The last few years have seen a number of fan-films produced by smaller production companies, for characters ranging from Black Panther to the Power Rangers. The films tend to reproduce the original costumes faithfully... before completely disregarding the original tone, style, and voice of the characters and comics in favor of gore and 'edginess'. Despite the popularity of fan films, not many of them actually tend to serve the stories they base themselves from.
But Judge Minty was different. Produced in 2013, this Judge Dredd fan-film immediately caught attention by actually proving itself to be something that fans of the serial would want to watch. Critically acclaimed and shown at film festivals throughout the year, the project was also received positively by creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra --- and it was that endorsement that led the team to set up a second fan-project, currently in production: Strontium Dog.
ThreeA has long been crafting original figures and collectibles based on the art and designs of co-founder Ashley Wood, but in recent years, the company has expanded its reach with a variety of licenses in comics, animation and films. That essence of Wood's aesthetic is still ever present though, and his influence still informs the design sense for many of ThreeA's upcoming pieces.
At San Diego Comic-Con this year, the company went all out with a major presentation of its upcoming slate. Normally included as a small part of IDW's booth, ThreeA's installation this year was set up like an art show, and showed off a great deal of promising figures in a range of scales and sizes. With figures from Frederator and 2000 AD, as well as Marvel, it appears the company is finally ready to make a big splash in the market beyond its original works.
Given that 2000 AD is literally a comic book from the far-off future of the year 2000 --- and also possibly from space, I'm not really quite clear on how it all works yet --- it shouldn't be too surprising that it was a pretty early adopter in terms of digital comics. It's been offering same-day DRM-free downloads through its website for a while now, but this week it took the next step: A new app for Android and iOS devices that offers readers the chance to subscribe, read and download comics every week, as well as catch up on back issues with discounted bundles.
For 2000 AD, this year's Free Comic Book Day wasn't just going to be a platform to get their comics into the hands of new readers, it was going to mark the debut of legendary Batman artist Norm Breyfogle on their flagship character, Judge Dredd. Unfortunately, Breyfogle stuffered a stroke in December, leaving the left-handed artist partially paralyzed on his left side and facing massive bills for medical care and therapy.
With Breyfogle unable to draw the story, Mike Hawthorne stepped in as the artist of "Judge Dredd: In Through The Out Door," and today, Hawthorne announced that he has arranged for a portion of his fee to be donated to Breyfogle to help with his recovery.
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.
Kudos to Rebellion for the imminent publication of its 350th issue of Judge Dredd Megazine, the monthly Dredd comic that began all the way back in 1990 (and which might actually be the longest unbroken run of any comic book in these renumbered times in which we live, come to think about it). To celebrate the occasion, venerable Dredd artist Brian Bollandreturns to one of his signature characters with a special cover featuring the titular lawman and the fabulous cast of villains that have helped make the megazine a success for 24 years. It's within that spirit of historical observance that Bolland is cheekily riffing on his own great work from Rebellion's past by basing his Megazine cover on an illustration he created for 1985's 2000 AD Monthly #1.
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.
When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.
If you're in need of a stocking stuffer that will ensure you have a profoundly violent Christmas (in a good way), then there are far worse ways for you to spend $10 than a copy of Dredd on DVD. And most of 'em will get you six months in the cubes, creep.
As it is prone to do perhaps more often than some of its American competition, British sci-fi weekly 2000 AD has designed its latest issue to be especially welcoming to new readers. Four brand new stories begin in this week's 2000 AD Prog 1850, each meant to introduce audiences to the unique blend of art, attitude and insanity that can typically be found every week in "the galaxy's greatest comic." Among them, a new Judge Dredd strip as well as new work by Al Ewing (Mighty Avengers), Pat Mills (Marshal Law), Ian Edginton (Victorian Undead), and INJ Culbard (The New Deadwardians).
The new-reader-friendly prog is part of a concentrated effort to raise awareness of 2000 AD and Judge Dredd in particular so as to persuade the powers that be that a Dredd movie sequel is something they should put into production at once. That effort includes an official Dreddsequel petition and the latest issue of Judge Dredd Megazine, which introduces a new strip that will continues the continuity of the cult favorite Karl Urban film.
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