Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!
Borag Thungg Earthlets – it’s time to throw on your best glad rags and get ready to celebrate, as the Galaxy’s Greatest celebrates 45 years of delivering the Thrill Power! Tharg’s laying down the tunes, so throw those hands in the air like you just don’t care and enjoy a very special bumper Prog 2270.
Oh yes, did we mention the cover’s by none other than Brian Bolland?
It’s the return of another master for a very special cover for a very special Prog, with The Mighty One throwing down the tunes to get this anniversary party started!
It was an absolute thrill to see Bolland back on the front of the Prog, made even better by getting to see how it’s all put together. Seriously, when it comes to legendary cover stars, Tharg’s really been spoiling us – first we had Mick MacMahon on Prog 2250 and now we get to see Brian Bolland on Prog 2270.
Of course, as Brian works completely digital and has done for a lot longer than most, it’s not the usual breakdown of a cover from initial concepts through pencils, inks, and colours. Instead, it’s more the case of Brian sending along the various elements of the cover, with Tharg playing DJ against a backdrop of the classic characters from the past, present, and future of 2000 AD.
So, ready to drop that needle and bring the beats in… it’s Brian Bolland!
BRIAN BOLLAND: It was all Matt Smith’s idea (so you can blame him). Matt’s been in the job for a mere 20 years so he’ll get the hang of it one day.
He said (and I paraphrase) “It’s 45 years so how about Tharg as a DJ spinning some 45rpm records with 2000AD characters’ faces on them?”
(For our younger subscribers “45rpm records” were pieces of flat vinyl with popular hit tunes etched into each side.)
All of that led to the very first concept that Brian sent off to Tharg looking like this – a tribute to TMO’s turntabling skills…
Of course, 45s being small things and the labels on them being even smaller – there was a bit of a problem. Over to Brian again…
BRIAN BOLLAND: Yes, immediately a problem arose. The labels on 45s are very small and if a face was on each it would be vanishingly tiny – so I suggested making them “picture discs”.
Okay, that would work, but to make it clear they were vinyl records and not just random circular panels there had to be a hole in the middle of each. Some people have asked why Judge Anderson, for instance, has an unsightly spot in the middle of her nose. The centre hole goes right though Slaine’s eye.
The turntable deck was found online. One comment said that, if Tharg was really spinning those discs, the deck would be the other way round. Well, you can’t please all of the people all of the time! Tharg, himself, hasn’t got back to me. I also inserted the display of covers in the background from my own collection. Mostly mine but there had to be others by Gibbons, MacMahon and other brilliant artists you may have heard of.
And that was that – another Bolland banger in the bag!
Now, those stages of putting the cover together, beginning with his spectacular rogues gallery of the best of 2000 AD, Bolland-style…
And then in comes the Galaxy’s Greatest DJ – with Tharg getting ready to let the beat…
So, as Tharg’s warming up his digits to start DJ-ing, the Bolland droid gets on with adding his colours to the mix…
And after all of that laying down the art, brings us to this, the finished cover for 2000 AD Prog 2270.
Thank you so much to Brian for sending over everything over to us and showing us how this one came together.