There’s an old expression about how everybody loves the sausage but nobody wants to know how it is made. Despite our current age, where every hints of what is happening in the comic book editorial offices has to be spread across social media, there remains some wisdom in that old expression. However, if you can’t stay away from the sausage factory and you love British comics, Thrill-Power Overload is the book for you.
Thrill-Power looks at the first 40 years of 2000 AD, the comic book company that is most famous for a certain navy, red and gold wearing judge in a dystopian future who dispenses rapid fire justice in Mega-City One. The authors, David Bishop and Karl Stock have hunted down every interview that was ever done by someone at 2000 AD and added their own to compile a complete insider view of what was going on at one of the biggest British comics publisher.
It starts with the history of a struggling little break away comic book company run by a guy that its own publishers didn’t know how to contain and walked into the biggest hit, Judge Dredd. It tells the story from everyone’s perspective of how this tiny publisher pumped out stories by the people who would be come the biggest names in comics: Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison, Kevin O’Neill and so many more.
Everyone gets to tell what happened there from there own perspective which leads to a lot of finger pointing and disagreements about what actually happened. You may not learn the actual truth but you get a Rashomon- like insight into what everyone thought was going on there.
The story goes from boom to bust and recovery. It talk about not only Judge Dredd, but Strontium Dog, Star-Lord (No, not Peter Quill), Sláine, Tharg and so many more. It tells of the involvement of 2000 AD in the Judge Dredd movies as well as it’s efforts to rebuild the brand.
The book is packed with art from all the 2000 AD titles. It makes an efforts to show what the writers and artists are criticizing in their own and each others’ stories.
If you are a fan of 2000 AD and need to know the inside story, this book is for you. If you want to know how the biggest names in comics were influenced by their time there, this book is for you.
If you never got into Judge Dredd and thought the Stallone movie was not a great comics outting, maybe you should save your $45.
Writers: David Bishop & Karl Stock