artwork by brian bolland + mike mcmahon still being omitted from recent 2000ad reprints

it is well known that brian bolland + mike mcmahon drew two episodes of judge dredd each involving characters (ronald mcdonald, the jolly green giant, etc) whose copyright did not belong to IPC + which they ought to have requested permission to use

mcmahon and bolland 1978 2000ad art(c) rebellion 1978

the publisher was subsequently prosecuted + the strips remained out of print until this year (jul 2016) after a change in copyright law across the EU making an exception for parody came into effect in oct 2014, allowing appearances of other peoples’ copyright material in satire etc without it being necessary to approach the copyright holder first

for the definition of parody, a specific case of a cartoon, etc follow this link

what is less well known is that both artists worked on the same ad for 2000ad, published in the programme for a UK comic convention – comicon 78 – reproduced below

bolland and mcmahon 2000ad ad - comicon 78(c) [loads of different people] 1978

in this case using a large number of marvel + DC characters without legally being allowed to

+ the point of this post is:

this image should probably have been included in the hard cover cursed earth uncensored reprint which came out last month – if it was going to be reprinted anywhere it might as well have been in that.  post a reply if anyone knows where else it may have appeared

another image – by bolland on his own – from the same convention programme is highly unlikely to have been reprinted anywhere + appears below for the amusement of any afficionados of bad taste single frame cartoons who may have chanced upon this article

bolland comicon 78 art(c) brian bolland 1978



addendum from later the same month

re internet myths becoming general knowledge:

no 2000ad was banned + neither was any issue of action (the UK weekly)

looking at

their definition of ‘ban’ is the same as everyone else’s: to ‘Officially or legally prohibit (something)’

which didn’t happen in the case of action: pressure from readers’ parents, distributors + the publisher on the editor resulted in him altering the content.  there was no legal or official prohibition of publication of action, just a hiatus in distribution for a few weeks while the new (less gory) content was being written + drawn.  from memory the reason 2000ads in the 300s + 400s are not as violent as they previously were was down to a similar reaction by the publisher to feedback from the public

if anyone still doesn’t get the distinction some examples of things which were / are actually banned are below

‘2. Banned dogs

In the UK, it’s against the law to own certain types of dog. These are the:

    Pit Bull Terrier
    Japanese Tosa
    Dogo Argentino
    Fila Braziliero’

the ‘Psychoactive Substances Act will come into force on 26 May 2016.

A blanket ban on so-called ‘legal highs’ and tough new enforcement powers will come into effect on 26 May 2016.’

being instructed to alter the tone of a comic by your employer doesn’t amount to a ban on publication

2000ad 71, 72, 77 + 78 weren’t even close to this situation – they were distributed perfectly normally, + only the judge dredd strips in these issues were affected by the legal action following their publication

technically as IPC were instructed not to reprint those four dredd strips that counts as prohibiting them from doing something but ‘ban’ still isn’t the right word for that, +, whatever the right word is, it did not refer to the whole comic: they were never + still aren’t banned issues by any stretch of the term

anyone who tells you anything different is a vacuous rambling muppet + that includes pat mills

see elsewhere on this site for marcus morris perpetuating something similarly inaccurate about US horror comics

PS the original art for the ad this article started talking about before veering off on a tangent is on the link below


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