2019 Pic 12

A little treat to cheer myself up – two limited edition 2000AD novels (both signed), which happened to arrive at the same time as my weekly prog and monthly Megazine. Turns out I’ve missed a load of 2000AD books I didn’t know about and some of them are now rather hard to get. They’re all being released digitally with an initial small print run of around 200-250 which is kind of a shame. I do prefer dead tree.

For those who think I only complain

2000 AD logo.
2000AD

Well, I’m going to complain about the fact that you think I only complain. I’m going to do so by also spreading a little credit where it’s due.

Sad fact first: I’m 37 (that’s not the sad fact, though it’s pretty depressing) and I still read comics (that’s the sad one). Specifically the British anthology 2000 AD. It pops through my door every week (as does the Judge Dredd Megazine each month) and I own every single issue bar about a dozen of them. Not bad for a comic that will celebrate its 34th birthday next month. The current issue is number 1717.

Anyway, here’s the email I just wrote to the letters page. I just wanted to make sure that, even if it doesn’t get published, the creative team behind this issue’s Judge Dredd story get the credit they deserve.

I’ve not written in for several years, but prog 1717’s one-shot Dredd story “In Control” deserves an email. I’ not going to analyse it in-depth or waffle on. Suffice to say that I frequently enjoy the single episode stories more than the lengthier arcs, but “In Control” was one of the finest I’ve seen in a long time.

The Carroll droid (as well as having a most excellent surname – any relation to Newcastle United‘s number 9?) has produced something fast-paced, humorous and from a viewpoint which I don’t believe has dominated a Dredd story before. Fraser/Caldwell’s artwork fitted perfectly – I always like the wobbly miniature characters in Fraser’s crowd scenes – and Parkhouse is a superb crafts-droid when it comes to lettering.

It always makes this Earthling feel warm and fuzzy inside when the Galaxy’s Greatest manages to pull off something like this. After over 1700 issues, a story that still makes me go “wow”.

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Dredd returns

Judge Dredd

News is now popping out that a new Judge Dredd movie has been green-lit. My first reaction was “Oh, Hell. No. No no no no no”. But that’s an obvious knee-jerk given the cinematic abortion that resulted from putting Sylvester Stallone in the lead rôle and hiring a bunch of wankers who didn’t give a shit about comics continuity as script-writers.

For those more familiar with the Marvel world, let’s just say that the 1995 Judge Dredd plot was akin to having Spiderman appear maskless; his uncle still being alive; Aunt May being a lesbian; Spidey teaming up with Sandman (played by Joe Pesci for humour value); and killing off The Kingpin. Just ignore anything and everything in the continuity. It doesn’t matter. It’s only a film about a comic. Nobody will care.

The new productions company is DNA, fronted by Danny Boyle. Now, this is something very different from what Boyle/DNA have done before. Their cinematic repertoire is pretty good, but I think this is their first license. However… the main thing that makes me feel positive is that they simply won’t want the backlash that results after the first one came out.

Given it’s also a new company and a fresh license they can get away with pretending the first film never happened. Fuck know, I wish I could.

Credit where it’s due – the designers and builders who created the vision of Mega-City 1 for the original film deserve plaudits. Sure, there were differences between the comic and the film version but that’s akin to giving a new artist a license to tweak things to his own style. And why shouldn’t the LawMaster be able to fly? There are plenty of other flying vehicles in the Big Meg. Plus, those huge shoulder-eagles aren’t evry practical, even if they do look good in the comic.

Nah, that was all fine. But the script-writers should have been taken down a back alley and shown how a daystick works. Particularly the guy who though nobody would mind The Ferg’s memory being besmirched by turning him into an annoying Pesci-like sidekick.

Mr Boyle, the ball is in your court. I have faith in you and your company. Please don’t let me down like the last lot did.

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