Influential 2000 AD artist Brett Ewins has passed away at the age of 59. He is known for his extensive art duties on iconic comics like Judge Dredd & Rogue Trooper while also creating anthologies Strange Days & Deadline. In addition he was an accomplished painter and had provided interior art on titles such as Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Future Shock, Judge Anderson, ABC Warrior & more. Details at Robot 6
Writers – Ulises Farinas & Erick Freitas; Artist – Dan McDaid; Colorist – Ryan Hill; Letterer – Chris Mowry; Publisher – IDW
Since the character’s 1977 debut in the British weekly science fiction anthology comic 2000 AD, Judge Dredd has been the iconic lawman – given absolute authority to keep order – in the dystopian future setting of Mega-City One, a chaotic American East Coast city-state of 400 million people. Mega-City One is as much a character as Dredd – its streets provide the adventures and adversaries that challenge Dredd, and the city is a bountiful science fictional setting that talented creators have used to satirize contemporary society.
In past adventures, Dredd has sometimes left the city, traveling through the radioactive wasteland environs of the Cursed Earth, or journeying to other Mega-Cities. While creators could take Dredd out of the city, they could never take the city out of Dredd. Whether fighting mutants in the Cursed Earth or hunting down fugitive criminals in neighboring city-state Mega-City Two, Dredd carries the authority of his city with him wherever he goes and that authority is recognized by his allies and adversaries.
American publisher IDW has licensed the character from his British owners and selected a creative team for this Judge Dredd series that boldly throws out the status quo and does something different. Writers Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas make Mega-City One disappear, stranding Dredd in a verdant world whose strange people know nothing of him or his city. Dredd’s attempts at law enforcement are mocked and ignored and the lawman finds himself aiding three youngsters hoping to get into a forbidden structure that may provide clues about where Dredd is stranded.
Artist Dan McDaid and colorist Ryan Hill render all of this in a cartoonish style that, along with the script, provides humor amid the plentiful action in the comic. With its light humor, big ideas, and bold action, Judge Dredd #1 reminds this reviewer of a Jack Kirby comic. Both new readers and veteran Judge Dredd fans should enjoy this interesting adventure.
“Mega City One; 12 violent crimes every minute. 17,000 per day. Around 6% are responded to.”
In lieu of Comics Crypt, I asked the guys if I could shine a light on an under appreciated comic movie and its comic book sequel. For some reason they said yes, so let’s get started!
In 2012 the little reboot that couldn’t; “Dredd,” came out. The movie starred Karl Urban as Judge Dredd and Olivia Thirlby as (Rookie) Judge Anderson.
Are you aware of Ulises Farinas yet? Well you should be and this is as good an introduction as any. Ulises has been drawing the shit out of every project he’s released over the last year like Gamma and Catalyst Comix but his intricate Manga meets Jack Kirby illustration is better than ever on Judge Dredd Mega City Two. JDMCT is set up where Dredd get’s sent to his worlds version of Los Angeles as a fish out of water. Douglas Wolk does a sharp satire of LA hitting on the obvious (Reality TV) and the not so obvious (the cities obscene suburban sprawl) while creating a compelling narrative that is the crux of the story but what he and Ulises do best here is the incredible Brandon Graham’s King City/Multiple Warheads/Prophet level world building for Mega City Two and it’s Ulises interior work that truly bring that to life. It’s bright and cartoonish but with incredible detail to the surroundings environment which is to say nothing of his proficiency in drawing action sequences or facial expreission. This is an art talent you need in your life.