Summer of comic fun
Cinematic art Mega-City One’s infamous judge dishes out an illustrative haymaker, courtesy of Greg Staples
A meaner Judge Dredd and archive Dan Dare stories will make up just part of 2000 AD’s celebratory summer. Pick up a copy, or risk a trip to the Iso-Cubes.
This July sees the hardback release of Judge Dredd: Dark Justice, one of the most hotly anticipated 2000 AD series ever. This compilation of the 11-part weekly series was two years in the making, and sees John Wagner back on writing duties, with illustrations by Greg Staples.
“The whole idea behind it was to make a comic that’s more like a film. It had to have an epic feel to it, like a big Hollywood blockbuster,” explains Greg. The artist came up with a top-secret technique in order to realise the project.
“People are surprised when they look at the art – they always try to figure out how it was done. That’s why it’s nice to keep a little bit of the mystery behind it,” says Greg. “My favourite artists wouldn’t give away their craft, and that got my imagination firing!”
Greg worked with traditional mediums exclusively to create the panels, taking twice as long as if he had painted the artwork digitally. He used photo references for the first time in his career to bring a cinematic realism to the Dredd universe; “I’ve worked on films as well. I’ve been on movie sets and studied lighting, so I brought all that into it.
“Originally, Dark Justice was going to be either four or five episodes, and then John suggested making it a book, so it was almost always intended to be a book” recounts Greg. “It’s difficult for a story to maintain that sense of suspense when you read it week by week. I think with a book, you’re able to just sit down in the same way you would watch a film, where it holds you. It will work much better collected, and I’m very much looking forward to it coming out the way it was intended.”
For more details on Dark Justice, visit www.2000adonline.com.
Judges Dredd and Anderson battle the Dark Judges in Greg Staples’ cover
art to the final part of Dark Justice. Dark Justice received rave reviews when it was first released weekly in 2014.
A grasp of cinematic lighting enabled Greg to give Dark Justice the comic equivalent of the big-screen treatment.
Judge Fire terrorises the inhabitants of Mega-City One, in these panels taken from Dark Justice.