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 Joko Jargo taking over the Prog to deliver 48 pages of all-ages thrill-power, including more adventures with Cadet Dredd, the latest from the Rogue Trooper-verse in Mayflies, the next generation of Survival Geeks in ‘Splorers, and go right back to the beginning of Marlon Shakespeare’s story in Chopper Don’t Surf.

And to round out this Regened Prog, we have a new Future Shock from Karl Stock and Steve Roberts, the art-droid co-creator of Bec & Kawl and the only art-droid to have won a Bafta for his TV work on the CBeebies series DIPDAP!

Not only that, but Steve’s also responsible for the fabulously monstrous cover to this latest Regened Prog… so, time for Steve to talk Covers Uncovered…

PROG 2246 out now

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STEVE ROBERTS: I was really chuffed to get the chance to draw a cover for Regened. When Matt asked for a Cadet Dredd cover I did get a bit nervous because it had been a long time since I had drawn Dredd and I had to make sure I got it right. Especially as this was young Dredd.

It was a nicely open brief so here are some ideas that I sent over. One featuring a pack of some sort of alien spider creatures which sort of reminds me of Die Hard. A too static moody Head and shoulders shot that I thought I could attempt an Akira style city with. Then I sketched some sort of ridiculous mutie and finally we have the one that was chosen – a multi-eyed slug alien!

I think Matt was right to go with this one it had the most oomph. These are very sketchy but my preparatory drawing has definitely loosened up over time. I do feel that my drawing can lose a bit of energy as it goes through the various stages on the way to the final art. But I guess that is the way it goes!

Steve’s ideas #1 & 2 – Yippee Ki Yay for Cadet Dredd and Dredd goes all Akira.
Ideas #3 & 4 – Excess head violation and the final version – Cadet Dredd about to make a monstrous arrest.

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I would like to experiment more with a looser style in my finished comics in the future if possible. But I am a bit torn because I do love trying to ink really smoothly and clearly. Design-wise, I was quite keen to draw Dredd’s helmet like a slightly 70s motorbike helmet, so quite round, but I didn’t go the whole way with that.

I pencil and ink on paper as I have always done and then scan it in and patch it together if needed. Then I clean up the line art on the computer. I made a conscious effort to not use too much solid black shadow. I wanted to keep the image light and clear.

The Mega-City Meal Deal – But does Dredd come with fries and a coke?

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Dredd’s arm was very wrong so I fixed it and had it outstretched which I think works a lot better – It was looking a little dislocated! I hadn’t noticed until I got the drawing scanned in and started working on it.

The composition worked well on the rough sketch but not so much on the final art.

Attempting to eat a Judge? Gotta be 30 years in the iso cubes.

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I got colouring in the way I always do with comic strip pages. This is with a nice solid black line art sitting on the top of flat colours. I also like to avoid using any gradients and airbrush tools. I like flat blocks of colour. I am always aware of not getting carried away when I’m colouring.

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When I looked at it though it felt a bit unfinished somehow. I felt I had played it safe so I decided to try something new and lose the line art completely and paint it digitally. I definitely hadn’t done this before for anything 2000 AD but it was an enjoyable process and as it had been so long since I had drawn anything for the comic, it seemed right to try something new.

It did take a little longer than expected so I’m not sure I’m up for doing a whole strip like it but I will definitely develop it further in the future. It would have been sensible to have had it mind from the beginning though as I wouldn’t have needed to ink it and could have painted digitally right on top of the pencils.

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And that’s the cover!

Thanks so much to Steve Roberts for sharing the latest Regened cover with us here, it’s great to see his work back in the Prog!

You can get hold of the Regened Prog 2246 from your local comic shops and newsagents and from the 2000 AD web shop.