ComicsBooks

The art of Judge Dredd: 20 killer 2000 AD covers

Today is the movie premiere of Dredd, and in this post we celebrate 35 years of Tharg's finest artwork.

Starting today, comic fans around the world can begin to banish all memories of the 1995 Judge Dredd movie as Pete Travis (director) and Alex Garland (screenwriter) give 2000 AD's most loved character his second big screen outing.

If this review by our friends over at SFX is to be believed - and as creeps go, they're usually on the money - then Dredd promises a violent, adrenaline-fuelled romp through Mega-City One. We can't drokking well wait!

A new must-own book for Dredd fans!

To coincide with the movie's release 2000 AD has published The Art of Judge Dredd, a new 272-page book that showcases cover art featuring Dredd. The book, which includes hundreds of gorgeous cover illustrations, also includes comment from artisits, writers and fans (including the likes of Brian Bolland, Pat Mills and Anthrax's Scott Ian!).

In this post we bring you 20 of the best covers featured in the new book, along with comments from some of Britain's comic greats. And if you don't like them? Well, you can spug off!

[We'd like to say a HUGE 'Thank you!' to 2000 AD for its help in putting this post together. - Ed.]

THE NEWSPRINT ERA (1977-1987)

When 2000 AD first launched, the comics were produced in black ink, with four colours used for the front and centre spreads only. In fact, picking up a copy of 2000 AD when it first launched would probably leave you with a little bit of Dredd on your thumbs.

Prog 61 - The Cursed Earth (Chapter 1, Forbidden Fruit)

Written by 2000 AD creator Pat Mills and featuring art by Mike McMahon, Forbidden Fruit! marks the beginning of a 25-chapter mega-epic
  • By Mike McMahon

"This is such an iconic cover and I’m sure many artists have drawn
a variation of it over the years. I certainly have. I always used this
as the template for the bike from the front. Mike McMahon had
popped out of nowhere, it seemed, and we were all eager to see what
he came up with next."
- Brian Bolland, Artist

Prog 85 - The Cursed Earth (Chapter 25 - Death Crawl!)

Artist Rufus Dayglo called this 'One of the most iconic Dredd covers of all time!'
  • By Mike McMahon

"This cover has been screaming at me for 34 years and I’ve no doubt
it will be screaming at me for my entire life. It’s scarring, primal and terrifying. It does more to make Dredd endure than almost any other single image in his long career. It exemplifies that gleeful rawness and power that built 2000 AD."
- Simon Fraser, Artist

Prog 134 - The Invisible Man (Part 1)

A true Bolland classic, which won fans on both sides of the Atlantic
  • By Brian Bolland

"This Bolland cover is iconic. It’s perfection. Pure essence of Dredd. It’s so good Anthrax used this art for an ‘I Am the Law’ t-shirt." - Scott Ian, Anthrax

Prog 148 - Alien Seeds

Gamers of a certain age may remember this 2000 AD cover, used for Dredd's first game
  • By Mike McMahon

"This magnificent cover was featured on the packaging of the first Judge Dredd computer game, as well as on my bedroom wall. A true classic." - Pete Wells, 2000 AD Covers Uncovered blog editor

Prog 161 - The Judge Child (Part 6)

This cover captures Dredd perfectly, and has some serious attitude
  • By Brian Bolland

"I thought this cover by Brian Bolland was so original. I’d never seen a comic whose entire cover was devoted to a character’s head before! I’ll never forget seeing this image for the first time in a newsagent in Sittingbourne; it was the most eye-catching publication on the whole magazine rack." - Chris Weston, Artist

Prog 182 - Block War

Story in a speech bubble old fashioned? Don't let Dredd hear you say that, creep!
  • By Brian Bolland

"I had to use more conventional skyscrapers here than was normal in Mega-City One in order to get the perspective to work. When the Judge Dredd movie came out – the Sylvester Stallone one – it was exciting for me to see on screen a scene I’d previously drawn on paper." - Brian Bolland, Artist

Next: Pirates of the Black Atlantic, Judge Death Lives, and more.

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