I've talked to artist Chris Burnham a few times at conventions, and I've always got the feeling that if there's one character that he's super into, more than anything else, it's 2000 AD's Judge Dredd. The guy is a fan of Mega City One's unique brand of law-enforcement thrillpower like few others, and now, he's finally getting a chance to draw him in an official capacity.
On September 30, with the release of 2000 AD prog 1950, Burnham will join the small group of American artists who have lent their skills not just to Dredd, but to the cover of the magazine. And if that wasn't enough of an incentive to check it out, it's happening just in time for one of the magazine's new reader-friendly issues, featuring the start of four new story arcs.
I'm a big fan of Mezco's One:12 Collective. It all started when I first got my hands on the prototype Dark Knight Returns Batman that kicked the line off. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the detailed, mixed-media figures, but once I held the aged Bruce, I knew this collection had incredible potential. The second release, Judge Dredd, was equally as impressive, but wasn't a must own for me. I loved the design, but felt I could forego this piece in lieu of upcoming pieces like the Flash or Superman. Then I saw the Black and White variant prototype of Judge Dredd at SDCC.
I'll put it plainly; I'm a sucker for black and white variants. It all started with NECA's Mirage-inspired Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles box set, and has continued through the years. There's just something more intriguing about a figure whose design has been whittled down to its most basic essence. Of course, where 2D linework can easily express a full figure, there's a true talent in being able to translate the simplified aesthetic into an appealing action figure. Even though the Judge Dredd Black and White NYCC variant doesn't quite have the same attention to line details as something like DC Collectibles' Blue Line Batman, its monochromatic scheme still catches my eye in a way the standard version doesn't.
Aside from Rob Schneider, the Dark Judges are probably Judge Dredd's most notable foes --- and they're definitely some of the most terrifying characters in comics. So terrifying, in fact, that they have inspired an actual nightmare for 2000 AD artist Dave Kendall, and since he's not one to let an opportunity for inspiration slip by, that dream has led to a new series exploring the origin of John Wagner and Brian Bolland's most horrifying creations.
Set after their all-encompassing genocide of the dimension that would become Deadworld --- once the judges determined that all crime was committed by the living, but before they discovered their ability to travel to Dredd's Mega-City One to try their hand at exterminating another world --- Dreams of Deadworld explores each of the four Dark Judges in turn in stories drawn by Kendall and written by Kek-W.
Like many comic book fans, I am deeply suspicious of books that try to get ideas across to the reader without using pictures. I mean, honestly, I think we can all agree that having to use adjectives is a sign of an inferior medium, right? Right. I will say, though, that my opinion on prose could probably be softened a bit if I had some books about Judge Dredd going to other dimensions and fighting a gang of future-crooks who broke out of Iso-Block 666, but as I do not live in Great Britain in the '90s, that has been impossible... until now!
Today, 2000 AD announced the release of a series of nine out-of-print Judge Dredd novels on Amazon for Kindle, including one with the amazing premise of Judge Death running for mayor.
As someone who only got really into Judge Dredd relatively recently, I get asked pretty often about good places to start. For more recent stuff, it's not hard to figure out a good place, and if nothing else, the folks at 2000 AD are pretty good at providing jumping-on points for new readers. When it comes to finding those classic Dredd stories, though, the ones that sometimes played out over the course of years and explored not just Dredd but the strange world in which he lives, that can be a little more difficult.
But that's about to change. Next week marks the release of John Wagner and Colin MacNeil's Judge Dredd: America, in paperback for the first time on the west-side of the Atlantic --- and when even the publisher is declaring it to be "the best Judge Dredd story ever," that's probably something to take note of.
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.
Assuming that you have any money left after the massive sales that went on during San Diego last weekend, I've got some good news: Comixology is bouncing back after the con with another round of digital dollar books, and this time, they've got a half-off sale featuring the future's greatest lawman, Judge Dredd. Just not the version you might expect.
Mezco's One:12 Collective hasn't been around very long (just one released figure, and one shipping soon), but it's already made a major impression on collectors. Featuring incredible articulation, real fabric costumes and a wealth of accessories, Mezco has seemingly brought the same kind of quality and experience you'd expect from larger, more elaborate (read: expensive) collectibles to an affordable scale that fits in with most other figure lines.
As the first entry in the brand, the Dark Knight Returns Batman may have set an impossible bar for Mezco to meet again, but that doesn't mean the company isn't trying. At San Diego Comic-Con this year, Mezco revealed a partial upcoming slate of figures it has planned for 2016, including more DC heroes, and some interesting surprises. Though only in prototype form, the pieces look to continue what Mezco started, and evolve the One:12 Collective into more than just a flash in the pan.
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.
Ah, summertime! The temperature's high, school's out, and everyone's hitting the beach for sun, sand and surf! I mean, I've heard that's what some people do. Personally, I sunburn very easily and don't really enjoy swimming, so I'm staying inside with a copy of the 2000 AD Sci Fi Special.
Set for release this week in print and digital, the special is a 48-page addition to the regular prog that brings you new adventures from 2000 AD stalwarts like Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper, but there's one additional element that makes this one special: space truckers! In this issue, Ace Trucking Company returns for a story of secret cargo and deep space adventure, and you can get a bite-size preview of all the stories below!
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