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 return of 2000 AD Regened with all-ages Thrill Power designed to give young readers their first dose of the Galaxy’s Greatest comic!

On cover duties for 2000 AD Regened Prog 2288 (out on June 29th) we have Peter Yong, winner of the last 2000 AD Art Stars competition in 2021!

Peter’s a concept and storyboard artist from Australia who’s worked in the video games and animation industries whose Angel Gang piece for Art Stars won back in October 2021. After that, as he’ll tell you, he was delighted to get the call for this Regened cover! So now, over to Peter…

PETER YONG: It all started last year when I submitted the Angel Gang piece for the 2000 AD Art Stars competition – to my surprise I won!

Now there’s a sight you NEVER want to see – Peter Yong’s 2000 AD Art Stars Winner from October 2021

PY: Shortly after, I was contacted by the mighty Tharg to create the cover shown here. I have been a professional artist for over 15 years, working in animation and video games but this is my first comic cover!

I am a huge 2000 AD fan, so I was excited and a wee bit nervous. 2000AD was one of the reasons I pursued art in the first place!

The brief that I received for the cover was very broad: I was to draw Cadet Dredd and it didn’t have to tie into any story. So I got drawing and came up with 3 options:

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PY: I wanted to keep the composition simple and striking. I find it really helps to zoom out and draw these quite small. I always like when a composition is clear and readable.

I was delighted when Tharg chose number three. However, I was asked to make the beasties more alien. A welcome change for me because looking at it again, it seems like Dredd has just entered an alligator enclosure and is manhandling a few of the occupants…ha ha!

I resubmitted with some alien-looking guys but wondered if they were too scary looking for an all-ages issue?

Dredd versus Tentacles… it’s always tentacles on a Wednesday for Dredd (preferably grilled)

PY: Tharg replied with some great suggestions so I made some tweaks. I liked the look of these guys and I was very happy to get rid of the tentacle arms from the previous version (…what was I thinking?…)

Tentacles off the menu and antennae are on again – but Dredd normally has antennae on a weekend as a treat

PY: I thought I had the skill and confidence to take this directly into ink….Unfortunately, none of this was the case, so I had to draw it roughly first to clarify the forms.

But hey, Cadet Dredd’s younger and not so set in his ways – antennae it is!

PY: Next was Inking. I used Clip Studio Paint as I really like the feel of the “GPen” in the program. When I Ink I try not to just trace the rough, but try to push and enhance the drawing more.I feel like this helps to keep the finished product lively and spontaneous. It’s also so much more fun when I think like this!

Especially when the antennae are so tastily-drawn!

PY: Next is colour. Put simply, my approach was to try and make the Alien’s colour contrast against Dredds. Referencing the other Cadet Dredd covers, I wanted it to be colourful and not so serious.

After all that tentacle and antennae talk, a hungry Cadet sets about beating the colour into the nasties

PY: And finally I added all the shadows, some rim light and some other little effects and it’s done!

In fact, he’s beaten so much colour into them that smoke’s started coming out of them
– add your own fart gag for the kids right here!

PY: I have to say, a huge thank you to Tharg (Matt Smith) and Mike Molcher. Having the opportunity to create a cover for 2000 AD is definitely a dream come true!

As a product of the Art Stars competition, I think it is an amazing platform to see up-and-coming artists and have their work published. 2000 AD has always been a place to showcase amazing stories and mind-blowing, interesting art and I am so thankful for the hard work Matt, Mike and everyone at 2000 AD do!

And that’s it! Thanks so much to Peter for sending that one along. And just like him, you can get involved with the 2000 AD Art Stars competitions and get your art in the Galaxy’s Greatest (and get paid for it too – Tharg really is a generous dictator benefactor!) when 2000 AD Art Stars returns later this year with an exciting new challenge!

You can find 2000 AD Prog 2288 wherever you pick up your weekly dose of Ghafflebette comics, including the 2000 AD web shop from 29 June 2022.

And you can find out more about Peter at his website – http://peteryongart.com/ and his Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/peteyongdraws/

Now… the full-sized versions of those initial three sketches sent over to Tharg for his approval…