Borag Thungg again, Earthlets! It’s an entire new year which means there’s an entire new year of comics from Rebellion Publishing to explore. And between Best of 2000 AD #1 coming soon, all of the killer announcements about 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics’ lineups for the next 12 months, AND the promise for more zarjaz merchandise and previews on the horizon, it’s hard not to already see this as a golden period for British comics. (Especially if you America readers start getting on board, too!) But more than anything else, it’s the beginning of the year, and for many of you that means a hefty helping of believing that this is a new golden era for you, as well. “New year, new me!” — full of 2020 resolutions and all that.
Well. First of all, that’s ridiculous. You’re probably pretty rad as it is and just need to have some entertaining aspirations. But just in case you need some inspiration to make changes in your new year — and at risk of basically turning into a deranged Buzzfeed article — here are some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions and the Rebellion titles you might want to tack onto your “To Be Read” list if you want to stick to your guns for your 2020 resolutions.
1. Exercise more/Get fit- Slaíne
I wanted to get this resolution out of the way because it’s arguably the most garbage one. Your body is fine as it is! But if your jam really is working out or pumping iron, what better way to get in the zone than reading the Slaíne series by Pat Mills and artists Angela Kincaid, Mike McMahon, and current artist Simon Davis to use as an example? One doesn’t just cut down enemies with ease, become the High King of Ireland, and hang out with Boudicca without getting yourself together and probably lifting some heavy stuff. (What do they lift in the Highland Games? Big rocks? Logs? Probably big rocks and logs).
And if lifting rocks and logs doesn’t do it for you, maybe having a warp spasm that causes the earth to “warp” through your body and make you Hulk the f*** out might be useful.
(And hey! There’s a whole new collection of Slaine: The Horned God Collectors Edition coming out on May 28th! So at least you’ve got that going for you!)
2. Get organized- Strontium Dog
Let’s face it. This is something most people can benefit from. Being able to keep your plans straight, be punctual, and accomplish set goals are basically the cornerstone of being an adult and a decent human being. But it can also come in handy when you’re a mutant outcast trying to get an uprising together while also trying to take down your own dad. Even after that, you’re gonna need to be able to think ofnyour feet and keep the gang together long enough to move on to your next mission — even if it kills you! (And then brings you back…oof.) If you’re done with the self-help books and just can’t bear re-reading How to Win Friends and Influence People AGAIN, you might want to trying picking up John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s “X-men kicked up to eleven” story, Strontium Dog: Search and Destroy. If anyone can teach you to get it together, trust Johnny Alpha.
3. Learn a new skill/hobby-Bad Company
The key to growth is being willing to learn, and reader— I admire your tenacity in that respect. But sometimes learning new things can get bumpy along the way and you might end up destroying the world in a fit of rage if it doesn’t work out. Take it from Danny Franks, the initial protagonist of Peter Milligan and Brett Ewins’ Bad Company, who goes from being a reluctant soldier in the grimiest future war in comics to being a conscript in the most ragtag Army squadron you can imagine. I won’t spoil the entire point for you, but it’s safe to say that learning to do new and exciting things can have a pretty intense downside, too. Let’s keep it mellow.
4. Live life to the fullest- Hook Jaw
When you’re a shark, you just sort of do shark things. You swim around. You eat other things swimming around. You pretend that you aren’t a hilarious rip-off of the movie Jaws. But sometimes you also decide that the world is harsh and cruel, and that means it’s time to live your life to the fullest while you still can. And if you’re a great white shark named Hook Jaw (named for the hook permanently lodged in his jaw by humans), living your life to the fullest means being a hero all because you like to tear every inch of flesh off of terrible human beings. Sure, the comic was eventually banned in Action for being too gory; but we here at Drokking Scrotnig know that Hook Jaw was doing what was necessary. (Same goes for Shako. Honestly, any Pat Mills story where an animal eats the heart out of people who are cruel gets a thumbs up from me).
But I digress.
You, too, can live life to the fullest, reader. You, too, can destroy all the bad humans. I believe in you. Dream big. Aim high.
5. Travel more- Hewligan’s Haircut
Think of it this way: if you’re looking to travel more, there’s no cheaper and better way to fly than in your own dreams and thoughts — and that’s a lot easier to do if you’re absolutely bonkers! But hey, if you’re not crazy enough trying to hold your life together as is, then take a few moments to read Peter Milligan and Jamie Hewlitt’s Hewligan’s Haircut. In the story, Hewligan (a play on the term “hooligan”/a combo of Hewlitt + Milligan) is a patient at an insane asylum. He managed to get ahold of some handy-dandy plastic scissors with which to give himself a haircut, but ends up with a massive apocalyptic reality-bending hole in the middle of his coif!
What I’m really telling you is that is if you get a bad haircut this year, it’s not the end of the world. It could actually, in fact, be your key to traveling to other dimensions with your friend Scarlet O’Gasmeter! So don’t feel too bad if you can’t afford tickets to Bali this summer to show off your Slaíne bod. Just tell your barber that you’re thinking of trying a fringe this season.
6. Better your living situation/finances- The Ballad of Halo Jones
They say that the grass is always greener, and really, that’s probably true. But why can’t you grow your own damn grass? Or buy a can of green spray paint and make it at least look greener? Either way, a good person to look up to in this case is none other than Alan Moore and Ian Gibson’s Ballad of Halo Jones. Over the ten years of her life that the three-book collection spans, Halo Jones goes from living in a housing estate and dealing with muggers while on a shopping trip, to leaving earth to become a stewardess on a space cruise and becoming a legend, to fighting like a badass in an interstellar war which ends with her finally taking complete control over where she is and how she is meant to live her life.
All I’m saying is, if Halo can do it in space in heels while maintaining big hair, you can do it here on earth in 2020.
7. Spend more time with friends/family- Kids Rule OK
Sometimes when you’re lacking motivation or direction, all you really need is to spend some time with your friends and/or family. Honestly, you really should get on that, too, because according to Jack Adrian and Mike White’s strip Kids Rule OK in Action, there could very well come a time when the planet gives up on us and all of the adults dry up, have horrible heart attacks, and straight-up croak. And what’s left? Probably the generation that every older person still calls “kids”. On the bright side, there will be plenty of time to spend with your friends after the geezers kick-off because it will surely devolve into a very Lord of the Flies situation and you’ll need all the help you can to stave off impending intruders with acne and a chip on their shoulder.
So call your BFF. Tell them you love them. Ask them if they’re ready to deal with social disorder and anarchy.
Please vote wisely.
8. Find love- Nikolai Dante
So you’ve finally decided to sign up for Tinder, Match.com, or ChristianMingle.com. Good for you! But just remember that the path to true love doesn’t come easy and nobody knows that better than rogue thief and professional f***boy Nikolai Dante created by writer Robbie Morrison and artist Simon Fraser. As if it wasn’t enough to live through a dystopian future version of the Russian Revolution, Nikolai has to contend with the fact that the love of his life may or may not be related to him, and most definitely can’t stand the site of him.
At the end of the day, you’re either going be Nikolai Dante or wake up next to a Nikolai Dante at some point on your journey to love this year. So you may as well read up to know what’s coming, right? Right. Godspeed.
2020 resolutions: Really try not ta go four on ’em.
9. Stress less- Mean Machine
We all live with a certain level of stress and anxiety. We also all believe that meditation, positivity, and mindfulness will be a great practice to incorporate into our 2020. But if it’s one thing I’ve learned from Mean Angel — best known as a member of the Angel Gang in the Judge Dredd universe — it’s that sometimes just getting back to “surly” is good enough. Sure, Angel started as a sweet, kindhearted little boy. And sure, it was terrible of Pa Angel to make him into a crazed cyborg. But at the end of the day, Mean Angel is just a guy with a four-setting dial (literally) — 1. Surly 2. Mean 3. Vicious 4. Berserk.
So if you’re going through rough patch — as is wont to happen when you’re trying to make a new sort of life for yourself — just remember that getting back to surly is sometimes just as good as being positive all the time. And if that’s not even good enough, perhaps just avoid going ta’ four on ‘em as one of your stress-relief 2020 resolutions.
BREAKER BREAKER, EARTH-DIGGIN’ BUDDIES
Hooo boy. It has been a hell of beginning to the year for Rebellion and 2000 AD. Just a few weeks in and we’re already being swamped with the best news regarding new mercy, tons of new titles, and a list of what to expect in the coming months. So if you haven’t been keeping up with all the news that Rebellion has been pushing out, put on your excitement pants before you read on.
-With the Best of 2000 AD #1 releasing in just a few months containing the full Judge Dredd story, Terror, to try enticing new readers (and particularly ones on the American side of the big pond) into becoming a Squaxx dek Thargo, it seemed only appropriate for Rebellion to cut it to the quick and just release a full start-up series for Judge Dredd. So those of you wondering about where to start reading on the saga of Judge Dredd will have the perfect place to start (aside from my lovely curated column from December, obviously) with the September release of Rebellion’s new Essential Judge Dredd graphic novel line.
-If you’re not the type to focus solely on Judge Dredd, that’s fine, too. We don’t judge. But you can get hype about the line-up of collected titles being released over the next year, starting with Ian Edginton and Leigh Gallagher’s Kingmaker, the fourth volume of Dan Abnett and Richard Elson fan-favorite epic Kingdom, the break-out folk horror hit of Thistlebone by Tom Eglington and Simon Davis; Guy Adams and Jimmy Broxton’s 1940s noir thriller Hope … Under Fire (August); and a new collection of 2000 AD historical slasher classic Fiends of the Eastern Front. If you were rallying for more Dredd after all, though, Rebellion has you covered there, too, with John Wagner, John McCrea, and Colin MacNeil’s Judge Dredd – Mechanismo: Machine Law being collected; as well as while Rob Williams and Chris Weston’s Judge Dredd: Control and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files series continues publishing the law in order with Volumes 35 and 36.
-But hey, some of us are looking for a more vintage feel. So where’s the Treasury of British Comics in all this? Fortunate for us, ToBC has also released their schedule for the year, and it’s sure to pack a wallop. Some of the titles included in the line-up include Third World War from Pat Mills, Carlos Ezquerra, Angela Kincaid, and D’Israeli, the football flight of fantasy Billy’s Boots, The Rise and Fall of the Trigon Empire, David Roach’s Masters of British Comic Art, and tons more that you can find here!
-NEW MERCH! If you’ve ever though “But how will my magnets withstand the storm and chem clouds of Nu Earth?!” — then yesterday’s new from Planet Replica should be your saving grace as they’ve announced a set of magnets that replicate the Biochips featured in 2000 AD’s Rogue Trooper series. Why in the world would you not immediately set out to buy these?!
-It’s been more than one paragraph since I mentioned Best of 2000 AD coming up in April! And that’s just wrong. What’s right, though, is that Best of 2000 AD will also be featured among the incredible titles for Free Comic Book Day 2020. The 32-page collection will include an exclusive Judge Dredd story by Al Ewing and Erica Henderson, Rogue Trooper: Survival Lesson by Gordon Rennie and Richard Elson, Judge Anderson: Reasons to be Cheerful from writer Alan Grant and Arthur Randon; and blood-sucking bounty hunter teams up with everyone’s favorite surly boy Johnny Alpha in Durham Red: The Judas Strain by Lauren Beukes, Dale Halvorsen, and Carlos Ezquerra.
AND SO WE’VE REACHED THE END OF OUR TIME TOGETHER, EARTHLETS
That’s all we’ve got for this month! But we’ve got the whole rest of the year ahead of us, Earthlets. Hopefully some of these books prove helpful in setting on realistic goals for your 2020 resolutions in the coming months; and if not, maybe they just prove fun to read anyway. As always, you can find all of these titles on 2000 AD web store or app! But for now — and until next month — it’s time to say Splundig vur Thrigg! Make sure to check back in February for another post talking about the Galaxy’s Greatest Comics!