2000 AD Prog Slog

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.75 17/03/95

Say what you like about The Megazine (by which I mean, I say what I like), it’s pretty good at finding the new artist talent. Okay, all you have to do is regularly attend comic conventions and do portfolio reviews for a couple of hours before getting drunk with your friends but you still have to be astute enough to know when not to fob off a prospective artist with a “your anatomy needs work”. (Ironically, this is often said by over weight editors whose own anatomies need work, if you know what I mean). Recently we’ve been introduced to a raw but improving Trevor Hairsine, now it’s Ashley Wood.

In Judge Dredd Skar, a man monster with claws, wings and teeth is on the hunt in Mega City One and Dredd is the guy whose job it is to hunt him down. This isn’t by any means John Wagner’s most original story, in fact it’s almost a retelling of Alan Grant’s superior Raptaur, but then, recently for The Megazine, they rarely are. The art by Ashley Wood, however, is stunning. Airbrushed, curiously composed and atmospheric, Wood’s art is definitely stunning. Unfortunately, I can’t tell what’s going on.

I’ll be honest with you, I’m unfamiliar with Wood’s work other than I know his name and that he goes on to be a big success, but at this time, on Skar, his art is impenetrable. Maybe he’s trying to create a scary atmosphere but, if he is, he’s gone too far as the characters are undefined, even, quite often, the most easily recognised, Dredd. Sometimes, I’ve only been able to tell what is happening thanks to the descriptive sound effects provided by the always clear Tom Frame. ‘Thwump’ is in there and ‘Slishhh’ but it’s the use of ‘Stab’ that I found most helpful.

It’s not all hard to follow. Some pages are absolutely clear and they demonstrate an obvious talent for story telling but most of it is a fancy demonstration of Wood’s art style that, if I had wanted to see, I would have bought an art book of and not a comic.

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  • Oh, it took a few years, but Ash Wood got REAL good. I'd love to see him take another pop at Dredd (or the A.B.C. Warriors, given his usual predilections) in his fully grown style.

    By Blogger Mark, at 10:32 pm  

  • Yeah the various popbot or zombies/robots/amazons books are phenomenal.

    By Blogger Derek, at 1:38 pm  

  • Mark, other than this story from '95, I'm pretty much unfamiliar with his work. I think I've seen Tank Girl skectches which look pretty good.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 8:49 am  

  • Derek, I did have a quick look at his website before posting this entry and there's stuff there that looks amazing. I still stand by what I said, though :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 8:49 am  

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