2000AD has been involved in Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) for the past four years. Not for 2016 however as their submission has been rejected, ostensibly due to its size.
Unlike many publishers Rebellion, the owners of 2000AD, have always included brand new material in their FCBD offering.
When I first heard this I thought it was merely a rumour. It is a bit of a shock to see Britain’s most influential comic treated in this way.
I can confirm that it is true. The full press release from Rebellion is below.
“2000 AD is very proud of the success of our FCBD issue, which saw orders grow in huge jumps every single year, exceeding 60,000 units in 2015. We value FCBD, and the effort Diamond and the retailers put into making the day so successful, for the opportunity to support comic book stores, reach out to new audiences both within and beyond the UK, and to give something extra to readers. As such, we have proudly and routinely commissioned original content from top flight talent for our FCBD issues and increased the page count to a hefty 48 pages.
“It is therefore very disappointing to not be taking part in the 2016 event, particularly since we were so excited about including work by such huge talents as Eric Powell, Joelle Jones, and Laura and Mike Allred.
“We don’t want to keep that from our readers, so we have therefore taken the decision to still bring this amazing work out in May 2016 in a new Summer Special issue, full details of which will be forthcoming.
“Meanwhile we hope readers and retailers who are disappointed not to be able to pick up a 2000 AD FCBD issue next year will give their support to us and the Summer Special. We very much hope to be back in FCBD in 2017 and will be working hard for that to happen.”
Eric Powell is the Writer/Artis and creator of The Goon, published by the independent US publisher Avatar.
Joelle Jones has worked on titles such as Hellheim for Oni Press and Fables for Vertigo (DC).
Laura Allred was the 2012 Eisner Winner for Best Colorist: iZombie (DC Comics/Vertigo.
Mike Allred is the creator of Madman (Oni Press, Dark Horse, Image) and has worked on major titles such as Daredevil, Silver Surfer and Batman.
Obviously I’m happy that we’ll still be seeing these US creators in the pages of a 2000AD special but it is surely a big loss to the public by not being included in FCBD.
FCBD is aimed at getting people in to Comic Stores. It is aimed primarily at new or lapsed readers but obviously also entices in to the shops people that may mostly purchase comics online or digitally. 2000AD is something very different to what most people think of when they think of comics. It offers something that people may not know exists. In the UK it is also one of the main items in FCBD that might reach out to lapsed readers.
I am a little biased being a life time fan of 2000AD but given the people who started their Comic careers with 2000AD and went on to international fame it is clearly Britain’s most influential comic. People such as Alan Moore (V For Vendetta, Watchmen), Mark Millar (Kick Ass) and award winning Author Neil Gaiman (2002 Hugo Award Best Novel American Gods) for example.
I hope we see 2000AD back for FCBD 2017.