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 we talk to PJ Holden about his cover to 2000 AD Prog 2221. A cover that’s certainly going to give long-time Squaxx dek Thargo some very familiar vibes…

Oh yes, that’s PJ doing a wonderful job of following in the footsteps of the great Carlos Ezquerra and his brilliant synthi-sausage cover to 2000 AD Prog 333, way back in September 1983.

It’s all part of the new Judge Dredd series, Who Killed Captain Cookies, beginning this Prog. Kenneth Niemand rejoins PJ to give us a classic Dredd tale of a do-gooder in Mega-City One, handing out cookies to the juve gangs to get them to change their ways.

Problem is, someone doesn’t seem to like the Captain…

Anyway, we’ll leave the fun of the storyline to you to enjoy when you pick up the Prog – and we’re certainly not going to spoil the not too surprising ending to this first episode.

Instead, we’ll share this wonderful Holden Dredd giving us his verdict…

Okay, now let’s hand over to PJ to talk us through that wonderful Ezquerra homage cover…

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PJ HOLDEN: I can’t put my hands on pencils or inks owing to the fact I think this was done in August last year? And it’s been, dear readers, a LONG one.

But here are my initial roughs followed by the notes I sent to Tharg.

A- a Watchmen spoof, with the cookie replacing the watchmen smiley face, would mean changing the dressing for 2000AD (down the side to complete the watchmen look) but might be fun.
B – Cookies, outlined in white.
C – Shadow of Dredd’s bike as he arrives on the scene, Captain dead, background people milling around.
D – Dredd looking at a cookie – partially a homage to Magritte’s The Son of Man (bowler-hatted man with an apple in front of face)
E – Dredd standing above Cookies, looking down
F – Dredd looking at cookie dripping with blood, people milling about in the background
G – Same, different angle, looking up at him. (This might work in a graphic b&w noir with red colouring for the blood of the cookie?)
H – Heroic Captain triumphant, RIP written across him
I – Close up of Captain Cookies’ corpse, Dredd looking over.

(My favourite is A – but I love a fun cover pastiche… And I also like C..)

Matt preferred Dredd holding a cookie and suggested aping the classic Carlos Ezquerra synthi-sausage cover from Prog 333.

Ok! Says I.

Did a pencil and colour rough.

Matt OK’d that and boom a cover was born.

There you go! Short and sweet this week for the Covers Uncovered, but damn, that’s a fine, fine cover.

Our thanks to PJ Holden for sending these over for our viewing pleasure

You can get hold of 2000 AD Prog 2221 on 3 March from all the usual places, including the 2000 AD web shop!

And now, of course, we’re not going to miss the chance to give you a look at the two covers together… first, the classic Ezquerra in all its wraparound glory and a zoom in on the front cover…

And finally, a little side-by-side comparison…