Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
I just saw this, via the 2000AD forums: a collage image of Jock’s storyboards for last year’s Dredd film. Some of the Savage Wolverine artist’s concept work for the movie leaked onto the Internet before filming began, but as far as I can tell, this is the first time any sighting has been made of this particular aspect of his work on the production. The storyboards were lettered and compiled into comic book form by John J Hill Design.
Here’s the site’s description: “In order to secure financing for the comic book based sci-fi film DREDD, a package was put together for DNA Films consisting of the storyboards (drawn by acclaimed artist Jock) and script reformatted to create a comic book of the entire movie. The film was successfully produced and came out to critical (although not box office) success.”
This is a tantalizing proposition. Surely an “Art of” book must be on the cards, featuring this and all the pre-viz work done by Jock and the many other artists who worked on the movie? Wouldn’t that go some way to satisfying the film’s ever-vocal fanbase?
The proposed “day of action” for the “Make a Dredd Sequel” campaign turns out to be a rather cleverly planned piece of corporate synergy. The date, Sept, 17, is of course a New Comics Day, and the day 2000AD Prog 1850 (as anticipated by ROBOT 6’s Brigid Alverson in this week’s Cheat Sheet), and Judge Dredd Megazine #340 are released. Both comics are optimized for new readers, featuring high-profile new series and contributors.
These new series include a Dredd strip based upon the movie continuity (as previewed here last week), and “Ordinary,” a creator-owned strip by the critically acclaimed team of Rob Williams and D’Israeli (again, previewed here last week); the press release from the publisher Rebellion flags the recent high-profile gigs for all the talent involved, such as “Damnation Station” being written by Mighty Avengers‘ Al Ewing.
The folks at 2000AD are clearly fed up of waiting to see if the accountants at DNA Films will bow to the online petitions and constant fan-badgering and release a sequel to 2012’s Dredd: They’re taking the initiative and starting their own continuation of the film, beginning next week in Judge Dredd Megazine #340. This new continuity doesn’t replace Dredd’s ongoing 36-year-old saga, instead running parallel. Y’know, like an Ultimate Judge Dredd. I can see how the whole “sequel to Dredd movie” angle may well play well with the mainstream press, perhaps generating some mass-media attention.
The strip, “Dredd: Underbelly,” is by writer Arthur Wyatt and artist Henry Flint. 2000AD sent along these images, showing Flint’s process for creating the issue’s cover, from preliminary sketch to finished item.
I came across my new favorite Tumblr via Richard McAuliffe’s Everything Comes Back To 2000AD blog: Dreddheads, wherein Owen Watts (of such UK small press anthologies as Dr WTF and The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel) regularly posts caricatures dressed in uniform as Mega City One judges, taking his design cues from the 2012 movie version. Sure, your affection for the site will vary based on your knowledge of British comedy, with assorted satirists and sitcom characters prominently featured, but there’s plenty of examples familiar to an international audience. Clint Eastwood, whose Dirty Harry Callahan is often cited as a key influence upon Dredd, finds himself included; as does Carlos Ezquerra, the Spanish co-creator of the futuristic lawman.
Here at ROBOT 6, we’re hardened hacks who generally don’t get too excited about any old rumor that’s doing the rounds, or report it as a news story, but seeing how I really want this one to be true, I’ll make an exception. Also, some great art vaguely relating to the story turned up recently, and its too good not to share.
The Facebook group Make a DREDD Sequel posted this over the weekend:
From an UNCONFIRMED SOURCE, it has come to this page’s attention that DNA Films will be reviewing the blu-ray/DVD sales of DREDD in the coming weeks and will be deciding whether or not to make a sequel. If this is true, let’s show them how much we want that sequel! If you haven’t already, please buy the DVD or blu-ray! More news soon!
Of course, this is one anonymous source claiming to have another shadowy even-more-anonymous source, and as such should be taken with a double-sized pinch of salt. Who knows what vested interests are at work here, seeking to further their own agendas. Or then again, this could be completely true. Anyway, this has been enough to spark something of a spike in sales of the Dredd DVD. This was posted the next day:
2012 will be remembered in some quarters as the year of some of the most overrated comic book movies ever. Fancy grabbing yourself a piece of permanent reminder from easily the best and most underrated of last year’s crop? Then eBay is the place for you, as DNA Films and the Prop Store are auctioning off over 200 props and costumes from Dredd over the next fortnight. In time you’ll be able to buy yourself a (hopefully fully working) Lawmaster motorbike, but the first batch includes the only complete Judge Dredd costume that’ll be available in the auction.
No word from anyone involved yet, but this sale may well be tacit confirmation that DNA has no intention of developing a sequel to the film, despite its recent success both as a download and in DVD and Blu-Ray sales, a second bite of the cherry that will probably result in putting the movie in profit after its initially disappointing international box office takings.
Entertainment Weekly has debuted Mondo’s Dredd 3D poster created by Jock for Fantastic Fest, which begins Thursday in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2005, the annual event is the largest genre film festival in the United States, and this year plays host to a screen of director Pete Travis’ Judge Dredd adaptation, attended by stars Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby, and screenwriter Alex Garland.
Initially at least, poster be available only at the festival; however, any left over will be sold online. Jock has been working a lot lately with Mondo, the collectible art boutique arm of Alamo Drafthouse, producing limited-edition posters for The Dark Knight Rises and The Raid: Redemption.
Dredd 3D opens Friday nationwide.
Dredd 3D launches in UK cinemas this weekend, to almost universally positive reviews in British mainstream media outlets. Even the lowest scoring review I could find fails to say anything truly negative to say about the film. The press ads feature glowing quotes from non-genre sources as the canny marketing campaign works to court a populist audience, building upon the approving word-of-mouth from the geek world which has been building steadily since SDCC. The UK’s top-selling daily, The Sun, today led its weekly movie review spread with one of the most favorable reviews yet, in a source which often primes the average British consumer on how it’ll spend its entertainment budget over the weekend. The Sun may often be derided by its critics, but the power it wields should not be under-estimated. Its approval alone may go a long way to ensuring that Dredd is a hit at British cinemas.
With a little more than two weeks before director Pete Travis’ Dredd 3D arrives in theaters, Lionsgate and 2000AD have released a 10-page prequel comic that delves into the backstory of Ma-Ma (played in the film by Lena Headey), the drug lord responsible for the Slo-Mo epidemic plaguing Mega-City One.
Titled “Top of the World, Ma-Ma,” the comic is written by 2000AD editor Matt Smith, with art by Henry Flint, colors by Chris Blythe, letters by Simon Bowland and a cover by Greg Staples.
Dredd 3D opens Sept. 21.
I’ve described some artists here as having “escaped” comics for the rarified air of the fine art world. I get the feeling Glenn Barr would deny that description, I remember seeing him describe his work before as “low brow art”. Anyway, I love it. There’s an interview with him over at the 1XRun blog, discussing the latest limited-edition print he’s produced for them, The Alien Bride.
Lots more art below, including Sergio Aragones, Jon Haward, Dan McDaid and Brendan McCarthy. Continue Reading »
This turned up recently on Andrew Ross MacLean’s Tumblr: Hellboy versus Anung Un Rama. I was unfamiliar with MacLean’s work, but a little poking round his portfolio shows an artist with a really likeable style, one which nicely fuses all the influences he cites, such as Mike Mignola, Gabriel Bá, Rafael Grampa, James Harren, Paul Pope and Paul Maybury (all of whose work he regularly reblogs).
More below: X-Men! Dredd! Spider-Man! Zombie East-Anglian Kings!. Continue Reading »
Dylan Teague is a U.K. artist few in the United States will have heard of. He has a great style, in a very British tradition — you’ll see the influence of artists such as Sydney Jordan, Don Lawrence or Brian Bolland in his work. Unfortunately, he’s not particularly prolific and he certainly doesn’t update his blog often enough. The sod. But he has updated it with pages scanned from his sketchbook twice in the last week.
More interesting work spotted recently at assorted artists’ blogs below.