DREDDwatch #6 – Future Shock!

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Futureshock - The Story of 2000AD, image courtesy Stanton Media/Rebillion
Futureshock – The Story of 2000AD, image courtesy Stanton Media/Rebillion

You may well have heard the phrase “Future Shock” before – there are no less than 19 entries for it on the wikipedia disambiguation page, starting with the bestselling book by futurist Alvin Toffler (and a documentary based on it), to music from Curtis Mayfield and Herbie Hancock, and episodes of Flash Forward and Mega Man. Fans of 2000AD will know it better as, “Tharg’s Future Shocks” – the name given to on ongoing series of self-contained short comic strips, that were often used as a testing ground for new writers and artists – Alan Moore and Grant Morrison among them.

Now, it is also the title of an upcoming documentary about the galaxy’s greatest comic, and in the words of the producers, Stanton Media, it’s:

…the comprehensive story of how the comic came to be, how it’s survived for 36 years, and how it continues to be an innovator and game-changer in both comics and the wider cultural world beyond. FUTURE SHOCK! will offer an illuminating overview of the magazine’s history: a warts and all look at the various highs and lows, a peek inside the creative process of some of its most legendary creators, and a funny, moving and passionate chronicle of how a disparate band of talented eccentrics came together to create something both visionary and extraordinary.

In the (very sweary, definitely NSFW or Cs) trailer below you can get a quick overview of the kind of talent that have contributed to both the comic over the years and the documentary itself. The man who started it all, Pat Mills, is there along with current 2000AD editor (and writer) Matt Smith (no, not that one!). Dredd creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra have their say along with writers Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and Alan Grant and artists Brian Bolland, D’Israeli and Jock, as well as many, many more.

The documentary gets its world premiere this Saturday at Mondo-Con in Austin, Texas, followed by two more screenings at Fantastic Fest on the 21st and 25th and another at Beyond Fest on the 3rd October.
Annoyingly, there’s no word of the UK premiere yet.

The latest bit of Dredd sequel news got a lot of people confused last week. Some blogs and news outlets reported that star Karl Urban said at the Chicago Comic-Con that, “There is a definite possibility [of a sequel], but, it is more likely that we will do the origins story…”, but took the “origins” part literally, saying a new movie would be a prequel, a proper super hero style origin-story. What Urban actually meant was the 2006 “Origins” storyline by Dredd’s original creators which fills in the blanks about how Mega-City One came to be and where Dredd came from.

Dredd: Uprise #1 Cover
Dredd: Uprise #1 Cover

It’s a great story, set mostly in the Cursed Earth with a lot of flashbacks featuring Dredd as a young cadet, but I feel that making it the basis of the sequel would lose a lot of the elements that made the movie so good – the quick-fire, day-in-the-life storyline, the claustrophobic feel, less Urban due to the flashbacks, and most importantly, Olivia Thrilby’s superb portrayal of Judge Anderson. Of course, I’d still watch the hell out of it!

After the success of the recent comic only sequel, Underbelly, and its sold out one shot print runs, it makes sense that they’d do another one. This month’s Judge Dredd Megazine (number 352) sees the action hotting up with part three of “Uprise” by Arthur Wyatt and Paul Davidson. The story takes place in a neglected sector of Mega-City One known as The Spit where tensions are rising amongst the citizens as the shiny new mega-block Oemling Tower is being constructed for those that can afford to live in it. You can pick it up online or in the 2000AD iPad app, or if you wait a few weeks the two parts are also being released as standalone comics in October and November.

Mega-City Two cover art by Dumo (and me)
Mega-City Two cover art by Dumo (and me)

Swift Judgements:

  • Issue five of the fan-made Mega-City Two comic that I’ve become involved in has just been released, where Judges Kincade and Diaz continue their journey into the Undercity and we meet The Girl From Norma Jean. In addition to the lettering, I’ve got to colour two upcoming cover for the series, and here’s a sneak peak at one of them.
  • 2000AD Prog 1900 – out on 24th September – is another designated “Jump On Point” for new and lapsed readers with all new strips including Judge Dredd: Block Judge by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, Kingdom: Aux Drift by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson and Stickleback: The Thru’Penny Opera by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli.
  • Olivier Hollingdale has released a trailer for Prog 3 of his team’s “Cursed Edge” web series and his work has earned him a thumbs up from Karl Urban!
  • Awesome clothing company Last Exit To Nowhere have added another tee inspired by Dredd to their range in the form of this lovely little Inhabitant of Peach Trees number.
  • And finally, Bruce Yan has made this amazing watercolour silhouette of everybody’s favourite Lawman

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