INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Legal | A Judge Dredd comic that makes fun of McDonald’s and Burger King is finally being reprinted in a collection, thanks to a change in the European Copyright Directive, which now allows creators to use copyrighted characters if the intent is clearly parody. In the “Burger Wars” story, first published in 1978, Judge Dredd is captured on a trip to the United States and force-fed fast food; the story includes images of Ronald McDonald and the McDonald’s logo. Another story, “Soul Food,” has a mad scientist creating versions of the Jolly Green Giant and the Michelin Man. Ben Smith of Rebellion Publishing says fans have been asking for years for these story to be reprinted in their collected editions, but they were held back for fear of legal action. When the law was changed, Smith said, they took another look: “It was like a light bulb went on. We thought: ‘Surely this means we can look at Burger Wars?’ We looked into it and here we are. This is straight-out pastiche, parody and arch satire. There didn’t seem any reason not to bring them to the public again.” [The Independent]
Fandom | Rob Salkowitz writes about the controversy over this year’s Hugo Awards nominations and the “Sad Puppies” slate, and how skirmishes such as this are further fueled by the media: “The net effect of this, as observed by commentator Ezra Klein, is the politicization of just about everything, dragging a lot of randomly hostile and belligerent people into conflicts that don’t really concern them, but in whose outcome they have been persuaded they have a stake. Media outlets profit, but fan culture, which at its best unites people from all demographics across the political spectrum in their enthusiasm for creative works and community, is the victim.” [ICv2]
Brett Ewins, the influential British artist perhaps best known for his work on Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper, has passed away at age 59.
An early collaborator of Peter Milligan, whom he met at Goldsmiths College, and Brendan McCarthy, Ewins began providing covers for 2000 AD before soon reteaming with McCarthy on Future Shocks and Judge Dredd. His other 2000 AD work included ABC Warriors, Bad Company, Judge Anderson and the aforementioned Rogue Trooper.
Although I have my doubts as to the calming, meditative qualities of a character whose signature line is “Hulk SMASH,” I’m not immune to the appeal of these 3D-printed Buddha sculptures of an assortment of pop-culture characters, from the Star Wars cast to Batman to Judge Dredd to Groot (with Rocket Raccoon, naturally).
The statues, which come in three sizes — 2 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches — range in price from $7.99 to $27.99. You can see some of the pieces below, and the full selection on Chris Milnes’ Etsy page.
U.K. publisher Rebellion has an Android app selling 2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine and its large selection of classic graphic novels. Signing up for a digital 2000 AD subscription also unlocks access to three months of back issues so readers can get caught up.
According to the publisher, 2000 AD and the Meg will be available for purchase day-and-date in-app and as DRM-free downloads in either PDF or CBZ format. The new Android app complements Rebellion’s existing iOS app, noteworthy for being one of the few not run through leading digital comics distributor comiXology.
To celebrate the launch of the 2000 AD app for Android, Rebellion shared with ROBOT 6 Greg Staples’ unreleased cover to 2000 AD prog 1915, featuring the return of Judge Death in “Dark Justice” by John Wagner and Staples. One of the first issues to debut inside the new Android app, prog 1915 goes on sale in-app on Feb. 1.
The 2000 AD app for Android is available now on Google Play.
To promote the Wednesday debut of Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection — themed hardcover editions released every two weeks — publisher 2000 AD is using an appropriately mega-sized approach: a 20-second television commercial set to air on multiple channels across the United Kingdom. You can watch it below.
Beginning with Issue 1: “America,” the 1990-92 serial by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil, Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection gathers the definitive stories and creators from the strip’s 38-year history, arranged thematically and “in an order chosen by the experts at Rebellion to give new and old readers alike a coherent and immersive reading experience.”
Ahead of the beginning of preorders on Wednesday, 3A Toys has released additional details about its Judge Death 1/12th-scale figure, the first in the company’s 2000AD line.
Based on the twisted version of Judge Dredd created by John Wagner, Alan Grant and Brian Bolland, the fully posable figure stands 6.6 inches tall, and features a tailored mock-leather outfit.
Judge Death is available for preorder beginning Wednesday at Bambaland, where the $60 price includes international shipping.
Initially teased in June with the familiar phrase “The crime is life, the sentence is death,” the figure now has a price and a preorder date — $60, beginning Jan. 14 — along with the promise, “Death Isssss Coming!”
I know very little about Judge Dredd lore, but I’d like to imagine Antarctic City isn’t kept safe by Polar Judges but rather adorable little penguins, armed and outfitted with the signature helmet, badge and epaulettes. You know, like this Judge Dredd Cosplay Penguin PVC statuette from Blind Mouse Toys.
Designed by Daniel Balmforth and Steve Scholz, and sculpted and painted by Joe Amaro, the 11.5-centimeter (about 4.5 inches) statuette comes with “comic-accurate costume,” removable Lawgiver and non-removable helmet. And it can be yours fr $40.
Judge Dredd has crossed paths with Batman, Predator, the Xenomorph, Lobo and even Mars Attacks!, yet somehow Mega-City One’s finest has never run into the Man of Steel. But while Andy Diggle admits he doesn’t envision that changing anytime soon, the writer has an idea that may have fans pining for the heyday of the intercompany crossover.
“An object falls from space and crashes towards Mega-City One. The anti-missile lasers can’t seem to vaporize the thing, and it hits the ground and demolishes a fortunately uninhabited area of ground,” Diggle tells CBR News in an interview about the release of Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus and Other Stories. “Turn the page. Cue close-up of tech Judges in radiation gear looking down into this crater. Superman is lying at the bottom of it. He’s basically been blasted into a parallel dimension by a device created by Lex Luthor, which has partly depowered Superman.
“He’s not as super as he used to be, partly also because of all the pollution in the atmosphere of Dredd’s world. It’s called the death belt, this layer of pollution and junk thrown up in the upper atmosphere by nuclear war. It cuts out the sun’s rays, which depower Superman a bit. Dredd is not going to like having an illegal alien running around in his city. Superman is not going to be very keen on this fascist version of justice. It’s no longer truth, justice and the American way, because it’s no longer America: It’s Mega-City One, creep!”
And that’s only the beginning, he assures. Although he has the story plotted out, it seems unlikely DC Comics will be in crossover mode in the near future. But if that changes? Diggle would “absolutely” be up for it.
(Commissioned Dredd art by Kevin Levell)
The inaugural campaign in 2013 helped to drive the film up the Blu-ray and DVD charts, generating publicity in the process, and this year organizers are seeking to do it again: The want fans on Wednesday to buy Dredd again, watch it with friends, talk about it online (using the hagshtag “DayofDredd, of course) — whatever they can to draw attention to the film. That includes signing 2000AD’s official petition.
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Despite the continued optimism of star Karl Urban, a sequel to the 2012 film Dredd would seem like a longshot. Still, in the past couple of years plenty of fans have been a case for a return to Mega-City One, box-office receipts be damned.
However, none of those arguments has been as convincing — or as moving — as “Dredd: The Musical,” the latest video from Legolambs. With its refrain of “It’s time to make Dredd II,” the rousing anthem is performed by Urban and Sylvester Stallone (or close enough), who belt out lyrics like, “We’re well behind the schedule, we should be on Part 3. There are follow-ups for Iron Man and Thor, so why not me?”
If this doesn’t win over studio executives, then nothing will.
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]
In my years of reading comics, Judge Dredd has been a pretty big blind spot for me. That is until the 2012 movie. I loved the relatively low-scale stakes that still managed to pack a lot of character in its limited environment. People like to say that Dredd is about a fascist society, but to me it felt more like the Wild West. Dredd (Karl Urban) and Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) were more like sheriffs enforcing the law in a lawless society, and certain scenes — like Dredd walking down an empty hallway with people left and right — definitely recalled Western imagery. I started to dig into the 2000AD comics and the new IDW series.
Book Expo America is the annual trade show where publishers promote their upcoming books to retailers and librarians. BEA is all about books, but comics and graphic novels are a growing presence. Diamond had a dedicated area, as it has in previous years, several comics publishers had their own booths, and several of the big publishers featured graphic novels alongside their other titles, most notably Hachette, which gave quite a bit of space to Yen Press.
I spent Friday at the show looking at which books the publishers were drawing the most attention to. Here’s a very subjective account of what I saw.
Kid stuff! Children’s and YA graphic novels have been hot for a couple of years, and the news that Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters is getting a 200,000 copy initial print run got a lot of buzz. Of course, the BEA crowd has been on board with her work for a while, and they lined up in droves for her book signing. The same was true of Jeff Kinney, who was signing copies of The Wimpy Kid School Planner at the Abrams booth; the crowd just kept on coming. And the staff at the BOOM! Studios table were hustling as attendees grabbed copies of their Adventure Time and Bravest Warrior collections as well as their third original Peanuts graphic novel, Peanuts: The Beagle Has Landed, which takes Snoopy to the moon.
Creators | A memorial service for Morrie Turner, pioneering creator of the Wee Pals comic strip, will be held Sunday at the Grand Ballroom at the Claremont Hotel Club and Spa in Berkeley, California. It’s open to the public. The family plans to hold a private service in February in Sacramento. [Contra Costa Times]