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 and welcome to another Covers Uncovered! This week, it’s the return of Mike Collins on the cover of 2000 AD Prog 2226 – out on Wednesday 7th April from stores and the 2000 AD web shop.

Mike Collins has had a long and glorious career in comics, with work for Marvel UK, and both Marvel and DC in the US, all the way through to Doctor Who comics and the brilliant Apollo from SelfMadeHero. He’s also an in-demand storyboard artist for Doctor Who, Sherlock, Good Omens, Sex Education, His Dark Materials, and A Discovery Of Witches.

But he’s also been a presence in both the Galaxy’s Greatest and the Judge Dredd Megazine over the years, ever since his first strip, the Future Shock, Uncommon Sense in Prog 372 all the way back in 1984. Since then, he’s worked on Sláine, Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Hondo City Justice, .co-creating American Gothic with Ian Edginton and, more recently, was the artist on Judge Anderson: Undertow, in Progs 2077-2080.

Now he’s back with the James Peaty written Tharg’s 3Riller, Chorus And The Ring in 2000 AD Progs 2226-2228, where Battle Sister Evangelista is tasked with investigating the fate of the War-Pontiff for The Divine Chorus of Freedom. It’s a cracking bit of sci-fi done so well, and Mike’s art is a huge part of what makes it yet another Thrill-powered new 2000 AD strip!

So, over to Mike to give us the tale of covering the Nunja!

The very first images for the cover – Mike’s rough cover pitches – Fear The Nunja!

MIKE COLLINS: I haven’t done a cover for 2000 AD in years and thought that the ideas and imagery that James Peaty and I had conjoured up for this Tharg’s 3Riller would pop on the cover of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

I pitched it to Tharg with the puntastic tagline Fear the Nunja which harked back to the beloved early inky fingers days of 2000 AD.

With Tharg’s beneficent assent, I came up with a couple of variations- either a full figure in mid-leap, or a tight posed torso shot, blades at the ready.

Tightening things up for Tharg’s approval!

Opting for the all-action version, the Beleguesian Benevolent Boss then set me to tightening up my rough, with that approved it was straight on to pencils.

Getting the cover into shape – rough pencils
That final pencil version

I did a little Photoshop tweaking I then printed the art out in blueline to ink in that now quaint brush & pen style on Bristol board.

The final inked version of Prog 2226’s cover

Once I had Tharg’s approval it was then off to fellow Cardiff artist Dylan Teague (you’ve heard of him) to render the piece in his glorious hues and await the trade dress and copy to make it a whole thang.

And finally, ready for action and given the colour treatment from Dylan Teague –
Mike Collins’ full cover to Prog 2226

And there you go, another scrotnig cover all ready to hit the shelves and fill up your digital devices! Thanks so much to Mike for grabbing time in between so many deadlines to send this over to us!

You can find more from Mike at his website, freakhousegraphics.com and follow him on Twitter.

More Ghafflebette covers uncovered coming your way next week, but for now, Splundig vur Thrigg and we’ll leave you with this classic Mike Collins cover…

Sláine by Mike Collins and Mark Farmer – 2000 AD Prog 493 (1986)