The Many Faces of Dredd

Dredd is a character that I’ve loved since I was seven – and, one of the dangers with drawing dredd is you can become a slave to how others draw him. I don’t think I’ve quiet found my voice with Dredd yet – and, hopefully, The Mighty Tharg will keep giving me the chance to get it right.

Judge Dredd: Sino-City, 2000AD Prog 1233 (4 March 2001) by Gordon Rennie

Pics one and two are from the Dredd strip Sino-City, my first pro Dredd work – so, lots of pressure. Oddly, the second Dredd head here, which was used on the 2000AD index page (where they show a tiny pic of the face) really does have a John McCrea look to it – I’ve known John years, but was surprised to find one of his faces peeping out at me in 2000AD…

(Trivia fans note: this strip was a redraw of the original first – which if I can find it I’ll scan in for comparison’s sake, it was also the first time I ever used a brush to ink with)

Judge Dredd : Unnatural Selection, prog 1278 (13 Feb, 2002) by Alan Grant

No scans available. Thank goodness, not particularly happy with how this turned out.

Judge Dredd : Meet the Flooks prog 1359 (24 Sep, 2003) by Gordon Rennie

This is when I started playing around with how I felt I should be drawing Dredd. Had no idea how to approach it, so I started faffing around with slightly different helmet designs – except… well… every variation has already been done, hasn’t it?

Anyhue, on this, I made the red bad around the outside of the helmet run close to the eyes and gave a big thick band at the bottom. Looked alright, then the colourist ignored it and coloured it normally (making some of it look really weird…)


Judge Dredd : Waiting prog 1312 (09 Oct, 2002) by Gordon

Another in Gordon series of Goofy Mega City 1 Characters – I’ve done a few of these kind of things with Gordon, hopefully, we’ll do a bunch more and get a collection, I think it might be a lot of fun…

Hmm… frustratingly, I don’t have a scan of this strip…

Judge Dredd : The Magnificent Umbersons meg 235 (23 Aug, 2005) by Gordon Rennie

Not sure if I started adding the little inline bit to Dredd’s helmet in this strip or the last, but it was a lift from the movie helmet, which I quiet liked and I don’t remember seeing any other artists use it (aside from those doing I AM THE LAW, the Dredd comic spin out of the movie). Also, that’s one impressive chin, innit. (No greater a Dredd artist than Jock once told me he thought I might be the only person to draw bigger chins on Dredd… though, to be fair, it’s not that big of a chin, but it IS a massive underbite)

Also of note: I draw little Judge Badges on the collar – again something I picked up from the movie…

Judge Dredd : Warzone (4 Episodes) meg 243 (04 Apr, 2006) meg 242 (07 Mar, 2006) meg 241 (07 Feb, 2006) meg 240 (10 Jan, 2006) by John Wagner
No big changes here, though, notably, I think my drawing got worse as this series progressed, early episodes had some cracking inking on it, then they started to really suck by the end. Also, I thought drawing Dredd in his big shiny uniform while all about him where in camo would be really funny. Which was, in hindsight, misjudged.
(Above and below you’ll see that the eagle has massive end gubbins, I think I’ve toned those way done, also, there way I draw the eagle is that it’s sitting on top of the actual shoulder pad and is, therefore, free to move. It’s rarely coloured that way though – my fault – colourists aren’t psychic, and they’ve no idea of my intentions… I should really email them…)


Judge Dredd : House of Pain prog 1489 (24 May, 2006) prog 1488 (17 May, 2006) by Gordon Rennie
A quickie fill in, two issue strips. I think I had a week to draw the second episode as a comic con was coming up (I hesitate to add, that I was asked to fill in for someone else) so, not the best Dredd. On the plus side, Colin McNeil drew a cracking cover for one of the issues, which, while probably not based on this pic, certainly was the same scene. (His staging of this was MUCH better than mine… but then I had to do it in one panel… still, that’s a good hand on Dredd…)


Judge Dredd : Sanctuary prog 1495 (05 Jul, 2006)

Lots of heavy shadows on this strip, quiet like that…


Judge Dredd : On Campus prog 1522 (31 Jan, 2007) by John Wagner

Great, fun Dredd, this time by the Mighty Wag. But with some shockingly badly drawn judges in it. Still, this foreground background character was a goofy drawing…


Judge Dredd : It came from Bea Arthur Block (3 Episodes) prog 1639 (10 Jun, 2009) prog 1638 (03 Jun, 2009) prog 1637 (27 May, 2009) by Gordon Rennie

Ah! The ultimate goofy citizens vs Dredd story… I’ve started refining everything, on the uniform, having run out of weird things to do with it…


Judge Dredd : The Lost Cases: A Contract On Grud (1 Episodes) meg 293 (06 Jan, 2010)
Lost cases are set back in time, during pre-existing Dredd stories, so, for this, I flared the helmets and went a little retro (not that retro though, aside from inking… still, good fun, and, easily, the best Dredd I’ve ever done – at least until I get another crack at him…


Author: PJ

Belfast based Comic Artist who won’t shut up on twitter.

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