It has a lenticular cover you know. I didn’t know what a lenticular cover was. But the Trifecta hardback collection – out today! – has one. From some angles you’ll see Jack Point reflected in Dredd’s visor, from others, Dirty Frank. As it should be.
If you’re not aware of what Trifecta is – and it’s difficult to speak about it without spoilering the rare surprise that the storyline offered – it all takes place within the world of Judge Dredd. Such has been Dredd’s popularity in 2000AD that lots of other characters have had their own series’ within his world. I’ve written Dirty Frank’s adventures under the title Low Life for years now, ditto for Si Spurrier’s Jack Point in The Simping Detective. Both are undercover Judges with certain noncomformist pecadillos. Point dresses as a ‘simp’ – a clown, effectively – even though he’s a hard-bitten Raymond Chandler-esque lead. Dirty Frank has a laissez faire attitude towards mental balance and personal hygene. Both strips have been pretty popular in 2000AD. So, we decided, in an attempt to try and give ourselves many headaches, to co-write a storyline featuring all three leads. But to do it somewhat stealthily.
Crossovers are hardly unusual things in comics. But crossovers you genuinely don’t see coming. That was different.
Of course, I’ve now told you it’s coming. But don’t let that put you off.
The reaction to the ‘twist’ was one of the most pleasing things I’ve been involved with in comics. It’s tough to pull the rug out from under people’s feet these days, but Trifecta genuinely did that. I was sure we’d get rumbled early. We’d dropped clues in all three strips, but I don’t think anyone saw it coming. And an organic word-of-mouth started on twitter with people saying ‘read this… I can’t tell you why.’
So, yeah, read this. I can’t tell you why. Even though I just did. Obligatory amazon link for easy purchasing option:
It’s easy to get caught up in the twist of Trifecta and see that as all it was, but all three stories work wonderfully well in their own right. Dredd by Al Ewing and Henry Flint, Simping Detective by Si Spurrier and Si Coleby and Low Life by D’israeli and I. And Carl Critchlow did a superb job on the final part climax. There was a point early on when I sat down to read that week’s 2000AD, and even though I’d read Al and Si’s scripts and had seen some art, I hadn’t seen their stories finished with lettering etc. I read Al’s Dredd and thought ‘bloody hell, that’s good’, then I read Si’s Simping and thought ‘bloody hell, that’s good’ and D’israeli’s art is always a complete ridiculous joy on Low Life. Plus I felt I was onto something fun with Enormo Overdrive, the meglomaniac businessman who had bonded his DNA to that of a great white shark and bellowed out lines like “Bah! Your lack of ability to please me displeases me!”.
There was a genuine feeling that we were all producing really good work at exactly the same time.
Comics Alliance called Trifecta “the best comic event of 2012” and Comic Book Resources named 2000AD the 13th best comic of the year, calling Trifecta “mind blowing” along the way. From my part, it was great to be involved in something organic that felt like it approached the 2000AD classics I loved growing up. And to do it with a bunch of mates was even better.