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2000 AD Prog 2254 is out now!

2000 AD Prog 2254 is out now! Featuring more new Judge Dredd, The Diaboliks, Scarlet Traces, Pandora Perfect and The Out!

PROG 2254 out now

BORAG THUNGG, EARTHLETS – Prog 2254 is OUT NOW!

If you want Thrills, Terrans, guaranteed to shatter your senses and rewire your imagination-circuits, then you’ve come to the right place — within these scrotnig pages you’ll find high-octane action in Judge Dredd, cosmic comedy in Pandora Perfect,
deep-space destruction in Scarlet Traces, demonic double-dealing in The Diaboliks and interplanetary antics in The Out.

If that ghafflebette roster doesn’t leave you laid out, reeling from the diode-frying zarjazness of it all, then it sounds like you need an upgrade — or maybe an injection of the Judge Dredd Megazine, which, as luck would have it, has a new issue out this very week, packed with the kind of Mega-City mayhem we know you Squaxx crave.

So don’t miss Meg 437 for you’ll find inside a complete Dredd thriller from Ken Niemand and Colin MacNeil as well as a Tale From the Black Museum by David Barnett and Stewart Moore alongside the penultimate parts of Devlin Waugh, Angelic and The Returners.

As well as that, there’s chats with Roger Langridge and Brett Parson, and a look at the Fleetway Files, Hibernia Press’s new imprint collecting the gems of yesteryear. Grab it, humes!

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2000 AD Prog 2254 is out now from all good newsagents and comic book stores, plus digitally from our webshop and apps! Don’t forget that if you buy an issue of 2000 AD in the first week of its release then postage in the UK is free!


Cover Art by Mark Harrison

Script: Rob Williams & Arthur Wyatt / Art: Jake Lynch / Colours: Jim Boswell / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

JUDGE DREDD // The Hard Way // Part Five!

Mega-City One, 2143 AD. Home to over 160 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America, with the irradiated wasteland that is the Cursed Earth to the west. Unemployment is rife, boredom universal an
violent crime is rampant. Tensions rest on a knife-edge and only the zero-tolerance Judges can stop total anarchy. Toughest of them all is JUDGE DREDD — he is the Law! Now crime-boss La Reine Rouge has hired a band of mercenaries to take out Maitland on Atlantis…


Script: Gordon Rennie/ Art: Antonio Fuso / Letters: Jim Campbell

THE DIABOLIKS // Arrivederci Roma // Part Five!

Solomon Ravne and Jennifer Simmons were once part of Caballistics, Inc., a private paranormal troubleshooting outfit put together by reclusive rock star Ethan Kostabi. Jennifer, however, was thrown into Hell, and became possessed by a demon. After Caballistics was disbanded with the death of Kostabi, Ravne and Jenny became a couple, and are now working on behalf of the Malleus. Now, Jenny is freeing the ‘living books’ the Vatican has been keeping…


Script: Ian Edginton / Art: D’Israeli / Letters: Simon Bowland

SCARLET TRACES // Storm Front // Part Five!

1968. It is decades since Mars waged war on Earth, and the major nations have access to Martian-derived technology, but Britain is still recovering from Martian bombardment in the 1940s, when much of the south of England was destroyed. This was followed by the arrival in the 1950s of two million Venusians, seeking refuge from Martian occupation. Now, the Martians are on the attack, and Jupiter has come to Earth’s aid…


Script: Roger Langridge / Art: Brett Parson / Letters: Simon Bowland

PANDORA PERFECT // Mystery Moon // Part Five!

Earth, the far future. No felon is more notorious than Pandora Perez — burglar, safe-cracker, armed bandit and all-round career criminal. Just when the authorities thought that they’d finally managed to incarcerate her, her loyal robot assistant Gort came to her rescue and succeeded in breaking her out of her cell. Now, after being set up by Bartleby Spugg, she’s entered his sausage moon to rescue her droid pal…


Script: Dan Abnett / Art: Mark Harrison / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

THE OUT // Book Two // Part Five!

The furthest edge of the universe, far into the future. Cyd Finlea is photo-journalist working for the publishers Global Neographic, travelling deep into outer space — otherwise known as THE OUT — and cataloguing the alien societies that she encounters. She left Earth ten years ago and has lost track of how far she is from home, but regardless she keeps going, accompanied by her sentient flatspace bag, seeking other ex-pat humans…

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2000 AD Prog 2253 is out now!

2000 AD Prog 2253 is out now! Featuring more new Judge Dredd, The Diaboliks, Scarlet Traces, Pandora Perfect and The Out!

PROG 2253 out now

BORAG THUNGG, EARTHLETS – Prog 2253 is OUT NOW!

It’s that time of the week again, Thrill-seekers, when you can temporarily put aside the pressures and problems of everyday reality and escape into the future-shocked worlds of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

Within these ghafflebette pages you’ll find undersea action in Judge Dredd, oddball antics on the fringes of the universe in The Out, global destruction in Scarlet Traces, unholy heists in the heart of the Vatican in The Diaboliks, and explosive prison escapes in the anarchic Pandora Perfect — what a line-up to feed every corner of your fevered imaginations!

In three short weeks Tharg — or rather his nephew Joko-Jargo — will be expanding the House of Tharg once again with the fourth and final (for 2021) Regened issue, taking over Prog 2256.

Alongside the regulars like Cadet Dredd and Future Shocks, you’ll be introduced to two new strips in the shape of Enemy Earth and Scooter & Jinx, which, should they prove popular, could well be joining our pool of characters for more appearances, much like the notorious Pandora.

Let us know, as ever, via input@2000ADonline.com, what you think of ‘em!

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2000 AD Prog 2253 is out now from all good newsagents and comic book stores, plus digitally from our webshop and apps! Don’t forget that if you buy an issue of 2000 AD in the first week of its release then postage in the UK is free!


Cover Art by D’Israeli

Script: Rob Williams & Arthur Wyatt / Art: Jake Lynch / Colours: Jim Boswell / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

JUDGE DREDD // The Hard Way // Part Four!

Mega-City One, 2143 AD. Home to over 160 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America, with the irradiated wasteland that is the Cursed Earth to the west. Unemployment is rife, boredom universal an
violent crime is rampant. Tensions rest on a knife-edge and only the zero-tolerance Judges can stop total anarchy. Toughest of them all is JUDGE DREDD — he is the Law! Now crime-boss La Reine Rouge has hired a band of mercenaries to take out Maitland on Atlantis…


Script: Gordon Rennie/ Art: Antonio Fuso / Letters: Jim Campbell

THE DIABOLIKS // Arrivederci Roma // Part Four!

Solomon Ravne and Jennifer Simmons were once part of Caballistics, Inc., a private paranormal troubleshooting outfit put together by reclusive rock star Ethan Kostabi. Jennifer, however, was thrown into Hell, and became possessed by a demon. After Caballistics was disbanded with the death of Kostabi, Ravne and Jenny became a couple, and are now working on behalf of the Malleus. Now, Jenny and her comrades are freeing ‘living books’ from the Vatican…


Script: Ian Edginton / Art: D’Israeli / Letters: Simon Bowland

SCARLET TRACES // Storm Front // Part Four!

1968. It is decades since Mars waged war on Earth, and the major nations have access to Martian-derived technology, but Britain is still recovering from Martian bombardment in the 1940s, when much of the south of England was destroyed. This was followed by the arrival in the 1950s of two million Venusians, seeking refuge from Martian occupation. Now, the Martians are on the attack, and Earth is seeking allies in Jupiter…


Script: Roger Langridge / Art: Brett Parson / Letters: Simon Bowland

PANDORA PERFECT // Mystery Moon // Part Four!

Earth, the far future. No felon is more wanted than the nefarious Pandora Perez — burglar, safe-cracker, armed bandit and all-round career criminal. Just when the authorities thought that they’d finally managed to incarcerate her, her loyal robot assistant Gort came to her rescue and succeeded in breaking her out of her cell. As a wanted woman, she’s looking for a way to lie low — but Bartleby Spugg has set her up…


Script: Dan Abnett / Art: Mark Harrison / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

THE OUT // Book Two // Part Four!

The furthest edge of the universe, far into the future. Cyd Finlea is photo-journalist working for the publishers Global Neographic, travelling deep into outer space — otherwise known as THE OUT — and cataloguing the alien societies that she encounters. She left Earth ten years ago and has lost track of how far she is from home, but regardless she keeps going, accompanied by her sentient flatspace bag, seeking other ex-pat humans…

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2000 AD Prog 2252 is out now!

2000 AD Prog 2252 is out now! Featuring more new Judge Dredd, The Diaboliks, Scarlet Traces, Pandora Perfect and The Out!

PROG 2252 out now

BORAG THUNGG, EARTHLETS – Prog 2252 is OUT NOW!

Welcome to your latest salvo of Thrilltastic zarjazness courtesy of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic as our autumn attack gathers pace — inside you’ll find non-stop cosmic action and adventure from Judge Dredd, The Out, Pandora Perfect, Scarlet Traces and The Diaboliks, guaranteed as ever to rewire your cranial circuits.

This awesome issue is joined on the shelves this week by a new special from the Treasury of British Comics stable — the Monster Fun Halloween Spooktacular, which features new takes on the title’s classic characters by the current generation of creators. Thus within its forty-eight pages you’ll find Cavan Scott and John Lucas on Frankie Stein, Alec Worley and Tiernen Trevallion on Kid Kong, Lizzie Boyle and Abigail Bulmer on Gums, and many, many more.

Pass it to the little monsters in your life, and it’ll keep them entertained for hours! But that’s not all — it heralds the start of the
next publishing venture from Rebellion, namely a bi-monthly Monster Fun ongoing anthology title starting in spring 2022.

Head over to monsterfun.co.uk for all the info and subscription details, humes!

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2000 AD Prog 2252 is out now from all good newsagents and comic book stores, plus digitally from our webshop and apps! Don’t forget that if you buy an issue of 2000 AD in the first week of its release then postage in the UK is free!


Cover Art by Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague

Script: Rob Williams & Arthur Wyatt / Art: Jake Lynch / Colours: Jim Boswell / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

JUDGE DREDD // The Hard Way // Part THREE!

Mega-City One, 2143 AD. Home to over 160 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America, with the irradiated wasteland that is the Cursed Earth to the west. Unemployment is rife, boredom universal an
violent crime is rampant. Tensions rest on a knife-edge and only the zero-tolerance Judges can stop total anarchy. Toughest of them all is JUDGE DREDD — he is the Law! Now Euro crime-boss La Reine Rouge has hired a band of mercenaries to take out Maitland..


Script: Gordon Rennie/ Art: Antonio Fuso / Letters: Jim Campbell

THE DIABOLIKS // Arrivederci Roma // Part Three!

Solomon Ravne and Jennifer Simmons were once part of Caballistics, Inc., a private paranormal troubleshooting outfit put together by reclusive rock star Ethan Kostabi. Jennifer, however, was thrown into Hell, and became possessed by a demon. After Caballistics was disbanded with the death of Kostabi, Ravne and Jenny became a couple, and are now working on behalf of the Malleus. Now, Jenny has acquired a specific unholy item — but it’s a child…


Script: Ian Edginton / Art: D’Israeli / Letters: Simon Bowland

SCARLET TRACES // Storm Front // Part Three!

1968. It is decades since Mars waged war on Earth, and the major nations have access to Martian-derived technology, but Britain is still recovering from Martian bombardment in the 1940s, when much of the south of England was destroyed. This was followed by the arrival in the 1950s of two million Venusians, seeking refuge from Martian occupation. Now, the Martians are on the attack, and Earth is seeking allies in Jupiter…


Script: Roger Langridge / Art: Brett Parson / Letters: Simon Bowland

PANDORA PERFECT // Mystery Moon // Part Three!

Earth, the far future. No felon is more wanted than the nefarious Pandora Perez — burglar, safe-cracker, armed bandit and all-round career criminal. Just when the authorities thought that they’d finally managed to incarcerate her, her loyal robot assistant Gort came to her rescue and succeeded in breaking her out of her cell. As a wanted woman, she’s looking for a way to lie low — and the fabled Wonga diamond may be the answer…

Script: Dan Abnett / Art: Mark Harrison / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

THE OUT // Book Two // Part Three!

The furthest edge of the universe, far into the future. Cyd Finlea is photo-journalist working for the publishers Global Neographic, travelling deep into outer space — otherwise known as THE OUT — and cataloguing the alien societies that she encounters. She left Earth ten years ago and has lost track of how far she is from home, but regardless she keeps going, accompanied by her sentient flatspace bag, seeking other ex-pat humans…

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2000 AD Prog 2251 is out now!

2000 AD Prog 2251 is out now! Featuring more new Judge Dredd, The Diaboliks, Scarlet Traces, Pandora Perfect and The Out!

PROG 2251 out now

BORAG THUNGG, EARTHLETS – Prog 2251 is OUT NOW!

We trust your Thrill-circuits have suitably recovered from last week’s ghafflebette jumping-on prog, Terrans, and you’re ready for more scintillating sci-fi to galvanise your imaginations.

Within you’ll find the scrotnig second chapters of Judge Dredd: The Hard Way, Scarlet Traces: Storm Front, Pandora Perfect: Mystery Moon, The Diaboliks: Arrivederci Roma and The Out Book Two, brought to you, as ever, by Tharg’s feverishly busy creator-bots, working through the Great Lube Crisis (see the Damage Report for all the essential updates) like droids possessed.

Given the level of maintenance that the mek-minions require — some are over forty years old now, and are for ever popping a transistor — we have unfortunately had to raise the cover price from this issue by fifteen pence, taking into account the shortage of oil and replacement flanges, not to mention the rising costs of shuttle deliveries.

We trust, however, you’ll take one look at the contents of this Mighty Organ and believe the extra groats are worth it — but why not head over to shop.2000AD.com and investigate taking out a subscription? You’ll save money and receive zarjaz incentives to boot!

SUBSCRIBE NOW >>

DOWNLOAD THE APP >>

2000 AD Prog 2251 is out now from all good newsagents and comic book stores, plus digitally from our webshop and apps! Don’t forget that if you buy an issue of 2000 AD in the first week of its release then postage in the UK is free!


Cover Art by Mark Harrison

Script: Rob Williams & Arthur Wyatt / Art: Jake Lynch / Colours: Jim Boswell / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

JUDGE DREDD // The Hard Way // Part Two!

Mega-City One, 2143 AD. Home to over 160 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America, with the irradiated wasteland that is the Cursed Earth to the west. Unemployment is rife, boredom universal an
violent crime is rampant. Tensions rest on a knife-edge and only the zero-tolerance Judges can stop total anarchy. Toughest of them all is JUDGE DREDD — he is the Law! Now Euro crime-boss La Reine Rouge has hired a band of mercenaries to take out Maitland..


Script: Gordon Rennie/ Art: Antonio Fuso / Letters: Jim Campbell

THE DIABOLIKS // Arrivederci Roma // Part Two!

Solomon Ravne and Jennifer Simmons were once part of Caballistics, Inc., a private paranormal troubleshooting outfit put together by reclusive rock star Ethan Kostabi. Jennifer, however, was thrown into Hell, and became possessed by a demon. After Caballistics was disbanded with the death of Kostabi, Ravne and Jenny became a couple, and are now working on behalf of the Malleus. Now, Jenny has been tasked with acquiring a specific unholy item…


Script: Ian Edginton / Art: Silvia Califano / Letters: Simon Bowland

SCARLET TRACES // Storm Front // Part Two!

1968. It is decades since Mars waged war on Earth, and the major nations have access to Martian-derived technology, but Britain is still recovering from Martian bombardment in the 1940s, when much of the south of England was destroyed. This was followed by the arrival in the 1950s of two million Venusians, seeking refuge from Martian occupation. Now, the Martians are on the attack, and Earth is seeking allies in Jupiter…


Script: Roger Langridge / Art: Brett Parson / Letters: Simon Bowland

PANDORA PERFECT // Mystery Moon // Part Two!

Earth, the far future. No felon is more wanted than the nefarious Pandora Perez — burglar, safe-cracker, armed bandit and all-round career criminal. Just when the authorities thought that they’d finally managed to incarcerate her, her loyal robot assistant Gort came to her rescue and succeeded in breaking her out of her cell. As a wanted woman, she’s looking for a way to lie low — and the fabled Wonga diamond may be the answer…

Script: Dan Abnett / Art: Mark Harrison / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

THE OUT // Book Two // Part Two!

The furthest edge of the universe, far into the future. Cyd Finlea is photo-journalist working for the publishers Global Neographic, travelling deep into outer space — otherwise known as THE OUT — and cataloguing the alien societies that she encounters. She left Earth ten years ago and has lost track of how far she is from home, but regardless she keeps going, accompanied by her sentient flatspace bag, seeking other ex-pat humans…

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2000 AD Prog 2250 is out now!

2000 AD Prog 2250 is out now! Featuring completely new Judge Dredd, The Diaboliks, Scarlet Traces, Anderson Psi-Division, Pandora Perfect, Future Shocks and The Out!

PROG 2250 out now

BORAG THUNGG, EARTHLETS – Prog 2250 is OUT NOW!

Welcome, Terrans, to the latest of our scrotnig bumper jumping-on issues, precision-engineered by the being from Betelgeuse and his indefatigable army of creator-droids to not only give you a hefty wallop to the Thrill-centres in your brains but also
entice new readers to join the loyal following of Squaxx dek Thargo (Friends of Tharg).

Within you’ll find the start of no less than five zarjaz new stories — Judge Dredd is targeted by mercenaries in The Hard Way, Cyd continues her interstellar journey in The Out, there’s unholy trouble in Rome in The Diaboliks, the fight against the Martians escalates in Scarlet Traces: Storm Front, and Regened star Pandora Perfect gets her first series — plus two complete tales in the shape of Chris Weston’s circuit-shattering Future Shock and an Anderson, Psi-Division thriller picking up on the fallout from the events of this year’s 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special.

Quite the humdinger of a prog, we think you’ll agree, humes, and we guarantee you won’t want miss an issue over the coming months — so do the smart thing and subscribe. Check out the ghafflebette new incentives and tell us you’re not tempted!

SUBSCRIBE NOW >>

DOWNLOAD THE APP >>

2000 AD Prog 2250 is out now from all good newsagents and comic book stores, plus digitally from our webshop and apps! Don’t forget that if you buy an issue of 2000 AD in the first week of its release then postage in the UK is free!


Cover Art by Mick McMahon

Script: Rob Williams & Arthur Wyatt / Art: Jake Lynch / Colours: Jim Boswell / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

JUDGE DREDD // The Hard Way // Part One!

Mega-City One, 2143 AD. Home to over 160 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America, with the irradiated wasteland that is the Cursed Earth to the west. Unemployment is rife, boredom universal an
violent crime is rampant. Tensions rest on a knife-edge and only the zero-tolerance Judges can stop total anarchy. Toughest of them all is JUDGE DREDD — he is the Law! Recently, Dredd and Accounts Judge Maitland have been targeting Euro crime-boss La Reine Rouge…


Script: Gordon Rennie/ Art: Antonio Fuso / Letters: Jim Campbell

THE DIABOLIKS // Arrivederci Roma // Part One!

Solomon Ravne and Jennifer Simmons were once part of Caballistics, Inc., a private paranormal troubleshooting outfit put together by reclusive rock star Ethan Kostabi. Jennifer, however, was thrown into Hell, and became possessed by a demon. After Caballistics was disbanded with the death of Kostabi, Ravne and Jenny became a couple, and are now working on behalf of the Malleus, destroying their demonic enemies…


Script: Ian Edginton / Art: Silvia Califano / Letters: Simon Bowland

SCARLET TRACES // Storm Front // Part One!

1968. It is decades since Mars waged war on Earth, and the major nations have access to Martian-derived technology, but Britain is still recovering from Martian bombardment in the 1940s, when much of the south of England was destroyed. This was followed by the arrival in the 1950s of two million Venusians, seeking refuge from Martian occupation. Now, the Martians are on the attack, and Earth is seeking allies in Jupiter…


Script: Maura McHugh / Art: Lee Carter / Letters: Jim Campbell

ANDERSON, PSI-DIVISION // Be Psi-ing You!

Mega-City One, 2143 AD. Psi-Division is a section of Justice Department that specialises in Judges with accentuated psychic talents — from precognition to exorcism, it is at the forefront in the war against supernatural crime. Cassandra ANDERSON is the div’s top telepath, and recently teamed up with fellow psis Shakta and Corann Ryan, the latter shadowed by the ghost of her twin sister Lesley, to battle the Earth animus…


Script: Roger Langridge / Art: Brett Parson / Letters: Simon Bowland

PANDORA PERFECT // Mystery Moon // Part One!

Earth, the far future. No felon is more wanted than the nefarious Pandora Perez — burglar, safe-cracker, armed bandit and all-round career criminal. Just when the authorities thought that they’d finally managed to incarcerate her, her loyal robot assistant Gort came to her rescue and succeeded in breaking her out of her cell. Despite being a wanted woman, Pandora’s still up to her usual confidence tricks…

Script: Chris Weston / Art: Chris Weston / Letters: Simon Bowland

FUTURE SHOCKS // The Guardian & The Godchild!

Out in the vast reaches of the universe, there are an infinite number of stories waiting to be told. These cautionary tales pass from traveller to traveller in the spaceports and around campfires on distant planets, acquiring the status of legend, their shocking ends a salutory lesson in hubris. Anything is possible in these twisted trips into the galaxy’s dark side. Abandon your preconceptions, and expect the unexpected…

Script: Dan Abnett / Art: Mark Harrison / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

THE OUT // Book Two // Part One!

The furthest edge of the universe, far into the future. Cyd Finlea is photo-journalist working for the publishers Global Neographic, travelling deep into outer space — otherwise known as THE OUT — and cataloguing the alien societies that she encounters. She left Earth ten years ago and has lost track of how far she is from home, but regardless she keeps going, accompanied by her sentient flatspace bag, seeking other ex-pat humans…

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The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast: Scarlet Traces Anthology

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own…

Created by Ian Edington and Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker, Scarlet Traces is the popular 2000 AD series exploring the world after the events of HG Wells’ seminal War of the Worlds – and now, writers have come together to explore that world in prose in SCARLET TRACES: AN ANTHOLOGY BASED ON WAR OF THE WORLDS, out now from Rebellion Publishing!

On this edition of The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast, co-creator and anthology editor Ian Edginton, writer Maura McHugh, and Rebellion commissioning editor David Moore join 2000 AD publicity droid Molch-R to discuss the world of Scarlet Traces, the legacy of HG Wells’ original novel, imperialism and speculative fiction, and moving from comics into prose.

The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast is the award-winning podcast that takes you behind-the-scenes at the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic! As well as interviewing top creators and famous fans, we bring you announcements, competitions, and much more! You can subscribe to the Thrill-Cast on your favourite podcast app, iTunes and Spotify, or you can listen now at 2000AD.com/podcast

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2000AD Covers Uncovered – Venus Fly Scrap!

Earth strikes back! The forces of Earth, with the help of Ahron, Ikarus and Sohna, have stuck a major blow against the occupying Alien forces on Venus. Series artist D’Israeli brings us yet another stunning cover, beautifully highlighting the forces of Earth’s hit and hope ‘Scorched Venus’ policy.

As ever, D’Israeli was kind enough to send a wealth of images and information about the cover, he said “As usual we started with a brief from Tharg-In-Residence Matt Smith; the idea was to show a formation of Earth fighters firing missiles over a Venusian city as a hug explosion goes off in the background. Unless otherwise stated, all work was done in Manga Studio/Clip Studio Paint MX 5.”

“The previous episodes had contained quite a few shots similar to the brief, and I’d already built 3D models of the fighters so I could draw them consistently. They were loosely inspired by the “Sky One” fighter aircraft from the 1969 Gerry Anderson TV series UFO…”

Believe in Better

“Since I’d done a lot of work like this already, I took the unusual step of starting by playing about with 3D models – I had a pretty clear idea of the composition I wanted to achieve, and it was as easy to get it by moving models around as it was to draw roughs and then move models around.”

We can only hope that D’Israeli makes ‘Neeeeoooooowwwww! Pew! Pew! Pew!’ noises while he plays with these models…

“Below is the cover rough sent to Matt Smith. I often do two or three, but in this case the design was very clear and I was also in the middle of the last episode with the deadline roaring up on me like a Jurassic Park tyrannosaur seen through the wing mirror of an electric jeep. The colour scheme had been established in the story already, so I just went with that as it was nice and dramatic.”

Is it still called a Dutch Angle when it’s on Venus?

“Here are the pencils. Once the rough was approved, I stripped out the outlines from the roughs, faded them down a but and used them, superimposed over the same model rendering, as the “pencils’ for the finished piece.”

Apocalypse Now!

“On a new layer I inked the aircraft and on yet another the red flames from the rocket launches. It’s always best to keep everything separated out as much as possible to allow for corrections or changes, so I routinely end up with dozens of layers. The background explosions and city buildings were to be done as “colour holds” (coloured outlines), so I took a slightly different approach with them…”

“Stay on target! Stay on target!”

“Flat colour next! By dropping in simple flat colour I could better judge what colours the background outlines needed to be. Using coloured outlines for the background helps to “pop” the planes forward and smart a sense of distance.”

“I inked the explosion in red first, filled it (on another layer – the Paint Bucket Tool in both Manga Studio and Photoshop can use outlines on one layer to constrain a fill on a different layer) with orange and then “greebled” in the details of the city buildings behind the explosion. Having the dark green to work against let me see more easily what colour to pick for the building outlines. I use the term “greebling” for noodling in fine detail like buildings or mechanisms as a nod to the use of the word “greeblies” by the special effects house ILM to describe fine detail pieces used to give a sense of scale to models. The greebling here was quite tough as the foreground greeblies were identifiable things like doors, windows, roofs and even tiny figures, but the stuff near the horizon was basically just scribble designed to hint at lots of buildings below the resolution of the eye. Deciding at what point to go from recognisable detail to texture is a bit tricky, and you’re always tempted to switch a bit too early when your hand starts getting tired!”

“In this cover, as with the matching scenes in the strip, you’ll notice I use columns of smoke to eat up as much landscape as I decently can to reduce the amount of greebling necessary.”

D’Israeli’s Greeble wobbles, but he doesn’t fall down!

“The flat colours on the background and explosion are either midtones or shadows, so I just needed to add highlights to make them look 3D. For some reason I find it easiest to start with a mid-tone and add highlights and shadows; as a result I’m more comfortable with acrylics or gouache than watercolour when I work with real media. I also added a shadow tone to the planes to make them really stand out from the background explosions.”

“Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be home for breakfast!”

“Finally I add highlights to the planes. They’re already standing out well from the background, so I add the minimum of highlights to keep them separated while also giving the impression they’re 3D objects lit by the blast from below and the flashes from the missiles.”

To experience the cover in its full glory, you must join in with the Dambusters March. All together now “Dah! Dah! Dah! Dah! Dada dah, daaaah! Dah! Dah! Dah! Dah! Dah! Dada da daaaah!”

And it’s finished! “At this point we’re done and I export the file from Manga Studio to Photoshop for file preparation and upload to the 2000AD FTP server. Manga Studio only works in the RGB colour space so I convert the file to a CMYK TIFF for printing. Photoshop has particularly good controls for this, and in fact it’s about the last thing I still use it for.”

Huge thanks as ever to the wonderful Mr Matt Brooker, AKA D’Israeli for once again sending such wonderful images and info. Greebling eh? I’d never heard of that before! I love this cover, it really does give off a Star Wars/Dambusters vibe and I love the way the fighters have penetrated the smoke trails, it really adds a kinetic energy and atmosphere to this already brilliant piece! All hail D’Israeli!

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Venus Bluegenes

War! Those pesky ‘Martians’ are constructing a contraption to block the sun’s rays, wiping out the entire solar system! This devious plot has finally prompted the nations of Earth to come together as one to launch a final offensive against the occupying alien menace on Venus! Meanwhile, on the surface of the planet, Ahron and Ikarus frantically search for a way to wipe out the alien threat. Oh-laaaa indeed!

I asked King of Covers, D’israeli to tell us how he crafted this latest masterpiece. He said “This was a weird one – I’d just finished Scarlet Traces: Cold War series 1, Tharg very kindly gave me a cover for series 2. However, Ian Edginton’s series outline wasn’t in yet; we’d no idea what it would be about, beyond the fact that Ahron and Ikarus would be in it. So Matt came up with a generic “Ahron fending off tripods” concept, and we took it from there. This also explains why I didn’t do my usual three roughs for this one – I submitted only the one you see, and that went through.”

“I started by arranging the tripod models I’d made for the first series in an appropriate composition to make up the background of the image. The original HG Wells tripods were graceful and organic, like animals, so I just used to draw them by hand, but the new Venusian ones are meant to be a cross between deep-sea diving gear and military tanks, so I made them more clunky and complex, and at that point building a model was the easiest way to go.”

This also works as a basis for Groucho Marx in a chef’s hat.

“The video below gives you an all-round view of the tripod model. I didn’t bother building the legs, as those can easily be drawn by hand; the checker pattern on the finished render helps me to draw in addition details like lines of rivets or oil stains more easily. Missing from this version of the model is a stick that extends from the base of the model to ground level, making sure the tripod is always the same height…”

 D’Israeli continues “The model was imported into Manga Studio, and I traced over it, adding the figure and the tentacles. This is the rough layout approved by Tharg. Since I was kicking my heels at the time, I put a bit more work into this one than usual.”

“Oola! Keep still while I’m drying your hair!”

“Once my rough was approved, I copied the “inks’ from the rough drawing onto a new layer and filled them with pale blue to use as the rough basis for the finished drawing. I also made sure the reference model shot was visible, as I’d be tracing from that when I inked the tripods.”

“Mind the Checkerboard, Ahron!”

“The “pencil” drawing (in red) firmed up the figure of Ahron and fixed the position of the tentacles.”

“Aw, my own little Venusian. I will love him, and hug him, and call him George!”

“Time for the inks. The “ink” outlines to the figure, tentacles and tripods, added using Manga Studio’s Pen Tools…”

“Y-you have a snot hanging out of your nose…”

“I added the “painted” shading to the inks using the Lasso Fill tool to add spot blacks, then the Brush Tool to soften up edges where necessary. The end result should look hand-painted, avoiding the “too-perfect” airbrushed look of much digital colouring.”

“One down, twenty nine to go!”

“The Paint Bucket Tool in Manga Studio has the nifty ability to draw blacks, so it’s much better than Photoshop for putting flat colour under drawings . The Lasso Fill Tool – which automatically fills any shape your draw with your chosen colour, also helps make Manga Studio a fantastic tool for colourists.”

It takes over an hour for the aliens to do the Hokey Cokey.

“Colour-Shading – I added a red tint to the piece; this will be the underlying shadow colour out of which all the other colours “pop.”

A water pistol!?!

Next D’Israeli adds a Colour rim light, he says “This is a blue “rim light” – a light that just picks out the edges of Ahron and the tentacles, pulling them forward from the background tripods…”

While Ahron was busy fighting, Ikarus fired up the sunbed.

“The final step was to put in the bright yellow highlights from the muzzle flash of Ahron’s raygun. These pull the figure away from the background and direct the eye to the main character. At this point I can export the file from Manga Studio to Photoshop for the final file processing and upload!”

The aliens weren’t happy with the Oh La La Land Oscar Mix Up.

Huge, huge thanks to Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker for sending his usual meticulous process notes and images. Watching his artwork take shape is a real pleasure and this series of Scarlet Traces looks incredible.

Will mankind be able to stop the aliens in time? Will Ahron escape his home planet? What will happen to the offspring of Ikarus and Irya? There’s only one place to find out Earthlets!  

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2000AD Covers Uncovered – Mars Attacks!

Set your Thrill receptors on full as Prog 1988 sees the triumphant return of super artist D’Israeli to the Galaxy’s Greatest, as Scarlet Traces makes it’s debut in Prog 1988. Scarlet Traces: Cold War is the third book of Ian Edginton and D’Israeli’s Scarlet Traces series, a story set after the alien invasion of The War of the Worlds by H.G Wells (hey, nice name!) 

Cold War is set in 1968, seventy four years after the invasion of Earth by alien forces. Earth has fully grasped and developed the alien technology but this has been at great cost to Britain, which resulted in the destruction of much of the South of England at the end of the ‘The Great Game.’

I asked comics legend D’Iraeli to fill us in on the creation of his startling cover the series. Over to him…

“So, as as usual, Tharg-in-Residence Matt Smith sent me a detailed brief for the cover of Prog 1988. In this case it was an expanded version of a panel from the first episode of Scarlet Traces – Cold War:

“Would you be up for doing a cover for the first episode? I was thinking of the three fighter ships flying in formation towards us, Union Jacks on the wings, Earth in the background…?”

“I always produce three different cover roughs, one based exactly on the brief, one slight variant, and one wild card. Since I’d built 3D models of the Interceptor spaceships for the episode, I spent a bit of time arranging the models in different compositions, rather than sketching out layouts.”

 
“CGI is a bit of a double-edged sword – it can save time and effort when drawing complex objects (assuming said object appears enough times in a strip for the time saved drawing it to offset the time spent building and arranging the model(s.)) If you’re not careful, it can end up producing a dull, mechanical-looking end result. For myself, I always ink over 3D model renders by hand to integrate them completely with my own drawing. In the case of a composition like this, it’s important to introduce dynamic compositions and strong perspective to help offset the “deadening” effect of the mechanically-correct CGI underpinnings.

The model renders are shown here with the roughs I made from them using Clip Studio Paint (née Manga Studo):

“Below is the wild card cover. This is the “kitchen sink” composition – it has everything, the interceptors converging on an alien cylinder with both the Earth and the Moon in the background, and an interceptor pilot clearly visible. My tribute to 1970’s sci-fi paperback covers.”

Erm… some beach balls and candy rocks in space? What is the artist trying to tell us here?

“Closer to Matt’s brief, but with the exploding alien cylinder in the background for added “oomph.”

A futuristic reimagining of the Hindenburg Disaster.

“And the final sketch, Interceptors and the Earth, precisely as per the brief. As you can see here, I didn’t do a new render from the models for this one; I just positioned a render of the Earth over the first reference image to give me the background I needed.” 

Will the last person to leave Earth please turn off the lights.

“Once Tharg had approved rough number 3, it was time to begin the finished drawing. Since most of the image was based on 3D model renders, there was relatively little drawing to be done. This image shows the minimal amount of pencilling I had to do…”

White Space…

“Here I’m inking the spaceships. I do the inks on their own layer so I’ll be able to play around with the backgrounds later on.”

Spaceships by Bertie Bassett.

“Adding the black of space (which also defines the disc of the Earth…)”

And on the first day, D’Israeli said “Let there be dark!” 

“Softening. There are two things I don’t usually do; shade with black or use the airbrush tool for shading. I usually avoid that particular look because it’s a kind the basic go-to solution for anyone teaching themselves digital art, and it’s hard to differentiate your work if you just do what everyone else does. In this case, though, airbrushed tones were just what I needed to lend volume to the curves of the planet and the spaceships in the harsh light of interplanetary space. Never say “never!””

Turned out cloudy then…

“Flat colours; here I’m adding in the basic flat colours to the objects (using the Paint Bucket tool) and tracing off the shapes of the continents as blocks of colour (using the excellent Lasso Fill tool in Clip Studio Paint née Manga Studio – just draw a shape and let go and it automatically fills with colour, just like using the old Pencil tool in Illustrator.) The colours on the planet are on two different layers, under the colours of the spaceships, so I can fiddle with them without affecting the ships.
I’ve made one change here from the roughs – swapping the colours of the yellow and green spaceships, since the green was getting lost against the colour of the continents behind.”

After the 50th series of Celebrity Big Brother, the people of Earth had had enough…

“Clouds. Mostly drawn in using the Lasso Fill tool, with the Pen tool used for the smaller blobs. I try to set up a realistic-looking whorl pattern that will draw the eye to the lead spaceship. I do this on a new layer between the colours for the spaceships and the colour for the planet, so I don’t have to worry about masking them out or anything – I can just draw freely and they appear “behind” the spaceships.”

Cloud Atlas

“Cloud shadows. By selecting the clouds with the Lasso tool, nudging the selection a few pixels over with the keyboard arrow keys, filling with black on a new layer, repeating the selection of the clouds, and using it to delete parts of the black fill, I create fine black shadows for the clouds over the Earth in about thirty seconds flat!”

“Past the Sea of Swirly Twirley Gumdrops.”

“Highlights. On a new layer, I add a few shiny highlights to the spacecraft to help them “pop.” I also add a bright blue circular gradient to the Earth’s oceans to help give form to the globe. Finally, I lock transparency on the layer containing the continents. This means I can only draw on the continents themselves. I then add texture with Clip Studio’s Chalk brushes, using a mix of beiges, browns and khaki-greens to give variation to the Earth’s surface.”

Given a bit of a polish by one of those windscreen washer folks. There’s no escaping them!

“I wonder if the space background would look better with stars added. Save a copy, add stars – no, it doesn’t. Back to the previous version. Another reason to work digitally – with real media that experiment would have set me up for at least an hour of repair work.”

“My God! It’s full of stars!”

“Done!”

Earth Forces are Go!

“I export the file from Clip Studio Paint in Photoshop format, and process it to a flat CMYK TIFF in Photoshop for upload to the 2000AD FTP server.”

Wow!!! Thank you so much to D’Israeli for sendng the images and excellent breakdown, a true pro! Be sure to visit his site at here and also Eamonn Clake’s brilliant Scarlet Traces annotations page!

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EXCLUSIVE: first peek of Edginton & D’Israeli’s Scarlet Traces: Cold War

The new series of Ian Edginton and Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker’s Scarlet Traces, Scarlet Traces: Cold War, will begin in 2000 AD Prog 1988, on sale 6 July 2016 – and the 2000 AD blog has the first sneak peek!

Scarlet Traces took place ten years after the abortive Martian invasion of Earth, with reverse-engineered alien technology allowing Britain to dominate the world. But when women’s bodies were washed up on the banks of the Thames, a retired soldier and his trusty manservant discovered a dark plot to strike back at the Martians – a plan with devastating consequences for them and then for their world 30 years later.

Set in 1968, Cold War sees a diminished Britain outpaced by its rivals and dealing with an influx of Venusian refugees fleeing the Martian invasion of their planet. As the nation falls into racist acrimony, the Royal Air Force’s Ahron Shakespeare, a first generation Earth born Venusian and an engineer, and flamboyant human/Martian hybrid, Icarus, uncover diabolical Martian plans that could mean the end of all life on Earth.

Next year, we’ll also be publish ing new collections of Scarlet Traces, followed by The Great Game, and the War of the Worlds adaptation.