Dredd, naked, pulping Spider-man’s head into a metal post. That’s what some of the top 2000AD creators want to see.
That not-quite-so-serious view came from the likes of Zombo and Judge Dredd writer Al Ewing, Savage artist Patrick Goddard, Flesh artist James McKay, Caballistics, Inc’s Gordon Rennie, Dredd and Sinister Dexter artist Greg Staples, Low Life scribe Rob Williams and cover artist Sean Phillips.
They formed the 2000AD panel at the Bristol International Comic and Small Press Expo and gave some very frank answers to questions from Rebellion’s PR droid Michael Molcher.
The panel was quizzed on:
The Lawgiver MKII
What would you change about Judge Dredd?
Ewing: “I want to see Dredd take everything off, except his helmet.”
Williams: “I think Dredd works pretty well. A lot of artists say he’s a pain in the ass to draw. It’s very easy for me to write: ‘Dredd turns up’.”
Rennie: “I would change everything. It has always bothered me Dredd’s worn the same uniform for 30 years. It needs an overhaul. Get rid of the gardening gloves. I heard he was designed so artists didn’t have to draw a face or hands.”
Staples: “I have never liked the gun. It’s just three blocks with a pipe. I liked his other Lawgiver a lot.”
Flesh.jpg: Plenty of Thrill-power if Flesh was coloured every week
If you were 2000AD editor Matt Smith, what would you do?
Williams: “Push into the American market. But I don’t know the financial difficulties of it all.”
Rennie: “Change the title. It’s a comic book named after a year 11 years in the past.”
Ewing: “Call it 3000AD, perhaps 4000AD to hedge our bets. We don’t want to be in the same position again.”
Staples: “I would give everyone a pay rise.”
McKay: “I definitely think Flesh should be in colour.”
Goddard: “I think Matt Smith is doing a really good job. I get an email form him once a year asking how’s things and that’s it. Great editor to work for.”
Phillips: “There’s a lot of nudity. It’s not so child friendly. It should be aimed at kids.”
Should Johnny Alpha be left in peace?
Nikolai Dante is coming to an end. Which other characters should be finished?
Williams: “I think Strontium Dog has had its day. Knowing a character dies stops all the drama. There can be good individual stories but we know what the end is. I think it was a mistake to kill off Johnny Alpha in the first place.”
Sylvester Stallone blurting “I am the lah”
What was the impact of the old Judge Dredd film?
Staples: “Some don’t get there was a comic book.”
Ewing: “I don’t know any people who came from the Stallone film knowing what to expect from a Judge Dredd comic. Something camp? In Dredd we like that he’s not taken entirely seriously but he’s a serious figure in his own world.”
Judge Dredd – unkillable?
Should Judge Dredd die?
Ewing: “The rumours of me and John Wagner collaborating are completely false. Dredd is only 50 in real terms. Dredd can keep rocking the progs. If Matt Smith said to me ‘What’s your opinion on killing Dredd,’ I would say make it like Taggart. Let the supporting cast carry the title.”
Ewing is informed that Taggart has just been cancelled.
Ewing: “Let me reconsider …”
Williams: “Rico is Dredd’s clone so just make him Dredd and make him try to live up to the legacy. If it loses something then it would be up to the story being told. Let’s kill Dredd!”
Batman and Judge Dredd during one of their team ups
Dredd teamed up with Batman in the 90s. Should there be more 2000AD crossovers?
Ewing: “Wasn’t there going to be a Superman and Nemesis the Warlock team-up?”
Ewing is categorically told no.
Ewing: “What about Strontium Dog and the X-Men? They are both mutants. There are a lot of people who will buy anything with Spider-man on it. So if Dredd is smashing Spider-man’s face into a metal post … a lot of people will buy that.”