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On this day, 23 January 1982: 2000AD (Prog 248)

On this day, 23 January 1982: 2000AD (Prog 248)

  Cover artwork: Brian Bolland

Cover artwork: Brian Bolland

On this day, 23 January 1982 … I love this Brian Bolland cover, in the style of either a futuristic football sticker album or the latest motley line-up of UKIP candidates. The Mean Arena doesn’t seem to be the most fondly remembered of 2000AD strips, but it was a favourite of mine at the time. I think it must have been the first ‘future sport’ comic strip that I read, having missed Harlem Heroes and Action’s Death Game 1999/Spinball series, and followed the fortunes of Matt Tallon – American import star of Reading-based Slater’s Slayers in the delightful sport of street football. The game, competed by teams representing some of Britain’s most hardcore towns and cities (such as, er, Reading, Oxford and Southampton), was a kind of weaponised Gaelic football played out on the actual streets of said urban environments. The players, as portrayed by Bolland on this week’s cover, were generally a motley collection of sociopathic and psychopathic ne’er-do-wells or loners whose despair at modern life had given them a death wish. None of this could ever happen, of course. Elsewhere in the comic, the Russians, having destabilised and driven American citizens on to the streets in acts of mass social disorder, return the world to the brink of mutually assured nuclear destruction.

  Ace Trucking Co.: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

Ace Trucking Co.: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

  Ace Trucking Co.: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

Ace Trucking Co.: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

  The Mean Arena: A Ridgeway (writer), Mike White (artist)

The Mean Arena: A Ridgeway (writer), Mike White (artist)

  The Mean Arena: A Ridgeway (writer), Mike White (artist)

The Mean Arena: A Ridgeway (writer), Mike White (artist)

  Tharg’s Future Shocks: The Horn of Plenty!: Kelvin Gosnell (writer), John Higgins (artist)

Tharg’s Future Shocks: The Horn of Plenty!: Kelvin Gosnell (writer), John Higgins (artist)

  Tharg’s Future Shocks: The Horn of Plenty!: Kelvin Gosnell (writer), John Higgins (artist)

Tharg’s Future Shocks: The Horn of Plenty!: Kelvin Gosnell (writer), John Higgins (artist)

  Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Carlos Ezquerra (artist)

Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Carlos Ezquerra (artist)

  Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Carlos Ezquerra (artist)

Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Carlos Ezquerra (artist)

  Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Carlos Ezquerra (artist)

Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War: John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers), Carlos Ezquerra (artist)

  Nemesis the Warlock: Pat Mills (writer), Jesus Redondo (artist)

Nemesis the Warlock: Pat Mills (writer), Jesus Redondo (artist)

  Nemesis the Warlock: Pat Mills (writer), Jesus Redondo (artist)

Nemesis the Warlock: Pat Mills (writer), Jesus Redondo (artist)

  Robo Hunter preview: Ian Gibson (artist)

Robo Hunter preview: Ian Gibson (artist)

  Rogue Trooper: Gerry Finley-Day (writer), Colin Wilson (artist)

Rogue Trooper: Gerry Finley-Day (writer), Colin Wilson (artist)

  Rogue Trooper: Gerry Finley-Day (writer), Colin Wilson (artist)

Rogue Trooper: Gerry Finley-Day (writer), Colin Wilson (artist)

  Rogue Trooper: Gerry Finley-Day (writer), Colin Wilson (artist)

Rogue Trooper: Gerry Finley-Day (writer), Colin Wilson (artist)

  Poster: Bill Le Fever (artist)

Poster: Bill Le Fever (artist)

On this day, 24 January 1976: Monster Fun

On this day, 24 January 1976: Monster Fun

Story File: D-Day Dawson

Story File: D-Day Dawson