FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY OF 2000AD Review (Severin Films Blu-Ray)
Future Shock! is a fascinating look at the story behind 2000AD, getting a lot of great creators together to give a history of the series. Severin has included hours of bonus features to make this release even better.
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Interesting look behind-the-scenes at 2000AD
Hours of bonus features for those interested in extra interviews
Perhaps you’ve never heard of 2000AD, the birthplace of many iconic comic book characters (Dredd, Zenith, Strontium Dog) and the writers who created them; even so, Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD should interest you, if only for viewers to see behind the facade of the stories they read and watch. Paul Goodwin’s documentary about the rise, fall, and subsequent rebirth of the weekly British comic rag interviews a number of big names in the field, including those that wrote for 2000AD and then went on to have massive multi-series careers including Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and original creators like Pat Mills and John Wagner. Future Shock! takes an intimate look behind-the-scenes at the popular comic series, but it also helps define how important characters come to fruition, an important view into the process of creating and what it means to be able to call a creation your own.
Over the course of about 110 minutes, Future Shock! moves through the entire existence of 2000AD. Obviously, it starts at the beginning, allowing Mills and Wagner to describe the inciting moments that led to the series’ release – mostly a changing political atmosphere and a rebellious nature that didn’t really belong in the comics industry at the time.
Fans of 2000AD will get truly enjoy the history behind some of the comic’s most intriguing characters. Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog get lengthy segments, not only discussing origins but also their importance culturally, especially in a time of political strife where good and bad was never very clear and Apartheid was a horrid reality. Future Shock! doesn’t just leave it to creators specific to the series, though. The documentary also interviews people who were heavily influenced by the stories, including Scott Ian of Anthrax and Geoff Barrow of Portishead.
But the film’s most interesting aspects occur when the creators and writers discuss the dissolution of the brand in the ’90s, at a time when the comic struggled to maintain staff after American publishers like Vertigo began to pull writers and illustrators overseas. There’s also some very entertaining anecdotes about these turbulent times from editors, who discuss problematic ad campaigns, bad editorial decisions, and publisher contracts about signing over all creative rights. While many people who worked and lived 2000AD enjoy the memories, there’s also a darker history explored within Future Shock!
Overall, the documentary is a delightful look at the weekly comic powerhouse, and it’s paired with an awesome series of art transitions that give some of the series’ most iconic characters 3D representation. This is a great watch for anyone who grew up reading 2000AD, but it’s also important for fans of contemporary comics – it shows where publishers like Vertigo and Image began, thanks to 2000AD pushing boundaries.
Severin Films has given Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD the Blu-Ray treatment with HD video and an LPCM 2.0 audio track. Both are good without any flaws.
More interesting on this release are the extensive extras, which basically include hours of extended interviews. These are split up into sections, including extended interview sequences not included in the film, production extras like bloopers, trailers, and visits to the set, extra interviews about specific comic series in 2000AD, and full extended interviews with particular writers like Gaiman, Mills, and Morrison. There is truly well over six hours of extras on this disc, and while I’m not sure many casual viewers will seek out most of them, it’s nice to have in a full collection.
However, I must remark on the Blu-Ray’s wonky menus, which gave me quite a bit of difficulty. I found that the cursor and selections would often disappear, and sometimes bringing up the main menu would result in my inability to make a selection. At times, all of the selections would disappear, and there was no way to get back to the home screen. I can’t comment on whether this occurs with all discs or just mine, but I wanted to make note of it in this review.
Otherwise, fans of 2000AD or anyone interested in the backstory of comics should definitely check out this release.
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