Sláine The Horned God UK Mandarin 1993 Hardcover Special Edition

Story Pat Mills and painting art by Simon Bisley. All material is (now) copyrighted Rebellion A/S.

Published in 1993 by Mandarin, this 12 x 9 inches book (30.5 x 23 cm, ISBN is shown on a picture below) comes with an inner canvas hardcover and a fully illustrated dust jacket. I have seen on the web that this particular version was "only available to purchase through 2000AD and not available in any shops", but I cannot confirm this information with official sources, nor give the print numbers if it's indeed limited.

One picture below is for size comparison with one of the original prog where this story was first published.

The front cover of the dust jacket and inner canvas hardcover are exclusive to this edition (back cover of this edition has been used for the regular hardcover and softcover version).

The books open with a two pages introduction written in 1991 by Caitlin Matthews (with the guide to the Horned God) and previously used in volume 3 of the Fleetway 3 parts graphic novel edition (and Land of the Young map from 2000 AD #626). The story is divided in its original three parts, and is printed on non glossy paper. The afterword displays some story references and sources.

let's search for Conan on the left page, and Pat Mills on the right page ...

I will also make use of this article to review the UK reprints of this story (note that the recent US reprint is detailed here).

In chronological order after its initial publishing in 2000 AD, "The Horned God" has first been published in three volume by Fleetway in magazine size softcover edition from 1989 to 1991. There is also a picture intended to compare size with the 1993 Mandarin special edition.

volume 1 1989 ISBN 1-85386-156-1

back cover of volume 1
Volume 1 features a one page introduction by Richard Burton (2000 AD editor) dated August 1989 and the guide to the horned god.

volume 2 1990 ISBN 1-85386-157-X

back cover of volume 2
Volume 2 features also the guide, the Land of the Young map and a "previously in" page with a B&W Bisley sketch:

volume 3 March 1991 ISBN 1-85386-158-8

back cover of volume 3
Volume 3 displays the Caitlin Matthew introduction (dated 1990), the guide to the horned god, a "previously in" page with a B&W Bisley sketch and the same afterword reused in 1993 by Mandarin.

size comparison

And so in 1993, Mandarin has gathered the three volumes in one hardover/softcover edition. If the special hardcover version features a dust jacket and a different cover, the material inside is the same.

Note that in the picture below, the hardcover version with dust jacket on the right is the 1998 Hamlyn reprint (contents absolutely identical to the previous regular Mandarin edition).

1993 softcover Mandarin edition (in a bad shape), ISBN 0-7493-1637-3
back covers: 1993 hardcover (left) and the 1998 reprint hardcover (right, same as 1993 softcover)

hardcover spines! 1993 below

1998 hardcover Hamlyn edition, ISBN 0-600-59651-6
hardcover 1998 reprint inner cover

hardcover 1998 reprint inner backcover

In 2002, Titan Books (in partnership with 2000 AD) finally had a go at publishing The Horned God, in two softcover volumes:

part one September 2002 ISBN 1-84023-477-6

part two February 2003 ISBN 1-84023-474-1

back covers of both volumes
Volume 1 features full coloured covers of 2000 AD #330 and 626, the classic glossary, the Land of the Young map and the same afterword published before.
Volume 2 features full coloured covers of 2000 AD #330 and 688, the classic glossary, a "previously in" illustrated by virgin cover of Volume 2 of the 1990 Fleetway reprint, and the usual same afterword.

size comparison

Finally in 2008, the story was reprinted by Rebellion in its Sláine reprint collection (#4 on the spine) with a new introduction written by Pat Mills (dated April 2008), a nine pages commentary section (the same featured in the US hardcover edition) and three virgin Simon Bisley's cover (from Fleetway volume 1 and 3 edition and the one used for US edition, they are all part of a portfolio published by Fleetway in 1991):

sláine #4 Rebellion 2008 ISBN 978-1-905437-73-3

back cover



size comparison


  1. This story stained and mutated my young teenage mind!

    It was simply unbelievably cool, like something somehow both futuristic (owing to Bisley's unique and incredibly potent art) and ancient, majikal and mythical at the same time.

    I remember sitting in my room in Oz, staring at the little thumbnail ads for that special edition in 2000ad (I came the the comic later and missed the original run of the story and was perpetually hunting down back issues, in the days before the internet) before I'd managed to find all the issues collecting The Horned God Saga, and thinking what a painful tragedy it was that I would never possess a copy of that sacred (limited to 2000 or so) book with its haunting, evocative cover image.
    I remember dreaming about finding it and reading the complete story at last, I was utterly bewitched.

    I now have two copies and actually wouldn't mind a 'minty' third... Yeah I know, pathetic!

    Still the best work Bisley has ever done and wouldn't it be fkn brilliant if Mills and the Biz reunited to do an new epic Slaine story, perhaps a little more restrained and mature, less over the top fantasy and more Celtic realism.

    Well, I've invoked the idea in the digital beyond so perhaps the muses might hear and answer and whisper into an ear or two and who knows one day we might journey with the definitive Slaine and his filthy dwarf Ukko in the land of the young once again.

    1. Hi! Reading your story I am glad I wasn't aware of this limited edition until a couple of years (I am pretty obsessive too)! Do you have by any chances any sources regarding the print run of that edition?

  2. Had a dig through some digital copies of 2000ad and found one of the advertisements in 'prog' 857 from October 1993.
    I was wrong about the number printed in the edition as it happens. From the ad:

    " A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! The classic Sláine adventure. The Horned God, written by Pat Mills and painted by Simon Bisley, collected into one hardback volume. Only one thousand copies of this edition have been printed and they will be allocated strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. Order your copy now and save £2 on the recommended retail price."

    It gives an address for postal orders:

    I'd have posted a pic for you but I don't know how to do that, if it is even possible. You should be able to track down a .cbr file online if you have a bit of a hunt.


    1. Thank you for this information! Too bad I have prog #856 but it doesn't feature that advert. Will hunt down prog #857 for sure!

  3. I know some of the descriptions say not on glossy paper, but I would be nice to hear the print quality of each volume. I know not everyone has an artistic eye or can tell the difference, but sometimes you can see that the darks are too dark or the art is printed blurry. Like the Heavy Metal versions printed parts at a time are pretty awful and the later comic book size reprints by 2000AD are also pretty terrible. I can't believe that Rebellion one is so small. What were they thinking? I bet the print quality is awful on that and the reason it is so small. I am usually pretty skeptical with reprints since the art is probably scattered around and the negatives originally used were probably never kept in a good place. Unless of course it's Moebius's work which seemed to have been properly saved because the reproductions on Dark Horses books overall are quite good and Humanoids' "The Incal" was breath taking. I'm recently trying to get the Mandarin softcover and Hamlyn reprint. They did make the best job of reprinting "Judgement on Gotham" (also Bisley) beautifully. Here's hoping that the Mandarin and Hamlyn are printed beautifully in the same manner as Judgement.


Write your comment here