I was absolutely delighted to see that the cover of Prog 2051 was painted by verteran artdroid and all round good egg, David Millgate. The artist has been working for the galaxy’s greatest comic for over twenty two years and, among many other things, is responsible for co-creating one of Tharg’s most popular thrills, Sinister Dexter. Dave has always been a fan of Judge Dredd so it was great to see him return to painting MegaCity One’s most famous lawman!
Dave was keen to tell us about returning to his spiritual home, he said “I was kindly invited by Rebellion to attend the 2000AD 40th Anniversary show this year. I decided it would be cool to paint a new Dredd piece, but I certainly wasn’t thinking ‘front cover’ at this point.To be honest the whole thing was kind of done just flying by the seat-of-my-pants. It was more a case of…”Oh no! Now I need something new to display on my creators table!”
“I decided to sketch Dredd from a lowish angle, to make him look iconic. I had no idea what kind of background I was going to put behind him either. Once I had the prelim sketch done my initial idea was to do some generic Mega-Cityscape as a backdrop, but the moment I start thinking words like ‘generic’ I get worried that I’m not trying hard enough, or maybe I’m just copping-out?” (Cop-ping out! Ha! Geddit? No? Just me then… P-Wls)
He’s got no pants on…
David continues “I’d done a couple of other Dredd paintings using an old film-noir lighting effect where the character was illuminated by rays of light streaming in through venetian blinds. I thought that technique would lend itself to the new sketch I’d done, so I just went with that!”
That time Joe accidentally stick the pin in his chest…
“My name… is Judge Dredd… and I… am a nosey neighbour!”
David continues “I like the way the light creates those stripes across Dredd’s chin and the way it picks out the colours of his Judge’s uniform. On reflection, it almost looks as if there’s the faint hint of a smile or a smirk on his face, but if he is smiling (?) he’s smiling in the same way the Mona-Lisa isn’t!”
Old Moany Face!
“I was thrilled when Tharg decided to use it as a 2000AD cover. It worked out great!”
Gruddammit Dave, we were too! It’s a fantastic cover, he’s hoping the mighty one cranks up the Millgate droid again soon. I’d love to see him return to Sinister Dexter…