FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY OF 2000AD

PrintE-mail Written by Matt Wells

It has been a long time coming, but the entire history of 2000AD has been documented in Future Shock! – The Story of 2000AD, a new documentary focusing on the turbulent 40 years of one of the most important comics ever created.

Directed by Paul Goodwin, Future Shock! is a brand new feature-length documentary which has been well-received at festivals as it boasts a huge selection of interviews from some of the most celebrated names in comic book industry, such as Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman and Dave Gibbons, to name a few.

2000AD creator Pat Mills begins the main focus of the documentary, providing an interesting insight into British comics of the ‘70s. Birthed by the nihilistic culture of that decade, no other comic made as big an impact as 2000AD, with its ultra-violence and anti-authoritarian values grabbing the attention of readers across Britain.

From its fascinating conception, Future Shock! recounts all aspects of the comic’s history, from Strontium Dog to Alan Moore’s unfinished Halo Jones, with interesting snippets from some of 2000AD’s original writers and artists. Despite the sheer amount of interviewees, Paul Goodwin manages to edit each segment with a unique angle and captivating anecdotes.

Almost everything is touched upon in the documentary, and fans will be pleasantly surprised by some of the unfiltered information that is revealed during the film. We get to know about editor and writer disputes, to executive meddling and a disgusting situation regarding artist and writing credits. Even the ‘British Invasion’ is detailed, when DC’s plucking started a troubling new era for the comic.

Whilst the 1 hour 45 minute running length is adequate, it does admittedly feel like some of 2000AD’s more memorable stories could have been explored, along with the inclusion of the unique Dark Judges. Perhaps a stronger focus could have been put towards the current state of the comic, along with merchandising and the fandom itself. However, these are minor complaints for a documentary that is already rich with information.

It’s an outstanding entry from director Paul Goodwin, who has carefully crafted the best comic book documentary ever made. Unfortunately there aren’t a great deal out there, but Future Shock! also manages to appeal to a mass audience whilst keeping avid 2000AD readers happy.

It’s not a self-indulgent trip down memory lane by the creators either, as Future Shock! does a great job of lining up some of its more famous readers, such as Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Dredd scriptwriter Alex Garland and grimacing actor Karl Urban.

Future Shock! – The Story of 2000AD is an illuminating insight into the history of one the most vital pieces of comic fiction, crafted remarkably well by director Paul Goodwin. It’s clear that 2000AD spawned the success of Vertigo and inspired several movies, and it’s one of the coolest counterculture comics to ever hit stands.

Paul Goodwin’s documentary solidifies that with this labour of love, a very passionate insight to a remarkable 40 years and a stark reminder that we need more documentaries like this.

FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY OF 2000AD / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: PAUL GOODWIN / SCREENPLAY: N/A / STARRING: PAT MILLS, KEVIN O’NEILL, ALAN GRANT, JOHN WAGNER, DAVE BISHOP, GRANT MORRISON, NEIL GAIMAN / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 7TH

 


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