2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, May 08, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.14 21/11/92

Another method The Megazine uses to save money, in addition to status reports and the house ads, is the one in four black and white strip. This issue, Judge Hershey fills that space but for the previous four it’s been by Calhab Justice. One way editors at this time justify the black and white strip is by claiming the artwork to be so good that they don’t want to soil it by applying colour. (Incidentally, I don’t read the editorial or letter pages of The Megazine for The Slog, so I’m not claiming this from a position of authority). John Ridgway, who drew Calhab Justice for your information, does indeed provide impressive black and white work but I’ve also seen his colour comics and let me tell you, they look very good too. Aprat from being a little insulting towards colourists, monochrome reproduction of artwork for purity’s sake has never washed with me.

I’m almost pleased that Calhab Justice finished unexpectedly early in last issue as it gives me an opportunity to avoid talking about it. Jim Alexander’s dialoguing reads well, or rather I should say, as well as I can tell considering I’m not Scottish. Also, the characters suggest that they might be fun and warm. However, I want to reserve judgement on it. I don’t understand why the judges carry swords instead of guns or how they are even present at the gathering of the whiskey clans in the story. Also, I’ve a suspicion that creating yet another judge based on a clichéd perception of a British locale might be getting contrived now.

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  • As a failed experiment I don't mind Calhab Justice. Underneath the humour and the bad pun of the lead character's name I can see Jim Alexander building a world beyond a stereotype, in much the same way as Dave Stone attempted with Armitage, whereas (arguably) under John Wagner we might have had little more than a UK transplant of MC-1's Justice Department. I like the CalHab tension with Brit Cit, the implied threat of civil war, and the reminder that the best and brightest judges get removed from the CalHab system to go to BritCit, leaving a demoralised and (in the case of Schiehallion) unbalanced judicial presence.

    But Alexander might have played too much of a long game over a monthly mag, and without CJ being a constant series, the delivery suffered. I'm sure it would read better as a collection.

    As for the swords and guns - Ridgeway's artwork here shows the gun in a stocking holster. You migt well ask the same question of Hondo City judges.

    By Blogger Peter A, at 3:39 am  

  • I'd agreed with the comment about the need for more British Judges and extend it to the fact that there are simply too many Judge 'nations' out there by this point.

    It always felt to me for the sake of a few short term story ideas Dredd's world was losing its sense of being a devastated waste land with isolated groups of survivers needing to huddle together in the Mega Cities.

    By Blogger Colin, at 8:41 pm  

  • I struggled a little with Calhab Justice because of its strange mix of comedy and tragedy. This first series is essentially silly (but not in a bad way), but thereafter it keeps the humour in terms of the Scottish jokes, but the story gets all serious.

    Oh, and you should spare a look to the letters page every now and then, there's some fun to be had when people start vetning about 'Heavy Metal Dredd' and then get really nasty about the creators, too.

    By Blogger alexf, at 11:01 am  

  • Cheers Peter. Very valid points.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:35 pm  

  • Colin, that's pretty much my POV. By inceasing the number of international judges, Dredd's world feels increasingly vibrant with life, which it isn't supposed to.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:36 pm  

  • Cheers Alex.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:37 pm  

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