On this day, 1 February 1986: Dice Man
On this day, 1 February 1986 … typical of the creative genius at the heart of IPC’s (and particularly 2000AD’s) comics publishing empire was the launch of Dice Man – a 2000AD spin-off inspired by the mid-1980s craze for dice-based roleplaying games. Devised by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill alongside editor Simon Geller, this glossy magazine placed some of the most popular characters from the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic in their own standalone graphic adventures similar to Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. With elite writers and artists behind each story, this is a publication that’s lovely to look back on.
Sadly, the odds were stacked against Dice Man – a high cover price, cautious trade customers and a higher management that probably didn’t quite know what to do with it meant that it was cancelled after five issues. ‘The trade viewed it as a series of one-shots, instead of treating it like any regular publication. There was no loyalty so it wasn’t a major success,’ said managing editor Gil Page in David Bishop’s history of 2000AD, Thrill-power Overload.