My first 'proper' Dredd done in 1992
Yes, that's right folks they're planning another one! I remember the last one only too well (I wish I didn't!). In those days I knew Jock (who's designing the new movie) as a wee laddie who used to hang around the comic shop in Salisbury (Floppy Tongue) - I had recently lost my job after Roy of the Rovers collapsed (suspected hamstring).
I worked on the comic spin-off from the movie - Judge Dredd Lawman of The Future. The idea was to make it more kid-friendly, something I was all in favour of (in fact, I still think it's a shame that when 2000ad drifted so far towards adult comics there was nothing to fill the void - the first 400 issues are still my 2000ad era), sadly Lawman of the Future became an attempt to make a non-violent Judge Dredd comic - which is like having non-wet water.
Another early sample (With Judge Death) and some
Lawman of the Future art - note Dredd's redesigned uniform (Gah!)
On the whole my artwork for the project was ropey as hell and heavily influenced my my hero Mick (in those days Mike) McMahon. Many of the artists and writers moved on to work for the megazine and 2000ad, I decided I wasn't good enough, or perhaps more to the point I just didn't have the will to make myself good enough for that kind of work. 2000ad itself had became very painterly and self indulgent in those days (like an acrylic convention for fans of Frank Frazetta fans) and so I went off to do 'funny' comics instead. It's interesting to note that 2000ad reverted to more traditional virtues like storytelling, and recent stories like Stickleback are every bit as good the stories from its heyday.
Last time they made a movie of Dredd I came out of it feeling like I just sat and watched someone giving my granny a kicking for two hours. This time around Dredd is more like a distant Uncle so I probably won't be so mortified even if they do give him another seeing to. Mind you, I'd rather they just let him keep his helmet on this time and made mega city look like the spaghetti street, pepper pot land that Mick McMahon drew, where people wore giant rabbit shoes and mushroom hats. Maybe that's just me showing my age.
This is how Mega City will always look to me
Having said that, Jock is a sickeningly talented young fellow with a wonderful grasp of Dredd and his world so I reckon he'll make sure we get the real deal this time. Best of luck, Jock.
(Actually I must also give a mention to my fellow HUZZAHer, Dave Taylor, who is already well known to people who haven't had their heads in the sand like me, but whose work I'm just discovering. And he has a fantastical take on Mega City that avoids the predictable dark and indiscernible, Bladerunner-in-the-fog look that saves the artist time but makes Mega City seem like any other futropolis. Dave's is a beautiful Mega City that people live in. I never understood the desire to have gothic shadowy cities that look nice in pictures or on film, but don't look like anyone would ever live in. What's a city without people?)