A closer look at some of my favourite covers from 2000AD comic
This is a classic example of a great cover propping up a mediocre issue of 2000AD comic, the long-running weekly science-fiction comic.
Cover dated 7th December 1991 this issue of 2000AD sports a terrific painted cover of Judge Anderson by artist Mick Austin. Originally created by John Wagner in 1980 Anderson proved an immediate hit with readers and has enjoyed continued success over the last 35 years, mainly under the authorship of Alan Grant. Thanks to Grant the Anderson stories concentrated more on supernatural and psychological themes, such as ‘Engram’ which appeared in this Prog (issue) drawn ably by David Roach.
Austin’s cover is wonderfully atmospheric and taps neatly into the general creepiness of the story. Sadly, as effective as both the cover and the story are, the rest of the Prog is pretty hum-drum. Judge Dredd kicks off the issue with “Teddy Choppermitz”, a predictable spoof of Edward Scissorhands. Next is a dull Tharg’s Future Shocks that only succeeds in demonstrating how uninspired the strip had become after Alan Moore left the title. New (and short-lived) story Trash came next, followed by the Anderson strip. The Johnny Alpha-less Strontium Dogs rounded off the Prog.
Although it’s not a great issue, man I love the cover. Austin’s brush-work gives the image a terrific pulp feel and I especially like how Anderson pops out from the background. Austin makes her look almost luminous, and his painting, combined with the gothic typeface, helped make this an effective and eye-catching cover. Austin quit both commercial and comic book work in the mid-nineties to concentrate on a career in fine art – hardly surprising with work of this quality. He may only have contributed a hand full of covers to 2000AD comic but they’ve all stood the test of time.