Illicit Thrills: The Seizure of 2000AD
Last night it was reported that the entirity of the UK-originated stock for 2000AD, one of the best comic publications in the world (“The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic!”) was seized by the DEA as it was headed for San Diego for Comic-Con this weekend.
Yes, the Drug Enforcement Agency has seized comic books.
Now, 2000AD are not COMPLETELY hosed, as they have stock of US-origin as well, namely, the recent reprint volumes of classic Thrills being published by Simon & Schuster. But as for the newest material, this would include the most recent Prog (#1694), as well as, more momentously, the 300th issue of 2000AD‘s sister publication, the Judge Dredd Megazine.
My thoughts on this:
* Again, why is the DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY seizing COMIC BOOKS?? If any of this country’s fascist agencies, I’d figure it would be Department of Homeland Security? What gives here? No explanations have been given as of this writing.
* You know, ironically, this IS a very Judge Dredd thing to have happened!
* On a more serious point, this incident will do nothing to help salve the reputation that 2000AD is a museum piece, a relic of days past. Despite the fact it’s still going on, to this day, after over 30 years, the general assumption seems to be that the Prog is gone. “They’re still making that?” “I used to read that, whatever happened to it?” In the USA, the only way MOST in the mainstream have even remotely heard of 2000AD is via Judge Dredd, and even then that’s mainly due to a) Sylvester Stallone or, more preferably, b) the band Anthrax. So, late-80s to mid-90s at best.
Looking above at the reprint paperbacks being offered to the US market now (the 3rd or 4th attempt to do so, at that), you can tell what they’re pushing: Judge Dredd, and anything written by Alan Moore. Oftentimes, both at once, OR Dredd + some other major name at the moment. You have Dredd by: Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, Mark Millar. The vast majority of the reprints are from the “Glory Days”: the late-70s to early-90s.
The ONE collection of anything even remotely recent is ZOMBO by Al Ewing and Henry Flint, from 2009. Ewing is also the newest writer to be featured in any of the Judge Dredd collections. Out of ALL the announced collections, this is the ONE Thrill from this century seen worthy of reprint and exposure? I call bullshit there. (And not a knock on ZOMBO or Ewing one bit, I love both to pieces. But the message it’s giving is that this is the ONLY Thrill published in the 2000s-AD [see what I did there?] that’s worthwhile. Which is, simply, not true)
It’s not 2000AD’s fault the DEA (?!?!) seized their stock, but when all you have to offer is material going as far back as 30 years ago, it’s no wonder 2000AD struggles to be seen as the cultural force it really should be. I really hope we get some answers, and that 2000AD can show the modern audience what it can do in modern times, as well as showing off the best from days gone by.
(And I also really hope this doesn’t adversely affect 2000AD’s planned appearance at the New York Comic-Con in October)
Edit 1: According to this posting on 2000AD’s message board, the stock HAS been released. So that’s good. STILL no explanations tho.
Edit 2: If YOU would like to read a recent issue of 2000AD and don’t want to wait for importing to catch up with it, you can legally download issues from Clickwheel. Costs $2.99/£1.49, you get it in PDF or CBZ formats, and it’s only a week or so behind the print schedule. Get caught up, get CURRENT. 2000AD IS ALIVE.