Holy drokk! More Dredd news and it’s a doozy. IDW, who as we know are about to start a new series of Dredd comics (a great way to help introduce Britain’s biggest comics character to American readers a bit better), have just announced that they will also be collecting classic archive material from the 2000 AD vaults. And they intend to kick it off with this, Judge Dredd: the Complete Brian Bolland. I love Bolland’s fabulous clear-line, detailed work, he was one of my first comics artist heroes as a kid reading 2000 AD and I’ve been wondering for years now, as many publisher have followed in the high quality hardback archive reprint footsteps Fantagraphics set the bar for with their Complete Peanuts, why, as each month I saw more US classic material given the same loving respect, are we not getting this for our rich UK comics heritage? And why aren’t we getting collections like this for 2000 AD classics? I know I want books like those and I’m absolutely certain so do a lot of our readers. But no, we could only look on, jealous… Until now.
(above, Dredd tackles Judge Fear in his own style – “gaze into the face of Fear”, a gaze that kills an ordinary man. Frozen for a second, Dredd’s training kicks in “gaze into the fist of Dredd!” Whack! One of my favourite Bolland Dredd scenes. And yes, I have the T-shirt...)
The Bolland Dredd should be due around November and will be in the original, crisp black and white style, delivered in a deluxe, oversized hardback similar to the ones IDW have used for their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collections, so we can drink in those pages, with re-coloured pages to follow next year in individual monthly issues (Charlie Kirckhoff who recoloured the classic British Doctor Who comics for IDW’s US reprints will do the honours, so it is in good hands). This is great news, both for us longtime Brit comics readers, finally seeing some of our favourite material being given the quality archive edition treatment it deserves, and also for Rebellion’s continuing inroads into the US market alongside the Dredd movie push, and good news for US comics readers who will be able to enjoy what many of us grew up with and which made us the comics fans we are today. (thanks to Matt B for the tip)