Primarily known for being a console game developer, Oxford-based Rebellion Developments Ltd purchased 2000 AD oddly enough in the year 2000. Since then, the 25-year old company owned by brothers Jason and Chris Kingsley has only really made token gestures to expand the 2000 AD universe including the Rogue Trooper game in 2006 and the Alex Garland Dredd movie in 2012. They will no doubt be involved in some way in Duncan Jones’ forthcoming Rogue Trooper movie and the Mega-City One TV series if it ever comes to fruition.
Fans have long hoped that the Kingsley brothers would do more for 2000 AD, but ultimately it seems, the boys just wanted to own the comic.
More recently, Rebellion have been continuing their acquisitions, including former Dredd publisher Fleetway/IPC’s titles and artwork archives, and now a major acquisition from TI Media (formerly IPC), giving what they describe as the largest English language comic book properties amassed under one roof.
The deal encompasses more than 130 years of comic book publishing, with over 400 separate weekly and monthly titles and thousands of characters.
The archive also includes Comic Cuts, the 19th-century title that gave the comic book medium its very name.
This adds Billy Bunter, June, Tiger Sexton Blake, Valiant, Look-In, and more to 2000 AD and Roy of the Rovers. It includes Don Lawrence’s groundbreaking Trigan Empire, work by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, war comics of Hugo Pratt and Alex Toth, and work by Michael Moorcock and Harry Harrison.
Jason Kingsley CEO of Rebellion says, “Rebellion’s reputation is not just as an innovative and forward-thinking comic book publisher, but as the first company to respect and do justice to the extraordinary legacy of multiple generations of artists and writers who developed the comic book medium in this country. It gives me great pleasure to secure the future for this extraordinary archive and I am incredibly excited to able to bring back into print so many lost treasures.”
The archive encompasses virtually the entire comics publishing history of IPC, which – alongside DC Thompson – was one of the behemoths of 20th Century British periodical publishing, having grown out of the Victorian-era Amalgamated Press.
Publishing hundreds of different titles, IPC dominated the newsstands for decades but sold off its juvenile magazines division to tycoon Robert Maxwell in 1987. The new company, Fleetway, was sold to Danish children’s magazine and book publisher Egmont in 1992, but a marked decline in the industry led to virtually all the titles folding, apart from the weekly comic 2000 AD and the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine.
Scott Snowden is MyM’s US Editor. Follow him on Twitter.
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