Dave Gibbons at ComicCon in 2014

Gibbons broke into British Comics by working on horror and action titles for both DC Thomson and IPC. When 2000 AD was set up, Gibbons was brought in as an Art Director. He also drew one of the original strips in “Prog1”, Harlem Heroes, as well as the occasional Future Shock. After the first year he began illustrating Dan Dare, a cherished project for Gibbons who had been a fan of the original series.

He was also known, by sight but not by name, to readers of the short lived IPC title Tornado. Much as 2000 AD was "edited" by the alien Tharg, Tornado was "edited" by a superhero, Big E, who also worked on the magazine in his alter-ego, Percy Pilbeam. These characters appeared in photos within the comic, and both Big E and Pilbeam were portrayed by Gibbons for the entire 22 issue run of Tornado before it was subsumed into 2000 AD.