Press Release: Rebellion acquires classic British comics archive, biggest deal of its kind in 30 years

CA - Fleetway - Annual logo

CPP - Rebellion Publishing

Big news! From Rebellion / 2000 AD:
In the biggest deal of its kind in 30 years, 2000 AD’s publisher, Rebellion, has acquired the archives of Fleetway and the IPC Youth Group archive. The deal features comics from Action to Whoopee and classic series such as Roy of the Rovers, Charley’s War, The Thirteenth FloorBilly’s Boots, Star Rider, Golden Boy, Death Wish, and Johnny Red – and includes hundreds of never-before-reprinted titles. It’s wonderful to welcome 2000 AD’s former stable mates to Rebellion, where the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic has thrived over the last 16 years!

 

REBELLION ACQUIRES CLASSIC BRITISH COMICS ARCHIVE

Some of the most iconic British comic books from the 1970s and 1980s are to be reprinted after 2000 AD publishers Rebellion acquire the archives of Fleetway and the IPC Youth Group from Egmont.

In a major acquisition Rebellion, the independent publisher behind the bestselling comics and graphic novel imprint 2000 AD, has purchased the archive of Fleetway and IPC Youth group comics from Egmont UK Ltd. The archive is famous for the weekly comics Battle, Action, Tammy and Roy of the Rovers among many others, and the acquisition represents a significant expansion in Rebellion’s publishing portfolio, broadening its reach into the growing UK comics and graphic novel market. CPP - 2000 AD Logo

Rebellion’s owners and founders, Jason and Chris Kingsley, previously acquired 2000 AD, and its sister publication The Judge Dredd Megazine, from Egmont in 2000. Rebellion has gone on to return 2000 AD to the top of the sales chart as the UK’s #1 bestselling teenage newsstand comic, and its Judge Dredd collections regularly lead the UK graphic novel charts.

CA - Fleetway - Action Jason Kingsley, Rebellion CEO, said “I particularly remember reading Action when I was a boy, and amongst other stories, Kids Rule OK and Hook Jaw have left an indelible impression on me, which is probably the reason Action caused such controversy at the time.  My brother and I, and the whole team at Rebellion, are very happy to be reuniting this archive with that of 2000 AD. I’m also delighted to see some of the ‘girls’ comics joining our company as they hold forgotten works by some of the industry’s creative giants and deserve to be read by all.” CA - Fleetway - Hook Jaw

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The deal was negotiated by Ben Smith, Head of Book and Comics Publishing for Rebellion, with John Packard, Brands and Licensing Publishing Director and Alan Hurcombe, CFO for Egmont.

Ben Smith said “This archive represents a huge repository of some of the finest British comics ever published and I am delighted we have the opportunity to return these to print and develop new stories based on iconic characters. 2000 AD has gained an international reputation over the last 15 years for the quality of both its new comics and the success with which it has re-issued classics from the title’s 40 year history. Re-uniting  2000 AD with its comic book stable mates from the 1970s and 1980s is hugely satisfying and we look forward to delivering the kind of success to this material that we have already done for ongoing series such as Judge Dredd, Sláine, Strontium Dog and many others. We cannot wait to publish unseen material from this treasury of British comics.” CA - LBF - PM - 2000 AD #1

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Alan Hurcombe, CFO, Egmont Publishing said ‘We are delighted that Rebellion have taken over custodianship of the Fleetway archive.  They have the expertise to really make the most of this extensive range of comics including Battle, Tammy and Roy of the Rovers.  Rebellion’s management of Judge Dredd proves that these much loved characters will be in very safe hands.’

 

ADDITIONAL:

Timeline

1987: The IPC Youth Group was sold, under the name Fleetway to Robert Maxwell. (The seller, IPC, later became IPC Media, now Time Inc.).

1992: Fleetway was acquired by Egmont, who formed Fleetway-Egmont.

2000: Rebellion acquired 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine from Egmont.

2016: Rebellion acquire the complete Fleetway/IPC Youth Group archive from Egmont.

Titan Publishing have previously published and will continue to produce some material licensed from the archive. The 2016 Rebellion acquisition does not include Dan Dare or The Eagle, as these were previously sold by Egmont in the 1990s.

 

See also our interview with creator of 2000 AD and writer of classic stories there and Fleetway strips besides Mr Pat Mills!