Fans of Judge Dredd, Johnny Alpha, Zombo and the rest of "2000 AD's" eclectic cast have a lot to get excited about. As of today, March 30, Rebellion's has revealed exclusively to Comic Book Resources that its in-house digital distribution system has officially made "2000 AD" Prog 1776 and "Judge Dredd Megazine" #322 available digitally, 48 hours after the UK release date, marking the first time readers have had the option to read a digital copy of "2000 AD" the same week as print. Readers can choose between PDF and CBZ formats on the 2000 AD website DRM-free, something many larger publishers have been hesitant to offer.
Michael Molcher, PR Coordinator at Rebellion, said, "'2000 AD' was actually one of the earlier adopters of digital content in the industry and we've been digital for seven years now. But with both the 35th anniversary [of '2000 AD'] and the forthcoming Judge Dredd film, 'Dredd,' now seemed like the perfect time to up the ante and allow readers around the world the chance to read '2000 AD' within two days of it hitting UK newsstands -- we're bringing things way forward, practically to day-and-date."
Molcher refers to digital distributor Clickwheel, also owned by Rebellion, who has distributed (among other titles) "2000 AD" for several years while suffering from large lag times between the print release of a title and its digital version, sometimes taking up to a month. The goal of the new initiative is to cut that lag time down to 48 hours and offer the books for sale on their own website. Clickwheel will, for the time being, continue to offer digital versions of both "2000 AD" and the "Judge Dredd Megazine."
As to why Rebellion has chosen to make the switch to in-house digital distribution, Molcher said "we've got plenty of plans for the future of digital at '2000 AD,' so it made sense to do it ourselves. … We are also very excited to announce that we are currently working on a new digital platform for '2000 AD.' More details will be unveiled over the next couple of months."
Molcher told CBR that while Rebellion does not currently plan to release any digital-only graphic novels at the moment, fans can look forward to the bagged-in graphic novels of reprint material packaged with each installment of "Judge Dredd Megazine" to be attached at the end of every "Megazine" digital issue.
"2000 AD" prog 1776 features fresh installments of "Judge Dredd," "She is Legend," "Nikolai Dante," and "Flesh." It also includes the second part of the much-hyped "The Zaucer of Zilk" storyline by Brendan McCarthy and Al Ewing.
"Judge Dredd Megazine" #322 is especially notable as the return of former "2000 AD" editor-in-chief and fan favorite writer Andy Diggle to the book with frequent collaborator Jock on their creator-owned project "Snapshot." It also features the "Megazine" debut of writing team Leah Moore and John Reppion on "Scouting for Bots."
"2000 AD" prog 1776 and "Judge Dredd Megazine" #322 will be available at www.2000adonline.com in both PDF and CBZ formats starting Friday, March 30. New issues will become available every Friday after their UK release.