With more than 200 panels to choose from at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday alone, the programming at the show can be completely overwhelming -- and it's far too easy to miss a panel you know you might have loved, or to find yourself on the wrong side of the con floor five minutes before a great panel is about to start!
Take heart, brave reader. ComicsAlliance has sifted through the schedule to offer up our pick of the best panels, screenings, and events, starting with programming for Thursday 24th July -- with an emphasis, of course, on comics programming.
2012's Dredd, based on the long-running comic about the stone-faced lawman of the future from the pages of 2000 AD, was essentially Die Hard in one of Mega City One's towering city blocks, which is to say that it was completely awesome. Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby's performances as Judges Dredd and Anderson, respectively, were fantastic, and left both long-time Dredd readers and new fans wanting to see more from them, which is why Arthur Wyatt and Henry Flint provided a comic book sequel set in the world of the movie called Underbelly, where Dredd had to tackle a new drug that gave crooks the ability to see into the future.
Underbelly was a pretty huge success. The first and second printings both sold out at the distributor level, and this October, it's getting a third, featuring a new cover by artist Trevor Hairsine.
A few weeks ago, I read through Ian Edgington and INJ Culbard's Brass Sun and loved it. It's got a compelling plot, engaging characters and it's set in a world full of possibilities for strange adventure. Of course, it's also beautiful, with some of the best art that you can find on the stands.
That's why today, we're shining the spotlight onto it again with a gallery of Culbard's incredibly striking covers, from both the American miniseries release and its original serialized run in the pages of 2000 AD. Check them out below, including an exclusive first look at the final covers for issues #5-6. free of logos and other trade dress.
Since they acquired the license for Judge Dredd, IDW has been doing some pretty fantastic stuff with it. Between Duane Swiercynski and Nelson Daniel's ongoing Judge Dredd and miniseries projects like Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas's Mega-City Two, they've put out some incredibly entertaining stories, bringing Dredd to a new audience that may not be familiar with his roots in the pages of 2000 AD. Now they're expanding the line beyond Dredd himself.
IDW announced this week that they're launching Anderson: Psi Division, a new series set before the events of the ongoing series that will focus on Judge Cassandra Anderson, written by 2000 AD editor Matt Smith with art by long-time 2000 AD artist Carl Critchlow.
One of the things that I've really come to appreciate ever since I jumped into the world of Judge Dredd is just how easy 2000 AD has made it. The publisher's got massive reprints of Dredd from the very beginning; they've got downloadable digital comics that are easy to buy (and that you can actually keep like any other downloaded file); and they're putting out compilations built around themes that can give to the start of a pretty comprehensive overview of Dredd history. Basically, it has never been easier to read 200 pages of comics about people having sex with robots.
That is, more or less, the subject matter of Judge Dredd: The XXX Files, the new collection on sale this week which compiles two dozen stories that take the concept of Thrillpower into a decidedly adult direction. And while I'm not sure if it's a great place for people who are brand new to Dredd's world -- it's more than a little overwhelming at times -- it has a bunch of truly fantastic comics.
It's a pretty big flaw to have when your job is knowing things about comic books, but I'll admit that when I hear the words 2000 AD, I tend to just think of Judge Dredd and stop there. In my head, I'm fully aware that the weekly anthology has way more science fiction to offer beyond the walls of Mega City One -- and I've got the paperbacks around here to prove it -- but far too often, I forget about everything that doesn't have gigantic kneepads and a tendency to throw creeps into the Iso-Cubes.
That's why I'm glad that the publisher sent over a copy of their new title, Ian Edgington and I.N.J. Culbard's Brass Sun, because otherwise, it's pretty likely that I would've missed it. That would've been a shame, too, because it's one of the most fascinating and beautiful new comics that I've read in a long while.
Q: You said something a few days ago about the genius of Judge Dredd's design--can you talk more about this? -- @lifeinsuper8
A: Can I! Regular readers of Ask Chris might recalll that it was only a couple of weeks ago that I, along with artist Erica Henderson, got into a discussion of what makes a great "iconic" superhero costume. You can flip back through that one if you'd like, but the short version is that the best costumes in comics tend to be simple and well-defined, getting across a lot of information with a very streamlined look. Generally speaking, the more unnecessary gimmicks you add to a suit, the more distracting it gets, and the less it says about the character, and I think that holds true across the board when it comes to superheroes.
But then you get to Judge Dredd, and all those rules go flying straight into the Iso-Cubes, where they're locked up and never, ever let out.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Emma Beeby has written various different kinds of projects including speeches, film, games, horoscopes, and audioplays. She wrote Risen 2: Dark Waters, a game that was nominated for a Writers Guild Award, as well as a Doctor Who audioplay. Her comics work includes Judge Dredd, making her the first female writer in the character's history.
Judge Dredd: Mega City Two, in which Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas are chronicling the stone-faced lawman's trip out west to the City of Courts that used to be Los Angeles, has already been one of the most fun comics on the stands in just the first issue. Next week's installment, however, takes it to an entirely new, entirely ridiculous level, as Dredd hits the beach for "Beach Blanket Justice" and ends up encountering a giant mutated atomic shrimp that's going to seriously damage tourism. And that's just on page two -- and it's the least of Dredd's problems with post-nuclear California.
And if that wasn't enough to get you excited? There is a pretty amazing joke about LA-based plagiarist Shia LaBeouf some guy in here. Check out a preview and watch for it below!
If you're a new fan of the future's toughest cop, IDW's ongoing Judge Dredd series has provided a pretty great place to jump on. In their ongoing story, Duane Swierczynski and Nelson Daniel have given readers a crash course in Dredd's future-shocking world, taking readers on a dizzying tour through Mega City One as it's attacked by renegade robots, murderous clones and more.
Now, with Judge Death and his genocidal, otherwordly cronies waiting in the wings to pronounce a death sentence on the city, I talked to Sweirczynski about his history with the character, his approach to making such a strange and complicated world friendly to new readers (while keeping it decidedly unfriendly to the people who actually live there) and why Judge Dredd is a lot like ROM: Spaceknight.
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