Hibernia Comics have an interview with the editor of 2000 AD during its first Golden Age:
Q. A lot of the same creators and the same tone from the early Battles surface again in 2000ad, was this intentional?
A: The tone would have been set by 2000 AD’s creator Pat Mills. To put it another way, Pat Mills, John Wagner and Gerry Finley-Day set the editorial tone for UK comics during the 1970s. Carlos Ezquerra visualised great characters for Battle, Action and 2000 AD, so you could say he set the visual tone in response to their lead.
Q. You were until recently the longest 2000ad editor, and in charge during its golden age, was there a sense during this time that you were producing something special?
A: Absolutely. I believe we all knew we were part of something special.
Q. Did you have much input into the creation of the new characters during your reign, like Nemesis and Halo Jones?
A: Nemesis, no. Pat and Kevin would get in contact and describe their latest new character and all I had to do was ensure it got to the printer on time!
A: Halo Jones, no, except to say that I do recall asking Alan if he would like to create a female character for 2000 AD. He came back with Halo Jones and Ian Gibson brought that world to life visually.
Q. Was any of the script for Halo Jones Book 4 ever produced?
A: No script, but I do recall Alan saying what might be in the book. In fact, I think he said that there would be seven books in all.
Q. The early nineties are not considered the best for 2000ad. Did you have any input into 2000ad in your role as group editor at the time?
A: I had a Laissez-Faire attitude.
Q. The Judge Dredd Megazine eventually launched after being suggested in the early eighties, why did it take so long to launch? Was there ever any other character considered for its own comic?
A: The idea for a spin-off title featuring Judge Dredd had indeed been around since the early 80s. A full dummy first issue was rejected by management because the proposed cover price of 45p was considered too high. After that, the concept languished until creator royalty provision came into being and the right creative teams could be asked to come on board. Um, there was a dummy for a title to be called Zarjaz that sought to feature longer, more adult stories of Slaine etc.
Q. Do you still read 2000ad, and if so what are your opinions on its current state.
A: I will be looking to read it again, now — like meeting an old friend for a lengthy drink!
Q. After over 30 years in the comic business, what would you consider to be your greatest achievement?
A; Putting together the Judge Dredd / Batman cross-over. Also making sure contributors had a contract that allowed for sharing in any repurposing of the original—from page to screen, etc.
Image from a tribute to Steve MacManus by former 2000AD editor David Bishop (who was a protege of MacManus’).