Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

Don’t forget that you can now order the 2000 AD Covers Uncovered Annual, which will feature all the covers from this year in a gorgeous square-bound bookazine format!

The latest Judge Dredd Megazine has plenty of thrillpower blasting out of its pages, with the penultimate installments of Devlin WaughThe Returners and Angelic, and a done-in-one Tale From the Black Museum. But opening the Megazine, you get a very special complete Judge Dredd thriller from Ken Niemand and Colin MacNeil.

And it’s all to be found underneath a stunning, if rather different, cover from Colin MacNeil to begin the tale of A Dream of a Thousand Flowers.

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COLIN MACNEIL: I was asked to do a cover for the Megazine based on the strip Dream of a Thousand Flowers, drawn by me and written by Kenneth Niemand.

The idea I had was of Dredd’s shadow falling across a wall that had flowers painted over it, just like in the strip. A nice big, bold, but odd image. Perfect for a cover.

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Once I had a sketch approved by the editor I took the decision to paint it, or at least try. It had been a number of years since I last used a paintbrush. It was taking forever, so I decided to switch to digital!

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The first task was finding a texture for the wall. I eventually found a nice texture on the wall of an old building near where I live.

Rather than drawing every individual flower, I drew several different types then just copy and pasted them across the image till it looked appropriate.

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The bullet holes were natural dents in the wall, which I had photographed, that I manipulated digitally to look like bullet holes. The blood trails were from scans of ink trails on a bit of paper. Again, a bit of digital jiggery-pokery and they became blood. Dredd’s shadow came from a photo of the painting I started.

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After that, it was a case of playing with levels and filters till it became the final result.

… And that’s how the cover was done!

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And what a beautiful cover it is. Just like Colin says, sometimes it’s the covers that are wonderfully big, bold AND odd that are the very best. And this one is right up there with the best covers of the year!

Thanks to Colin for sending all that work along and telling us all about it. You can find that gorgeous cover on the shelves of all good comic shops and newsagents, as well as the 2000 AD web shop.