February 26, 2014 1:43pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'2000AD' Marks Its Anniversary With Free Comics
Thirty-seven years ago today, the Galaxy's Greatest Comic arrived on Earth -- or, to put it in slightly more grounded terms, today marks the anniversary of the launch of 2000AD. The weekly British comics anthology was responsible for such characters as Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper and Nemesis the Warlock, and the careers of such creators as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Kevin O'Neill and Brendan McCarthy amongst many others.
To celebrate the series' birthday, the comic is making a strong promotional push, offering free collected editions through its Facebook and Twitter platforms in conjunction with sales through both its iOS app and DRM-free online comic store.
Additionally, overwhelming demand for a free sampler of material from the series sent out as part of the 2000AD email newsletter managed to temporarily crash the site's servers when mailed out this morning.
The birthday promotion follows on from the immediate sellout of Dredd: Underbelly, the first U.S. format 2000AD release created specifically for the comic book specialty Direct Market, and builds on the series' increasing awareness outside of the United Kingdom. Whereas irregular distribution had traditionally limited the title's penetration in the U.S., the launch of a simultaneously released digital editions (in both iOS and DRM-free options) has opened up a new audience for the property, as has a 2010 deal with Simon & Schuster for American distribution of collected editions.