I was never a big Judge Dredd
fan growing up. I knew of the character and his historical significance in the world of British
comics and there was a cheesy movie staring Sylvester Stalone
in 1995. That was about it for me.
Then I read The Complete Casefiles
Vol #1. Wow.....
To start, The Complete Case Files
are the 2000AD version of Marvel's
Essentials books or DC's
Showcase Presents books. Case Files
reprints the complete work of Judge Dredd
from the very first issues in black and white.
For those who have never heard of the character, Judge Dredd
is a genetically
engineered member of law enforcement in Mega-City One, a super city that is made of most of America's East Coast after several wars and disasters. He is the best and the brightest, upholding the law no matter what the odds or outcome will be.
The whole concept was created to be a social and political satire of America from the late 70's and while a few stories may seem a bit dated, others still ring as true as the day they were written and illustrated.
What surprised me most as I tore through the volumes was that most of the Judge Dredd
tales were short. Some as quick as three to five pages, around eight on average. The character got his start in 2000 AD, a weekly science-fiction anthology. Even more amazing than the quick reads of each chapter was how the creative team made those stories work. Their scripts and their layouts are all amazing given the fact these comics were introduced in the
late 70's a far cry from what Marvel and DC were doing at the same time with their superhero books. A lot of the art still stands out today including Brian Bolland's
work on the series which was few and far between but looks as sharp as anything he's done today.
As of right now there are eight Case Files
collections. Each collection represents one full year of Judge Dredd
adventures. In fact, unless someone can tell me different, I think Judge Dredd
was the first comic that was kept in real time. As the year went on so did the year for Dredd
and he aged with each passing season. At some point I assume they stopped this because it would make him around 50 years of age right now and approaching retirement. Or maybe not. Even retired something tells me he'll still be "the law".Whether
you're a fan of comics or a creator learning how to write shorts, pick these books up. Always good stuff.
Till next time.