2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.77 14/04/95

Long time readers of The Slog will know that I feel unable to comment on the work of creators who I have had personal experience of. For example, I was slowly coming around to the comic strips of Igor Goldkind when a couple of comments from him here muddled my ability to judge his work. I have always withheld from commenting on Steve Sampson’s comics because I used to know him. However, The Slog is now entering a period of strips painted by him that I have never encountered before and, furthermore, I haven’t seen him for well over ten years and we were only ever acquaintances in the first place. And besides, the last few times I saw him, I think he was trying to avoid me.

In Judge Dredd Poor Johnny, a fan breaks into a rock star’s mansion and starts to smash the place up. By the time Dredd arrives, the masked fan is gone leaving no evidence for the law to follow. It looks like the burglar has escaped scot-free. The strip ends, however, with the fan, who has clearly gone through face change surgery, killing and replacing his idol.

I strong one-off story with a nice twist at the end written by John Wagner whose Megazine contributions recently have been a bit hit and miss. As for the artwork; I’ll confess the truth to you now. Although my judgement of his early comic work was especially impaired, I always suspected that it was over stylised at the expense of the story. But I tell you this now because I realise what an arsehole I can be. Sampson’s comic artwork on this Dredd, and his recent run on Anderson PSI Division, has been great. Colourful: stylish; strong comic strip artwork that engages with telling the story. If his style ever did overwhelm the story in the past then he’s improved considerably since then.

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  • Have to agree with you on your assessment of Steve Sampson’s work. I've said here in fact that I found his earlier work very static and very much style over content but he really came on in leaps and bounds. I've not read the issue in question here for a lonnnngggg time but in my own personal 2000ad catch up I've recently read the 1000s and he does a number of strips there where the art is excellent.

    By Blogger Colin, at 4:29 pm  

  • So I've got more Sampson to look forward to, Colin? Cool.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:16 pm  

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