got a free issue once and was instantly addicted.

Williams – Read StarLord first, but has vague recollections of Tharg invading the Roy of the Rovers comics too.

Davis – Saw the odd one in waiting rooms, dentist waiting rooms, etc. and then fell into it as a sometimes reader.

Austin: He fell into it via a friend. But, when he started school his friend Jason got him into it. Particularly Sláine.

Cook – Like Steve, via a friend. 

Art by Simon Davis

Breaking into 2000 AD?

WilliamsAndy Diggle hired him. But before that he’s been knocked back for pitching a Future Shock that had already been done. With the editor even going to the trouble of photocopying the very story!

EglingtonMatt Smith hired him and started, as many do, on Future Shocks. And aftre that he juts kept bombarding Matt.

Cook – Sent samples when Dave Bishop was Tharg (for he did for Class of ’79 fanzine), who said it wasn’t 2000 AD style. But, Andy Diggle, working under Bishop, would slip in an additional letter saying the contrary.

Austin – Austin was a Sports Center manager trying to break into comics and who spoke with a Badminton Club member about these fruitless attempts. He was informed that one of the badminton club members was one Brian Bolland! Who helped mentor him into 2000 AD via his work for the highly reputable Zarjaz fanzine.

A lot of positive talk about 2000 AD/Thought Bubble’s talent search. It gets you out there and maybe, just maybe, avoid being one of many submitted scripts that end on the slush pile. 

Art by Boo Cook

Regened – does it help bring in new readers?

Eglington – A good idea but the graphic novels help. That, and more links with America/foreign markets. That’s what the rescheduled Best of 2000 AD comic book series is intending to do. 

Cook – Queried whether this new generation of children are even turned on by the kind of violence our generation (Generation Z) loved. 

Eglington – Recognises that there are a good deal more comics out there for kids, such as Monster Fun and more, all being put out by 2000 AD.

Austin – mentioned The Phoenix Weekly too, which continues to do well. 

Final thought: What about Manga, implying a Manga Dredd et. al could do well?

Hmmm, something to consider maybe, if Tharg’s out there reading this?

And on that thought-provoking note, the panel, the con, and the weekend wound up. It was my first one, but I would certainly go again.

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