The Ballad of Halo Jones first appeared in the British science fiction anthology 2000 AD, in issue 376 released on 7 July 1984.
There is a thorough publication history list on the Halo Jones Wikipedia page, which this site has built from. That page lists numerous HJ cameos, which are not included here. Included below (not on Wikipedia) are many cover images, plus additional notes on the extras that have appeared in various publications.
Note any “complete” Halo Jones collection is a bit misleading as the series was never completed. Moore intended nine volumes, but stopped after the third volume, due to copyright disagreements.
For better and for worse, Halo Jones (like many Moore works that he does not own the rights to) gets reprinted, repackaged, recolored, etc. every few years.
Halo Jones was initially serialized in 2000 AD:
- 1984 – Book One ran in 2000 AD Progs 376–385 (July-September)
- 1985 – Book Two ran in 2000 AD Progs 405–415 (February-April)
- 1986 – Book Three ran in 2000 AD Progs 451–466 (January–April)
The Ballad of Halo Jones was initially collected in three trade paperbacks by Titan Books.
- 1986 – The Ballad of Halo Jones, Book One – includes ‘Guns, Guys and Gore’ introduction by Moore, Hooplife 1-pager, minimal spot illustrations by Gibson
1986 – The Ballad of Halo Jones, Book Two – includes three page introduction by Moore, and early character sketches and Glyph pin-up by Gibson.
- 1986 – The Ballad of Halo Jones, Book Three – includes three page introduction by Moore, and early character sketches by Gibson.
In 1987-88, Quality Comics reprinted Halo Jones in a 12-issue comics (floppies) series. The print quality wasn’t great, and the artwork was stretched (to better fit the U.S. comics format) and colored.
Each issue includes several Progs, though the titles and Prog number have been omitted. Early issues have more Progs (Book One is completed in issue 2), and then later issues have fewer Progs and more filler. (For what it’s worth, Book Two runs in issues 3-7, and Book Three in issues 8-12.)
New cover artwork largely failed to be true to Gibson and Moore’s world-building and tone. Some of the covers are overly sexualized/cheesecake in ways that Moore and Gibson had avoided.
In 1989 and 1991, Jones was reprinted in The Best of 2000AD Monthly. Issue 40 reprinted Book One. Issue 42 reprinted Book Two. Issues 65-66 reprinted Book 3, with new Gibson art on the cover of issue 66.
In 1991, Titan published the first The Complete Ballad Of Halo Jones, which includes short excerpts from Moore’s three earlier introductions.
In 2001, Titan published a new edition of The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones featuring a new one-page introduction by Gibson.
In 2003, Titan published a deluxe hardback version with the same extras, though with slightly different formatting.
In 2005, Rebellion reprinted a single volume TBOHJ. In 2006, the second edition included new Gibson cover artwork.
In 2010, Rebellion came out with a new single volume TBOHJ. While most collected/complete editions had few extras, this one includes seven 2000 AD covers, and (apparently appearing in print for the first time) a five-page Moore script covering the first three pages of Book Three, Prog 2.
In 2013, Rebellion reprinted TBOHJ with new cover art Simon Parr, a new introduction by Lauren Beukes, and (the same?) Alan Moore script pages. There’s some kind of alternate Parr cover art at Digital Spy.
In 2017, TBOHJ was reprinted in 2000AD: The Ultimate Collection #46 with a new introduction by Matt Smith, and an essay by Stephen Jewell.
Then, in 2018, TBOHJ got colorized – its second color version after the substandard ’80s Quality Comics issues.
The 2018 color editions are called volumes 1-3, in slight contrast to books 1-3 in all previous collections. The coloring was done by Barbara Nosenzo. The volumes contain the following extras:
- Volume 1 – Moore Book One intro (1986 ‘Guns, guys and gore’), Gibson complete intro (2003 ‘Girls, rockets and monsters’), Hooplife, HJ coming soon 1-page ad, and four earlier covers.
- Volume 2 – Prog 473 cover
- Volume 3 – four 2000 AD covers, and Moore script excerpt (same as 2010 collection).
In 2021, Penguin released a three-hour TBOHJ audiobook. The “immersive listening experience” audio production uses TBOHJ nearly entirely verbatim, but moves Book Two’s 6427 A.D. framing sequence to the beginning. The excellent recording features Sheila Atim as Halo Jones, alongside voice actors Ellie Kendrick, Kemah Bob, Michael Fenton Stevens and Yaz Zadeh.
A new TBOHJ Full Colour Omnibus Edition was recently announced, expected to hit the stands in January 2023.
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