Camelot 3000 Poster Brian Bolland Art! DC Comics King Arthur Merlin


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Camelot 3000 is an American twelve-issue comic book limited series written by Mike W. Barr and penciled by Brian Bolland. It was published by DC Comics from 1982 to 1985 as one of its first direct market projects, and as its first maxi-series. It was also the first comic book series to be printed on Baxter paper instead of newsprint.

The series follows the adventures of King Arthur, Merlin and the reincarnated Knights of the Round Table as they reemerge in an overpopulated future world of 3000 A.D. to fight off an alien invasion masterminded by Arthur’s old nemesis, Morgan Le Fay.

Camelot 3000 was British artist Bolland’s first major work in the USA.

Brian Bolland (born 1951) is a British comics artist. Best known in the UK as one of the definitive Judge Dredd artists for British comics anthology 2000 AD, he spearheaded the ‘British Invasion’ of the American comics industry, and in 1982 produced the artwork on Camelot 3000 (with author Mike W. Barr), which was DC’s first 12-issue comicbook maxiseries created for the direct market.

His rare forays into interior art also include Batman: The Killing Joke, with UK-based writer Alan Moore, and a self-penned Batman: Black and White story. Bolland remains in high demand a cover artist, producing the vast majority of his work for DC Comics.

In 1982, DC editor Len Wein chose Bolland to be the artist on DC’s Camelot 3000 12-issue maxi-series, with writer Mike W. Barr. The story, dealing with the return of King Arthur to save England from an alien invasion in the Year 3000, not only “represents the single biggest body of work” by Bolland – and his only attempt to draw a monthly title – but was also the “first example of a DC (or otherwise) maxi-series.” Bolland wasn’t familiar with the Arthurian legends, and initially conceived Merlin as a comical character. The series was graced with considerable media hype, and Bolland found himself “whisked off to San Diego and places and made a fuss of.” Bolland was allowed to pick between two inkers, but opted to ink his covers himself. Bolland was uncomfortable with having a third party ink his pencils, and later admitted that he put a high level of detail into his art for the series to leave as little room as possible for the inker to creatively reinterpret his work. However, “by the end I was quite pleased with the results.” Reacting indignantly to being presented with Andru layouts for the first two Camelot 3000 covers, he “chose to ignore the Andru design completely and come up with my own unapproved design. Len Wein rejected it and told me to do the Ross Andru one. Grudgingly I drew the number one cover that made it onto the issue – but as a protest I reversed the letter N in my signature as a code to remind myself that my “artistic integrity” had been despoiled. I liked the backwards N enough to keep it from that day on.”

Camelot 3000 had lengthy delays between its final issues. Bolland recalled that he and DC “talked quite a bit about how long it would take me to do the series,” and because the series was inked by other artists, he started off “churning the pages out with great enthusiasm.” As the series continued, however, Bolland became increasingly meticulous, “trying to make the pages look better and better”. The added details he introduced into his artwork caused significant delays in the final issues of the limited series, causing issues #8–11 to be released on a quarterly rather than monthly status, and the final issue to be cover dated nine months later than the penultimate issue.

Near mint condition.