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2000 AD Regened Prog 2288 is out now!

PROG 2288 out now

2000 AD‘s all-ages special Regened returns in Prog 2288 – out now from all good newsagents, comic book stores, and digitally from the 2000 AD webshop and app!

It’s that time once again when Joko-Jargo storms the Command Module, temporarily boots his Uncle Tharg out of his office and assumes control of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic!

In this zarjaz all-ages issue you’ll find another case for Cadet Dredd as he investigates disappearances at the Alien Zoo in Zootrapolis by Liam Johnson and Joel Carpenter; Roger Langridge and Brett Parson reunite for a new Pandora Perfect caper as a giant chicken rampages through the city; wheeler-dealing duo Scooter & Jinx return and must track down a missing actor in The Big, Grand Souffle of Nothing; we head back to the rundown comprehensive school for wizards for the second episode of David Barnett and Anna Morozova’s Lowborn High as Andy Frost is co-opted into the Orbitus playoffs; and there’s a mind-bending short story in Future Shocks: Into the Void from Karl Stock and Tom Newell!

Remember, humes, if you missed any of my previous Regened issues, you can now get the stories in four scrotnig book collections, available from shop.2000AD.com.

2000 AD Prog 2288 is out now from all good newsagents and comic book stores, plus digitally from our webshop and apps! Don’t forget that if you buy an issue of 2000 AD in the first week of its release then postage in the UK is free!

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Cover by Peter Yong

CADET DREDD: ZOOATRAPOLIS

Script: Liam Johnson / Art: Joel Carpenter / Colours: John Charles / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

Mega-City One, 2076 AD. Home to over 800 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America. On one side is the polluted Black Atlantic, and to the west is the blasted radlands of the Cursed Earth. Overcrowding in the metropolis is rife, unemployment is at ninety per cent, boredom is universal and crime is rampant. Only the Judges — a zero-tolerance police force empowered to dispense instant justice — can stop total anarchy. CADET JOE DREDD — together with his clone-brother Rico — is a rising star in Justice Department, and will one day be its finest officer. Make no mistake, he is the Law!


LOWBORN HIGH: GOOD SPORT

Script: David Barnett / Art: Anna Morozova / Letters: Jim Campbell

For as long as anyone can remember, Wychdusk Manor has been the school to which all the top magical novices are sent, where they are trained to become the world’s greatest wizards. There, students are taught every form of spellcasting by the wisest of mages, and to be part of Wychdusk’s alumni is an incredible honour. But what about those that don’t make the grade, that don’t have the talent or the family name to make it to this prestigious establishment? For them, there’s LOWBORN HIGH, a rundown inner-city comprehensive that is often struggling with funding, but its pupils can still be capable of some truly amazing feats…


FUTURE SHOCKS: INTO THE VOID

Script: Karl Stock / Art: Tom Newell / Colours: Barbara Nosenzo / Letters: Annie Parkhouse

Out in the vast reaches of the universe, there are an infinite number of stories waiting to be told. These cautionary tales pass from traveller to traveller in the spaceports and around campfires on distant planets, acquiring the status of legend, their shocking ends a salutory lesson in hubris. Anything is possible in these twisted trips into the galaxy’s dark side. Abandon your preconceptions, and expect the unexpected. Now, at some point in the future, the online world will become ever more sophisticated, allowing users to leave reality — or solidstate — behind and exist in an environment of nothing but memes and dreams…


SCOOTER & JINX: THE BIG, GRAND SOUFFLE OF NOTHING

Script: James Peaty / Art: Steve Roberts / Letters: Simon Bowland

Scooter Occultatum was working at Mondo’s Mektail Bar on Eco- Point when she encountered Jinx Calhoun, a rogue and a thief, who has more than enough secrets of his own and plenty of enemies with scores to settle. When gangsters came after them, keen to get their hands on something Jinx had stolen, the pair went on the run, Jinx discovering in the process that Scooter is in fact a Bone Machine, a highly lethal cybernetic organism. When Jinx was severely wounded, Scooter managed to save his life but lost her self-repairing functionality — and the two became bonded at a level neither them fully understands…


PANDORA PERFECT: FEED THE BIRD

Script: Roger Langridge / Art: Brett Parson / Letters: Simon Bowland

Earth, the far future. While the towering starscrapers and flying cars may make this look like some idealised Utopia, crime is still a major problem, and there’s no felon more wanted than the nefarious Pandora Perez — burglar, safe-cracker, armed bandit and all-round career criminal. Just when the authorities thought that they’d finally managed to incarcerate her, her loyal robot assistant Gort came to her rescue and succeeded in breaking her out of her cell. Despite being a wanted woman, Pandora’s still up to her usual confidence tricks, and now she’s looking to score a big payday by stealing some pills that increase the size of poultry…

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2000 AD Regened Prog 2280 is out now!

PROG 2280 out now

2000 AD‘s all-ages special Regened returns in Prog 2280 – out now from all good newsagents, comic book stores, and digitally from the 2000 AD webshop and app!

Joko-Jargo brings you another special all-ages edition of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic – precision-tooled to engage as inclusive an audience as possible!

And what a line-up — Cadets Dredd and Rico investigate med-supplies being released onto the streets in Red Medicine; skysurfer Chopper has a mystery of his own to unpick when Boingers start going missing in What Goes Up; there’s a complete Future Shock as household appliances become aware in Smart Home; the unruly Class Omega-Default IV (who first appeared in Prog 2130) return in The Unteachables; and Lowborn High makes its debut, showing where student wizards go that don’t manage to make it into the prestigious Wychdusk Manor academy!

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2000 AD Prog 2280 is out now from all good newsagents and comic book stores, plus digitally from our webshop and apps! Don’t forget that if you buy an issue of 2000 AD in the first week of its release then postage in the UK is free!

CADET DREDD: RED MEDICINE

  • Script: James Peaty
  • Art: Luke Horsman
  • Letters: Annie Parkhouse

THE UNTEACHABLES

  • Script: Karl Stock
  • Art: Xulia Vicente
  • Colours: Matt Soffe
  • Letters: Simon Bowland

FUTURE SHOCKS: SMART HOME

  • Script: Honor Vincent
  • Art: VV Glass
  • Letters: Annie Parkhouse

LOWBORN HIGH

  • Script: David Barnett
  • Art: Anna Morozova
  • Letters: Jim Campbell

CHOPPER: WHAT GOES UP⁣⁣⁣

  • Script: David Barnett
  • Art: Nick Roche
  • Colours: John Charles
  • Letters: Simon Bowland
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It’s all-ages Thrill-power overload with 2000 AD Regened Vol.3!

The critically acclaimed all-ages comic from 2000 AD returns – 2000 AD Regened Vol.3 is out now!

The galaxy’s favourite thrill-powered science fiction comic is back with another line up of electrifying stories aimed at all ages! Reimagined versions of classic 2000 AD characters like Judge Dredd, star alongside brand new characters, specially created for a younger audience.

In this, the third smashing volume, follow the action packed adventures of Cadet Dredd as he battles giant robots! Save the world from aliens with Judge Anderson! Meet the mightiest cat burglar of Mega-City One! Marvel at the brain-busting and jaw dropping Future Shocks! Plus, in an exclusive new strip, classic 2000 AD characters the Harlem Heroes return! 

Critically-acclaimed and loved by old and new fans alike, 2000 AD Regened storms into its third brilliant collection – prepare for Thrill-power overload, Earthlets everywhere!

ORDER 2000 AD Regened Vol.3

2000 AD WEBSHOP >>

HIVE.CO.UK >>

BOOKSHOP.ORG (UK) >>

BOOKSHOP.ORG (US) >>

AMAZON.CO.UK >>

AMAZON.COM >>

FIND YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORE >>

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Prepare for all-ages Thrill-power overload with 2000 AD Regened Vol.3!

The critically acclaimed all-ages comic from 2000 AD returns – 2000 AD Regened Vol.3 is available to pre-order now!

The galaxy’s favourite thrill-powered science fiction comic is back with another line up of electrifying stories aimed at all ages! Reimagined versions of classic 2000 AD characters like Judge Dredd, star alongside brand new characters, specially created for a younger audience.

In this, the third smashing volume, follow the action packed adventures of Cadet Dredd as he battles giant robots! Save the world from aliens with Judge Anderson! Meet the mightiest cat burglar of Mega-City One! Marvel at the brain-busting and jaw dropping Future Shocks! Plus, in an exclusive new strip, classic 2000 AD characters the Harlem Heroes return! 

Critically-acclaimed and loved by old and new fans alike, 2000 AD Regened storms into its third brilliant collection on 15 March. Prepare for Thrill-power overload, Earthlets everywhere!

PRE-ORDER 2000 AD Regened Vol.3

2000 AD WEBSHOP >>

HIVE.CO.UK >>

BOOKSHOP.ORG (UK) >>

BOOKSHOP.ORG (US) >>

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Interview: Enemy Earth, Eco-Peril, and why horror works for 2000 AD Regened!

It’s time to get Regened again, as the all-ages 2000 AD Prog 2256 lands on newsstands – featuring a new tale of Cadet Dredd, a particularly twisty and turny Time Twisters, the return of Middenface McNulty and his granny’s very special mutt, Dougal in Strontium Dug, and two completely new tales – Scooter & Jinx by James Peaty and Steve Roberts, and an eco-nightmare of a world turned against humanity in Enemy Earth by Cavan Scott and Luke Horsman.

And it was my pleasure to catch up with both Cavan Scott and Luke Horsman recently to talk about Enemy Earth

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So, Cavan, Luke, lovely to talk to you here – hopefully, both of you are keeping safe, sane, and well after the fun of these Covid times.

It’s nearly time for the final 2000 AD Regened Prog of the year – coming out on 3 November – 2000 AD Regened Prog 2256.

And inside, you’re bringing us a completely new strip – Enemy Earth.

With new strips, there’s very little for me to go on – so… what’s Enemy Earth all about. I’m assuming, given the title and the teaser art, we’re looking at some disaster future tale of an Earth where humanity is under threat… that sort of thing? Anywhere near?

CAVAN SCOTT: Bang on the money. Enemy Earth is a post-apocalyptic story that starts a number of years after the flora and fauna of earth has mutated, turning on the humans. Suddenly our home is trying to kill us in as many ways as possible. 

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And I’m assuming it’s something set away from existing 2000 AD worlds… not part of Dredd or Rogue Trooper or anything like that?

CS: That’s right. Something absolutely new. 

Is this something that was pitched, or did Matt or Keith come to you in particular for the strip?

CS: The idea originally came from Keith Richardson, who was the editor of 2000 AD Regened before it was folded into the main Prog. It dates back to August 2018 where I received a basic brief for the series and was asked to develop it as a three-parter, back when Regened was going to be a comic in its own right. I submitted the breakdown but it was shelved when Regened started individual takeover issues and I was asked to write Rogue Trooper instead. Fast forward to earlier this year and I came upon that breakdown and dropped Matt a line saying ‘you know, there’s still something in this…”

The big problem with new strips is always that it’s a hell of a lot of lead-in work for a one-off strip – although obviously there’s always the idea in the back of your heads (I’m sure) to structure it so there’s the possibility of returning to the world you’ve created.

CS: We’re definitely looking at this being the pilot for a new returning strip.

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Luke, does the new strip mean a shift in your art at all?

LUKE HORSMAN:  No shift in work at all from my side. 

Again, looking at the teaser image I have of it, I’m getting some sort of horror vibe of it all, or at least peril – but that’s something that I’ve always thought is absolutely essential for kids to experience.

LH: Oh, definitely some light-hearted peril, for sure.

I can remember loving all sorts of scary stuff as a kid – the Fighting Fantasy books, Dr Who on the TV, Alan Garner books, that sort of thing and I’m guessing you’re both of the same mind when it comes to giving the kids a damn good scare?

CS: Absolutely. I think Keith originally came to me because of the work I’d been doing writing all-age horror for Star Wars: Tales from Vader’s Castle, which is the annual Halloween event I’ve been writing for IDW for the last few years. We’ve been re-interpreting classic horror movies in the Star Wars galaxy – riffing on the Wicker Man with Ewoks for example, or turning Count Dooku into Count Dracula. Lucasfilm has allowed me to get quite scary in those, which is something we’re keen to do here too.

LH: I do love a good horror comic, and I certainly love adding a little darkness to a cartoon. Makes for some fun pages. 

And I suppose that feeds into 2000 AD as well? When it started off, we had the likes of 2000 AD, Action, Scream! and others all telling stories to kids and grown-ups alike.

But over the years it’s changed – the whole comics aren’t for kids thing that just went too far in so many ways, resulting in kids practically being excluded from comics.

CS: I couldn’t agree more. We need more gateway comics to ensure the future of fandom. It’s as simple as that. 

Luke’s lineart for page 1 of Enemy Earth

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So we have Regened bringing some of that original all-ages vibe back to 2000 AD.

With both of you having contributed to Regened Progs with Rogue Trooper & Anderson (Cavan), and Cadet Dredd, Action Pact, and Future Shocks (Luke), have you got some insights into the way that Regened has changed and shifted since that first Prog back in 2018 for FCBD?

Personally, I think it’s actually shifted quite a lot from a very all-ages thing, embracing a sort of Ben-10 vibe in some ways, to something that feels a little more edgy, a little darker, and willing to go into the sorts of territory that we read as kids (well, at least myself and Cavan – we’re a similar age – Luke, I think you’ve got the benefit of youth on us both!)

LH: Heh, if you call 40 youthful , I’ll take it!..  

Oh yes, when we’re looking closer at 50… it’s definitely youthful!

LH: I think Regened is definitely becoming a more varied series that everyone can enjoy. While I generally draw and enjoy fairly cartoony work, I like to think my style sits in the middle somewhere. 

CS: To be honest, my attitude has been the same throughout: to write scripts that are truly all-ages, ie. that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Sure, perhaps you dial back on some of the gore, but stories are stories no matter who you’re writing for. Kids don’t like to be talked down to when reading comics. They want stuff that is going to challenge them as well as entertain. That’s what I’ve been trying to do with my Regened stories. 

What were your own experiences of getting into comics as readers? 

CS: Like a lot of Brits, I started with the likes of Beano, Nutty, and Whizzer & Chips, before discovering the wealth of titles Marvel UK was putting out in the late 70s / early 80s. And, of course, it wasn’t long before I picked up things like 2000 AD and Scream!, the latter really leaning into my life-long love of horror and monsters. 

LH: The very first comics I read that I bought myself were issues of Commando. I loved absorbing those short war stories in those lovely little compact format books. Those and the Eagle & 2000 AD of course. 

The complete double-page line art by Luke for Enemy Earth – pages 2-3

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And how do you see the future of comics – do you think that the industry is moving into a good place for that future as far as engaging with younger readers?

CS: I think we’re seeing movement in the right direction, especially as traditional publishers have started to embrace graphic novels and, on the other side of the pond, more and more publishers launching middle grade and YA lines. DC has been doing a lot of great work in this area in particular, with junior versions of everything from Wonder Woman to John Constantine. But we need to push things further, making it easy for kids to get their hands on comics, which means that we also need to get schools, librarians, teachers, and book-sellers on board. 

LH: I think the industry is still very strong and the readership is very varied indeed. I work a lot in the Indie comics industry and I see a vast amount of books aimed at the full spectrum of ages. People can’t get enough of comics these days. I hope it continues. 

And with more Regened coming in 2022 and beyond – and of course the new Monster Fun comic, which I know you’re involved with, Cavan – what characters and strips would you love to play a part in bringing into either Regened or Monster Fun and delighting the kids with?

CS: Well, I’m really pleased to be writing Frankie Stein for Monster Fun, a character I loved as a kid and one I think will transfer well to modern readers too. As for Regened, well, I’m hoping that we’ll see Enemy Earth running for a while yet. 

More of Luke’s gorgeously tight line art for Enemy Earth

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Finally, what’s coming up for both of you?

LH: I’m currently working on another Cadet Dredd strip for a future Regened issue. Along with a myriad of indy books, Ennead: The Rule of Nine being one. An epic, high fantasy adventure romp.

CS: I’m currently writing Star Wars: The High Republic for Marvel, Titans United for DC and Shadow Service, my own creator-owned book for Vault. There are a few secret projects progressing in the background, both for the big two and more creator-owned work and I’m currently developing a number of television shows. 

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And with that, we had to let both Cavan and Luke get back to their work! After all, Tharg doesn’t allow the droids to take too much time away from slaving away over making great comics… although how he feels about both Luke and Cavan working on other strips… last we heard, he was marching down to the droid cells work-area muttering about how the 15 minutes a day they get for free-time was obviously being abused.

Thanks to Cavan and Luke for talking to us – hopefully Tharg will be merciful! Find out more from them at Cavan’s website and Twitter and Luke’s website and Twitter.

You can find the first episode of Enemy Earth in 2000 AD Regened Prog 2256 on the shelves in your local newsagents and comic shops, as well as in the 2000 AD web shop from 3 November.

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Interview: Who’s A Gud Boy? Talking Strontium Dug with David Baillie and Colin MacNeil

It’s the return of Joko-Jargo and Regened, Earthlets, bringing you the latest all-ages thrills for young and old when Regened 2000 AD Prog 2256 – out now! Inside, there’s fun a-plenty with Cadet Dredd, Time Twisters, plus two completely new tales in Scooter & Jinx by James Peaty and Steve Roberts and Enemy Earth by Cavan Scott and Luke Horsman.

But there’s also a very special reappearance (well, sort of) of a Strontium Dog character from the past – when we welcome back Middenface McNulty and his granny’s very special mutt, Dougal in Strontium Dug, written by David Baillie and with art from Colin MacNeil.

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So, David, Colin, lovely to talk to you – hopefully both of you are keeping safe, sane, and well after the fun of these Covid times.

DAVID BAILLIE: Always safe. Never sane, though – that way lies boredom!

It’s nearly time for the final 2000 AD Regened Prog of the year – coming out on 3 October – 2000 AD Regened Prog 2256. And inside, you’re bringing us a strip I don’t think anyone imagined would ever happen – Strontium Dug, with Middenface McNulty‘s pup on the case – ‘dogged in pursuit of the galaxy’s criminals.’

So… what? why? Give us all you can of what we can expect from Strontium Dug?

DB: If you don’t mind, I’ll respond to this question in the voice of the Strontium Dug himself:

Woof! Ruff, ruff — grrrrr! Owwww… Ruff ruff woof!

Hope that clears that up.

But of course it does!

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Middenface has had a couple of ‘Dugs’ over the years, as far as I can remember – Dougal the Dug, who died in tragic SD circumstances, and his littermate, Black Boab. This new Dug? Is he a littermate? a rebooted original? an alt-reality mutt?

DB: Well if Middenface’s granny is to be believed, this Dougal, Dougal IX, is a clone of the original Black Boab. The IX in his name even suggests a long line of canine tragedies since we met that guy. But our story also suggests that pretty much everything Middenface’s granny says is to be taken with a pinch of salt, so feel free to disbelieve her… At your own risk!

Colin – did you take inspiration from those previous iterations – either Simon Harrison or John McCrea’s bundle of rather violent and snapping black fur and teeth?

Colin MacNeil: No, this one’s all mine! The script was already written when I came on board, so the dog had to be designed to fit the strip. If I’d been involved at an earlier stage, then the dog could have certainly been a lot different, but then the story would have been different too. Just as in real life, it’s all about the right dog for the right job.

The generations of Dug…
from left to right – art by Simon Harrison (from ‘The No-Go Job’ Progs 580-587, 1988),
John McCrea (from ‘Wan Man an’ His Dug’ Judge Dredd Megazine 1.15-1.20, 1991–1992),
and Colin MacNeil (right here, right now!)

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David, is this something that was pitched, or did Matt come to you in particular for the strip?

DB: The idea was born late one night a few years ago. I was in Turkey scripting a film with my occasional co-writer Dan Lester (Prog 1932, fact fans!). Between mammoth Fade In sessions one night, over a bottle of Turkish moonshine, we took turns coming up with ridiculous story ideas.

I proposed Strontium Dog‘s Dog – and rattled off a quick plot for what could happen if, instead of Johnny Alpha bounty hunting, it was his dog that tracked down the bad guys. We laughed, then I stopped laughing, wrote it in my notebook – and waited for Tharg to ask if I had any ideas.

David – you’ve become something of the go-to guy with Strontium Dog adjacent Regened strips now, with The Trouble With Gronks (read the interview on that one here) and now this!

DB: Huh – I hadn’t actually noticed that. I’m a huge Strontium Dog nerd (although not as nerdy as I thought I was – see later in the interview!) and will wrestle any other writer to work in that universe. Any! Even if Stone Cold Steve Austen starts writing for 2000 AD!

So, next up? Young Middenface perhaps?

DB: I’d love to do a Young Middenface story, now you mention it. Wait – if I write one now, do I owe you some sort of inspiration fee?

Oh yes, yes you do. I’ll take it in MC-1 credits.

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Actually, thinking about that, so far in the Regened Progs we’ve only really seen Johnny Alpha as a young kid, up until the point he gets to become a Strontium Dog. But with Dug, and maybe Middenface, are we getting the first glimpses of an older set of Strontium Dogs inside the world of Regened.

DB: In this story we see Middenface at his usual vintage – grown up and grumpy. I’ve been treating our Regened stories as being in regular continuity, so it wasn’t breaking any (of my own) rules using him here.

Is it a more recognisable Strontium Dog setting, maybe with the Dog House? Or is it something that stands very much on its own?

DB: This tale takes place on Evan’s World, named for the sadly-missed creator and editor Dave Evans, BOLT-01. It is, according to the script I have in front of me, “A wee artificial planetoid just ootside the Kuiper Belt.”

That’s a wonderful little touch and a fine tribute to a much-missed name in 2000 AD history.

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When you’re dealing with these established characters in the new Regened setting – is there any sort of playbook for dealing with the Regened versions of the characters?

DB: Quite the reverse – I’ve been careful not to contradict regular continuity, so that we can shift from one mode to the other, simply by either inserting or removing exploding brains from a couple of panels. (I can’t believe you tricked me into giving away my Regened writing formula!)

And would it be something you could see working as a Regened strip, a full-on Strontium Dog or Strontium Dug series Regened style?

DB: The further adventures of Strontium Dug would definitely still work without the Regened tag. We’d just have more exploding brains.

But as for more Regened Stront action – Alec Worley and Ben Wilsher’s Young John Alpha story in the very first Regened is absolutely perfect. I rave about it whenever I can, and it turns out this is yet another opportunity to do just that. (Track it down if you haven’t read it!) I would read a million Young Strontium Dog stories by that team!

If you want to track down that Worley and Wilsher Johnny Alpha, Earthlets, and you should, it’s in the first Regened collection – available at the 2000 AD web shop!

I’d imagine the classic bounty hunter/cowboys in space aspect of it would work extremely well for an all-ages readership.

DB: It’s certainly the sort of stuff I loved when I was a youngster. (I think I read my first classic Strontium Dog when I was six or seven – what better age to marvel at the many horrors of The Slavers of Drule?)

Or perhaps there’s a series of Dug strips in planning stages right now?

DB: Colin and I have certainly discussed the potential for more Dougal IX! We’ll see…

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Now, perhaps most importantly of all – David, did you finally manage to get Victoria Coren Mitchell into the pages here? Or do we have to wait for that momentous event in some future Baillie scripted strip?

DB: She was in the script! My mentioning her the last time we spoke was an elaborate attempt at setting up a joke. The punchline was going to be a statue of her in the Solenoid Casino, where this story takes place. For reasons of clarity, and space – and definitely nothing to do with the restraining order you hinted at in our last interview! – Colin didn’t get a chance to draw said statue.

Aside from presenting the greatest quiz show of all time (Only Connect) Victoria is also the only poker player to have won two European Tour championships. So it makes perfect sense they’d have a solid gold statue of her in a futuristic space casino. Now please, Ms Coren Mitchell, if you’re reading this: can you ask your lawyers to leave me alone?

Yes, and talking of that last time we chatted, about your Chopper strip in the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 2021, you mentioned you were working on something ‘for an upcoming Regened Prog starring a very familiar face, to be drawn by a firm fan favourite artist, who I’ve worshipped since I was a nipper‘ – I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that Strontium Dug is the familiar face and Colin MacNeil is the artist you’ve worshipped since you were a nipper?

DB: Yup! I spent hours studying Colin’s art as a teenager – especially classic tales like Top Dogs in the 1991 annual and Song of the Surfer in the Prog. When I was at uni, a friend told me that she was Colin’s cousin and I was honestly speechless for about twenty minutes. How could Colin MacNeil be human?!! Oh how she laughed, as I clutched by Tesco bag full of recently purchased 2000 AD back issues. (This is actually true – I went round to hers for tea after buying a bunch of old 2000 ADs at Double Zero comics in Edinburgh!)

Oh – and a prize to anyone who can tell me where Double Zero got its name. I’ll give you a clue, it’s a Dredd reference!

And you can get hold of David at his Twitter to claim your prize!

DB: I just saw the coloured pages the other day and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Chris Blythe and Simon Bowland have worked wonders, as always. As ever, I cannae believe my luck.

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Colin, did you make any changes to your usual process for the Regened strip?

CM: When I got the script I noticed there were a number of technical details in the script that were incorrect that needed sorting first. Tharg put me in touch with David so we could sort it out together. Once that was done, then I got on with drawing it as per normal. I did make an effort to try and keep the images bright, as opposed to the normal heavy blacks of my latest drawing style. I think this strip was a reasonable first effort, but I’m definitely looking forward to doing more and making it better.

DB: Yeah – I thought I was the ultimate Strontium Nerd and assumed I wouldn’t need to Google any Strontium details. I was using a Time Trap (in a now deleted scene) like a Time Drogue, and Colin spotted my mistake immediately! I’d also been suffering under the misapprehension all these years that the Lifewire (standard SD kit) was electrified. Carlos always drew it surrounded by wee ‘spiky’ lines (emenata) in his brilliant tech-demo montage sequences. Looking at those panels again with 40-something-year-old eyes, it’s clear that was just his way of conveying how sharp the monofilament is.

These technical hiccups actually helped, because they got myself and Colin talking on the phone, and after a great couple of chats we moulded our Strontium Dug tale into a far better story.

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With both Regened and the new Monster Fun series in 2022, we’re seeing Rebellion and 2000 AD more engaged with kids than ever, grabbing them on two fronts now – sci-fi and humour. What were your own experiences of getting into comics as readers?

CM: Comics were a normal part of life for kids in the early 70’s. I was no different. I read Twinkle when very young, soon progressing on to the likes of Sparky, Topper, Dandy, then Hotspur, Victor, Warlord, Action and finally 2000 AD in 1977.

DB: Those early 80s black and white Marvel UK reprints. Stan and Jack X-Men and Thor, Spider-Man Weekly and then Transformers (also Marvel UK). I talked with Nick Roche and Mike Molcher on the Thrillcast recently about this – pretty much every British comic reader born between 1976 and 1980 adored the Transformers comic. No one outside of that very narrow age bracket would believe just how good a weekly comic based on a toy licence could be. Simon Furman deserves some sort of prestigious award for achieving the seemingly impossible!

And how do you see the future of comics – do you think that the industry is moving into a good place for that future as far as engaging with younger readers?

DB: I’ve been lucky enough to see lots of youngsters pick up their first comics in the last few years. It’s absolutely electrifying watching their faces light up as they realise they’ve discovered a whole new world. I think we’ll be okay.

Finally, what’s coming up for both of you?

CM: A new John Wagner strip for the Megazine.

Oh yes! More from you and John is always the best news for the fans!

DB: I’ve been kept away from comics this year by a couple of TV projects, but I’m determined to get back in the saddle ASAP. I have a mini-series with wunderkind artist Conor Boyle that we’re hoping to finish soon, something in the pipeline with another regular 2000 AD collaborator, also for the Americans – and I have an idea that I’m just about to send to The Mighty One, that I think will melt the eyeballs of Squaxx Dek Thargo all around the world.

And any news on the Red Thorn TV series that got optioned, David? (Yeah, I know, loads of NDAs! But I figure I’d keep asking in case there’s more you can tell us!)

DB: I imagine that if any such Non Disclosure Agreement existed, it would contractually forbid me from confirming its existence. That’s the sort of  Möbian logic knot that I love putting in my own stories. All I can really say (Can I? I don’t know…) is that some pretty big names have read the Red Thorn comics and love what Meghan Hetrick and I did in them.

Tease!

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Thanks to both David and Colin for chatting with us. Their Strontium Dug can be found, being a very, very gud boy indeed, in 2000 AD Regened Prog 2256. It’s out from 3 November, in all gud comic shops, newsagents, and the 2000 AD web shop.

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Interview: an all-Ages True Romance?

The new all-ages 2000 AD Regened is out now – featuring the all-new strip, Scooter & Jinx – and we talk to the creative team behind this new series, James Peaty and Steve Roberts!

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So, James, Steve, lovely to talk to you here – In fact, it’s the first time I’ve properly spoken to you at length Steve, although we did chat about your cover for 2000 AD Regened Prog 2246 recently in Covers Uncovered (right here).

Hopefully both of you are keeping safe, sane, and well after well, you know…

JAMES PEATY: Safe? Keeping out of trouble! Well? Touch wood! Sane? This is an open question…

Inside the last Regened Prog of 2021, you’re bringing us a completely new strip – Scooter & Jinx. So, first things first… what’s Scooter & Jinx all about?

JP: Scooter & Jinx is an outer space riff on that tried and tested genre staple: the odd couple on the lam. So there’s a bit of True Romance, Thelma & Louise with a dash of The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man. But unlike those stories our ‘road’ is the farthest reaches of the galaxy and our ‘odd couple’ are a golden alien war machine and a rascally anthropomorphic cat burglar.

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JP: It’s a new strip so not based on anything pre-existing within 2000AD. The title and the basic idea is one I’ve had for a long time, but I wasn’t 100% sure what to do with it. But when Matt asked if I’d like to pitch something for the next Regened issue a lightbulb went off and I thought this might be the right place for it. Luckily, Matt agreed! Matt’s big contribution was to say: ‘Make it more alien’, so we ran with that. Steve especially!

The big problem with new strips is that it’s a hell of a lot of lead-in work for a one-off strip – although obviously there’s always the idea in the back of your heads (I’m sure) to structure it so there’s the possibility of returning to the world you’ve created.

JP: Definitely. These sort of strips are very much ‘pilot episodes’ if you like, so you want to end on a note where there’s a possibility of more stories over the horizon. But at the same time, the initial story itself has to work on its own terms. I think we’ve managed to do that. A LOT happens in 10 pages.

But in terms of prep work – as I said, I had the two main characters in mind from the start and a general direction, but a lot of it unfolds in the telling. And you respond to the artwork. I have some ideas about where it’ll go, but just looking at Steve’s work gets you thinking in a hundred different directions. I’ve recently been rewatching The Sopranos and it’s interesting watching the pilot again. Clearly, a lot of what the show would be was in David Chase’s mind already, but so much of it clearly isn’t. Same with Twin Peaks. I think both those shows are tonally certain from the start, but also narratively open. So that’s kind of what we were trying to do here. Suggest a world beyond the frame, but don’t be a prisoner to any preconceived notions. 

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Steve, how did you come onto Scooter & Jinx?

STEVE ROBERTS: After completing the Future Shock for Regened, I got in contact with Matt to enquire about the possibility of doing something else for the comic and I was really pleased when he sent over the Scooter and Jinx script. I really enjoyed the story and characters and liked the idea of illustrating a longer 10 page story.

I’d definitely like to do more Scooter and Jinx, they’re great to draw! But I’ve also got a perfectionist streak so I would love to have another go at developing them and their world a bit more. There are things I would like to do a bit differently if I could. I’ve always wanted to draw a full-on Sci-Fi story starring loads of aliens and absolutely no humans!

The world James had created seemed very solid and fully formed on the page.I really wanted to get straight into doing the rough page layouts as soon as possible.

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Jinx was described as cat-like in the script. I sketched him a lot. Lots of thumbnails as he wasn’t looking right. A bit too ‘cool’. I think he ended up looking a bit Lynx-like. He was also described in the script as possibly being a bit like Nicholas Cage. I tried to bring a bit of Cage to the design but I’m not sure anybody would see that but me! Scooter was a bit easier to design.Her clothes were meant to be quite 50’s inspired. I don’t think I quite got that as I would have liked but I was pleased with the design in the end. I did a lot of the design work was I roughed out the page layouts actually which is quite unusual. I think the clarity of the story helped.I would like to draw them again as every time you draw a character you get more of a handle on them.

Steve, your particular 2000 AD story is one of breaking through in 2002 with work on Sinister Dexter, at least I think that was it?

SR: It was Sinister Dexter, yeah. It feels a long time ago now. It was all very new to me but I remember being over the moon to be drawing something for 2000 AD at last after a couple of years sending in sample artwork. The stories were great but challenging when you haven’t drawn comics for publication before. I do slightly wince when I see my art on those early strips now. Some things were ok but others were a bit off! They are great characters but I’m not sure I got it right. I’m not sure I could draw their world convincingly but it was fun.

And it all started off with Simon Davis I believe?

SR: I had finished my time in further education and I had spent most of the four years at college obsessed with the idea of doing comics. I was very single minded. Maybe a bit close minded really looking back. I could have possibly got more out of art college if I had been more interested in discovering other things. I got more interested in other subjects as I went along I think and some non-comics stuff did eventually sink in. After college I was a bit lost without the structure of education but still very committed to getting into 2000 AD. Simon kindly agreed to have a look through my portfolio, way before I got anything in print and he advised me. He gave lots of invaluable tips and gave me the confidence to keep sending sample art into 2000 AD until eventually I got in the comic. It was really great of him to help me out like that.

We’ve been friends ever since. I used to go over and work in his studio for a while which was always fun. Lots of tea and listening to bad radio plays whilst working. Very rock n’ roll. Most enjoyable times!

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You worked at 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine until about 2010, one of only a few artists doing the more (for want of a better phrase) cartoony style, when the vogue was for more serious stylings. You also co-created, with Si Spurrier, the comedy strip Bec and Kawl, another rarity in 2000 AD. There was also your work on the final series of Banzai Battalion, picking up the artistic reins from Cam Kennedy, Ian Gibson, and Henry Flint. And on top of all that, you also brought your stylings to Judge Dredd in the Metro newspaper.

But, after co-creating another comedy, Black Atlantic, this time with Dan Abnett, for the Megazine, and altering your style hugely for the black and white Angel Gang, again with Si Spurrier, you disappeared from the pages of both the Prog and the Meg.

SR: Well, I believe 2000 AD, as an anthology, has always had more light hearted strips illustrated in a more ‘cartoony style’.

I loved those as a kid. I loved Ian Gibsons work and ACE Trucking of course. I was also into the comics other than so my style of drawing was just naturally cartoony I guess. That was the style I found the most enjoyable to draw in. My favourite comic as a kid was Asterix and also read Whizzer and Chips a lot. I liked drawing cartoons. Luckily I managed to find a place in the comic.

I really loved working with Si on Bec and Kawl. It was a very relaxed collaborative experience. His stories were excellent to work from and gave me so many great things to illustrate I really did get to draw anything I’d always wanted to. We’d have great chats about ideas on the phone and then off it went! I know some readers really didn’t like the strip but I’m fond of Bec and Kawl and still occasionally doodle them when I should drawing something else.

Banzai Battalion was really enjoyable too. I was a bit nervous about that one though. Working from a John Wagner script and of course lot of brilliant artists had worked on it in the past. I didn’t want to mess it up! I was actually relatively satisfied with the end result!

I think it was onto the Angel Gang stories with Si after that and thought I would challenge myself by trying a grittier style. I thought I would give it a go! Which really, just meant me adding more moody shadow and pen lines. In the end, I came to the conclusion that I preferred trying to make the art as immediate and clear as possible. I’d rather that than every panel looking like a standalone illustration which doesn’t help the story flow. I returned to a more cartoony style on Black Atlantic which was a series I would have liked to have drawn more of, but it wasn’t to be. They were great, funny adventure stories which is what I like to draw.

So, where did you go from there?

Over the years, I’d discovered Ghibli films and Krazy Kat and The Moomins and had fond memories of the TV series that Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin had produced. I started to enjoy drawing characters and comics that were for a younger audience. Really embracing the ‘cartoony’ I guess! Very few people saw these comics as they were just attempts at writing and drawing my own stuff and I was a bit self-conscious about them. I have always loved animation and back in college I had briefly thought about trying to become an animator but it was comics that won out.

I did start to lose my drive with comics a little over time though and then I watched an animated film called Belleville Rendezvous. I loved it and was so blown away that I decided I wanted to try and get involved in animation in some way even if it wasn’t as an animator. I did some enjoyable design work for an animation company called Slinky Pics which included designing a large silly city destroying stop frame animated monster for an advert. I loved it.

Then I applied for a job at Ragdoll Productions. Ragdoll was the company that created the TellyTubbies and In the Night Garden amongst many other classic shows including the fantastic Pob!

I was chuffed to get the job and before long found myself co-creating and writing 50 episodes of a 2D animated show called Dipdap which was shown on the BBC’s CBeebies. I really learned on the job and thoroughly enjoyed working with a small team of very talented animators. Dipdap went on to win a Childrens BAFTA award . During my time at Ragdoll I was also part of the writing team and a storyboard artist on the series The Adventures of Abney and Teal which was created by Joel Stewart. I was also Lead Creative and writer on Twirlywoos. This series was a mixture of live action and stop framed animated and there were 100 episodes. To be involved in a stop frame show was a dream come true as I had always loved the technique going back to Bagpuss, The Clangers, and Morph. I collaborated with Joel Stewart again on the 2D animated series B.O.T. and the Beasties which was a great show to work on. When BOT and the Beasties came to an end I was back in the world of illustration.

A rather successful (to say the least) career outside comics indeed! I think you’re the only art droid to have ever won a Bafta! Tharg must be very proud!

Steve Roberts’ roughs for Scooter & Jinx page 1

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Now, the obvious question really is what brought you back in? I think your first returning work was that cover and the Future Shock strip in Prog 2246? Had you simply had enough of the fame and fortune afforded you in film and TV?

SR: I had never lost my interest in comics and I hoped that the years of storyboarding for TV may have helped me develop my skills further. When I saw the 2000 AD had started its own all ages version of the comic I had to get in touch to see if there was the possibility of getting involved.

And are you firmly settled back into comics now? Was it a weird thing to come back to them or have you always kept your hand in?

SR: I was a bit nervous drawing comics for 2000 AD again after such a long break but my confidence built as I went along. It felt like I slotted back into drawing comics again in a relatively stress free-way which was a relief – there wasn’t too much overthinking! – and I really enjoyed it.

And the Roberts roughs for Scooter & Jinx page 2

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James, this is your first visit to the world of Regened – any particular changes in the writing style for a new all-ages appeal strip?

JP: Yes, it’s my first Regened issue, but I’ve written a lot of all-ages stuff in the past. I did quite a lot of Marvel Heroes strips for Panini about 10 years ago, while I also wrote several issues of The Batman Strikes and Justice League Unlimited for DC around the same time. It’s been a while, but I like writing for that all-ages audience as the storytelling has to be very pure and direct. I’d say a bigger change is that you’re doing a 10 page, done-in-one story. That’s an odd length for 2000 AD, so you have to adjust to that.

With both Regened and the new Monster Fun series in 2022, we’re seeing Rebellion and 2000 AD going after the all-ages and kids readership like never before – what were your own experiences of getting into comics as readers?

JP: My experience of getting into comics as a kid was through re-runs of the Batman TV show in the late 70s. Because I loved that show my godmother bought me a collection of Batman strips from the 1930s to the 1970s as a Xmas present one year. Those reprints were the first comics I can remember reading. I must’ve been about 3 and a half, I guess?!? Those were great and I loved them, but the first comics I read regularly were British comics. I remember Speed issue 1 being the first comic I ever bought as it was advertised on TV. And then when it merged with Tiger I became a Tiger reader. Which meant I also started becoming aware of Roy of the Rovers, Eagle, Buster, Battle, and Scream!. I bought all of those throughout my primary school years, but then around 10 years old I started getting the Marvel UK titles such as Transformers, Action Force, Secret Wars, and Spider-Man & Zoids. I only started reading 2000 AD when I got into American comics when I went to secondary school around 1987/88. The point of this longwinded answer being: there was a conveyor belt of comics for you to ‘age up’ with. When you look back it really was a very special time to be a comics reading kid!

And how do you see the future of comics – do you think that the industry is moving into a good place for that future as far as engaging with younger readers?

SR: I think a version of the comic that can be enjoyed by younger readers is a brilliant idea. It’s also really pleasing to see Monster Fun on the shelves too. I got the issue that was released the other week and was laughing out loud! There seem to be a lot more comics for kids around these days and the quality is very high which is very heartening indeed.

JP: Well, I think the fact that more and more publishers are finally trying to engage that audience is a good thing. I do think there is a market/audience out there that isn’t just a graphic novel audience, but you need to be savvy with your content and format to make it work for you. But I think Rebellion’s moves into this area with the Regened issues and now Monster Fun are very exciting.

With more Regened and the new Monster Fun coming up in 2022 – what characters and strips would you love to play a part in bringing into either comic and delighting the kids with?

JP: I’ve just written a Cadet Dredd story for one of the 2022 Regened progs, which I loved doing. I’d love to have another crack at Dredd in the future. Maybe Strontium Dog? I’d love to write a Portrait of a Mutant era Johnny Alpha story.  As for Monster Fun: well, who doesn’t love Faceache!

And finally – Steve Roberts’ roughs for Scooter & Jinx page 3

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Finally, what’s coming up for both of you?

SR: In the future I plan to do more comics and I would like to illustrate children picture books too and possibly exhibit the non-illustrative drawings that I make when I get time. I’m also keen to continue working in TV and animation.

I’m currently working on an all ages comic with my friend Joel Stewart .Our collaboration with on Abney and Teal and B.O.T. and the Beasties was really enjoyable and we’ve spent a lot of time talking about comics over the years so we’ve decided to make one together. I can’t go into too many details at the mo but I’m really enjoying working on it.

JP: Apart from that Cadet Dredd, I have the final books of both Skip Tracer and Diamond Dogs coming to both 2000 AD and the Megazine in 2022.  Hopefully more Scooter & Jinx too!

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Thanks so much to both James and Steve for talking to us about Scooter & Jinx!

Make sure you catch up with their adventures in 2000 AD Regened Prog 2256 – out on 3 November from everywhere comics are sold, including the 2000 AD web shop!

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The greatest all-ages comic in the cosmos – 2000 AD Regened Vol.2 is out now!

It’s the thrill-powered collection for Earthlets of all ages – 2000 AD Regened Vol.2 is out now!!

The hit science-fiction spectacular returns with even more hilarious, mind-bending and action packed adventures!

The ideal comic for readers of all ages, featuring reimagined versions of your favourite 2000 AD characters – like Judge Dredd, Judge Anderson, and Johnny Alpha – alongside brand new specially-created characters, 2000 AD Regened is the hit comic that’s setting the cosmos alight!

Whether it’s the anti-hero Cadet Dredd and his clone brother Rico, psychic investigator Judge Anderson, futuristic criminal, terrible babysitter and all-round ban ‘un Pandora Perfect, ghostbusting duo Finder and Keeper, or the multitudinous world of Future Shocks – you’ll find all this and more in the second volume of 2000 AD’s celebrated series of all-ages sci-ficomic!

“The 2000 AD Regened collection is perfect for younger readers who are getting into the comic medium, or moving on from the Beano.” – GEEK CULTURE REVIEW

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Neil Googe gets Regened on video!

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 time to hand over the reins of the Galaxy’s Greatest to Tharg’s nephew, Joko Jargo, bringing you all the best of all-ages wonder with the latest 2000 AD Regened action, in Prog 2233, coming your way on 26 May, from wherever you get your Thrill Power – including the 2000 AD web shop!

Look for the Zarjaz cover by the incredibly talented Art Droid Neil Googe, who sat down with us to share the making of this here cover…

Inside, you’re going to be enjoying the Scrotnig delights of a new Cadet Dredd, a new Future Shock, more from everyone’s favourite light-fingered nanny, Pandora Perfect, and the continuing tales of both Anderson, Psi-Division and Department K!

But now… over to Neil for his Covers Uncovered! And it’s a little different this time, as Neil sent over two beautiful looking finished cover versions, pre-colours, as well as a great video of his entire making a cover process!

First, those two covers…

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NEIL GOOGE: Howdy all…

Neil here. Joko’s asked me to briefly talk about how I go about putting one of these covers together. First, lets talk about some basics. I work almost entirely on an 12.9 iPad Pro, using Clip Studio paint (CSP).

I work print size, at 600dpi, which basically means I am working double size, as most stuff gets printed around the 300dpi mark, a relatively standard practice for comics as this makes for a crisper linework image.

The reason I work print size, but double the resolution, rather than a traditional method of working double-sized print resolution, is because CSP has a “view print size” button. This means it displays on-screen exactly the size it would be in print regardless of resolution. If I worked double size regular resolution, it would show me the image twice the size of print.

Being able to see the image exactly as it would be in print is a huge help for me and something I always struggled with when working traditionally. To the point where a huge amount of my traditional originals are drawn print size using tiny pens… Yep… I used to do that!

Screenshot from Neil’s timelapse video – with backgrounds and rough images

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Okay, next… As you’ll see in the video, the time-lapse starts at a point where there’s a background and a real rough image, that’s because… I draw my real roughs tiny, from there I build the background as a 3D model in SketchUp (more on that later), then place that and the rough together on my working size canvas and then get to work.

From this point, the process is very similar to traditional, except its a lot messier. This is because I can hide the pencils, erase, have multiple pencil layers and ink layers etc. But the process is the same as the way I used to work. Even on paper, after a real rough is done, I actually pencil and ink as I go, rather than pencil the image then ink it. It’s kind of like one process for me, not two separate ones.

Adding in the layers to the Dredd figure

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I keep all the elements on separate layers, so Dredd, perps, backgrounds etc. etc. This makes it easier to make adjustments as the image progresses, tiny movements, scaling, transforms etc.etc. This is also because I use a few tricks, that require things to be on separate layers. But that’s an entire write-up on its own… and I am already waffling on!

As you’ll also see here, I also work important to least important in an image, it helps me keep the focus on the image, and, if deadlines get tight, at least the core focus of a piece is done. So Dredd gets done first, then perps, then backgrounds…

Going back to the backgrounds layer

So I was going to talk about SketchUp and how I use it in my workflow, but quite honestly, that’s a series of posts and videos on its own… so… Here’s a brief breakdown – I also use SketchUp. It’s an invaluable tool when used right, especially for comics. I also use a handful of other 3d apps, and CSP has its own built-in figure posing tool. One app I use in this image is called Handy… I wonder if you can tell at what point I used Handy?

Okay… there we have it, a Cadet Dredd cover done…all that’s needed now is for another of the Tharglings to color it, Gary Caldwell colored this one, and it’s ready to be released as a heavy does of thrillpower for your eyeballs.

Any questions, you can reach me on all the socials, my web site and I do have a youtube channel coming, but right now… yeah… you’ll see.
Thanks all… Hope this helps oh mighty Tharg’s nephew… I did warn you I talk nonsense, and have about the most unprofessional workflow of any of your Tharglings.

Thank you to Neil for sending all that along both the images and that great video – what a star he is! Joko’s mentioned you in dispatches to Tharg, so maybe you’ll get double rations this week down in the Droid zone!

Look for that cover on shelves and in the 2000 AD web shop from 26 May! All the Regened action just bursting out of the Prog!

Now… the full-sized images from Neil’s cover –

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OUT NOW: the new 2000 AD Regened collection!

“Something for everyone with a stellar line-up of talent on some of the biggest characters in comics” – The Comics Beat

“It’s great to see Rebellion do something new… especially with young women & people of colour front and centre in their character line-up …packed with talented creators and original stories.” – Comics the Gathering

The first collection of 2000 AD Regened is out now! Grab the all-ages graphic novel that’s packed with splendid comic strips and mind-bending stories!

From beyond the stars comes a brand new collection bursting with thrills, action and fun! There are puzzles, features and stories starring all-ages versions of classic 2000 AD characters such as mutant bounty hunter Strontium Dog, super soldier Rogue Trooper, psychic detective Judge Anderson, and Cadet Dredd, the toughest cop in the Big Meg, who stars in four action packed crime stories, including the brand new strip ‘Coming to America’!

There’s brand new stories from ghost-hunters Finder & Keeper, D.R. & Quinch, cuddly-but-jumpy alien The Gronk, and gross-out gang the Intestinauts, plus you can dive into frightening futures and scintillating sci-fi with Future Shocks!

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