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Comics 101

When I was a kid, comics were mostly filled with American superheroes, and British war heroes. Superman. Batman. Spiderman. Avengers. Battle. Victor. Warlord. Fireball. Action. For the younger kids, there was the Dandy. Beano. Topper. Whizzer and Chips.

Marvel and DC came in the post from the USA, an intermittent treat from the American cousins. One of the things I read it for was the classifieds, offering such intriguing goods as x-ray glasses and Hostess Twinkies. And sand monkeys. I always wanted sand monkeys.

And No Prizes. I wanted a No Prize.

Slan Lee, the orignal comic book guy. Public domain image posted to Flickr by donabelandewen

But the American comics weren’t dependable. I’d get a batch of five Supermans together, then nothing for months. Issues were skipped, so I’d land in the middle of a story, or never find our how an adventure ended. Warlord and Fireball weren’t as exciting, but at least you rarely missed an issue.

Then 2000AD came along. Sci-fi was in short supply outside US sources, and here was an English sci-fi comic. They even noticed Ireland occasionally, first Murphyville and the Irish judges, later the entire Slaine mythos. Though I’m still not sure if that was a breakout moment for Irish culture or just a shameless rip-off of the Ulster cycle to attract the Conan fans.

I read 2000AD for years, but I lost touch with it in college. Every few years, I do a catch up, and read a backlog of Judge Dredd multi-issue stories. Outside Dredd though, I don’t follow 2000AD any more. Every now and then I hear something interesting, like the resurrected Johnny Alpha, but nowadays we’re like Facebook friends who rarely cross paths anymore.