It may come as a surprise (or not), but I work part-time in a comic shop. That doesn’t allow me to get free comics or any of that nonsense, but it does allow me to get a look at, well, everything that comes out.
As someone with an addictive personality (thanks, Dad), I am honestly inclined to try and pick up everything. Really. Years ago, I even tried to read, frankly, FAR too many monthlies. Space and money quickly became a problem. This is additionally due to the fact that I believe in having all the backissues of a title.
However, there is still one title I cannot pick up. Let me assure you that, unlike DC’s Warlord, I actually want to read this long running title. That title is Judge Dredd. I saw the movie when I was a kiddo and, despite it being… not good, I really loved the idea of a future cop in a gigantic city fighting mutants and robots and criminals, in general. For those who don’t know, Dredd began in the weekly 2000 AD, which recently had its 2,000th issue. This is not counting Judge Dredd Megazine, which also has several hundred issues.
Look, I’ve been reading MAD since I was a kid and I’ve got a full set of Savage Sword of Conan, but 2,000 issues that didn’t (and don’t) originate here in the States are going to be rather difficult, if not pricey, to come by. I’ve paid a couple hundred bucks for a comic on a couple occasions, but there’s dedication and there’s madness.
I received two saving graces on this. The first was from 2000 AD: like DC’s Showcase line or Marvel’s former Essential line, they were and are publishing a series called the Complete Judge Dredd, which reprints, in chronological order and original format, ALL of Dredd. All of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a few years behind, but I can collect them and read them and enjoy them. And I don’t need boxes upon boxes of backissues.
My second saving grace is IDW’s Judge Dredd series. The first series, by the always wonderful Duane Swierczynski was a blast and is highly recommended. The second series by Ulises Fariñas is a solid okay (killer art by Dan McDaid). My biggest revelation from reading Dredd is not my enjoyment – I knew that was coming. It’s the creative team. I haven’t even hit the Garth Ennis stuff and I recognized Alan Grant immediately. He was the Chuck Dixon of the Batman books before Chuck Dixon. That is, he wrote many of the titles in that family of books, knocking them all out of the park. No wonder Grant was able to kill it on a weekly book!
Plus, this love spread to Alan Grant on Lobo and the Demon. Those pre-Ennis Demon issues, though uncollected, are fantastic. I highly recommend them if you get the opportunity!
And with that, I’ll head back into the pages.