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The all-new, all-Dreddworld 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is out now!

The world of Judge Dredd explodes with the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special – out now from all good newsagents and comic book stores!

Do not miss this mega summertime storytelling event as characters from different ‘Dreddworld’ series all crossover into one epic adventure! Plotted by acclaimed writers Michael Carroll and Maura McHugh, this is epic storytelling from the galaxy’s greatest comic!

Judge Dredd meets up with Cursed Earth Koburn in ‘Biohazard’ by Carroll and Ben Willsher, while over in Oz legendary skysurfer Chopper is a wanted man in ‘Dreamgazer’ by David Baillie and Tom Foster. 

Brit-Cit detective Armitage seeks out vampire exorcist Devlin Waugh in Brit-Cit in ‘Natural Fern Killer’ by Liam Johnson and Robin Smith. Plus Judge Anderson deals with a paranormal threat, by Maura McHugh and Anna Morozova, and Hondo-Cit Judge Inaba has trouble on her turf, courtesy of Karl Stock and Neil Googe!

This is all wrapped-up in ‘Apotheosis’, by Carroll and McHugh, and drawn by Thought Bubble 2000 AD art competition winner James Newell!



Cover by Neil Roberts

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A Dredd-ful summer: pre-order the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special now!

This summer, the world of Judge Dredd explodes with the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special!

Do not miss this mega summertime storytelling event as characters from different ‘Dreddworld’ series all crossover into one epic adventure! Plotted by acclaimed writers Michael Carroll and Maura McHugh, this is epic storytelling from the galaxy’s greatest comic!

Judge Dredd meets up with Cursed Earth Koburn in ‘Biohazard’ by Carroll and Ben Willsher, while over in Oz legendary skysurfer Chopper is a wanted man in ‘Dreamgazer’ by David Baillie and Tom Foster. 

Brit-Cit detective Armitage seeks out vampire exorcist Devlin Waugh in Brit-Cit in ‘Natural Fern Killer’ by Liam Johnson and Robin Smith. Plus Judge Anderson deals with a paranormal threat, by Maura McHugh and Anna Morozova, and Hondo-Cit Judge Inaba has trouble on her turf, courtesy of Karl Stock and Neil Googe!

This is all wrapped-up in ‘Apotheosis’, by Carroll and McHugh, and drawn by Thought Bubble 2000 AD art competition winner James Newell!



Cover by Neil Roberts

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INTERVIEW: paying tribute to Carlos Ezquerra in the Sci-Fi Special

The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special pays tribute to a true comics legend, Carlos Ezquerra, and is on sale now!

The special features some of his most popular characters, leading off with a Judge Dredd tale by Alan Grant and Robin Smith, where Dredd tackles some perps in a very unique location in “Night at the Museum”. Guy Adams and Dave Kendall reveal an untold story of Romanian vampire soldiers the Fiends of the Eastern Front in “Strange Meeting”; and Viking bounty-hunter Wulf Sternhammer comes to terms with life in the future in “Valhalla” by Michael Carroll and Patrick Goddard.

Plus, there’s an exclusive first look at the two completed chapters of the project that John Wagner and Ezquerra were working on when he died: the new character, android cop Spector, programmed to root out corruption at the highest level. All this under a suitably special Mick McMahon cover.

The legacy of Carlos Ezquerra lives on through his incredible body of work and it’s that legacy that 2000 AD celebrates with the Sci-Fi Special. We’ve interviewed a few of those involved, Michael Carroll, Dave Kendall, and Patrick Goddard to find out their thoughts on 2000 AD’s greatest.

As Michael Carroll says, “Carlos Ezquerra was our Jack Kirby, our Will Eisner, our Moebius – except that I’d rank him above all of them”. So say we all.

What are you doing for this years’ Sci-Fi Special?

Michael Carroll: I’ve written “Valhalla,” a six-page strip that stars Wulf Sternhammer, Johnny Alpha’s Viking partner from Strontium Dog. Wulf has always been one of my favourite characters: he brought real humanity and warmth to Johnny Alpha’s universe. Johnny was always very detached, ruthless, almost humourless. For him, bounty-hunting was a job that he didn’t enjoy, but he felt it was doing some good, that he had control over at least one aspect of his life. By contrast, Wulf always found a way to embrace life no matter what horrors the galaxy threw at him. He was ferocious and loyal and kind and exuberant, and definitely not one for brooding over things he couldn’t control – I always loved that about him!

Patrick Goddard: I’m drawing a short fun strip about Wulf Sternhammer written by the wonderful Michael Carroll, Wulf is taking a short trip back to Earth to reminisce his good old days, and get a little drunk.

Dave Kendall: I drew the Guy Adam’s scripted Fiends of the Eastern Front one-off for the special.

How did it feel to be working on the Sci-Fi Special, on one of Carlos’ creations, knowing that 2000 AD were touting this as a tribute to the man? Pressure much?

MC: There’s always pressure writing about a character that so many people know and love. You don’t want to screw it up and betray the memory of the character, or the creator, but you have to set that fear aside and get on with the job. Wulf himself wouldn’t have let something like that slow him down, so why should I? I think that if you know a character well then you can drop him or her into any situation and instinctively know how they’ll react.

As I was writing the script I visualised it as I think Carlos might have drawn it: dynamic angles, strong foreshortening, deep shadows and very expressive poses and faces. I didn’t know at the time that Patrick Goddard – one of my favourite artists – would be drawing it, but if I had, I don’t think that would have changed anything! Patrick’s work on the strip is absolutely stunning. He’s managed to perfectly capture Wulf’s essence without mimicking Carlos’s style and that is no easy task.

PG: As Carlos is the definitive Strontium Dog artist, there was no point in trying to imitate or compare my work with his, I just tried to block the pressure out of my mind and treat it the same as any other job, I would’ve twisted myself up in knots if I didn’t!

DK: Well, I knew it was for a special but no idea it was a tribute to Carlos when I was doing it. To be honest the pressure would have been the same in terms that any work has pressure. I always try to keep a saying that my illustration teacher told me. ‘You’re only as good as your last piece of work.’ Maybe if I knew it was for a Carlos special I would have maybe tried too hard. That in itself can be a death sentence for creative work. So the short answer is I was blissfully unaware of any context as I worked on it!

The important part was that it was Fiends which was one of my all time favourite 2000 AD stories. Not in small part due to Carlos’s artwork on the original story. So it automatically carried a lot of weight for me irrespective of what it was going to be used for.

Carlos… talk about what he means to you… as a writer/artist, as a reader…

MC: Carlos was the first artist in British comics whose work I was able to instantly recognise, even before he adopted his distinctive gutterless border style and broken character outlines. There’s a solidity and gravity to his early work that we rarely saw back then. Carlos’s characters and locations just felt more real than most.

I always liked that his characters’ faces weren’t all smooth-skinned, handsome and chisel-jawed: they were lived-in faces, weather-beaten, weary, scarred by experience as much as by battle. Even in Carlos’ earliest renditions of Johnny Alpha – long before the character’s back-story was written – you know that he’s carrying a lot of emotional baggage. He’s seen and experienced things that would have killed weaker men. Likewise with Major Eazy, the cast of Rat Pack, and even Dredd, which is particularly impressive because you can’t even see the top half of Dredd’s face!

DK: He was always there wasn’t he? I think that sense of comfort and familiarity with his work almost obscures his incredible skill in the medium. He always served the story and his style never became the dominant factor in the strip. His work was always dynamic and exciting yet it also seems humble and never seemed to scream look at me. Does that make sense? I’m not diminishing his work more that he was perfectly in tune with the comic medium to such a seamless degree.

PG: I think most people associate Carlos with 2000 AD more than any other artist, I’ve no idea how many pages he must’ve drawn but it must be in the thousands! But I didn’t discover him in 2000 AD; I first saw his work in Battle Action Force drawing The Rat Pack as it was one of the first comics I used to get. I wasn’t aware of his 2000 AD work until much later. One of the perks of working on the Judge Dredd Mega collection was that I could discover a lot of his work for the first time as an adult; it holds up so well and has been a real joy to devour. He had that talent that whatever strip he was drawing, be it WW2 or the far future, the architecture, the fashion, the technology, it all worked in that ‘Ezquerra’ universe. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some of his work up close (and watch him sketch), especially some of his classic pages, the size of some of the pages were intimidating! The sheer range of his work is inspiring too, I don’t think there are many genres that he didn’t do!

What was it about Carlos’ work that was so special for you?

MC: As an illustration of just how good he was: back in 1977 Carlos provided covers for almost every issue of Marvel UK’s Fury, an anthology of war-story reprints designed to rival Warlord or Battle. The comic didn’t hit the mark and the contents felt very dated (“Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders,” anyone?): it only lasted twenty-five issues, but Carlos’s covers were so good I kept buying it.

Everything he did for 2000 AD was gold – I particularly loved his work on Fiends of the Eastern Front, Durham Red, and of course those incredible adaptations of three of Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat novels – and I feel very honoured that Carlos was chosen to draw the final part of my Every Empire Falls storyline: to have written a Dredd tale that was illustrated by the master is undoubtedly one of the milestones of my career.

DK: Carlos’s art was just a constant part of my childhood. 2000 AD as a whole was like a diary for my early years. I still remember events in my life along with which story was running in 2000 AD at the time. It’s hard to be too specific about Carlos’s work. He was great at every aspect of the craft. Therefore you couldn’t say I liked how he did this or that. He just did everything well. He had quality and quantity. A few stories stood out for me. Fiends of the Eastern Front in particular. I think that was a departure for 2000 AD in terms of it being a historical horror story as opposed to sci-fi. Carlos’s use of atmosphere in the story was incredible. Hi inks swirled and congealed much more on Fiends than with Dredd or Strontium Dog for example. I guess being a huge horror fan that stood out for me.

Is there a particular strip, a moment, a memory that stands out for you when it comes to Carlos and his work?

DK: That’s easy. Although Fiends stood out for me, it was Strontium Dog in Hell that really made me go WOW! I must have been about eight or nine at the time and that entire strip was one I waited impatiently for every week. The Sun and Moon characters were brilliantly sinister. I can remember tracing the double page spread of the Four Horseman. Their designs blew me away.

PG: I remember seeing him so excited that he drew The Rat Pack for one of the Sniper elite covers, he was showing everyone on his phone, he was like a proud parent! I think he was hoping for more to come. That’s what struck me most, he was as enthusiastic as any new artist, he didn’t seem jaded of his decades in the industry, you could tell his love of comics and the characters was still there. I really hope I continue to have that kind passion, he was truly inspiring.

MC: The cover of Battle Picture Weekly #66 (June 5th, 1976) completely blew me away. I already loved Carlos’s work, but that cover is an absolute masterpiece. I’d never seen anything so striking. The decision to render Major Eazy in only black and white while the rest of it is in colour – genius! I know he’d done that a few times before, and it was a great trick to elevate a cover back in the days of murky colours on newsprint paper, but this time it really worked! Even now, forty-three years on, it’s a breathtaking image. 

Separately, John Wagner and Carlos are the best in the business, but when working together they produced pure magic, elevating comics to a level that is rarely seen elsewhere. I feel very lucky to have worked with Carlos, and to have got to know him over the last couple of years. He was charming and generous and modest and funny, and I don’t think he really ever grasped how much of an impact he’d made on his fans. The comics world suffered a great loss when he died. Carlos Ezquerra was our Jack Kirby, our Will Eisner, our Moebius – except that I’d rank him above all of them.

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OUT NOW: the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special!

The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is out now, Earthlets!

This standalone issue has been precision-engineered to be enjoyed during the summer months as you Terrans relax in a balmy back garden, a scorching sandy beach, or a stuffy airport terminal…

Within its forty-eight pages you’ll find no less than EIGHT all-new stories featuring some of the Comic of Tomorrow’s most popular characters: Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Anderson, Psi-Division, Judge Death and more.

And in a first for this pulse-pounding publication, it’s an all-female creative line-up – cover artists Tula Lotay and Emily Zeinner are joined by writers Emma Beeby, Leah Moore, Maura McHugh, Alex De Campi, Katy Rex, Laura Bailey and Olivia Hicks have come artists Babs Tarr, Xulia Vicente, Emma Vieceli, Sam Beck, Liana Kangas, Dani and Abigail Bulmer (plus writer/artist Tillie Walden), colourists Eva De La Cruz, Pippa Mather, Barbara Nosenzo and Gab Contreras, and letterers Annie Parkhouse and Ellie De Ville.

Add to that a spectacular Judge Anderson poster from Marguerite Sauvage, and it’s a quite the eye-popping issue!

COVER ART: Tula Lotay (standard edition) Emily Zeinner (2000 AD webshop exclusive)

by Emma Beeby (w) Babs Tarr (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Mega-City One, 2140 AD. Home to over 100 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America. With unemployment rife and boredom universal, crime is rampant, and only the Judges — empowered to dispense instant justice — can stop total anarchy. Toughest of them all is JUDGE DREDD —he is the Law!

by Katy Rex (w) Liana Kangas (a+c) Gab Contreras (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
The far future. Mercenary, artist and cloning pirate TYRANNY REX is a Sauron, a humanoid lizard-like race of which she is one of the last, having seen her people decimated. Now she’s on Earth, and making a living any way she can, from gun-for-hire to torrenting 3D downloads. She’s about to meet her partner that will set her off on a successful criminal career…

by Alex De Campi (w) Sam Beck (a) Eva De La Cruz (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Nu Earth is a war-ravaged world, its atmosphere poisoned by the use of chemical weapons, its air unbreathable. It’s the site of the global conflict between the Southers and the Norts, and the quest of genetically engineered soldier ROGUE TROOPER, who, together with the digitised souls of his dead comrades, is hunting for the Traitor General that sold out his platoon…

by Tillie Waldern (w+a+l)
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, 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…

by Leah Moore (w) Xulia Vicente (a) Pippa Mather (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Mega-City One, 2140 AD. The 22nd-century metropolis has been plagued numerous times by the undead entity known as JUDGE DEATH, a creature from a twisted dimension that believes all life is a crime. Thirty years ago, in the city of Gotham, Death crashed the performance of rock band Living Death and slaughtered them. Apparently, a recording of that event still survives…

by Laura Bailey (w) Dani (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
Mega-City One, 2140 AD. Galen DEMARCO was once a promising young Judge, operating out of one of the most corrupt sectors in the metropolis. But after a liaison with a fellow officer, and professing her feelings to Joe Dredd, she left the force to set herself up as a private investigator. Tough and capable, DeMarco is often hired by those that can’t approach the Judges…

by Olivia Hicks (w) Abigail Bulmer (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Experience the terrifying side of Thrill-power with these one-off tales from beyond the shadowy veil of sanity. Whether they be ghostly goings-on that send shivers up the spine or guts-to-the-wall splatterfests that sear the retina and paralyse the mind, nothing is what it seems in these glimpses of a terrifying realm beyond our own…

by Maura McHugh (w) Emma Vieceli (a) Barbara Nosenzo (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
Mega-City One, 2140 AD. There are many divisions in Justice Department to aid its fight against crime, and Psi-Div is the psychic branch, its operatives capable of telepathy, precognition and more. Psi-Judge Cassandra ANDERSON is one of the department’s most experienced and psychically powerful officers, who has battled supernatural foes for forty years…

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INTERVIEW: Emma Beeby and Babs Tarr get ‘The Feels’ for Judge Dredd!

No 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special would be complete without a look in from ol’ Joe Dredd, and this year’s special is no exception. Richard Bruton sat down to talk with writer and artist, Emma Beeby and Babs Tarr, about Dredd and what makes this Sci-Fi Special truly special…

Can you give us a quick, non-spoilery idea of what to expect from your Judge Dredd strip in the Sci-Fi Special?

Emma Beeby: It’s called ‘The Feels’ and is about a weaponised empathy drug. I don’t think I’ll give away more than that…

Emma, this is hardly something new for you and I imagine the “first woman to write Dredd” tag is a tiresome thing. But your work on Dredd has been praised far and wide, what is it about working on Dredd that you find so interesting?

EB: It’s a strange honour to be the first, and I think that putting a spotlight on a female creator helps get things like this issue to happen. I didn’t ever set out to write Dredd, and honestly I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Dredd is really fun to write. He walks the line between hero and villain, comedy and horror. There’s something both disturbing and reassuring about getting into his head.

What do you think it is about Dredd that stands the test of time?

EB: There’s so many ways you can go in a Dredd story – Dredd interrogating everyone in a lift to find out who farted, to hunting serial killers, to world war, to over the top horror like the Dark Judges. The universe accommodates all of that, and he can navigate it all without it ever feeling out of character.

But as that trailblazer, both working solo and with that cheery chappy, Gordon Rennie, what does this Sci-Fi Special mean to you?

EB: I’m so excited to see this special, I can’t wait to see all these fantastic creators’ takes on these characters, not least Babs drawing Dredd – I love her Batgirl SO much. I remember I felt quite intimidated, being a woman writing such a legendary and masculine character, among all these male creators, but I was made welcome. It’s a great community of creators and fans and it feels like home to me now.

The history of Dredd has always been a mixture of longer form tales and shorts. Having been responsible for both, what is it that really makes a short Dredd, over and done in one issue, work?

EB: Length dictates the complexity of the story, but the rules are the same, and I follow the rules set by John Wagner. He has a list of things that should be in any Dredd story, even the short ones, which I keep to hand. I try to find something that I am excited to explore in the story. For this it was Dredd vs the over-emotional. For shorts, I go for comedy, or things that make him uncomfortable. I can’t help it.

Babs, as a comic artist from the USA, what experience have you had with 2000 AD and old stoney face?

Babs Tarr: The only experience I have with old stony face is this old-school movie with that epic costume and Stallone’s juicy lips under that iconic helmet! Visually it’s just so fun I had to jump at the chance to get to draw him. Especially since I feel that people wouldn’t expect me to, which just makes me wanna prove them wrong!

Were you already a fan and aware of the comic? If so, what strips or creators were your favourites?

BT: Totally new to it! I know my collaborators Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher are big fans and Cameron even did a short story a couple years ago, but that’s the extent of it for me.

Babs, your work on Batgirl, Motor Crush, and various other comics brought a very different look to the page, is this something we’re going to see on this Dredd strip for the Sci-Fi Special?

BT: Since it’s only six pages I might actually experiment in a different style since I never really get to do that on my big ongoing series that I work on. I have all these thick gritty brushes, textures, and halftones I want to explore and Dredd is the perfect excuse to use those!

What are your thoughts about this all-female Sci-Fi Special?

EB: I think it’s a great move by 2000 AD that says all are welcome. As an anthology that has been groundbreaking and diverse in style and story for over 40 years, this seems completely appropriate. It’s going to be an incredible issue.

BT: It’s cool that it creates opportunities. I have an established comic career so I don’t need the exposure, so I took this project on cause it sounded fun. BUT if me being part of it helps shine light on new and existing female creators then I’m happy to be a part of it! My hope for the future is that we don’t need niche things like ‘all-female’ specials to give girls jobs in comics. That goes for every other minority in the industry as well.

Any thoughts on your next work for 2000 AD? Any plans in place already?

EB: Gordon (Rennie) and I have more Survival Geeks stories coming up, there will interdimensional comic-cons, a world of slashers, and maybe some familiar faces returning, too.

BT: None yet! Next arc of Motor Crush (from Image Comics) starts in a month or so, so I’m enjoying my time off and taking on fun things like this!

The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is out in the UK on 20 June and out in North America in July. Pre-order a copy now from the 2000 AD webshop…

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INTERVIEW: Katy Rex and Liana Kangas on the return of Tyranny Rex

Tyranny Rex, last of the Saurons and the troubleshooter with a tail for hire, has been many things over the years; body-cloning artist, adventurer, mercenary, nun (yes, a nun).

She’s kidnapped, killed, and protected across worlds. Not seen in the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic since Prog 1399, over a decade ago, she’s finally returning in the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special. Richard Bruton sat down with writer Katy Rex and artist Liana Kangas to talk all things Tyranny…

Richard Bruton: First of all, Katy, with your name, is writing Tyranny Rex something that you just knew was eventually going to happen?

Katy Rex: I think more “hoped” than “knew”- writing a Tyranny story is absolutely a dream come true.

What can we expect from the long time in coming return of Tyranny Rex?

KR: Expect her at her Tyranny Rex-est, cupcake!

Liana Kangas: All I know is Tyranny seems like she has a penchant for being up to no good – and I’m excited to be a part of that with Katy Rex.

Over the years, Tyranny has changed roles and jobs so many times, whether it was artist, gun-for-hire, or even nun. Which Tyranny Rex are we going to be seeing this time?

KR: As much fun as her nun run was, I wanted to go back to her roots. Tyranny’s personality shines best when she’s an artist and a grifter with a devil-may-care attitude. She’s a really singular personality, I absolutely love it.

How did you writing and drawing Tyranny in the Sci-FI Special come about?

LK: Matt Smith actually reached out to me and I was so stoked! I’m all in for female-led comics, I love representing an idea that I strongly believe in, and I’m trying to hold in my inner fan girl of working on a John Smith/Steve Dillon created character.

KR: I’ve been a 2000 AD fan for years, and I’ve been working at the booth at SDCC and NYCC since I think 2014. Working so closely with the company gave them a chance to get to know me and my work informally, so when this opportunity came up, I was lucky enough to be invited to participate.

As you’re both American, how did you first experience 2000 AD? And what does it mean to you to be in its pages?

KR: I was reading a lot of international comics, including 2000 AD, in college, but I don’t know if the full impact of what the company’s history was hit me until I was working at conventions for them and was not only *selling* the early short stories from comics legends, but meeting creators that I consider heroes. So to say I feel privileged to be a part of their line up is an understatement.

LK: I’ve been familiar with 2000 AD through working at comic shops but I haven’t held a copy of one in a hot minute since I lived in Canada. I think because the print version is such a niche here in the states I can appreciate the format that much more.

Do you have any particular memories of seeing Tyranny Rex in its pages, or is this something you’ve needed to go back through the old stories to get a feel for the character?

KR: I absolutely did due diligence and went back and read everything Tyranny has ever been in. Maybe I could have done without, but it was both really important to me to get it right, and also a really good excuse to re-read some badass stories.

LK: I’m fairly new to Tyranny. I’ve seen a pic of her here and there in passing, but I definitely had some help researching into Tyranny and her personality. Luckily I can kinda relate to her as a character which makes it that much more fun to bring to life with Katy.

Katy, Tyranny Rex has been one of those characters with a singular vision behind her. All of her tales have come from the pen of John Smith. Is there possibly some trepidation when taking on a one-writer character such as this?

KR: Yes, actually, I’m terrified- thanks for bringing it up! No honestly, I’m following in the footsteps of legends at basically every step here, and it would be ridiculous not to feel at least a little out of my depth. But I know that the editors at 2000 AD know my work, and although I can’t and won’t be John Smith, I have to believe that my take will do her justice. And hopefully the ways I personally relate to her (morally questionable, art lover, badass lady, tail) will help this story fit in his canon with my own voice!

When you’re working on a done-in-one story, do you find yourself writing as if this is merely the starting point in a potential series, or did the idea with Tyranny come to you as a complete tale?

KR: While this story totally could be a starting point in a series, it’s also DEFINITELY a stand alone. I didn’t write it specifically to start anything new, but I did want to place it strongly in Tyranny’s world so her longtime fans would have references and characters that they recognize.

Her links with Indigo Prime and the whole “Smith-verse” idea are long established. Is this something you could see yourselves developing or is your Tyranny Rex very much out there on her own?

KR: This Tyranny could definitely continue into stories featuring any number of Indigo Prime agents, I’d love to write something like that. Stay tuned, I guess?

Liana, from what I’ve seen of your style, I expect you’ll be bringing a more realistic portrayal to the last of the Saurons?

LK: I love drawing characters (especially sci-fi) within the means of how they were created but enjoy putting them in relatable practical aethstetic. I’m definitely excited to show her in my style to where I could give her a bit of normalcy – something that’s relatable but still true to Tyranny’s origin, without over sexualizing her.

This Sci-Fi Special will be very special for more than just its content. What are your thoughts about this all-female creative issue?

KR: As to the tagline itself, I’ll say that I find it really exciting. I’ve personally never felt tokenized by 2000 AD and have been hearing from people at the company for years about their work trying to find and bring in new voices. With their history of characters like Anderson, Durham Red, and Tyranny, I feel like an empowered female special is very consistent with the company’s ethos and sensibility.

LK: Having worked in comic shops, I could see the immediate arguments posed on both sides (and even in the middle,) but I’ll always stand for a woman’s place in comics as long as they’re talented, hard working and great at what they do. I think it’s pretty great that 2000 AD has decided to curate something to maybe reach out to an untapped market. Women are buying more comics than ever and to be represented and hired even, shows the progressive actions that they’re taking in the industry. And of course, I am honoured to be in the book alongside so many writers and artists I love. I’m hoping that these annuals will bring more visibility to the publisher and more copies over here in the States. We need more weird sci-fi, always.

As you’re both new to the pages of 2000 AD, readers would love to hear a little of who you are and what you’ve been involved in already. Do tell!

KR: Oy, a bio? I’m terrible at these! My first not-self-published book, Jade Street Protection Services with my co creator Fabian Lelay, came out from Black Mask Studios a couple years ago. My friend Magdalene Visaggio edited it, and at the same time I was editing her Black Mask book, Kim & Kim, which was nominated for an Eisner last year. Since then I’ve been working on the Charmed manga and a Sweet Valley High OGN over at Dynamite, some Doctor Who short story stuff at Titan, and a handful of crowd-funded horror anthologies. In fact, Liana and I are both currently (separately) part of an ongoing project on Kickstarter called Everything Is Going Wrong. Its intent is to spotlight punk and mental health, and the proceeds will go to fund the Trevor Project and MusiCares.

LK: Arguably the hardest question! I’m Liana, a freelance comic artist in the tri-state area near NYC. I’ve been pursuing comics for little over two years now, and have recently been published with Erica Schultz in Where We Live, the Las Vegas benefit anthology, from Image Comics and with Pat Shand for a Destiny, NY short in the Mine! Planned Parenthood anthology.

The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is out in the UK on 20 June and out in North America in July. Pre-order a copy now from the 2000 AD webshop…

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Stand by for the arrival of the 2000 AD MEGA WEDNESDAY!

Prepare for the arrival of MEGA WEDNESDAY in less than 48 hours, Earthlets!

On Wednesday 20th June as we bring you a Thrill-powered trio – not one, not two, but THREE pulse-quickening publications guaranteed to knock your socks off and lift you into orbit!!

In a veritable FEAST of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comics, 2000 AD Prog 2086, Judge Dredd Megazine #397 and the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special all hit shelves and digital this Wednesday – and it’s a palpable Smörgåsbord of top notch comics!

From new talents to old favourites, there’s never been a better day to sample the best of 2000 AD!

Make sure you don’t miss out – visit your local comic book store this Wednesday or download the 2000 AD app for Apple, Android, and Windows 10 in anticipation now!

2000 AD Prog 2086

With a cover by Rachael Stott (Doctor Who, Motherlands), this issue includes the latest installments of Judge Dredd, Skip Tracer, Survival Geeks, Damned: The Fall of Deadworld, and Durham Red!

Judge Dredd Megazine #397

He’s a freelance paranormal troubleshooter and the world’s foremost supernatural investigator and exorcist – but he’s also a vampire! Devlin Waugh returns this issue in Kiss of Death by Rory McConville and Mike Dowling! Plus, along with The Returners, Tales From The Black Museum, Judge Dredd, and Chopper there’s a collection of classic British war series Lofty’s One-Man Luftwaffe!

2000 AD Sci-Fi Special

The first issue in 2000 AD‘s 41-year history created exclusively by women – from writers to artists, colourists to letterers! With covers from Tula Lotay and Emily Zeinner, and all-new stories featuring Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Psi-Judge Anderson and DeMarco, P.I. by Alex De Campi, Babs Tarr, Maura McHugh, Emma Beeby, Leah Moore, Tillie Walden, Katy Rex, Laura Bailey and many more, no holiday is complete without this thrill-packed anthology! Includes free poster by Marguerite Sauvage!

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INTERVIEW: Future Shock with Tillie Walden

Just as having Dredd in everything 2000 AD related is a must, there’s always space to find a Future Shock as well – and the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is most definitely no exception.

It’s also a great chance to get fabulous new talent into the pages of 2000 AD. And there’s no more phenomenal talent than Tillie Walden.

Since her debut graphic novel, The End Of Summer (2015), she’s had four more graphic novels published: I Love This Part (2015), A City Inside (2016) and the coming-of-age memoir, Spinning, in 2017.

Richard Bruton caught up with the talented young artist as she was waiting for a flight out from Bogota Book Festival. Very tired, she still found the time to chat about the future, about shocks, and about working at 2000 AD for the first time…

Tillie, for those who don’t already know your incredible body of work, can you give us an introduction to who you are and what you do?

Tillie Walden: Sure! My name is Tillie Walden, I’m a cartoonist from Austin, TX and I currently live in Los Angeles. I’m a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies, and I’ve published four graphic novels as well as a webcomic. My fifth book comes out this fall.

Your first graphic novel, The End Of Summer, was published right here in the UK first by Avery Hill Publishing in 2015. How did that come about?

TW: It was! I had to go to England to get my start. Ricky Miller, who is half of Avery Hill Publishing, found my work on Twitter. We’ve traced it back to thinking that it was Mike Medaglia, possibly, who retweeted one of my tweets, and that’s how Ricky saw my work. He sent me an email after looking at my website, and the rest is history.

To be “discovered” so young, still in High School, could have been a stumbling block for many. Now, at the wise old age of 21, how do you think you handled the accolades at such a young age?

TW: I don’t how I handle it, really. I try to be as grateful as possible while also keeping a lot of boundaries around myself to keep myself sane. I suppose if I had thought of the accolades as some sort of pressure it might have made me stumble more, but I never felt like that way, thankfully. It’s funny to think of how I felt about all this just a few years ago, at 19. I remember feeling so confused about it all. The attention made me want to curl up and hide.

Your four graphic novels span genres so effortlessly. From the high fantasy of The End Of Summer, through the often claustraphobic tale of two young girls in I Love This Part, to the exploration of aging in A City Inside, and finally the highly personal memoir of your years skating in Spinning, you seem perfectly at home in so many genres. Do you have a particular favourite style, genre, or is it simply however the latest idea takes hold?

TW: It’s really about the latest idea. Or about how I’m feeling/what’s going on in my life in that moment. My genre choices are always a reflection of that moment in time. I do particularly enjoy doing things not based in reality, I love an excuse to just make shit up. I think it also helps that I’ve never worried much about the genre jumping. I just tell myself that no matter what kind of story I’m telling, it’s still a story by me. So it will naturally find a way to fit with my other work. It’s all from my heart, so even if the setting is wildly different, I think the stories will always connect with one another.

Your latest project, On A Sunbeam, debuted as a webcomic, and will be adapted into a graphic novel for later release. Why the decision at this stage to release it online initially?

TW: I’m impatient. I wanted to make On a Sunbeam and have it immediately out in the world, and webcomics are very immediate. Also, they’re free. I loved that I could finally offer something to all my followers without asking for their money. It felt very liberating. Webcomics have an accessibility that breaks down a lot of barriers, and can reach a lot more people. People who can’t find their way into the traditional publishing space have this option where no one can turn them down, it’s wonderful.

Going back to Spinning, what made you switch from the ice to the comic page?

TW: Haha, because comics are fun and ice skating SUCKS. Just kidding. But not really. I’ve always liked intense things, doing things that demand a lot from me. And I got that in skating, but ultimately that world really wasn’t for me. And comics were perfect for me because they are ridiculously demanding but I can do it without being cold or having to wear makeup and be judged.

Onto this latest UK work, can you give us a quick idea what the Future Shock in the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is about?

TW: Hmm, it’s about a postal worker. And possibly a monster. That’s all I will say.

As an American, how aware of 2000 AD were you growing up? Did you know anything of the ideas behind Future Shocks before getting this latest gig?

TW: I had never heard of it! But I also didn’t know what Batman was for a long time either, so I was very cut off from comics in general. I knew about it from Ricky Miller, of Avery Hill Publishing. He has schooled me on all the cool UK comics and culture and he was who I first heard about it from.

What research/reading did you do for your Future Shock before setting about writing and drawing it? Did you spend time going back over the classics, or did you just dive into it?

TW: I just dove right in. Logistically, I had no time to do anything but that. I was working on this comic while I was in the middle of moving to Los Angeles, and starting a new graphic novel, so I just had to jump in and pray for the best.

I can’t imagine shifting gears to write the Future Shock was necessarily a problem for you, as your work includes many shorter tales as well as your graphic novel length works, but were there any unique challenges in writing your Future Shock?

TW: I had to sort of remind myself how to do a short comic, since I’ve been so engrossed in long form for a while. But it wasn’t too hard, it’s just a different kind of focus.

After this first appearance in 2000 AD, would you possibly think of creating something new for 2000 AD in the future?

TW: If I’m being honest, I can’t imagine any more drawing than what I’m already handling right now. I’m working on two graphic novels simultaneously and I’ll think about cool characters some other day. I’m lame, I know. But in the future, sure!

You might have seen some of the reactions (good and bad) online to the idea of an all-female Sci-Fi Special…

TW: Lol, people are very stupid. Oh no, the ladies are making comics together! Their periods are going to sync up! Haha, ok, but in all seriousness. I think it’s great, and it’s about time, for a leading sci-fi comic like 2000 AD to bring in more female creatives. I get a little sick of the labels, being in the all womens issue, being on the all womens comic panel, etc. It’s as if we can’t be taken completely seriously without some sort of ‘special lady’ label attached to it. But, it’s a good opportunity, and I’m happy to be a part of it.

The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is out in the UK on 20 June and out in North America in July. Pre-order a copy now from the 2000 AD webshop…

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INTERVIEW: Alex De Campi and Sam Beck on Rogue Trooper

Born in the Souther gene labs, and thrown into battle as a G.I., Genetic Infantryman, Rogue Trooper has long been a fan favourite character for readers of 2000 AD. Now, along with Canadian artist Sam Beck, and after bringing chaos and devastation to the movieworld of Dredd in The Dead World over in the Megazine, Alex De Campi brings her unique vision to one of 2000 AD‘s greatest sons.

What can we expect from this latest adventure of Rogue Trooper in the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special? Richard Bruton asks the questions…

The last time we saw Rogue Trooper in the pages of 2000 AD was Prog 2050 where Paul Robinson and Leonardo Manco brought him back once more, along with the idea of his hunt for the Traitor General. Is this latest Rogue tale a continuation of that one-off, or something all of its own?

ADC: It’s another one-off, set during the original hunt for the Traitor General. In terms of approach, my story is mainly told from the perspective of the troops Rogue and his pals meet, with Rogue as this sort of avatar of hope/victory for them, but you know, the Army always fucks you in the end.

What approach did you take when coming to Rogue?

ADC: Rogue is a perfect character, in the way that Judge Dredd is. They can exist forever, and there’s always something new to do with them, because they’re vehicles to tell specific kinds of stories. For Judge Dredd, it’s crime/urban stories. For Rogue, it’s war stories. I don’t think you need to try to mess with the character — I mean, sure, you need to understand them, and why they are great tragic heroes, but forcing them to have arcs or trying to be the writer who leaves a big tally mark on their history by changing their status quo? I just don’t think it’s necessary. I love war stories. Grew up on ’em. Read a ton since. And the chance to write a Hurtgen Forest (WWII)/Michelin Plantation (Vietnam) story with Rogue? Oh hell yeah.

Did you look back to the classic tales and spin out a tale of the lone cowboy?

ADC: I mainlined like 800 pages of classic Rogue before writing this eight-pager. Overkill? Possibly. Regrets? Zero.

Are we going to be seeing a return of all the old faves, including Rogue’s companions; Helm, Bagman, and Gunnar?

ADC: It’s not a Rogue story without Helm, Bagman and Gunnar. Yes, they all play important roles in this story.

Did you pitch for Rogue, or was it something editorial asked if you would like to take on?

ADC: I asked for Rogue, specifically. Rogue has always been one of my favourites of all my years reading 2000 AD. And since by the time the summer special comes out, I’ll have had three Dredd stories in the Megazine, I felt like pitching Dredd would have been taking a chance away from someone else. Hell, I’m only the second woman to write Dredd after Emma Beeby, and this way, we can let in a third to Dredd Club. It was even more tactical than that, to be honest. I think there are a lot of casual fans or keyboard clowns worried we birds are somehow going to soften up the joint (note: these people clearly aren’t acquainted the amount of casual hyper-violence in my work). And I don’t know what everyone else is doing for the Sci-Fi Special, we haven’t compared notes or anything. So I just wanted to write an old-school, violent noir of a war story with Rogue — first, because I love stories like that, seriously, this is my wheelhouse — and second, because I wanted to stick two fingers up to all the whiners with the rejected future shock pitches who are mad that *girls* are getting a free pass at their faves. I mean, like I haven’t been writing comics professionally for 10 years or anything.

Alex, seeing as your last 2000 AD work, the incredible Dredd movieverse tale Dead World, gave us a very definitive end to that tale, can you reassure us that you’re not planning on doing something similarly final with Rogue Trooper?

ADC: Oh no! Fret not. I’m leaving Rogue open and available for more writers to carry on with (also because I want to write more Rogue stories!). Again, I don’t have to be That Writer, who leaves a permanent mark on Rogue. If I do, I want it to be because of a great story, not because of a cheap trick like offing him.

As for Dead World, we were asked to have a definitive ending by Tharg. It was planned as the last movieverse story and Tharg wanted it to go out with a bang. Initial suggestions were even more permanent, as it were, but I chose that specific ending because honestly it’s the worst thing that can happen to Dredd. We have a moment where Judge Fear puts Dredd in what he THINKS is Dredd’s worst nightmare, but it isn’t really. The way we end the book is.

Your recent Image series, Twisted Romance, was a wonderful example of how the writer can adjust style and tone for the artist involved. As I understand it, you didn’t know that Sam was your Rogue Trooper artist when writing. How does this affect your creative process, if at all?

ADC: Some comics you work in strong collaboration with the artist; some you just script and hope. It works out either way, to be honest. Because Rogue is such a known quantity with such a rich visual history, I was more writing to Rogue than I was writing to Sam’s art style, just as Sam will no doubt be drawing to the established world of Rogue than carving out something new. I think I do good scripts either way. I’ve written entire original graphic novels without an artist attached. Both ways of working are fun. But think of it this way: whereas if Sam and I were doing a collab on a new story, I would have spent a shit-ton of time learning Sam’s style, what she’s strong at, what she tends to avoid, how many panels per page she is comfortable with, et cetera, with this story I spent my research time immersing myself in Gerry Finley-Day and Alan Moore classic Rogue, and weeping over the glory of the line art. Chris Weston’s a friend, and someday I’m going to drag him into doing a short Rogue run with me… once he’s done his current work with Rob.

Sam, as a Canadian artist, what experience of 2000 AD have you had?

Sam Beck: Not a whole lot beyond Judge Dredd, which is a shame, because after being approached to do the art for the Rogue Trooper story I did some reading and there are a lot of really fun stories. I hope as a Canadian artist I can help introduce 2000 AD’s character to readers in North America.

Did you have any awareness of Rogue Trooper and his rich artistic history before coming onboard for this tale?

SB: I didn’t, but thankfully Rogue Trooper‘s history meant there was a lot of really good source material to read and research before beginning to draw anything. Rogue Trooper was a really unique challenge for me, and I like a challenge. So I’ve done my research, and I hope that my art brings something new and exciting to the table.

The Sci-Fi Special this year has received an awful lot of attention, good and bad, for featuring an all-female assembly of creative talent. What are your opinions on this as an all-women special?

ADC: Normally I’m against the ghettoization of women in comics. It’s not healthy to present us as something separate and new, when to be honest we’ve been there since the very beginning (Ramona Fradon gets held up as one of the first, but really she was a second generation — a lot of the 1930s strips were created / drawn by women). I refuse to participate in Women in Comics panels, because after the immortal words of Neko Case, I’m not a woman in comics, I’m a writer in comics, don’t Peggy Olsen me, MFers.

But! But, saying that, I really feel Tharg is making a genuine effort to jumpstart a lot more female involvement in 2000 AD. And it’s not like they’re just picking random chicks off the street — we’re all longstanding professionals with really stellar track records. And 2000 AD has always been open to women. Tharg’s been at me for a good decade to get my shit together and pitch. But here’s the funny thing: if you’re a member of an under-represented group of any kind, and you don’t see people who are like you working at a company, you sorta don’t prioritise pitching that company. So a lack of diversity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy unless the company jumpstarts a serious commitment to it, like 2000 AD is doing now.

The Sci-Fi Special is going to do a lot of cool things. As noted, I was already three Dredd stories in when asked to be a part of the Special so I’m not really a new entry into the hit parade. But a lot of others are. The Special is going to bring a lot of other women in to what will hopefully be a longstanding relationship with 2000 AD. That will encourage even more female creators in future, because they can look at the book and say, oh, we’re welcome here. And it’ll encourage female readers, too, to start or renew their relationship with the Prog or the Meg. And we can do all this without softening things up. We don’t want that. That’s not anybody’s ambition. We wanna write mushy shit, we can do that just fine on our own, we don’t need to do it with Dredd.

And comics works via small circles of people who know and trust each other. So you get some new blood in, they start reaching out to their friends or saying ‘Hey Tharg, can so-and-so draw this?” or “This writer is amazing, you should look at them”, and soon enough, you get a lot of really exciting voices and visions adding to the book. Not that the existing talent isn’t great — because holy shit, it really is, I mean how can anyone doubt, with that Williams/Weston Judge Dredd: Fit For Purpose running in the Prog — but everything needs to keep evolving to best survive.

And this is ultimately what the Summer Special is: a declaration of strength.

SB: The short answer is it’s good, and I’m happy for the opportunity. The long answer is, you should introduce diversity and new-talent at anytime without having to create a special publication for it. But the all-female special is a big statement and it’s going to garner attention, which is never a bad thing.

The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is out in the UK on 20 June and out in North America in July. Pre-order a copy now from the 2000 AD webshop…

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INTERVIEW: Leah Moore and Xulia Vicente on Judge Death

There are bad guys in the world of Dredd … and then there’s Judge Death!

Leader of the Dark Judges, causing death and destruction ever since first making their way over from the alternate dimension of Deadworld. Judge Death always returns to Mega-City One and the body count is always terrible.

Uttering the magic words, “The crime is life, the sentence is death!”, Richard Bruton chatted to Leah Moore and artist Xulia Vicente about bringing Death to this summer’s Sci-Fi Special

Richard Bruton: We’ve seen Judge Death in many forms over the years in the pages of 2000 AD. Every time, it comes with a high body count, and occasionally a gag or two thrown in for good measure. Can you give us a quick idea of what this new story is all about?

Leah Moore: My story is basically a celebration of Judge Death as a metal head poster boy, and a homage to Judgement on Gotham. A metal band finds a bootleg of the concert from that book, and decides to cover the songs. It’s the best move of their career, but also, then, the worst. I absolutely love Judge Death. As terrifying skeletal murdering beings from other dimensions go, he’s really personable and entertaining!

Leah, you’re one of a handful of women who’ve already blazed a trail in the pages of 2000 AD. How do you feel about the all-female creative team idea of this Sci-Fi Special?

LM: I’d say it’s long overdue, but then up until recently, it was impossible to discuss gender in the comics industry at all without risk of being branded a crazy radical man-hater. I used to do ‘women in comics’ panels at every convention, where there would be five of us and not one would mention what it was like to be a woman in comics. Not the lack of female writers, or artists, nor the weird sexy costumes women characters wear, nor the fact that a superhero team of six has only one woman in it, nor that female characters exist as a love interest, or as a person to be wronged that the male lead then has to avenge. We used to sit and talk for an hour and not mention any of that, because as a industry we couldn’t talk about it. It was a great big elephant in the room, except the Elephant was wearing a Power Girl costume, complete with boob window.

For 2000 AD to have a women-only issue, for them to actively promote the fantastic women they have on their team, is completely in line with their history of using science fiction and fantasy comics to comment on the politics and social issues of the time. 2000 AD has a unique position of being able to take something like the mass unemployment and strict regime of the ’80s in Britain under Margaret Thatcher and give us great Judge Dredd stories about the police being given ultimate power, or Halo Jones where a girl from an estate gets to escape her world and go on adventures. I really hope that the Sci-Fi Special encourages more women writers and artists to pitch to 2000 AD and feel that they really have a place there, and within the comics industry.

I also hope it means we get to write more female characters, and write stories that echo the current female experience. I want that handful to become a great big armful of women creators, a skipful, let’s be optimistic! In fact, let’s go berserk and say I would like for half of all writers and artists and editorial staff and letterers and colourists in the industry to be women.

Leah, of course, your history with the comic goes back a lot further than your first writing credit for Tales from the Black Museum in 2012. What are your first memories of 2000 AD? Any particular favourites?

LM: I’m in a weird position because 2000 AD was the backdrop for my childhood, so all my dad’s characters are the most familiar to me. But, when I grew into a teenager, I didn’t really find myself drawn to comics the way most people are, as an escape from their normal lives. I loved reading them, and I loved drawing and writing, but I wasn’t driven to collect them or anything.

My favourite character is Halo Jones, because it’s my favourite out of all of dad’s books. It completely set me on a road of sci-fi fandom in all media, she’s who I want to be BFFS with, it’s my ultimate squad goals! I always feel daft saying it; because dad wrote it, but it just connected with me when I was of an age to really get into it. I can’t wait to see it coloured. Obviously the black and white art is stunning on its own, and has the spotted blacks and gorgeous balance that the very best black and white comics have, but the fangirl in me wants the coloured version too, and clothes and posters and mugs and whole shebang!

Xulia, how much 2000 AD had you seen in Spain before becoming involved with the Sci-Fi Special? Were you already aware of the long history of Judge Death?

Xulia Vicente: I’ll be honest: myself personally, none, which makes me a bit nervous to draw my take on it. But at least I knew a bit of Judge Death and the general aesthetic of Mega-City One. I think 2000 AD material appeared in ’80s Spanish comic magazines like Cimoc and such, Judge Dredd was serialized then and has been compiled in tomes for a while now. So I gotta do my research now and see how it comes out!

Your style, from what I’ve seen online, is far from what we’re used to seeing with a character as dark as Judge Death. Are you adapting your style, full of bright colours and lightweight lines to Death, or is he having to adapt to you?

XV: Yeah, what I’ve been posting lately doesn’t look like a Judge Death comic at all! But I’ve drawn a bunch of short horror stories, and you could say my first long comic published, Duerme Pueblo, fit the genre. So it’ll be more like revisiting a style I’m familiar with. And besides, Leah’s script has a quirky, dark humour tone I love, so that leaves room for the bright colours anyway!

Leah, this would be your first 2000 AD credit without John Reppion. How did you break it to him?

LM: I told him that finally I was free from the shackles of his patriarchal control, and that i would dance on his grave with my newfound sisters under a full moon, sipping the blood of our enemies!

After the Sci-Fi Special, what do we have to look forward to from you both?

LM: Actually, me and John have more Storm Warning on the way, with Tom Foster, which was loads of fun to write. Monosyllabic psychic female cops FTW!

XV: Working on short stories for anthologies like this is a very nice stop on long projects under development. I’ve done a few of these this year while trying to finish my comic with Manuel Gutiérrez, Ira, Jinete de Dragón, a fantasy tale for young readers we’re publishing in Spain.

The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is out in the UK on 20 June and out in North America in July. Pre-order a copy now from the 2000 AD webshop…