Monday, 29 May 2017

Anderson : The Deep End

Rebellion's Dredd movie comics

In 2012 the second Dredd movie was released. This was released despite the box office failure by the Stallone version in 1995. The Stallone version tanked at the box office in the US, but world viewings and video sales meant it took enough to actually became a success. The 2012 version ignored all that had gone before in the 1995 version and started with a new vision of dredd and Mega City One.

Since the release of the 2012 film, Rebellion have been hard at work filling in the background and subsequent adventures of the main characters; Dredd, Anderson and Ma-Ma. These stories were all featured in the Judge Dredd Megazine but have subsequently been reprinted in collected works.

The first collected comic (originally printed in Meg #328), titled the Dredd Movie Prequel (only available as a download now I believe), contains the story "Top of the World, Ma-Ma", which describes the rise to power of Madeline "Ma-Ma" Madrigal.


Next up came the one-shot Underbelly (originally in Megs #340-342 - 2013). "In the wake of Ma-Ma’s death, other criminal gangs in Mega-City One are moving into the power vacuum, trying to fill the gap in the market left by the Slo-Mo drug. When a corpse dump is discovered in a rad-pit, the bodies are all revealed to be mutants. Could the dead be connected with an outfit smuggling illegal refugees into the city from the Cursed Earth? Judge Dredd once again teams up with Psi-Judge Anderson as they scour the underworld for the perps responsible, and bring them to justice!"

The third story from the movie universe, Uprise (Megs #350-354 - 2014), "In the neglected sector of Mega-City One known as The Spit, tensions are reaching boiling point amongst the citizens as the shiny new mega-block Oemling Tower is being constructed for those that can afford to live in it. As the Judges face running battles with rioters, the underground movement known as Uprise stokes the flames of dissent..."

The last story, to date, for Judge Dredd is Dust (Megs #367-371 - 2015-16). "When Judges Dredd and Conti are called to a ruthless gang slaying, it seems a vigilante is at work – but the residues of dust left behind and the particular way in which one member was slowly murdered indicate that this is no ordinary perp. The trail leads beyond the walls of Mega-City One and into the Cursed Earth, where the answers may lie within the irradiated wasteland..."

Now to get onto why I have decided to write this little treatise on the Dredd Movie universe...

Rebellion, not happy to rest on their laurels, have branched out this month to cover Judge Anderson in her very own story. Actually, there are two stories in this comic which I picked up on Saturday this week at a comic book signing at Forbidden Planet in London.

There are two variant covers, both of which I picked up and got signed by the author Alec Worley. The first cover above is an exclusive one available only for those who attended the comic signing (and I daresay anyone able to pick up copies of those that are immediately available on EBay).

This comic, Anderson: The Deep End has the story "Following the traumatic events of Peach Trees block, rookie psychic Judge Cassandra Anderson is still coming to terms with life on the mean streets of Mega-City One. When a strange of case of seemingly demonic possession requires her attention, it will play on her doubts and fears…"

I have experienced a big resurgence of interest recently in all things 2000AD and Judge Dredd. I started a few years back by re-reading my collection from Prog 1. I initially collected and read all issues up to and around prog 750 before cancelling my subscription and subsequently selling them all to pay my mortgage arrears one month (a sad day indeed!). I carried on with my subscription again a few years later, but as I didn't own or hadn't read the intervening progs I decided to wait until I had collected them before embarking on this latest odyssey of back prog reading. I was able to get round to this a few years ago and have read all progs, Megazines, Starlords, Tornadoes, Crisis, Revolvers and various specials, annuals and spin-offs up to 2006 - Only about 12 or so years to go!

This column also links into my visits to The Crobar that are featured on my other blog The Taplow Horn. The Crobar is one of the few surviving rock pubs left in London. This is the main reason for visiting this institution; being able to listen to some loud rock music. Secondly, they have a great selection of bottled beers from around the world. Thirdly, the place is decorated with pages from 2000AD and the Megazine all over its walls.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Free Comic Book Day 2017

FCBD  - Saturday 6th May 2017

I am reporting this a week after the event, but better late than never I suppose?

This is the second year I have attended this particular comics event. I have been following it for several years (getting  a single comic at random from my monthly order comic supplier) but I never got round to attending until recently. It is not really an event as in turn up at one place and take part, but an event that is held in several places around the world and thus can be enjoyed by people no matter where they live. Luckily, here in London, I was happy to see three events sponsored by three comic shops all within a ten minute walk of each other; Orbital Comics, Forbidden planet and GOSH! Comics.

From the demographics of those in attendance at each of the three shops I visited, this is not just an old man's pastime. The age of attendees ranged from junior school kids up to old gits like me. The majority who attended appeared to be in their twenties and thirties, which is good news for comics as a story telling medium.

I have been collecting comics for many years but never really got into the fandom thing until very recently. I mainly go to see what Rebellion are up to with 2000AD and Judge Dredd, and this year they had another special for our delectation...

I also had a list of about seven or eight other titles that I wished to try in addition to 2000AD, and I managed to pick them all up bar one; Attack on Titan by Kodansha Comics, which seems to have not made it over the pond for some unknown reason (distribution issues?).

In addition to those I had short-listed, I managed to pick up several other titles in the random goody bags given away by Forbidden Planet, bringing my total to 22 free comics; not a bad haul for a day's wanderings.

I also managed to queue up to get my limited edition alternate cover Doctor Who issue signed by the writer and artist - bonus! I missed out on the 2000AD signing as I got side-tracked by a couple of nice pubs and a few beers whilst waiting for the queue to go down (see my other blog, The Taplow Horn for more details of that side of my day out).

I have another signing day coming up towards the end of the month for the new Judge Anderson tale. This is being held at Forbidden Planet on the 27th of May and will therefore be situated ideally for another beer and burgers trip.