For my money, the best two comics I’ve read in recent years are Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys (highly recommended and please don’t be put off by the ‘manga’ tag. Good comics is good comics) and the other is Jason Aaron and RM Guera’s western-noir Scalped, which was just outstanding work, in both script and art. So I’m obviously delighted that Guera’s drawing a Judge Dredd script of mine. And Giulia Brusco, Guera’s colourist on Scalped, is working on the story too, which is further good news.
“The Man Comes Around” will run in the Judge Dredd Megazine #338. It’ll go on sale digitally and in-print the week of Comic-Con International in San Diego, July 18th-ish.
I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with a few US market artists on Dredd in recent times. (Guera isn’t American, of course. He’s Serbian, but anyway). Each time it’s been a case of my being a fan of their work, me talking to them to see if they’re interested and then, once they’re onboard, suggesting it to 2000AD. I think the pull of Dredd works for these guys. There’s such a rich artistic legacy with the character. I suspect most western market comic artists feel they have at least one Dredd in them, and Guera’s style, I think, really lends itself to Dredd. Plus, with Guera, so much of Scalped was seeped in western lore, and the idea of Dredd as the ageing gunslinger played heavy in the writing of this particular script. From a writer’s point of view, once you know who your artist is, you can write for their sensibility somewhat, which helps a lot when they have such a distinctive style, as Guera does. It was the same with my Dredds with Guy Davis and James Harren. This particular Dredd story was partly inspired by a Johnny Cash soundtrack – apocalyptic, Bible-black country music, a similar score to where Scalped was mined from, I’m sure.
“There’s a man goin’ ’round takin’ names,
And he decides who to free and who to blame” – The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash.
The theme here is Dredd’s mortality. I love writing old man Dredd, personally. Way more interesting than a youthful Dredd, for me. More weight and history, more scars.
No interior art here, but this is a previously unseen Dredd image Guera was good enough to do when we were chatting about the story prior to scripting.
Also, Miss Fury #2 is out today from Dynamite, by Jack Herbert, Ivan Nunes, Simon Bowland and myself. More time travel, shape-shifting Nazi secret agent shenanigans. With a crashing jet fighter sequence. Got to have a crashing jet fighter sequence (I need to have these banned from my writing – they’re too tempting to write). Here’s a great page by Jack from #3. Sneak preview: