Dredd to Writes

That title is overburdened with puns, and I apologise for that.

So, I was in Enniskillen recently, and was chatting to the guys that put together the 2000AD fanzine Sector 13 – issue 3 out now Dredd fans!

I mentioned that I have an old script that I wrote a while ago, a 12 page Tale from the Black Museum (it’s a fun little idea I think) that I’d pitched to Tharg and he’d rejected it (for sundry reasons, only three them amounted to “this is terrible”). Actually, for funsies here’s the plot:

We open on Henry Dubble down in the black museum’s basement where he’s fishing out giant, Justice Dept 1 issued “Life Candles” (issued by the City to all citizens at birth in the event of one of MC1’s regularly scheduled disasters) and he starts telling the tale of the House Of Mega Wax. A run down waxwork whose business has been destroyed by the city’s new craze of competitive eating. A solitary fat tourist stumbles in, as they’re despairing over their bills. He dies, they panic and hit on the brain wave of converting his body into wax using the plot-convenent alien waxweavils who can eat anything and secrete wax which they use to make a Two Ton Tony Stubbs waxwork. This starts the business with a new plan: invite fatties, kill them, make unbelievable large waxworks attracting more fatties… and create the greatest House Of MegaWax ever seen. All is going great, when, on a visit from the Mega City Obese Orphanage and Family Free Fatties Association, they take the fattest orphan off to the side intending to do him in, but the plan is ruined when the fattie unzips and reveals he is, in fact, Judge Dredd and two other judges in a large fat suit. They fight, Dredd wins. Henry Dubble closes the story by revealing what happened to all that wax and the waxworks: they remain in constant use creating the Life Candles, nothing goes unused in Mega City 1.

I think Matt’s biggest problem was there’s almost certainly a touch of old fashioned silliness about it.

The chaps at Sector 13 liked the idea, and said they could print it, but it would need to be split in half. Now, tbh, I’m not keen on splitting a stupid one off in half, it doesn’t have the weight (no pun intended) and I’ve worked on fanzines before and I know the time delay between issues can run to several months, killing any possibility of a story carrying momentum.

So I mulled it over on the drive up from Enniskillen and thought I could write up a different script that is shorter, and I came up with something that I thought would be fun. I wrote it up in a blitz and sent it off to a few readers who’ve come back with a collection of notes.

This, in itself, has been instructive – getting good notes from several sources has sort of had my head turning – it’s impossible to implement every note (and some of the core ones are actually contradictory) so I’ve got to figure out how to rewrite it while keeping my own voice in it.

It’s also taught me, next time, be more selective, one good reader at a time, maybe.

On the plus side, the notes I got were more additive than anything nothing critical of my writing so much as suggesting elements of the plot that could do with being altered one way or another (one key element in particular had notes suggesting I do thing A, and notes suggesting I do the mutally exclusive thing B)

Once done, I’ll send it to Matt. I’m not terribly convinced he’ll pick it up (I mean there are so many good dredd writers) but if he doesn’t I may end up writing / drawing it for myself since it’s got some fun visuals going on in it.

I still have to do Couch to 80k week 8, the proper writing week, but my aim all along was to write some comics and this is a proper comic script, so I’m happy about that.

Coming up

So, it’s been quiet here, but, some finely tended things are, finally, starting to sprout. Let’s start with:

Phonogram – did a four page “B” side – here’s page 1 of it, lovingly coloured by Steven Denton

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Also, did a six page strip for Dwight L. MacPherson’s Interagents. Page 1 is full colour, the remaining are monochrome flashbacks…

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Next out of the gate are a couple of things for the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, a six part Dredd strip called “interlude” (ok, it’s not actually got Dredd in it, and it is an interlude, from the main story, but still – it’s written by John Wagner and is important for Dredd continuity)

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Following that, is a 9 page Megazine story, part of the new series of Judge Dredd: The Lost Cases, written by Alan Grant. Everyone else is doing there’s greywashed (which I didn’t know… actually, not 100% sure of it, but it makes sense) – and I was asked to do that too, but, like a maroon, I wanted to do it differently … old school ! My episode is called “Contract on Grud”.

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Finally, and, most importantly, I’m currently doing a three part series for [Haha! Made You Look!] publisher, written by [Seriously? You looked again!?]. I’m pretty proud of the work I’m doing on it, and ticks a number of wish fulfilment boxes for me, personally. And I’m not showing any of it just yet! Sorry!

Hue, hue, saturation and hue

Hey, I’ve been asked by one of the 2000AD message board crowd if I could supply them with some b&w artwork for a colouring compo, so, and, after checking everything was ok with the Mighty One (thanks Tharg!) here’s the artwork.

Dredd Colour Samples (it’s about 4Mb compressed).

If you’d like to download and play, it’s a cover plus some internal pages of artwork, at 400dpi in Tiff format. If you do colour them, don’t forget to ping back on the blog!