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, it’s the third Regened Prog of the year, with 2000 AD Prog 2196 – out 26 August!

Tharg’s nephew Joko-Jargo takes over once more to deliver all-ages Thrills including Cadet Dredd, Pandora Perfect, Finder & Keeper, An all-ages Future Shock, and Department K! But first, that brilliant cover from the fantastic Neil Roberts.

We last saw Neil on the cover of the Prog 2189, with a particularly toothy looking Dredd for End of Days. This time though, it’s time for a new Regened cover… part family portrait, part homage to Katsuhiro Otomo. So, without further ado – over to Neil for the commentary…

The brief for this particular piece was very open – a child-friendly Dredd image. Easy, right?

Initially, I opted for a bright, catalogue-style image, two cadets (one Dredd) smiling but holding daysticks. A classic bit of juxtaposition there.

Tharg didn’t go for this and wanted something more dynamic, cadets on bikes.

So that’s where we went!

One of the coolest depictions of motorcycles and speed in comics has to be found in Katsuhiro Otomo’s “Akira”. Those neon light-streaks always look soooo cool.

Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira – an absolute classic of Manga

So I used that as my main point of inspiration.

In this image, I also wanted to play up the contrast between linear and painted art, but that’s just something I’ve wanted to try out for a while.

More Katsuhiro Otomo Akira – and the source of Neil Robert’s light streaks

The composition was intended to show Dredd and Rico out on their Lawmasters, patrolling the streets of Mega-City One – with Rico subtly sneering and veering off course, whilst Dredd sternly continues on.

The next major issue for me was how to draw Dredd and Rico as children.

I often use reference for my work and the best and most appropriate reference I had to hand was my son, as he does a mean chin… and I couldn’t pass up the chance to immortalise him as a comic icon. Just like this…

Neil Roberts’ young lad gets immortalised as both Dredd & Rico – how cool is that?

After that, it was the usual case of sitting down, putting on the headphones and painting. A lot of painting.

And When all that was done, we had ourselves a cover.

And that cover looks just like this… a great looking Regened cover featuring Cadets Dredd and Rico

Thank you so much to Neil (and his boy!) for letting us inside the making of this latest Regened cover. Now, just a couple of extra images he sent along – blow-ups of the various parts of the cover for us to look at, where the Akira homage is so strong!