This week’s new 2000 AD – Prog 1824, fact fans – boasts the very welcome return of one of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic’s more unusual creation, one that partakes of Lovecraft, Steampunk and Charles Dickens to magnificent effect. I refer, of course, to Stickleback. And the return of Stickleback also means the return of one of the finest combinations in Brit comics: Ian Edginton and D’Israeli. Oh yes. The first collected edition of Stickleback made my Best of the Year list a few years ago (I recall I also posted a spoof list that year, which included a parody of Stickleback, and I think D’Israeli was more tickled to be pastiched than he was even to make the Best Of list).
(splash page from Stickleback: Number of the Beast by Edginton and D’Israeli, published in 2000 AD)
Already off to an intriguing start right from this first episode – Stickleback returning amid some lovely arcane scenes (with lots of background detail from D’Israeli, including what to me look like a Zarbi and a Menoptera from early Doctor Who – this is art you need to go back over and examine more closely). And I see after re-inventing his methodology and style for the original Stickleback to great effect D’Israeli isn’t content to sit on his well-earned laurels but is again enjoying experimenting with his style to give different vibes and feels to the strip – more power to him. This is going to be good… I see from D’Israeli’s own blog that his artwork for this week’s cover will be discussed very soon in the new Covers Uncovered feature on the 2000 AD site we blogged about last week, something else to keep the eyes peeled for.