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 the brilliant Rich Elson with the latest 2000 AD – Prog 2192 – where Dredd comes up against the great white beast that is Shako – something Elson’s very familiar with after the recent brilliant Kingdom/Shako strip in the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special this year.

So, over to Rich for just how this particular beauty of a cover was put together…

I had just finished up the Kingdom/Shako crossover for the Sci-Fi Special when Tharg asked if I wanted to do the cover for this issue – maybe because I had just spent a few weeks drawing a polar bear!

Having finally got around to reading the very enjoyable Judge Dredd Year One a week earlier, I was keen to have another go at the character, so jumped at the chance to draw Dredd when the offer came. Tharg sent over a couple of Henry’s brilliant interior pages to give me an idea of what was required and I drew up three roughs based on the brief.

After the second rough was chosen, I drew up a ‘pencil’ version at full size in Photoshop at 600 dpi.

At the inking stage I did Dredd, the bear’s head and paws, the blood and breath and the speedlines all on separate layers: that makes it easier to adjust things, if I need to, before I add colour.

Finally, the colour stage: I wanted a strong colour contrast between the two figures. To bring it all together I spotted a few of the reds, yellows and oranges from the bear and background onto Dredd’s gun and helmet.

This was a really fun job. Who wouldn’t enjoy drawing an enraged, zombified polar bear? Thanks Tharg.

Thanks to Rich for giving us a look at his latest Prog cover – you can see it in the wild from 29 July in print and digital – get it from the 2000 AD shop.

You can hear Rich speak to Molch-R on the 2000 AD Thrill-Cast from last year here. And as for the brilliant Kingdom & Shako crossover from the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special – you can read more of Rich Elson’s adventures in drawing big, angry polar bears here.

And you can find more from Rich Elson talking about his amazing covers with the Covers Uncovered feature – most recently with Prog 2163 from January 2020…

And here for Prog 2034 – June 2017 – a vision of the Traitor General…

Now, more of Elson’s fantastic cover work over the years…

Prog 1902 (October 2014)

Prog 1574 (February 2008)

Prog 1570 (January 2008)

Prog 1366 (November, 2003)