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

image001Some 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.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.’

About Egmont Publishing (UK)
In the UK, Egmont Publishing is the leading specialist children’s publisher for babies to teens, inspiring children to read through more than 25 million award-winning magazines, books and eBooks sold each year. We’re proud to be home to many of the world’s favourite stories and best-loved authors, illustrators and characters such as LEGO® franchises, Thomas & Friends, Disney Princess, Disney Frozen, Star Wars™, Teletubbies, Michael Morpurgo, Enid Blyton, Julia Donaldson, Lemony Snicket, Michael Grant, Andy Stanton, Winnie-the-Pooh, Tintin, Mr Men, Stampy Cat and Minecraft.

Egmont Publishing is part of Egmont, a leading media group in the Nordic region with activities in 30 countries and 6,600 employees, producing high-quality content and digital innovation.

We are responsible for Nordisk Film and TV 2 in Norway, book publishing and Egmont Publishing which publishes over 700 magazines.

We are also part owners of a number of other company’s businesses e.g. Zentropa, which is responsible for sales of Playstation and much more.

Egmont is a commercial foundation which generated revenue amounting to EUR 1.6 billion in 2015. We donate over EUR 10 million a year to help improve the lives of children and young people.
www.egmont.co.uk

About Rebellion Publishing
Rebellion is also one of the UK’s leading independent computer games publishers and developers, known for the global #1 bestselling series Sniper Elite, Zombie Army Trilogy and forthcoming VR game Battlezone. It has previously developed the Judge Dredd vs Judge Death and Rogue Trooper computer games from the 2000 AD stable of characters. Jason Kingsley was awarded an MBE for services the UK games industry in 2012, the same year Judge Dredd was made into a cult Hollywood movie by award-winning UK filmmakers DNA with the Kingsleys as co-producers. www.rebellion.co.uk

2000 AD is the legendary weekly British anthology comic and home of Judge Dredd, as well as a galaxy of original sci-fi, fantasy, and horror action stars. As well as producing innovative and proactive comics for almost 40 years, it has brought the industry some of its biggest talents, from Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and Mark Millar, to Jock, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, and many more. Published in print and digital every Wednesday, 2000 AD is the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic and remains at the industry’s cutting edge. Since acquiring the comic in the year 2000, Rebellion has become its longest serving owner and publisher www.2000ADonline.com

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.

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