An incredible insight into the art of one of comics’ most unique talents – the 2000 AD Art of Kevin O’Neill: Apex Edition is available to pre-order now.
The contents of this 160-page collection were compiled by O’Neill from his own archive, working closely with Rebellion’s editorial and reprographics teams to curate this unmissable testament to his remarkable career.
O’Neill, who sadly died in November, was an artist without peer. His work on strips in 2000 AD such as Nemesis the Warlock, Metalzoic, Judge Dredd, Ro-Busters and more sealed his reputation even before his wildly popular and influential work on Marshal Law with Pat Mills and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with Alan Moore. His innovative, iconoclastic, idiosyncratic, and inventive work for 2000 AD will be showcased in an unmissable over-sized art book, featuring high-resolution scans of original artwork by one of comics most unique talents.
Presented in a deluxe, over-sized facsimile edition, the Kevin O’Neill Apex Edition will reproduce these stunning pages at their actual size – from covers to stunning double-page spreads, from just some of his famous work on Nemesis the Warlock to his final sequential work on Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, giving fans the chance to see these pages in all their glory.
- 2000 AD, November 08, 2023
- ISBN 978-1-83786-008-1
- 475mm x 365mm (14.3″ x 18.7″), 160 pages, hardcover
- $155 USD
- Order online: Things From Another World, Forbidden Planet
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
Twenty different chapters of O’Neill’s work from 2000 AD, spanning from 1977 to 2016. Plus, an introduction by David Roach, a foreword by Matt Fraction and an afterword by Dave Gibbons. There is a note on the table of contents
This Apex Edition contains scans of 4 pages not found in O’Neill’s archive (pages 29, 92, 93, and 102). These were scanned from film, and included for the sake of completeness and for a more comprehensive reading experience.
All but four pages are scans of the original art, with those four added to allow for complete chapters. I can’t call it complete issues since these are from weekly anthology comics, and they aren’t complete stories since they are but one part. This is a nice change from the spate of Apex Editions we’ve seen since 2000 AD’s anniversary, with the art coming from O’Neill’s personal files and curated by O’Neill.
The scans are clear and clean with no issues. There’s a mix of black and white and painted pages and they all present well. Blacks show some gradients. Lots of great Zip-A-Tone. Pencil production notes in the margins. Most word balloons were pasted with rubber cement and have gone partially see through. Very light use of correction fluid. Even though most of the art came from O’Neill the pages have aged to various stages from off white to deeply tanned.
The design is very understated. All pages that aren’t original art are a light tan with black text. Every page of art shows the comic name, issue number, story name, and story page number. Plus every page has a page number along the outside bottom. Sam Gretton keeps it clean and direct.
The production is top-notch: a sewn binding of heavy matte paper stock with a slight gloss coating. The book comes shrink wrapped in a cardboard case with the title and 2000 AD logo. The case follows the other Apex Editions in its construction: it’s flimsy and will get the book to you but won’t last.
Like most North American readers, the art style of O’Neill was what we first saw in Marshall Law: hard edges, aggressive lines, lots of points. His early work presented here is unrecognizable but well defined and fully realized. As we progress through O’Neill’s style comes out strongly, culminating in Torquemada.