Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!

  • by Pat Mills
  • Narrated by Pat Mills
  • 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As 2000AD and Judge Dredd celebrate their 40th birthday in 2017, Pat Mills at last writes the definitive history of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic and the turbulent, extraordinary and exciting events that shaped it.
The story begins in a garden shed in Scotland sometime in 1971...Pat Mills is the creator of 2000AD and one of the comic's top writers. He is also the creator of Action, co-creator of Battle, Misty, Marshal Law, Requiem Vampire Knight, Charley's War (described as 'the greatest British comic strip ever created') and the black comedy text novel Serial Killer.
'Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!' is the infamous slogan of Torquemada, the comic's favourite villain. It once appeared on the Berlin Wall, and symbolises the subversive nature of 2000AD that changed so many readers' lives and influenced generations of film directors, actors, rock bands, novelists and even school headmasters. Everything you've always wanted to know about Judge Dredd, Slaine, Nemesis, ABC Warriors, Flesh, Bill Savage and more, is in this book. Plus the writers and artists who created them and the real-life people and events they drew on for inspiration.
The scandals, the back-stabbing and the shocking story that was regarded as 'too sensitive' to ever see the light of day is finally told. Pat relates the dark story of the maths teacher who inspired his version of Judge Dredd, the creators' angry battles with the censors and each other, why certain writers, stories and even readers have been banished from the comic, a step-by-step account of how Judge Dredd was created, and how to write or draw for 2000AD today. There are new insights on the 2000AD creators' invasion of American comics, their failed French invasion, the Judge Dredd films, the forthcoming Judge Dredd TV series, other possible films featuring 2000AD heroes, the unusual secret of the comic's current success, the tough challenges it faces today, and its exciting future.
From the hilarious origins when Judge Dredd writer-creator John Wagner and Pat began their careers writing together in a garden shed by paraffin lamp, to the tragic stories of legendary comic artists who have passed, and the challenges as 2000AD fought for survival against The Suits determined to destroy it, this is a unique, personal, and passionate account by the man who made 2000AD happen. Funny, sad, angry, defiant, and outrageous: it's the comic book memoir of the year.

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What the Critics Say

"This is a great reading of an engrossing book. After 50yrs of creating and writing for comics Pat Mills finally tells his side of the story." (Rehan Mirza)
"Revealing the truly unfair way creators are treated in the archaic British comic book industry I'm sure there are a lot of people behind the scenes who will wish this tome was never released. Well done Pat!" (Ceiron Bounds)
"Clearly a must-have for any fan of 2000AD and Judge Dredd, this is also an essential listen for anyone with an interest in the process of producing magazines and comics. It's also a nostalgia-inducing remembrance of an explosion within the British comics scene from the man who was right in the thick of it. 9/10." (Nick Joy, Scifi Bulletin)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Thrillpower Reading

I'll say from the start, I'm a fan of 2000AD and I'm a fan of Pat Mills, he IS the Godfather of British Comics, that said, I would have enjoyed this book without knowing either

If you've seen Future Shock! The documentary about 2000AD, you'll know some of the things being referenced, but this puts a lot more meat on the bones... and then adds some more bones. It's not just a history of 2000AD, it's a commentary on British Comics and is stuffed with so many things I never knew, (like the US is only the 3rd biggest market for comics). It explains how comics work, how stories are developed, how writers and artists cooperate and then how things can go wrong.

But is does all this with a mixture of Pat Mills' famous tirades, as well as humour and genuinely emotional moments

If you like 2000AD, or comics, or just publishing, writing and the process of story telling in general, I can't recommend it enough
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- John Ottaway

Awesome History of 2000AD That Pulls No Punches!

I loved every minute of this book and listened to it avidly over a couple of days. It’s Pat Mills’ autobiography/history of 2000AD/polemic/political manifesto/guide for aspiring writers and artists. It’s really difficult to reduce this book to being any one thing. It was very much like sitting in the pub listening to him (and I mean that in a most complimentary way). Mills reads the book himself which really adds to the experience of the book.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s fabulous and certainly one of the best “history of” I’ve read or listened to. I came away with a real sense of how working in the British comics industry is like and how passionately Mills is about comics and their power to impact on society. Often, he wanders into great anecdotes which are really enjoyable. He’s very critical - though never personally abusive - about people he’s worked with and not afraid to call people out about injustices he believes they have carried out or gone along with. I would imagine if you were working at 2000AD you would know exactly who he talks about when he declines to give names.

Most importantly he repeatedly talks about the poor treatment of artists and writers by comics publishers in Britain and, if nothing else, this book makes a great case that the publishers need to rectify their neglect. This is really a matter of paying creators decently.

If you’re a general comics fan or even someone who used to read 2000AD as a kid, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this. Bravo, Mr Mills. Loved it.
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- Gary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-09-2017
  • Publisher: Spokenworld Audio & Ladbroke Audio Ltd