Friday, 26 February 2016

Happy 39th Birthday 2000AD!

I remember it so clearly. I had just turned 9 the day before, and took my birthday money round to the nearby newsagents to grab some sweets and perhaps a comic.

Back then I used to read stuff like Krazy Comic or Whizzer and Chips but I remember the cover of the very first 2000AD catching my eye. Dan Dare? A free frisbee? Oh that's got to be worth 8p surely.

By that time I was a complete sci fi nerd. Star Wars had yet to explode and turn Sci Fi into something mainstream, yet here was a comic that presented stories that felt entirely different to me. Gritty, dark futures super-beings and time travel - even the return of a well-loved comic book hero from the 50s. I paid my 8p and took it home.

I was hooked from that issue onwards. Of course Issue 2 was the clincher for me, and the one that introduced me to a comic character that would ensure I stayed well and truly hooked on 2000AD well into adulthood. Judge Dredd exploded into issue 2 and that was where my pocket money went every week without fail.

2000AD celebrates its 39th birthday today, and I still have that very first issue - and the space spinner - which I'm completely amazed by when you consider what those early comics were made of (very poor quality paper - not the sort of thing you'd expect a 9 year old to be able to keep in fairly good condition for so long!)

It's about the only thing I have from that era of my childhood. Somehow it almost became a revered object, that comic - and when I flick through it again now (very very carefully) I can instantly recall what it felt like to read it for the very first time.

We moved to Oxford late in '77, I remember Jubilee year and the summer parties, starting at a new school that year too - and yet my clearest memories were the comic's first year and the stories that just got better and better.

Now, of course, 2000AD is still alive and kicking and still managing to be one of the best comics in the universe. Charlotte is still a way off being able to read it - though technically if she starts when I did, she's only got a year to wait!