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!

This week – Quaequam Blag! – the unexpected return of an art droid who escaped the Nerve Centre was happily waved farewell by a proud Tharg… it’s Dermot Power on the cover of 2000 AD Prog 2229, where Dredd puts the boot down…

BORAG THUNGG, EARTHLETS – Prog 2229 is OUT NOW!

Dermot Power’s scrotnig artwork first appeared in the Prog on the cover of 2000 AD 699, before getting inside with his first Judge Dredd strip in Prog 722. And he was last seen in the Galaxy’s Greatest with the Slaine strip, Treasures of Britain Part 2 (Progs 1024 to 1031) before bowing out with his last cover gracing the front of Prog 1107. He’s worked on the Prog, Judge Dredd Megazine, and put his paints to work on the art for Batman/Judge Dredd: The Ultimate Riddle in 1995.

After that, well, he’s gone on to do the concepts and designs for a few films. Although you probably won’t have heard of many of them… something called Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones and The Force Awakens? Some funny little series about a boy wizard… Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, and The Goblet of Fire, as well as something called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Crimes of Grindelwald. And if they don’t ring a bell, what about the minor hit that was Batman Begins, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, V For Vendetta, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Ready Player One, and Dumbo?

Okay, okay, so the Power droid’s not done too badly for himself since leaving Tharg’s loving embrace.

But with his film work on the back burner because – well, you know, <gestures wildly at everything>, he had some time on his hands and that means time to draw some Dredd for YOU!!!

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That was the start of it – a quick rough Dredd piece. Now, let’s hand over to Dermot to give us the lowdown on putting the boot down…

DERMOT POWER: First thing to say is that I didn’t intend this to be a Dredd cover! But the Virus film industry shutdown meant I had lots of free time on my hands last year and I used this downtime to go back to traditional painting after decades of working digitally.

I loved drawing Dredd back in the day and was curious to see how I would paint him now. Turns out not very different – I was hoping to inject a bit of MacMahon in to my usual very Bolland-influenced version. All those big beautiful soft chunky shapes. I think I got some of that in there but there could be a lot more.

After that initial sketch, Dermot worked the image up to full pencils and tight inks…

Looking great so far… back to Dermot…

DERMOT POWER: The problem with Dredd is there is so much stuff to draw. If you are doing Batman you can hide most of him in the shadow of his cape, and if it doesn’t work out you can do another one in about an hour. Much harder to do with Dredd. All those fiddly little pockets and chain links – it is very easy to lose control of the composition with all that clutter – there is a danger of getting bored by the time you are putting clasps on a belt pocket. I get bored very quickly so need to get art done and out of sight or I’ll start ‘fixing’ it.

For example with this Dredd painting I decided the blue-grey background was too blue so I repainted it a slightly warmer grey and in the end it looked exactly the same when I photographed it. If it was digital that would be just pulling a slider but being real paint it took hours.

Then I went to the Warhol exhibition in the Tate and thought ‘maybe I should be braver with the colour’ and painted the background Yellow.

And here’s that Warholised version with that added yellow…

DERMOT POWER: Yeah, that lasted for a few days before I grew tired of it and filled it all in grey again.

That’s what happens when you have no deadline and lots of time on your hands.

I might do another one but start with the bright yellow background. Definitely going to do that. I Just need another Virus to shut the film industry down again.

And all of that work takes us to this… the final image, with Dredd putting his McMahon-style boot down hard on the robots…

So, thanks to Dermot Power for taking the time – but then again, he did have loads on his hands! Hopefully, it won’t be as many years before we get to see his art back on or in 2000 AD again!

You can find Dermot’s Dredd cover on Prog 2229, out 28 April from everywhere comics are sold, including the 2000 AD web shop. Plus, he was interviewed for the 2000 AD Thrill-Cast Lockdown Tapes:

And make sure you head over and see what gorgeous things Dermot’s been up to at his website, www.dermotpower.com.

Now, a little look back at Dermot’s 2000 AD history… first with his very first Prog cover – 699…

First strip inside, Prog 722’s Judge DreddThe Apartment, written by John Wagner…

Then there was his Slaine work… this from his first in Prog 1024…

And then, his very last cover… 2000 AD Prog 1107…

Around 1995, Power was the go to art droid for the Dredd movie covers…

And then there was the time Dermot handled the art for Judge Dredd/Batman: The Ultimate Riddle in 1995 as well…