Friday 9 January 2009

A New Dredd Movie?!

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.

Mick McMahon shows how it's done!

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?)


james corcoran said...

I agree the helmet must stay on!Never knew you did Lawman of the future I gave it a miss as I'd been so let down by the film.Still I have high hopes this time that they'll get it right.I hold the same attitude to Dredd as Dave Taylor the city and the people are the story.

Ps well done on your contributions on Huzzah I look forward to seeing more.

Best wishes

paulhd said...

That top Dredd's actually a pretty top Dredd. Nice mix between Ian Gibson and Mike McMahon - good company to mix in:)

Rob Davis said...

Cheers guys. How's your plate going Paul...? Can't wait to see what happens next :-)

paulhd said...

My wife's wasting a couple of hours watching Australia tonight and my little girls due in bed in an hour, so with bit of luck I'll find out what happens next tonight:)

Unknown said...

I'm with you on where 2000AD started a downhill trend, comics really went for that painterly, grim gritty route at that time. The painted stuff is less prevalent these days but there's still an awful lot of dark, miserable and joyless comics out there. I was guilty for liking it and buying into the while notion for a little while but snapped out of it eventually.

There's too many comics purportedly for adults and mature readers, I figure they have to market them at adults because kids are usually too smart to read such dull, slow stories.

I prefer the fantastical take on Mega City too, it allows for humour and satire which was always an important part of Dredd for me.

You may think your stuff was ropey but it looks pretty damn good to me, love the Mean Machine!

Great post, Rob.

Unknown said...

nice to find this here. Im in total agreement about 2000Ad the picture you posted was the mega city and perps for me knee pads mushroom hats and big bunny shoes Mike Mcmahon rocked
i noticed a guy called kev lavell with a nice 3d take on mega city 1 with hovpads and correct lawmaster and buildings. he has a you tube channel here

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