2000 AD is honoring their longest-running character, lawbringer Judge Joseph Dredd, on Saturday, September 7, 2019, with several events taking placing in the UK. For the rest of us who cannot attend those events, 2000 AD is asking fans to share personal memories of their first encounter with Dredd and/or their favorite character(s) from the Dredd universe and are encouraging fans use the hashtag #DAYOFDREDD. For comic book retailers and libraries, if they send in evidence of honoring the Judge Dredd IP to 2000 AD, then participating shops and libraries will receive a care package that is “so good they should be illegal” according PREVIEWSWorld.
What was my first encounter with Judge Dredd and his universe? Unfortunately, the Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd film from 1995. I was not impressed and I think, in part, it had to do with the fact that I did not understand the world. Hence, the Judge came and went without an afterthought and in my mind and doesn't really count.
Fast forward to 2012’s Dredd film starring Karl Urban (Judge Dredd), Olivia Thirby (Cassandra Anderson), and Lena Headey (Madeline “Ma-Ma” Madrigal). Whoa! This was a completely different film: gritty, tense, and conveying a stifling mise-en-scene. (The action took place in a locked down city building.) The acting was superb – Urban plays Dredd right by not revealing his face – and the 3D effects, even without the special glasses, were incredible. The industrial music score by Paul Leonard-Morgan matched up so well with the events of the film that I even purchased the soundtrack; however, more importantly, the film launched me on a Judge Dredd odyssey adventure. I have been reading through the case file volumes, collecting the new comics, the official magazine, the oversized hardcover artist collections, art, collectibles, video games, and an ongoing lamenting for Dredd 2… What was your first encounter?
Don’t forget to hashtag your Dredd memories with #DAYOFDREDD and follow @2000AD (Twitter) and @insta200AD (Instagram). If not, you might just find yourself in one of the dreaded Mega-City One’s isocubes!
Also marking the celebration this year, Rob Williams and Henry Flint’s Judge Dredd: The Small House (Rebellion) was released worldwide on Thursday, September 5. This book is a collected edition of classic Judge Dredd stories, so if you are looking for an entry point with this immensely popular IP, this collection would be a great start. Otherwise, consider picking up the first volume of Judge Dredd: The Complete Case-Files and get ready to immerse yourself in 42 years' worth of entertaining stories of one of the most recognizable characters in the history of comics!
“For Dredd there is only one thing in his life – the law.”
- Carlos Ezquerra, Judge Dredd Annual 1984