I wish I knew the material produced by 2000 AD better, but I could tell Future Shock was a thorough documentary about it. And that’s the point. It makes me curious about it through this oral history from the artists behind the comic imprint, although an illustrated comic book history as well.
I could tell the anecdotes about specific comic panels and storylines would mean a lot more to the fans who read them for decades, but I can also understand a story about art and business. A case of celebrity slander is dangerous in any industry. When original art is mistreated and wasted, I know that’s tragic.
The growth of 2000 AD leads to a poignant gender issue where they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They get heat for not having more female driven stories, but then if male artists conceive of female characters they’re criticized for having no business writing a woman’s perspective. But they can’t get female writers because they’re seen as a boy’s club.
With greater success, corporate greed drove artists away. They were made to sign away all rights in order to get paid, so 2000 AD lost a lot of the greats. Eventually, it intersected with the big boys in DC crossovers.
By the time they talk about the Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd movie, that’s something I know about. Yet as disappointing as the movie turned out to be, it kept the lights on at 2000 AD for some time. I did not know about Fleetway Film and Television, or plans for a Schwarzenegger Judge Dredd movie. More on that, please. Nor did I know what other films lifted material from 2000 AD.
You see and feel the passion and feelings of all the artists interviewed. By the end, I was sucked into the world of 2000 AD and ready to buy some back issues. Zenith sounds fun. So if the story of artists meant that much to me just in vague terms, I imagine it would be a dream for die hard 2000 AD fans.