Let me just start by noting that this is a huge read. The sheer number of movie details contained within the script – paired with the Mega City One aesthetics provided by our very own Jock – is truly staggering. Taking you through parts of the Dredd screenplay, it accompanies the notes with visual representations of the look and feel of what each particular area or landscape was envisioned to look like.
This approach makes Jock – an artist who also flicks between movie posters/concepts and his own art – perfectly suited to this task. Add to that the drawn storyboards of the film and what we have here is basically just an over-extended version of Dredd… as a comic.
Largely scenes play out as the would in Dredd the movie, which makes for an interesting juxtaposition as we see the ultraviolence and gore that made the film stand on its own, yet on panel they feel altogether different. Perhaps it is the ‘comic’ nature of the illustrations, but the particularly shocking parts [such as Anderson stripping and feminizing the perp with her teeth] just don’t pack quite the same ‘bite’ when transferred from the big screen to the illustrated page.
But it would be entirely pointless of me to keep comparing them both… yes, they are essentially different forms of the same story, but this is so much more that just an adaptation, more like a work of art.
If there is one thing Dredd fans can hope for, it is that gorgeous works like this which accompany the film will lead to a second berth, I know very few people who saw the film and left feeling shortchanged by its grounded feel to the big megs, the chaos of block war and the wackier mutant aspects, yet turning it into an entirely engaging experience – making it hurt all the more that it wasn’t extended the same sequel love that other cookie cutter comic properties do. However, if it means a pipeline for books like this or even Underbelly in the meantime, then I guess that will go a long way in helping deal with the pain.
The writer of this piece was:
Gary Kane aka (GK)
Article: Flashin’ Back!
GK tweets from @Kanoclassic