Glorious artwork coupled with a narrative history of "the galaxy's greatest comic" means this was always going to be fascinating for fans. The tome often reads like the extened magazine article reprint it is, but this chronicle remains a must-read.
For one thing, it's refreshingly candid. One-time 2000 AD editor David Bishop has compiled an account that essentially just strings together quotes from insiders - you'll derive a certain wicked pleasure from seeing people openly described as "shit and lazy artists", for instance. Sveral of the book's anecdotes are challenged in the very next paragraph by folk who don't recall events exactly the same way.
There are accounts about the relationship between editors and marketeers, the strategies operated by the publishing businesses, and the feuds over copyright ownership. We read about NUJ strikes and failed advertising campaigns, deadlines and distribution deals. Other than those wanting to be a part of this business, it's not really clear who'll be gripped by these tales of office politics, but for aficionados who recognise the names, it's compelling.
The book accelerates slightly, making the past five years feel a little sparsely covered, but an unexpected pleasure at the end is a five-page summary of the comic's history in cartoon form, with Tharg narrating in rhyming couplets.
Friday, July 06, 2007
TPO: SFX calls it 'a must-read'
Got a copy of the new SFX yesterday. The magazine has indeed given five stars to THRILL-POWER OVERLOAD, my mighty tome detailing the history of acclaimed British comic 2000 AD. TPO is the only book reviewed this month [out of 16] to get maximum five stars out of five and the magazine has slapped a SFX RECOMMENDS badge on it. Nice. Here's what editor Dave Bradley said in his review: