After the recent, ahem, regime change in Texas City, there is suddenly a new spirit of cooperation between the Big Meg and the Lone Star State. New Dredd tale ‘Deep in the Heart’ by Mike Carrol and Tiernen Trevallion sees Dredd and his fellow judges ventre to Texas City on the hunt for a mysterious fugitive. Who has Dredd got in his sights and just how much chaos will he cause to get his perp? 

Veteran design droid Luke Preece was drafted in to create a hard hitting cover for this new and exciting arc. Though Luke’s first prog cover, he has had many years’ experience working as a design droid for the House of Tharg. Designing such iconic beauties as this… 

The downright drokking genius design of the Judge Dredd Case Files…

Over to Luke to tell us more about the creation of the first, absolutely zarjaz cover of 2017!

“Tharg explained that Dredd would be spending some time in Texas. He’d like something incorporating the lone-star flag and Dredd on the cover. Maybe just his helmet or his badge even, but he was happy to see what I could come up with. He was quite open to my ideas on this which was nice. Most of the work I had done previously for 2000 AD over the years had been design based so, whilst this was an exciting task, it was also slightly intimidating! Dredd ain’t easy to draw and 2000 AD house alot of amazing artists.”

“I decided to keep it quite simple. First I did some really quick black and white roughs to get a feeling for the composition and pose…”

Tex Cit Selfies from Dredd

“Once these were done I emailed them through to Tharg. He liked the one with him holding his lawgiver but wanted me to turn his head to face the camera more. As requested, I made the amends and sent over a third rough…”

Lone Star Wars

“This got approved and I then went to work. At this point I should point out that I decided to draw Dredd holding the lawgiver from the Dredd 3D movie… (credit to Jock’s design by the way). Not that I have anything against the other designs. They are all awesome! Basically, when putting my sketch together it’s just what came out so I went with it. Just thought ‘Drokk it, can’t hurt!’

Hmmm, I take it the Preece Droid’s Nerve Centre cubicle was nowhere near Mek-Quake’s lair…

“Once the cover art was complete. I did a quick mockup with some placeholder cover lines and the 2000 AD strap logo. I worked on the design side of the prog for around 9 years with Pye Parr and Tharg so it was almost a strange experience laying out this stuff on top of my own artwork.”

For some reason during his time as a design droid, Luke was never asked to come up with the taglines… 

Luke continues “All in all, I’m pleased with the results and hope that readers like my take on such an iconic character. Hopefully, more to come in the future!”

I can’t agree more, the cover is a glorious start to 2017 and Luke’s distinctive style is awesome! Point you browser to Luke’s website at to see more of his amazing work, he’s brilliant!

Massive thanks to Luke for sending the artwork and commentary!