Quick, which publishers are the pioneers of digital comics? You might think IDW or Marvel, but the UK’s Rebellion, publisher of 2000 AD, has been selling digital editions of its book since all the way back in 2005 with great success—it’s the fastest and cheapest way to get Judge Dredd if you don’t live in the UK after all. Now they are making their downloads DRM free. All comics purchased—past and present—via any method—web, Android, iOS—will now be available in DRM-free PDF and CBZ files.
At last weekend’s C2E2 the Rebellion/2000 AD crowd was out and represented by marketing man about town Michael Molcher. Snapping a pic of him and his fellow boothworkers you could not help but notice that they were wearing T-shirs baring the logo of Zenith, which is, after Marvelman, perhaps the greatest “lost” superhero of UK comics. Created by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell, with original character designs by Brendan McCarthy , it first appeared in in 2000 AD #535 in August 1987, and ran for four story arcs, or ‘phases,’ which finished up in 2000 AD #805 in October 1992. It ran in about 80 issues of the comic; the first three phases were collected in five volumes by Titan Books between 1988 and 1990. Phase Four has never been reprinted.
Add the UK’s 2000 Ad — home of Judge Dredd — to the list of publishers going day and date. They’re even getting their own app, via the Apple Newsstand, which is offering a free introductory 69-page sampler with pages from Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos, Zombo, and Ichabod Azrael.
Subscribers get up to a 24% discount and a selection of free back issues. Single issues are $2.99/£1.99.
The internet is crossing international lines! Or at least it is with 2000 AD, the essential UK anthology, which will soon be available digitally only 2 days after it hits UK newsstands. Not quite day and date but better than the two weeks it takes physical copies to get to the US. Copies can be purchased at 2000 AD’s own store; subscriptions can be purchased via Clickwheel.
In addition, 2000 AD publisher Rebellion is working on their own digital comics platform for later this year.