MISS FURY & JUDGE DREDD WITH JAMES HARREN

Dear God, the last time I updated this was July. It’s become a derelict warehouse covered in cobwebs. Well, maybe it’s New Year’s resolutions and good intentions and all, but I thought I’d better dust the thing off and talk about a few things I’ve written that are upcoming.

Announced last week and launching in April from Dynamite is MISS FURY, a time travel action adventure featuring one of the original super heroines from back in the 1940s. And no, it’s not as simple as ‘we meet Marla Drake back in the ’40s and she travels to 2013 and crime fighting hijinx ensue.’ Miss Fury becomes somewhat stuck in time and flits back and fore between past, present and future constantly, all the time attempting to stop a Nazi plot to win World War 2… in 2013. It’s a jigsaw puzzle of a character piece as we see parts of Marla Drake in different eras, and she tries to put them together to realise who she really is and who she wants to be. All rather non-linear and fun. And throughout the question remains – is all this really happening or is this a woman driven insane by the effects of war.

Art is by Jack Herbert, whose work I’d not seen previously, but it’s terrific. There’s some ambitious visuals and storytelling going on here, and Jack makes it look amazing throughout. Great colours too. It’s a lovely-looking book – I just saw the coloured proof of #1 this morning. And we have covers by the likes of Alex Ross and J Scott Campbell too.

Also announced last week was JUDGE DREDD: SAVE HIM, which will be in 2000AD #1819, on sale February 13th (the ideal Valentine’s Gift!). It’s a seven page one-off story drawn by James Harren (BPRD, Conan) and foccuses on Dredd being pulled into the mental landscape of a promising PSI-Judge who was left catatonic by the trauma of the 35 million who died in Chaos Day (a Soviet biological attack on Dredd’s city and one of the major plot points in Dredd last year). It’s a fun psychological horror story featuring a REALLY freaky looking monster thanks to James’ astonishing design.

I was lucky enough to have Guy Davis draw a Dredd of mine a few years ago – OUT LAW, in Judge Dredd Megazine #296 (which you can buy digitally via 2000AD’s website) and this story came about the same way. I was a fan of Guy’s work and so asked if he’d be keen to draw a Dredd, and the same happened with James here. His initial story arc on BPRD – The Long Death (highly recommended) – blew me away. I can’t recall the last time I saw a new artist and was so impressed by his storytelling and dynamism. There’s a visceral slap across the face about James’ work, and his storytelling choices – angles etc – are stellar. We talked about maybe his drawing the digital-first Batman story I wrote last year but that fell through. I asked if he had time to do a short Dredd and was really excited that he agreed. Then it was a case of fingers crossed that Matt Smith, the editor at 2000AD, would agree. James did a Dredd sketch and Matt agreed after seeing it. I wrote the script for James, specifically. I think it really helps when you know who you’re writing for, so you can play to their strengths. We ended up with a fun, screwy little horror story, I think. And it’s about Dredd, when all’s said and done.

Getting to work with amazing artists whose work you love is one of the absolute thrills of this job.

Here’s James’ amazing cover and one of the internal pages. And watch out for the monster in ‘Save Him’. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

I have another one-off Dredd due in next week’s 2000AD, I think – #1817. It’s called ‘Closet’ and features art by Mike Dowling (Death Sentence from Clint). I think there’s an interview going up on Comic Book Resources about it this week, so I won’t say too much here. It’s going to get a reaction, this one, I think.

Something I’m really excited about is the fact that I finished writing my upcoming creator-owned series ORDINARY last week. 90 pages in total. I’m hugely enthusiastic about this. Loved the characters, loved writing the script and have thrown the kitchen sink at it. I’ll speak more about it as soon as I’m able.

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