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2000AD Covers Uncovered – Buy Megdrex Toilet Tissue!

Prog 2040 see’s Dredd battling the Undead as he takes on a fearsome Mummy! 

Who better than well known Mummy’s boy Neil Roberts to come up with the goods for an awesome cover? Over to Neil to tell us more… 

“First off was the brief from Tharg, he wanted “Dredd/ Mummy – his face is dessicated/ mummified and his bandages are unwrapping.” I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the general idea. Then I sketched up some thumbnails:”

Dredd HATED wrapping Vienna’s Christmas presents…

“Above: Idea #1, my first response to the brief, trying to get all the elements into the composition…”

The Academy tradition of wrapping newbies up in toilet roll and flushing their heads down the lavvy.

“Above: Idea #2, riffing on my initial thoughts, playing with colours, background and pose.”

“Let’s do the Timewarp agaiiiiiiin!”

“Above: Idea #3, trying something a bit different, but maintaining the required elements.
I mailed those to Tharg, who requested a revised version of Idea #2, with a more direct gaze at the reader. So, I quickly drew another thumbnail…:”

The state parcels marked ‘Fragile’ arrive at your house, when sent by certain postal companies…

“…which Tharg approved! Then I was off – painting Dredd-as-a-Mummy! So, here’s the finished piece:”

(King) Tut tut Dredd. Just too wrapped up in yourself…

“And… that’s a wrap! Geddit? Wrap? Mummies? Bandages? No? Bah, I’m sticking to painting…”

Pyramid sized thanks to Neil for sending the images, it’s always wonderful to see his work on the Prog!

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2000AD Covers Uncovered – “‘Tis But a Flesh Wound!”

Super artdroid Neil Roberts paints us an awesome cover for Prog 2014 for time bending strip, The Order. In the strip, the mighty Medieval droid Ritterstahl must save his future self in 1641 in the era expanding War of the Wyrms!

Neil is amazingly proficient artist on the computer however for this cover, like his other Order covers, he chose lush, fully painted artwork. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s is to die for.

I asked Neil to take us through the creation of the cover, he said “For this particular cover Tharg suggested I start off with the key moment from Kek-W and John M Burns’ strip…”

“Alas, poor Ritterstahl, I knew him so well.”

Neil continues “From there I started looking at some artwork as inspiration, in this case, Dave Gibbons classic Prog 175 robot cover. I mean, c’mon! Just look at that draughtsmanship, the lighting and colour palette – sooooo lovely!”

My Other Ride is a Gaaarglespladger

“And also Wally Wood, for his solid rendering of robots…”

Wally’s cockroach problem was getting out of hand so he called in Robokill.

“Then I drew up a thumbnail based on all those elements – I wanted to go for something more contemplative and still, rather than full-on action. That’s one of 2000AD’s greatest strengths, it has that freedom to explore many different moods and styles…”

Oof, you’ll get piles sitting on that cold rock…

“Once approved, I spent a few days painting up the final piece…”

“Hey there future self, you’ve lost weight!”

“Then it was off to Tharg and his droids for putting on the front cover! Yours, Neil Roberts, or should that be Kneel Robots? Or in this case, Sitting Robots?”

Ho ho ho! He’s a card isn’t he? Neil will be at the 2000AD 40th Bash so feel free to say hello.

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2000AD Covers Uncovered – Manhunt?

Long time readers of the good old 2000AD Covers Uncovered Blog will know that Neil Roberts, cover artist of Prog 1991, has been a long time contributor and friend of the site. Easily one of Tharg’s more aesthetically pleasing models, the Roberts droid is famed for going to great lengths to actually pose for his covers before undertaking them, often with hilarious results! Follow the link to see some examples of his earlier modelling work!

It’s ironic that the master of disguise Roberts droid was chosen for this cover as it launches the brand new Judge Dredd thriller ‘Ladykiller’, featuring the notorious, chameleon-like PJ Maybe! Neil said “This one was very straightforward I’m afraid! No selfies or anything like that!” (Drat! – Pete) “The brief was to have Dredd roaring down the road with H-Wagons and more in support…”

Neil is a past master at rendering the Lawmaster, providing stunning covers for Mongoose Publishing and, of course, Prog 1659, both shown below…

The Iso-Block 666 day release to the model village was always popular…

Ohhh, it’ll be nightmare to get those stains out!

Neil continues “I sent a thumbnail to Tharg for approval, he liked it and I painted it from there! Here’s the thumbnail sketch...”

As you can see, those big wobbly things go past the green stuff with the big blobby things in the sky. A solid concept…

Neil continues “The colour scheme was based on a classic 2000AD Monthly cover from way back (black sky, white road, green buildings – real 4 colour process stuff…”

“Last one to the Grand Hall is a Rookie!”

That four colour scheme will have most likely have been painted by 2000AD legend Tom Frame who, as well as lettering a huge number of 2000AD strips, coloured many classic covers of yesteryear. Check out Steve Cook’s excellent Secret Oranges blog to see more of Tom’s handy work. Also, here are the inks of this classic cover…

“Jovus! It was only an overdue library slug!”

Neil continues “Here is the finished piece as sent to Tharg for his droids to work their magic on…”

The re-vamp of Top Gear contained even less humour than it’s 21st century forerunner…

So there you have it, the making of this modern classic. Will Dredd get his er… man? If so, what will be the cost to the city? Find out in the Galaxy’s greatest!

Huge thanks to Neil for once again providing some excellent images and commentary!