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.


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

A fascinating look at the beginnings of the 2000AD

Anyone who grew up reading the 2000AD comic in the 70's/80's will find this book a fascinating insight into the beginnings of the world's greatest comic. Pat Mills gives a frank and detailed description of the UK's comics industry, how comics and the character and stories are created and developed and on how the developers, artists and writers are treated and rewarded, often poorly, for their efforts and the lack of ownership that they can have over what they create.
As well as covering the characters who originally appeared in those early issues Pat also covers many later ones too and the various spin-off comics that were to later appear but would either be merge with the 2000AD or fall by the wayside, and the reasons behind why this would happen. As a young reader from the first Prog these are things that I and many of my peers would have been totally unaware of and at times while listening to Pat’s narration I did feel that maybe I had taken for granted all the effort that was made on my behalf to bring me my weekly input of thrill power.
Pat also goes on to cover more recent developments including the Dredd films and proposed TV show and the reprints and merchandising. However he does return often to very important subject of royalties and how those involved with a character’s creation and development are often disregarded. So much so that I think his later chapters could have been called ‘What gets my goat.’
Overall I think that this is a great book and being narrated by the author he gives you the emphasis on his own words in the way he wanted which would be impossible to get from anyone else. Even if you had bought the printed book, which I have, I would highly recommend you buying the audio version as well.
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- Paul Hough

Book Details

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