As we approach the end of the year, I felt it only fitting that I gather a list of my favourite stories, one offs, and covers of 2013 published in The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic; 2000AD and its sister publication, Judge Dredd Megazine (actually I have to thank a fellow Squaxx on the 2000AD board for coming up with the idea!). The list did take time to gather and pick through and I found Comic Vine a big help in terms of jogging my memory. There have been some real gems this year, so without wasting further time I’ll get to it.
We’ll start with the prog (2000AD)*
Favourite Judge Dredd stories;
1. New Tricks (prog 1849 – 1854), by Mike Carroll & Paul Davidson. A recent story where Dredd and a group of rookie Judges go beneath the city to track down the ‘Goblin King’. A really enjoyable script and art with a cracking ending too.
2. Wolves (prog 1820 -1822), by Mike Carroll & Andrew Currie. A story centred around the East-Meg citizens and people of Russian descent who are targeted by Russian gangs. Currie’s artwork is really fun with some cameos from some famous faces such as Paulie from The Sopranos!
3. Scavengers (prog 1842 – 1844), by Rob Williams & Carl Critchlow. Carl Critchlow is the star here as Dredd and fellow Judges investigate odd goings on on the crashed Godcity beneath the Black Atlantic. It’s a sequel to last year’s Trifecta, and damn good fun.
Favourite Judge Dredd one offs;
1. Closet by Rob Williams & Mike Dowling (prog 1817). There was some contoversy when a sneak preview of the story showed ‘Dredd’ kissing another man. In the end its about a young man’s struggles in dealing with his sexuality and coming out of the closet so to speak. Great artwork from Pete Doherty.
2. Witches Promise by Alan Grant & David Roach (prog 1818). Beautiful, stunning artwork from David Roach. The first page is quite possibly my favourite 2000AD panel of the year. Story may be a little weak but the artwork makes up for it.
3. Save Him by Rob Williams & James Harren (prog 1819). A nice little tale about a psychic, suffering with premonitions of things to come. Dredd gets trapped inside his mind and must try and escape from a hellish world. James Harren’s artwork is great, nice Hellboy chin on Dredd!
Favourite Non-Dredd story/ series;
1.The Ghostship Mathematica (Tharg’s 3rillers) by David Baillie & Inaki Miranda (prog 1827 – 1829). My favourite story of the year. It may seem odd to some that I chose a 3riller as first choice, but David Baillie’s story is really engaging, it’s like Treasure Island crossed with Star Wars. Inaki Miranda’s artwork is simply stunning, with gorgeous colour work from Eva De La Cruz. Also the prog wherein the story kicks off happens to contain my ‘Letter of the week’!
2. Brass Sun – The Diamond Age by Ian Edginton & INJ Culbard. I absolutely adore this series. The first series was awesome and this second one was just as good. I mean a Clockwork solar system? Steampunk trappings? Double crosses? Sky Sharks? What’s not to like?
3. Sinister Dexter – Witless Protection by Dan Abnett & John Burns (prog 1832 – 1840). I’m not a big fan of Sinister Dexter (I barely managed to get through the three part floppies a while back), but this here is marvellous stuff from Dan Abnett and John Burns, whose artwork is simply mesmerising.
4. Defoe – The Damned by Pat Mills & Leigh Gallagher (prog 1836 – 1847). A big fan of Defoe, and this (concluding?) series was just as thrilling as its predecessors. Leigh Gallagher’s b&w art is just breath taking at times.
5. The Ten seconders – Godsend by Rob Williams, Edmund Bagwell & Ben Willsher (1839-1849). One of the biggest surprises of the year. No one thought that the final series of this strip would be so good. A large part of it is thanks to Edmund Bagwell’s superb artwork.
6. The Red Seas – Fire across the deep by Ian Edginton & Steve Yeowell (prog 2013 -1823). I absolutely adore this series. I fell in love with it immediately. Being a big fan of Ray Harryhausen and his films obviously played a big part, and this is a nice end to a much maligned series. Honestly, there’s probably just a handful of us who like it! Oh well…
7. Aquila – Where all roads lead by Gordon Rennie & Patrick Goddard (prog 1851 – 1855). Far too short is my only complaint, but other than that, a brilliant series.
1. Dave Kendall (prog 1853) – Gorehead; King of the wild frontier. Difficult to choose between this and Cliff Robinson’s cover, but this is just a little bit more eye popping in my opinion. Kendall’s detailed work and colour tone is just a pleasure to behold.
2. Cliff Robinson (prog 1854) – The Original Troublemaker
3. Boo Cook (prog 1830) – Gunheadz
And the Meg…
Favourite series /story; (Please note that I did not include Ordinary as it is still an ongoing series)
1. Insurrection III by Dan Abnett & Colin MacNeil (published #334 – 342). I felt so moved by the end of this final series I sent a letter to the Megazine immediately outlining my thoughts. It is a masterful last series, beautiful, moving, gripping and even poetic. Yes, poetic. How many comics can you say that about?
2. Judge Dredd: Nurture by Rob Williams & PJ Holden (published #339 – 340). Lovely artwork from PJ Holden. Not to mention some crisp colour work from Eva De La Cruz, and a gripping unflinching story by Rob Williams.
3. Bob Byrne’s Twisted Tales for #335 & #338. These two Twisted Tales are so good, they have to be seen to be believed. Seen, because there’s no text at all! It’s wholly a visual experience and damn enjoyable at that to boot. I can’t wait to see more of those from Bob Byrne’s.
2. Lobster Random: Tooth & Claws
Colin MacNeil – Insurrection III finalé, #342. This recent cover is my favourite of the year. A beautiful, sombre piece from Colin MacNeil. And the colour work is just beautiful.
Cliff Robinson – Judge Dredd # 338. Also a top cover; this would look really good on a T-shirt!
Favourite panel of the year;
Insurrection III, #341, by Colin MacNeil. The artwork just says it all. It’s a drokking masterpiece. In the context of the story, heartbreaking. But as a stand alone piece, almost poetic. Colin MacNeil deserves a medal!
So there you have it! Please feel free to leave your comments at the end. What were your own favourites?
* You can find the reviews for each of the stories here on my blog.