Beyond 2000 AD exhibition at Orbital

Published On February 28, 2017 | By James Bacon | Comics, Conventions and events

Beyond 2000 AD: The Wider Cultural Impact Of The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic at Orbital Comics

Orbital Comics in London is hosting a different and eclectic exhibition to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of 2000AD by bringing together elements that map out the influence Britain’s favourite science fiction weekly comic has had.

It is not surprising that the Eisner-winning shop has pulled out all the stops. This exhibition crams dozens of items into the gallery space, but it is presented in a very organised and indeed, artistic manner. Collage, groupings, and clever placement of materials allow a vast quantity to be represented while aesthetically giving a pleasing and somewhat creative perspective.

Comics that lead to, and then which can be seen as direct descendants from 2000AD are on display, as are a wide selection of vinyl that again was inspired by the comic.

There are a number of original pieces of art by Alan Davis and Gary Leech, and I was very impressed that eclectic items from a Judge Dredd beach towel to a variety of toys, which were on display. A T-shirt signed by Alan Moore is amongst the treasure trove in the exhibition.

When one looks on, it is clear that 2000AD helped further creatives bring their art to the fore. I spent a lot more time looking at the items on display than I had expected; the cabinets are chock-full of so many small things, gifts, badges, toys, indicative of how much is here, and of course reflective of how much has been produced in forty years.

Karl and the team seem to have been seeking out merchandise, records and original art, some of which hasn’t been seen for some time. One section looks ‘to the future’, charting the reach of the creators who found their voice or visual style with 2000AD and one is reminded that so many of the best comic creatives worked at 2000AD at some stage.

In many respects this beautifully contrasts with the art exhibition in the cartoon museum (reviewed recently here), which is helpfully pointed to, and is just as nice to see up close. A lot of effort and indeed craft has gone into this exhibition, and I really loved what the folk at Orbital have done here, maximising the display space to an incredible degree and bringing together a vast array of wonderful items.

The exhibit runs until the 17th March.

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About The Author

James Bacon
James Bacon is a train Driver working in London but originally from Dublin. He also loves comics, theatre, history and books, runs conventions, writes about these activities and has edited a Hugo-winning Fanzine.

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