2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-oriented comic property that has been picked up by ThreeA for release under their Showcase brand. As a comics anthology it serialises a number of separate stories each issue (known as "progs") and was first published by IPC Magazines in 1977, the first issue dated February 26. IPC, later Fleetway, continued to produce the title until the year 2000, when it was bought by Rebellion Developments. It is most noted for its Judge Dredd stories, and has been contributed to by a number of artists and writers who became renowned in the field internationally, such as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Bryan Talbot, Brian Bolland and Mike McMahon.
2000 AD has been a successful launchpad for getting United Kingdom talent into the larger American comics market, and has also been the source of a number of film licences. Unlike earlier weekly titles, 2000 AD was based on a 6 page strip format. This gave the writers greater opportunity to develop character and meant that the artists had greater scope in designing the layout.
A long-running joke is that the editor of 2000 AD is Tharg the Mighty, a green extraterrestrial from Betelgeuse who terms his readers "Earthlets". Tharg uses other unique alien expressions and even appears in his own comic strips. Readers sometimes play along with this: for example, in prog 200 a pair of readers wrote to Tharg claiming that they preferred to be called "Terrans"; the resulting controversy ended in Tharg's accepting a challenge for a duel at a galactic location.
Another running joke is Tharg's supposed use of robots to draw and write the strips — some of which bear a marked resemblance to actual writers and artists. A fictional reason for Tharg to use mechanical assistance was given when the robots "went on strike" (reflecting real-life industrial action that occasionally halted IPC's comics production during the 1970s and 1980s). Tharg wrote and drew a whole issue himself, but when he ran it through the quality-control "Thrill-meter", the device melted down on extreme overload. The offending issue had to be taken away, by blindfolded security guards, to a lead-lined vault where there was no danger of anyone seeing it accidentally.
ThreeA / 2000 AD Figures
A list of 2000 AD figures released or announced by threeA: