As usual 2000AD foresaw the future of America in the large shape of it’s citizens ever-expanding waistlines!
League of Fatties(Progs273-74,17-24Jul’82)
Years of unemployment and boredom in the future Mega-City had seen thousands turn to gluttony,years of overeating had made them so large,some needed beli-wheels attached to their grossly extended stomachs.
Aided by these devices ,normally housebound,immobile and morbidly obese citizens are “actively" encouraged to continue their unhealthy lifestyles!
Now with food shortages thrown up in the aftermath of the Apocalypse War,things had got so bad that people were having to queue for food. The shortages meant that the “Fatties" as they were known,were suffering more than most.Some tried to queue more than once,(because of their size,this rarely worked);others scavenged,whilst some resorted to outright fraud,forging ration books. Feeling that they had more right to extra food because of their size,the Fatties march on the Hall of Justice,unfortunately,they don’t get far as their size means the march turns quickly into farce. Eventually the Fatties make it to Justice Central and put forward their demands for extra rationing,naturally Judges refuse,to which the larger citizen’s reply that they may resort to other methods. “Just make sure they’re legal,citizen”,retorts Dredd.
Ignoring the Judge's warning,armed gangs were now roaming the streets,robbing citizen's of their valuables.
These were no normal Mega-City gangs,though,and not your normal valuables. This was literally the biggest gang the city had ever seen,a real heavy mob and they were after yer grub!!
Not prepared to risk the horrors of losing weight,and prepared to go to war for their right to fight to be fat: The League of Fatties was born!
Raiding food supply outlets,where their sheer tonnage made them hard to stop;day by day their crimes become ever more daring,even ambushing convoys of food in the Cursed Earth,desperately needed for MC-1,by hurling themselves kamikaze-style down on to the unsuspecting trucks,smashing them open!
Committing many crimes inside and out of the city,because of their size,luckily,many of the crimes were unsuccessful.
Moreover,anti-flab feeling is running high,spilling over into a Weight War.
The Judges must put an end to the situation;their answer is to set-up Segregation Blocks where grossly overweight citizens must remain under Block arrest until their weight drops below 300 kilos.
The four Blocks;Tobias Belch,Frank Cannon,William(Billy)Bunter and Orson Welles,obviously named after famous fictional & non-fictional,larger-than-life characters;are not popular but are there to stay,until the food shortage is over!
“Requiem for a Heavyweight”(Progs331-34,27Aug-17Sep’83)
Script;T.B Grover;art:Carlos Ezquerra.
After the events of the Apocalypse War,due to food shortage-connected crimes committed by the “League of Fatties",all grossly overweight citizens were forced into Fat Camps,until their weight came down below 300 kilos.
Meanwhile underground eating contests were cropping up,becoming popular and the Heavyweight Champion of the World,was now a very different title!
Ruthless heavyweight trainers visited the camps,scouting for hopeless cases that were incapable of losing weight and until the food shortage was over,would likely,never be released.
One such trainer,who’s last contender William”Pudge" Dempsey,choked to death on his own bedstead after illegal appetite inducers,we’re left accidentally unattended in his bedroom,causing him to go into an uncontrollable feeding frenzy! Unwilling to face a Judicial investigation he unceremoniously dumps his eater in a rad pit!
Now,this trainer the unscrupulous,Charley Bruno,had found his target-inmate Arnold Stodgman,who not only couldn’t lose weight,was actually gaining it! Sneaking past the guards at Frank Canon Segregation Block,Bruno makes an announcement of a free midnight feast at the gates,causing 30,000 hungry fatties and fifteen thousand tons of blubber to charge for the fence,killing two Judges in the resulting stampede!.The heartbroken fatties,soon realise the cruel hoax,creatingCharley Bruno a diversion to roll his new charge through the fence and into a waiting getaway truck!
Once starting in the professional eating game,Arnold with his natural love of food and insatiable appetite fast becomes a rising challenger,until he finally gets a chance to eat for the Heavyweight title of the world.
So,”Abdominal Arnie " Stodgman gets to fulfill his dream(and his face!)by eating for the world title-up against some of the best in the world;obese Aussie,Rolf “Thunderchops" Gunderson,”Little Joe" Johansen and “Fatbelly Frank”.
Arnie is determined to try and eat the ton-a feat never achieved before.
After the Aussie,”Thunderchops" is disqualified for trying to eat his manager-due to illegal use of appetite inducers,two men are left:"Little Joe" Johansen and “Abdominal Arnie" Stodgman. In a titanic battle of gluttony,Arnie and Joe are neck and neck(or jowl and jowl to be more accurate),with “Little Joe" finally throwing in the towel at a record-breaking 985 kilos.
Arnie on 978 kilos just needs anothe 8K to win but insists on taking on a 25K pie to break the magic ton! In an unprecedented show of gluttony Arnie digests it,to win and just as his flabby arm is raised..promptly falls down dead!
At this moment the Judges have tracked down the illegal eating venue and burst in to make arrests,particularly on Charley Bruno for the murder of Pudge Dempsey,who claims it was worth it to finally have trained up a Heavyweight champ,who ate the magic ton! Dredd with his usual pragmatic approach informs k to get ready for some overtime!
Script:T.B Grover;art:Cam Kennedy.
Eventually after the food shortsge is over the Segregated Fat Camps are closed and their inhabitants released. Some of the inhabitants such as the tragic Arnold Stodgman were unable to be released because of their failure to lose weight.,however we know he escaped and fulfilled his dream of consuming a ton of food at one sitting,to become Heavyweight Champion of the World,before unsurprisingly,dropping down dead!
Nevertheless a certain family man with a big heart and an even bigger dream:to become the world’s first two-ton man!
“One-Ton" Tony Tubbs as he was known,had actually put on weight in the Frank Canon Segregation Block,where he was supposed to lose some,but due to a high metabolism and sheer willpower had managed to become so big,he had to be airlifted from the camp.
In all that time Tony dreamed of the day The Fatty of the Year would be held again When he eventually arrived home his family are overjoyed to have him back.He gathers them together and tells them of his mammoth task to make the incredible weight of Two Tons.Explaining that the whole family,aunts,uncles,cousins especially his own wife and kids,would have to tighten their belts,so Tony could expand his,everyone agrees.
Tony Tubbs,although big,was a good man and when he asked the family to make sacrifices,his was not a selfish gesture as he revealed the title came with c50,000cred prize money,not to mention millions in sponsorship. Tony and his family moved into their cousin Vance's garage,the only place large enough to house him,where Vance knocked him up a trolley,as his beli-wheels kept breaking.
After much training/eating,Tony Tubbs arrives at the venue where the contest was to be held. Once there the entrants were weighed after dropping their beli-wheel,to show the bounce of their unfettered flab!
The other contestants impress with weights well over the ton mark,but a shocked silence descends over the auditorium as the awesome sight of Tony Tubbs,is wheeled in. A gargantuan Tubbs is manoeuvred onto the scales and at a weight of 2049 kilos,can finally call himself “Two-Ton" Tony Tubbs,at last realising his dream. There is some disagreement amongst the other competitors though,complaining that without a beli-wheel,he should be disqualified as he didn’t arrive under his own steam. Using legs that haven’t been seen never mind used for years,encouraged by his loving but long-suffering family,”Two-Ton" Tony Tubbs summoning some renewed steel to his seldom used feet,made the few steps to the podium.
Disgruntled fellow Fatties storm the stage,causing it tto collapse,eventually killing 14 of the world’s finest exponents of flab! Two-Tony expecting to be arrested for the unfortunate incident,is informed by Judge Dredd that it wasn’t his fault-although the organisers are given fifteen years apiece for criminal negligence.
So for once Mega-City One produces a happy ending,”Two-Ton" Tony Tubbs becomes,quite literally,a huge celebrity and his family,through ranges of Tony’s merchandise,lucrative TV ads and numerous personal appearances,become very rich,and live happily ever after!
At least for Mega-City One,anyway!