Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD (2014)

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Paul Goodwin directs Pat Mills, Dave Bishop and Grant Morrison in this documentary about the galaxy’s greatest comic.

2000AD was a massive monolith of my childhood. Every Saturday I would be up at the corner shop first thing to buy my copy and many a day were wasted re-reading or merrily cataloging back issues. It defined and evolved my tastes and ambitions until college when I almost unforgivably just gave it up. Partly I had outgrown it, partly the current run of stories no longer spoke to me. Many, many file boxes of six panel teenage mind expansion were dumped at a charity shop when my parents downsized a decade later. About a year ago, I returned to being a regular reader, more out of nostalgic reasons than anything else. And expectations tempered, it still holds up. This documentary feels like a DVD extra to my youth. The creators bitch and moan, we don’t really cover any further than the period I loved. And for that reason Future Shock is not the best or all that entertaining text for the unitiatiated. Neither a full history, nor an unbiased one… Seemingly every fan became a writer and we know that isn’t true. Also a bit too much screentime is given to outlier superstars Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, who yes, contributed a few good stories when they needed the money but weren’t mainstays like Wagner, Mills and Garth Ennis (the latter of whom is noticeably absent and unmentioned.) Animation brings the still brilliant and distinctive artwork to life, the talking heads are passionate but if you had not been raised by Tharg you’d still walk away 100 minutes in not really knowing who or what Indigo Prime, Robohunter, Button Man or even a Future Shock are. Charming but insubstantial.

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