Dredd Forever – AKA, Why Having So Much Thrill-Power In Your Life Is Zarjaz!

24/08/2015 | Fan Post

I began reading Dredd at quite a late age – I was 15 back in 1995 and picked up Prog 950 – 28th July 1995, £1 Earth Money – for the first time, and being amazed by Stallone’s mug on the front as Dredd. It had 8 extra pages; it had Dredd, Rogue Trooper, The Return of Rico, and Slaine! I had heard of Dredd before of course from people at school, but never thought to delve into his world until then.

How little did I realise that I would still be reading 2000ad 20 years later, and it still has the power to dazzle and entertain me to this day. Seeing Slaine on the cover of Prog 1000 was also a fine moment in history – he didn’t think it too many! – and how I had a big grin on my face and toasted a can of coke for such a milestone issue. With Prog 2000 not too far away, I am looking forward to the next 2000.

I also love The Judge Dredd Collection, for many stories in the collection I have not read before – such as America and The Cursed Earth, all with brilliant artists and writers. Over the years I have grown fond of people like Alan Grant, Greg Staples, Simon Fraser, the wonderful I.N.G Culbard on Brass Sun especially, and Pat Mills and Clint Langley to name but a few. I could not go without mentioning Carlos Ezquerra and John Wagner, for not only creating such a powerful figure as Dredd – a symbol for British comics – and managing to keep the character fresh and alive for so long.

The quality has been so good for the past few years, with hardly a dud story in sight, and Dredd continues to grow into a hardened old man, as recent events in Chaos Day showed. If rumblings on the internet surrounding Prog 2000 being Dredd’s last story – and let’s hope not – then I hope we have so many more zarjaz stories to come.

More 2000ad series would work so well on the big and small screen – a Dredd TV series has been muted along the way, and would love to see Sinister Dexter or Nikolai Dante at the cinema. I always think though that 2000ad stories would work a lot better on the small screen, so fingers crossed we get to see some in the future.

I am currently loving the line up in 2000ad – so many diverse, different and brilliant stories, not one of them is a dud. From Dredd, to Absalom, to Helium as well as Outlier II and Jaegir, there is something here for everyone. For lapsed readers or anyone wanting to try something new and zarjaz, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the Galaxy’s Greatest Weekly now – you won’t regret it!

The Judge Dredd Megazine is also worth subscribing to, with their lush Hardback editions and exclusive covers and gifts. I am absolutely loving these, and can’t wait to add more to my collection.

I must also point out www.2000adonline.com for back issues of both 2000ad and the Megazine, as well as great graphic novels – the recent Dark Justice Bookplate Edition was a thing of beauty – and it’s a great reference point for anyone wanting to get into the world of Dredd – and who wouldn’t?

I’ve been lucky to interview lots of artists and writers for the comic over the past few months, from Carlos himself through to Annie Parkhouse, Rob Williams and Alan Grant, and all my reviews and interviews can be found on my 2000ad Review Facebook page  – shameless plug maybe, but a great community for fans of 2000ad and Dredd. I’d also recommend joining the blog community on the Mega Collection site where you’ll find lots of friendly Terrans too.

In short, 2000ad has kept me entertained for twenty years, and here’s to the next twenty!

Fan post by Kevin Hall