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The Ballad of Halo Jones

The Ballad of Halo Jones

Overview
The Ballad of Halo Jones is a science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

 written by Alan Moore
Alan Moore
Alan Oswald Moore is an English writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell...

 and drawn by Ian Gibson
Ian Gibson (artist)
Ian Gibson is a British comic book artist, best known for his 1980s black-and-white work for 2000 AD, especially as the main artist on Robo-Hunter and The Ballad of Halo Jones, as well as his long run on Judge Dredd.-Biography:...

, with lettering by Steve Potter (Books 1 & 2) and Richard Starkings
Richard Starkings
Richard Starkings is a British font designer and comic book letterer, editor and writer. He was one of the early pioneers of computer based comic book lettering and as a result is one of the most prolific creators in that industry.-Career:...

 (Book 3).

Halo Jones first appeared July 1984
1984 in comics
-Year overall:* The independent publishing boom continues, as Antarctic Press, Continuity Comics, Deluxe Comics, Matrix Graphic Series, and Renegade Press all enter the arena...

 in five-page installments in the pages of the weekly British comic 2000 AD. An overt attempt to bring a female perspective to that notoriously testosterone
Testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals, reptiles, birds, and other vertebrates. In mammals, testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands...

-fuelled publication, it was embraced by readers of both genders and is regarded as one of the high points of 2000 AD.
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Encyclopedia
The Ballad of Halo Jones is a science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

 written by Alan Moore
Alan Moore
Alan Oswald Moore is an English writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell...

 and drawn by Ian Gibson
Ian Gibson (artist)
Ian Gibson is a British comic book artist, best known for his 1980s black-and-white work for 2000 AD, especially as the main artist on Robo-Hunter and The Ballad of Halo Jones, as well as his long run on Judge Dredd.-Biography:...

, with lettering by Steve Potter (Books 1 & 2) and Richard Starkings
Richard Starkings
Richard Starkings is a British font designer and comic book letterer, editor and writer. He was one of the early pioneers of computer based comic book lettering and as a result is one of the most prolific creators in that industry.-Career:...

 (Book 3).

Halo Jones first appeared July 1984
1984 in comics
-Year overall:* The independent publishing boom continues, as Antarctic Press, Continuity Comics, Deluxe Comics, Matrix Graphic Series, and Renegade Press all enter the arena...

 in five-page installments in the pages of the weekly British comic 2000 AD. An overt attempt to bring a female perspective to that notoriously testosterone
Testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals, reptiles, birds, and other vertebrates. In mammals, testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands...

-fuelled publication, it was embraced by readers of both genders and is regarded as one of the high points of 2000 AD. The eponymous heroine is a highly sympathetic 50th-century everywoman
Everyman
In literature and drama, the term everyman has come to mean an ordinary individual, with whom the audience or reader is supposed to be able to identify easily, and who is often placed in extraordinary circumstances...

, and the tone of the strip runs from the comic to the poignant. The three "books" span more than ten years of her life, and also serve as a tour of the well-realized futuristic universe which Moore and Gibson created. Originally, Halo Jones was planned to run to nine books, chronicling Halo's life from adolescence through old age. However, the series was discontinued after three books due to a dispute between Moore and Fleetway, the magazine's publishers, over the intellectual property rights of the characters Moore and Gibson had co-created.

Synopsis



In Book One, the readers are introduced to the 18-year-old Halo Jones, who lives in a floating ring-shaped conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

 or housing estate
Housing estate
A housing estate is a group of buildings built together as a single development. The exact form may vary from country to country. Accordingly, a housing estate is usually built by a single contractor, with only a few styles of house or building design, so they tend to be uniform in appearance...

 called "The Hoop" that is moored in the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 off the East coast of America. The story takes place over one day, and follows Halo's violent, though also partly comical misadventures on a shopping trip. When Halo firstly discovers a good friend has become a "Different Drummer", a youth cult numbed by the beat of a drum in their ears, then returns to her apartment to find her flatmate and best friend Brinna murdered, she decides to leave Earth, never to return.

Book Two depicts Halo's life as a stewardess on a year-long space voyage. Halo discovers that it was her robot dog
Robot dog
Robotic dogs are robots designed to resemble dogs in appearance and behavior, usually incorporating canine characteristics such as barking or tail-wagging...

 Toby who was responsible for her flatmate's death and is forced to destroy him. It is also revealed, in a framing sequence, that Halo becomes a legendary historical figure in centuries to come.

In Book Three, the darkest part of the saga, ten years have elapsed and Halo has become a soldier serving in a Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

-style guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 interstellar war which has appeared as back-story in the previous two books, and is courted by a famous, fearsome-looking general, Luiz Cannibal. The series ends with the cessation of hostilities, after which Halo commandeers a spaceship and deserts, determined to take charge of her own fate.

Creating the ballad


Alan Moore has provided an account into how The Ballad Of Halo Jones came about in his introductions to the three 1986 Titan
Titan Books
Titan Publishing Group is an independently owned publishing company, established in 1981. It is based at offices in London, England's Bankside area. The Books Division has two main areas of publishing: film & TV tie-ins/cinema reference books; and graphic novels and comics reference/art titles. The...

 editions of the series. The story was designed from the outset not to contain the usual elements that made up a typical 2000 AD strip at the time, "guns, guys and gore". The idea to base the strip around female characters was almost revolutionary. Moore said that he had "no inclination to unleash yet another "Tough Bitch With A Disintegrator And An Extra 'Y' Chromosome" upon the world". The idea to base the strip around an ordinary, unremarkable woman, typical of the society she lived in, was also a very different concept for 2000 AD readers to digest at the time.

Gibson and Moore designed the world that Halo would live in with as much detail as possible. Book One may have been mildly criticised for dropping readers into a future world with no explanation of its societal structure, culture, language etc., but on closer inspection the book was designed to reveal aspects of this carefully constructed world in subtle and clever ways. The creators introduce us to 50th Century politics, social problems, diet (vegan), cults, music, futuristic slang, fashion and also an ongoing off-world war that is clearly taking place in the background.

Moore and Gibson's collaboration paid off when the go-ahead for a second series was given. Both men were excited about where the story was heading and Book Two expanded upon what they had created before. They upped the action quotient and also created some shattering emotional scenes. Moore has said that the character of "the Glyph", introduced in Book Two, clinched book's success (according to his comments in the introduction to the collected edition (Titan Books) in 1986).

Locations & characters

  • The Hoop (Ghetto for "increased-leisure citizens", tethered to the Manhattan peninsula): Halo Jones, Rodice Andelia Olsun, Brinna Childresse-Lao, Ludy, Toby, Swifty Frisko, Box, Winky & The Checkout Hags, Snivelling, Rumble Jack Volunteer, Clara Pandy Engineer

  • Clara Pandy (Luxury space liner): Toy Molto, Glyph, Mix Ninegold, Cézanne Goleiter, Kititirik Tikrikitit, Rat King, Lux Roth Chop, Captain Slovik

  • Charlemagne (Planet): Yortlebluzzgubbly

  • Lobis Loyo (Planet): Beta Platoon (Mona Jukes, Bekti Vassar, Shahi Manish, Lyncie Welch, Ditto Wheeler, Sergeant Verna Krause, Sergeant Juno Myrmidon, Life Sentence), General Luiz Cannibal

  • Moab (Planet): Sergeant Wo, Private Exxon, Terran Minister For Peace Her Serenity Kikikititi Rikrikikikit

  • Concordia (America, c. 6427AD): Dr. I.J. Brunhauer, Ms. Kopek, Mr. Sotgore

  • Rulf's World (Planet in The Vega system): It is from here that Glyph boards the Clara Pandy.

  • Pwuc (Planet): Halo ends up on Pwuc in the year 4960 having wandered the inner systems for almost a decade.

  • Hispus (Planet): The planet Halo finds herself on after signing her army release papers.


Other places she had visited or spent time in included Proxima IV, Vescue, Sirius, Skinner's World, and Popotoplec. Although it is mentioned that she met the famous historical figure Sally Quasa, this meeting does not take place in the first 3 books.

Publication history


Year Title ( * denotes graphic novel) Additional info
1984 2000AD Progs 376-385 The Ballad Of Halo Jones Book 1 (July-Sept, 10 episodes, 51 pages)
1985 2000AD Progs 405-415 The Ballad Of Halo Jones Book 2 (Feb-April, 10 episodes & prologue, 51 pages)
1985 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1 June, includes Halo Jones centrefold colour poster by Ian Gibson
1986 2000AD Progs 451-466 The Ballad Of Halo Jones Book 3 (Jan-April, 15 episodes & prologue, 80 pages)
1986 The Ballad Of Halo Jones Book 1* Titan Books, incl introduction by Alan Moore/sketches by Ian Gibson
1986 The Ballad Of Halo Jones Book 2* Titan Books, incl introduction by Alan Moore/sketches by Ian Gibson
1986 The Ballad Of Halo Jones Book 3* Titan Books, incl introduction by Alan Moore/sketches by Ian Gibson
1986 2000AD Prog 500 'Thargshead Revisited' (13th Dec, page by Ian Gibson features Halo, Rodice & Toy)
1987 Halo Jones - Quality Comics Colourised US reprints covering all 3 books, 12 monthly issues from Sept '87-Aug '88
1988 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1 June, incl 4 page article on Halo Jones stage tour by In The Red company
1989 The Best Of 2000AD Issue 40 January, Book 1 reprinted
1989 The Best Of 2000AD Issue 42 March, Book 2 reprinted
1991 The Best Of 2000AD Issue 65 February, Book 3 prologue and episodes 1-3 reprinted
1991 The Best Of 2000AD Issue 66 March, Book 3 episodes 4-15 reprinted. Incl unique Ian Gibson cover art
1991 2000AD Prog 725 April 6, Halo Jones Megascan, free poster magazine, new Ian Gibson Halo artwork
1991 The Complete Ballad Of Halo Jones* Titan Books, incl excerpts from previous three Moore introductions
1996 2000AD Prog 1016 November 5, incl Halo Jones Fine Art Print, art by Robert McCallum & Jim Murray
2000 2000AD 'Prog 2001' Annual edition, 13 December, new Ian Gibson Halo artwork
2001 The Complete Ballad Of Halo Jones* Titan Books, incl new introduction by Ian Gibson
2002 2000AD Prog 1280 February 22, Halo featured in story celebrating 25 years of 2000AD
2003 The Complete Ballad Of Halo Jones* Titan Books, deluxe hardback edition
2005 The Ballad Of Halo Jones* Rebellion
2006 The Ballad Of Halo Jones* Rebellion, 2nd printing, new cover design and chapter headings
2007 2000AD Prog 1550 15 August, 'Halo Jones Goes To War' - Ian Gibson art poster

Halo in Prog 500



The last occasion that Moore and Gibson collaborated on a Halo piece was for the 500th edition of 2000 AD in December 1986. A portrait of Halo is featured on this special issue's glossy cover. Inside many 2000 AD artists had fun with their own creations. In the strip "Thargshead Revisited" the editor of the comic (the alien Tharg
Tharg the Mighty
The Mighty Tharg is a recurrent character in science fiction comic 2000 AD, one of only two characters to appear in nearly every issue of the comic...

) takes a journey through his own head and encounters many characters from 2000AD's past. The page drawn by Ian Gibson features Halo, Rodice and Toy involved in a game of cards with Sam Slade
Robo-Hunter
Robo-Hunter is a recurring strip in the British Comic 2000 AD, initially written by John Wagner and illustrated by Ian Gibson. The series starred Sam Slade, a laconic, ageing, cigar-smoking bounty hunter of robots that have gone renegade. Though action orientated, the series was noted for its...

 (with the head of Luiz Cannibal on a plate on the table). This was the last time that Moore wrote dialogue for these characters.

Reissued & rediscovered


In December 2000 a special 2000AD issue (titled 'Prog 2001') was released featuring another full colour portrait of Halo. Titan were planning a reissue of the Complete Ballad Of Halo Jones in July 2001 and this portrait was used as the cover art. The first collected edition had been published by Titan in September 1991. This time the introduction to the book was written by Ian Gibson. The release of this volume garnered positive reviews and renewed many people's interest in Halo Jones. 2000AD hyped up the release on its site: "Alan Moore’s hugely acclaimed saga of one woman’s quest for reason in a galaxy gone mad. Out of print now for nearly a decade, fans have been clamouring for this collection anew, especially with the success of Moore’s ABC line. This classic tale, lovingly rendered by artist Ian Gibson, is now available again in its epic entirety"

The back cover of the book similarly heralded the return of a comic legend: "Meet Halo Jones. She's going out...and out...and out! Escaping the Hoop, Manhattan Island's land of mindless leisure, is just the first step in a cosmic adventure that will take Halo to the far ends of the galaxy, through war and peace, trial, despair and triumph. You've never met anyone quite like Halo...and you never will again."

"Possibly the first feminist heroine in comics", wrote The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

 of Alan Moore's epic tale of one woman's search for her place in a galaxy out of control. "Originally published in 2000 AD and then collected by Titan Books, this classic tale of future alienation and an individual's struggle remains a timeless testament to the genius of Moore. Beautifully illustrated by artist Ian Gibson, this is the ultimate sci-fi opus. Don't dare miss it!"

US reviewers also welcomed the book's return: "Criminally out of print for the last few years. Halo Jones is one of the finest graphic novels ever created - if you've never given them a go, shame on you - but this is the perfect place to start if men in tights superhero stuff puts you off. Halo Jones has it all - a fantastic storyline, cinematic graphics and characters that knock dead most of the ciphers you find in contemporary fiction."

Another review at the Spiderfan site: "Halo is among the best of Alan Moore's work, which is to say, among the best comic work you'll find anywhere. Titan Books in conjunction with 2000 AD is doing Alan Moore fans a great favor. It is one of the most remarkable transitions of a character ever presented in comics and it includes some of the most poignant and thought-provoking moments you could wish for. It created such an impact that, even now, almost twenty years later, readers are writing in to 2000AD (in Prog 1272, for example) asking for a continuation of the series. It is still so esteemed that, in the 2000AD 25th Anniversary Annual (Prog "2002"), the editors chose an event from "The Ballad" as #2 in the Most Heart-Breaking Moments in the whole of the history of their magazine."

The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones was voted the third best book of 2001 by the readers of Dreamwatch magazine.

Book 4 and beyond?


Since the publication of Book Three in 1986 fans of the series have been speculating on the possibility of Halo returning for further adventures. Rumours still exist of advertisements in 2000 AD at the time mentioning Halo's upcoming further adventures, indeed casting her in the role of being a "pirate queen" in book four. A projected 9 book series was thought to be in the works. In his introduction to the Titan reprint of Book Three in 1986 Alan Moore seemed to be leaving an open door for Halo's story to return to the comic:

"Whether this really is the last book remains to be seen. While there are currently no plans to continue the series, due to external circumstances and considerations, I think it's fair to say that, were these circumstances to alter, both Ian and myself would be only too pleased to resume The Ballad and continue to relate the history of a character to whom we've both grown very attached over the couple of years that we've worked with her. You know how it is...we've been out with her a couple of times and the chances are that if she's free, one day we might go out with her again. Who knows? Maybe we'll let you come along too."

Moore has had very little to say about Halo's return in the two decades since then. "I'd got plans to have her grow up and eventually end as an old woman," Moore told Mustard magazine in January 2006. "But I got to the point where I'd said to IPC, "Look, you know that you've ripped these characters off from us. If you were to give us the rights back, I would gladly write another three books of Halo Jones."

"Whereas if you don't I will never write Halo Jones and you won't get any money from the character. And they thought, 'Yeah, let's hang on to the character forever and you never get any rights to it and never write any again.' So that's where it is." A report from a 2004 BBC radio interview taping recalls that when asked to tell the audience about Halo Jones, "Moore smiled fondly as if someone had just reminded him of an ex-girlfriend who he'd never meant to split up with."

In an interview with Pádraig Ó Méalóid for 3:AM magazine (published March 2011), Alan Moore stated "the next adventure would have probably been when she was a female space pirate with Sally Quasa", "I would have been basically going through all the decades of her life, with her getting older in each one, because I liked the idea, at the time, of having a strip in 2000AD with a seventy or eighty year old woman as the title character", "it would have ended up with Halo Jones upon some planet that is right at the absolute edge of the universe where, beyond that, beyond some sort of spectacular lightshow, there is no space, no time, and it would have ended up with Halo Jones - all the rest of the people on this planetoid because, actually, time is not passing; you could stay there forever, potentially - and what would have happened is that Halo Jones, after spending some time with the rest of the immortals, would have tottered across the landing field, got into her spacecraft, and flown into the psychedelic lightshow, to finally get out."

In a recent interview with Gavin Hanly on the 2000AD Review site, Ian Gibson is asked about people's ongoing interest in the series and whether there was ever any intention to do a fourth series: "I'm very happy that Halo had such an effect. After all, that's why I asked Alan to write a girl's story. I thought it would make a difference... Alan and I had planned out Halo's future to a conclusion, but the series was interrupted by the dispute over copyright allocation, where Alan wanted to have all writers, like John Wagner et al., get their fair dues after streaming out a steady supply of genius for so many years. That's what I heard anyway - but I can't speak with authority as I wasn't involved in the negotiations. I have tried to contact Alan over the years, but with no luck. I have my own ideas of what could happen in the next couple of books that I'd have liked the chance to run past Alan, but I think he's discarded the story from his future..." In another interview on the Ximoc site Gibson reiterates his desire to keep the series going. When asked about his "dream project" he says: "I'm also sure that many of Halo's fans would like me to do some more books to continue the series. Just a shame Alan doesn't want to be involved (as far as I know?)"

In 1999 2000AD editor David Bishop
David Bishop
David Bishop is a screenwriter and author. Born in New Zealand, he was a UK comics editor during the 1990s, running such titles as the Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000 AD, the latter between 1996 and the summer of 2000....

 told Rich Johnston that "Ian Gibson has cried off creating new illustrations of Halo Jones and Robo-Hunter
Robo-Hunter
Robo-Hunter is a recurring strip in the British Comic 2000 AD, initially written by John Wagner and illustrated by Ian Gibson. The series starred Sam Slade, a laconic, ageing, cigar-smoking bounty hunter of robots that have gone renegade. Though action orientated, the series was noted for its...

, blaming artistic ennui". However, Gibson has been producing some visualisations of Halo over the years and continues to do so. In the early 1990s Gibson produced a colour poster (dubbed a "Megascan") of a youthful Hoopside Halo with Toby (the figures of Luiz Cannibal and Lux Roth Chop make up the ominous background). On the reverse side was a reprint of the first episode of Book 1 along with a "fact file" on Halo and her world.

A deluxe hardback volume of the collected edition was published in November 2003, and more recently a more compact paperback edition from DC/Rebellion in 2005. Ian Gibson has recently sold a commission of his work which clearly shows a Book 4 era Halo. In recent times Gibson has painted portraits of Halo which strongly suggest how she might appear in Book 4 and beyond (gemstones and/or great wealth and also the previously encountered Cetaceans seem to play a part in Halo's story beyond Moab.) Gibson's other work can be seen at his Gibson Studios website. In an article on the series, Regie Rigby sums up the impact of Gibson's art: "Halo's world was a vastly different future to those envisaged in 2000 ADs other stories. Ian Gibson's singular artistry gave everything a sort of rounded organic look, but also absolutely breathtaking beauty. Anyone who feels the way to make comics sexy is to draw small clothes and big breasts should take a look at Gibson's work on Halo Jones...with The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones reissued (and I suggest you dash out and grab a copy right now) and some genuine 2000 AD fans (in the shape of game software developers Rebellion
Rebellion Developments
Rebellion is a British computer games company, based in Oxford, who are most famous for the first Aliens vs. Predator computer game. It has published comic books since 2000 and launched its own book imprint, Abaddon Books, in 2006.-History:...

) at the helm of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic who knows what could happen? Cross your fingers people. She went "out" many years ago. With any luck, she'll be back sometime soon."

Influences on the series


Reviewers have attributed a number of influences from other sources, in particular the influence, on Book 3, of a number of classic anti-war science-fiction stories. These notably include a couple of stories written partly as a response to the gung-ho attitude of Starship Troopers
Starship Troopers
Starship Troopers is a military science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, first published as a serial in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and published hardcover in December, 1959.The first-person narrative is about a young soldier from the Philippines named Juan "Johnnie" Rico and his...

:
  • Traveller's Rest (1965) by David I. Masson
    David I. Masson
    David Irvine Masson was a British science-fiction writer and librarian.-Biography:Born in Edinburgh, Masson came from a distinguished family of academics and thinkers. His father, Sir Irvine Masson, was a Professor of Chemistry at Durham and Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield, his grandfather, Sir David O...

     (collected in The Caltraps of Time)
  • Bill, the Galactic Hero
    Bill, the Galactic Hero
    Bill, the Galactic Hero is a satirical science fiction novel by Harry Harrison, first published in 1965.Harrison reports having been approached by a Vietnam veteran who described Bill as "the only book that's true about the military."...

     (1965) by Harry Harrison
    Harry Harrison
    Harry Harrison is an American science fiction author best known for his character the Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! , the basis for the film Soylent Green...

  • The Forever War
    The Forever War
    The Forever War is a science fiction novel by American author Joe Haldeman, telling the contemplative story of soldiers fighting an interstellar war between humanity and the enigmatic Tauran species...

     (1975) by Joe Haldeman
    Joe Haldeman
    Joe William Haldeman is an American science fiction author.-Life :Haldeman was born June 9, 1943 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His family traveled and he lived in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Bethesda, Maryland and Anchorage, Alaska as a child. Haldeman married Mary Gay Potter, known...

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy series created by Douglas Adams. Originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, and over several years it gradually became an international multi-media phenomenon...

     (1980) and So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is the fourth book of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" written by Douglas Adams. Its title is the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, as described in The...

     (1984) by Douglas Adams
    Douglas Adams
    Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television...

    : in these novels the second to most intelligent lifeform on Earth are the Dolphins.

Cameo roles


Both Ian Gibson and Alan Moore make a cameo appearance in the series. In Book 3, when Halo first arrives at the Glory Barge on the planet Pwuc (where she meets Toy recruiting soldiers for the Terran army), Gibson and Moore appear as two figures in the crowd - a bearded man holding a pencil and another man holding a paintbrush. Alan Moore can also be seen being rickshawed through the rainy street on the planet Hispus after Halo has signed her release papers.

The US Quality Comics reprints


A year after her stories had left the pages of 2000 AD, The Ballad Of Halo Jones was reprinted in the USA by Quality Comics
Quality Comics
Quality Comics was an American comic book publishing company that operated from 1939 to 1956 and was an influential creative force in what historians and fans call the Golden Age of comic books....

. Publisher's Bob Keenan and Sal Quartuccio had secured the rights to reissue colourized versions of Judge Dredd
Judge Dredd
Judge Joseph Dredd is a comics character whose strip in the British science fiction anthology 2000 AD is the magazine's longest running . Dredd is an American law enforcement officer in a violent city of the future where uniformed Judges combine the powers of police, judge, jury and executioner...

, Rogue Trooper
Rogue Trooper
Rogue Trooper is a science fiction strip in the British comic 2000 AD, created by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons. It follows the adventures of Rogue, a G.I. and his three comrades' search for the Traitor General...

, Strontium Dog
Strontium Dog
Strontium Dog is a long-running comics series featuring in the British science fiction weekly 2000 AD, starring Johnny Alpha, a mutant bounty hunter with an array of imaginative gadgets and weapons....

, Sam Slade and Halo Jones - the cream of 2000AD's catalogue at that time. New covers were commissioned for these comics by artists such as Bill Mayer, Bart Sears
Bart Sears
Bart Whitman Sears is an American artist and author, originally from Syracuse, New York.Sears has lent his unique style and creative ideas to multiple industries, including but not limited to: Comics , Toys, and Computer Games...

 and Jim Fern. Eva Brozowski served as the colourist for the covers (her initials can be seen separately to the artist's). In order to fit the square 2000AD pages to American comic book format, Quality attached a distorting lens to a photocopy machine, elongating and "effectively destroying the art in the process" according to one reviewer. The covers mimic Gibson's original art but arguably never compare favourably, issue #7 shows Lux Roth Chop transformed from a young boy to a sinewy adult, another shows a high-heeled soldier version of Halo Jones. These reprints are now quite sought after and are a fixture on Ebay and other auction sites. The telephone booth cover of issue #1 was used at the time on a mail-order $10 T-shirt by Quality Comics with the slogan "Halo Jones - Your Destiny's calling!" The Quality Comics reprints did however do Halo one major injustice: the very last line of Book Three ("Just out") is obscured by a large "The End" title.

As well as the main story these reprints also include some Gibson work from 2000AD's vaults such as 'The Amazing Maze Dumoir', and 'You Win Some You Lose Some' (the latter two both scripted by A Hebden). Also featured during this run were episodes from 'Anderson Psi Division', 'Ro-busters', 'Sooner Or Later', 'Dash Decent' and Alan Moore's 'Abelard Snazz
Abelard Snazz
Abelard Snazz was "The Man With The Multi-Storey Mind," a super intelligent 2000A.D. character created by Alan Moore, and first illustrated by artist Steve Dillon.-Character history:...

 Misadventures' and his Future Shocks story 'Sunburn'.

Cultural allusions in Halo Jones


Toy Molto: The name alludes to the toy company Molto.

I'll Never Forget What's 'is Name: The episode in which the glyph tells her/his story on the Clara Pandy gets its title from the 1967 movie of the same name
I'll Never Forget What's 'Isname
I'll Never Forget What's'isname is a 1967 British film directed and produced by Michael Winner...

 starring Oliver Reed
Oliver Reed
Oliver Reed was an English actor known for his burly screen presence. Reed exemplified his real-life macho image in "tough guy" roles...

 and Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

.

Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947...

 (1889–1951). Philosopher. Halo buys Brinna a sitdram called "Wittgenstein has risen from his grave."

Jazz Firpo: A reporter who interviews Luiz Cannibal for Swifty Frisko at the close of Book One. Roberto Firpo
Roberto Firpo
Roberto Firpo was an Argentine tango pianist, composer and leader.Firpo was born in the Flores district of Buenos Aires, where his father owned a grocery store...

 was a pioneer in the early part of the 20th century with Tango rhythms.

Terhune: A planet where the army recruiting officer mentions that soldiers can relax at an officers bar. Max 'Lullaby' 'Alibi' Terhune
Max Terhune
Max Terhune , was an American film actor. He appeared in nearly 70 films, mostly B-westerns, between 1936 and 1956....

 (real name: Robert Max Terhune Sr) 1891-1973 was the star of westerns or "sagebrush adventures".

Myrmidon: Sergeant Myrmidon trains Halo in the art of warfare before dying on Moab. In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, the myrmidons
Myrmidons
The Myrmidons or Myrmidones were legendary people of Greek history. They were very brave and skilled warriors commanded by Achilles, as described in Homer's Iliad. Their eponymous ancestor was Myrmidon, a king of Thessalian Phthia, who was the son of Zeus and "wide-ruling" Eurymedousa, a...

 were a warlike Thessalian people who were ruled by Achilles and followed him on the expedition against Troy. Another meaning for the word myrmidon is "a faithful follower who carries out orders without question".

Moab: The name Moab
Moab
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over...

 is a Biblical name for a land just short of the Promised Land. Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 having fallen from God's grace could glimpse the Promised Land from Moab but could not enter it.

Different Drummers: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away". (Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

, 1817–1862)

Perelandra: In the prologue to Book 2, Mr Sotgore taunts Dr Brunhauer that he wants to earn enough money from his historical work on Halo Jones to retire to Perelandra
Perelandra
Perelandra is the second book in the Space Trilogy of C. S. Lewis, set in the Field of Arbol...

. This was the name of the paradisiacal planet Venus in the science fiction trilogy of C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

.

A Soldier's Things: The title of Part 6 of Book 3 is a possible reference to the Tom Waits
Tom Waits
Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car."...

 song Soldier's Things, from his 1983 album Swordfishtrombones
Swordfishtrombones
Swordfishtrombones is an album by American singer-songwriter Tom Waits, released in September 1983. It was the first album that Waits produced himself....

.

Breakfast in the Ruins: The title of Part 14 of Book 3 is a reference to the Michael Moorcock
Michael Moorcock
Michael John Moorcock is an English writer, primarily of science fiction and fantasy, who has also published a number of literary novels....

 book Breakfast in the Ruins
Breakfast in the Ruins
Breakfast in the Ruins: A Novel of Inhumanity is a 1972 novel by Michael Moorcock, which mixes historical and speculative fiction. It was first published in the United Kingdom by the New English Library...

.

In book one the Hoop has to open to allow a wave to pass through, the wave is by the Japanese woodcut artist Hokusai.

Other appearances


Prog 2000 featured Halo beating Hap Hazzard and Finn
Finn (comics)
Finn was the hero of a comic strip written by Pat Mills. He first appeared in British fortnightly anthology comic Crisis in 1989, and later moved to 2000 AD when Crisis was cancelled in 1991. In Crisis he started as a supporting character called Paul in the strip Third World War, before becoming...

 before getting blown away by the Missionary Man
Missionary Man (comics)
Missionary Man debuted in the Judge Dredd Megazine in May 1993 with the introductory 7-page story "Salvation At The Last Chance Saloon" illustrated by Frank Quitely. It established that tall Preacher Cain rides the Cursed Earth performing "special sermons" in the radiation-poisoned towns, tutoring...

 in that issue's character Deathmatch.

"Helter Skelter", a Judge Dredd story written by Garth Ennis (12 episodes Progs 1250-1261) features cameos from a myriad of previous 2000AD characters including Halo Jones in episodes 6 & 7. Artwork by Carlos Ezquerra
Carlos Ezquerra
Carlos Sanchez Ezquerra , who has also worked under the alias L. John Silver, is a Spanish comics artist who works mainly in British comics and currently lives in Andorra...

 and Henry Flint
Henry Flint
Henry Flint is a British comic book artist who has worked mainly for British sci-fi comic 2000AD.-Biography:Flint has established a cult following for his hyper-detailed and wildly inventive work on series such as Judge Dredd, Zombo,,ABC Warriors, Shakara, Low Life and Aliens.A recent project was...

.

In popular culture


Halo Jones has been mentioned in popular culture:

The UK band Halo James
Halo James
Halo James was a British pop group active from 1988 to 1991.-Biography:Named after the main character from the comic strip The Ballad of Halo Jones, the band was fronted by session musician/vocalist Christian James and included Ray St...

 was named after the eponymous character.

The debut album Pop Art by 1980s group Transvision Vamp
Transvision Vamp
Transvision Vamp were a British alternative rock group. Formed in 1986 by Nick Christian Sayer and Wendy James the band enjoyed chart success in the late 1980s...

 features a track entitled, as a homage, "Hanging out with Halo Jones".

The Shriekback
Shriekback
Shriekback are an English rock band, formed in 1981 in Kentish Town by Barry Andrews, formerly of XTC and League of Gentlemen , and Dave Allen, formerly of the Gang of Four , with Carl Marsh, formerly of Out On Blue Six soon added to the line-up. They were joined by Martyn Barker on drums in 1983...

song "Malaria" includes the line "I wanna live with Halo Jones".

Merchandise/adaptations


A stage adaptation of The Ballad Of Halo Jones was a surprise hit at the 1987 Edinburgh Festival. In 1988 the In The Red Theatre Company toured the show around the UK. Cast: Clare Fairley (Halo Jones), Debbie Howard (Rodice), Nicky McRoy (Toy), Andy Veal (Toby), Angela Clifford (Ludy), Dave Barrett (the Glyph).

Another stage adaptation: In 2001, Andrew Ness adapted Book One of the story to the Liverpool stage.

Halo Jones T-shirts issued by 2000AD in the 1980s had the slogan "Hoop-life Hero" on them.

Computer game: Programmers Mike Lewis and Carl Cropley developed a Halo Jones game in the 1980s for the Spectrum computer, based around the shopping trip that Halo takes.

External links