Judge Dredd writer Alan Grant says he now finds it hard to write the comic because real life has strayed too close to his science fiction dystopia.
Speaking to the Sunday Herald he told the paper that while doing research for his recent talk, Writing Tomorrow Yesterday: How Fiction Became Reality (which formed part of the part of this year’s Edinburgh Lecture series), Grant skimmed through Judge Dredd stories from the early 1980s. He says he was amazed at how much has come true, with the obesity epidemic, overcrowding and smoking bans all appeared in the strips.
“I do actually get depressed,” said Grant. “Part of that is because when we did them originally we had such a laugh. [Co-author] John Wagner and I used to laugh ourselves stupid. The artists would send us the artwork and when we saw the world’s first two-ton man – Two Ton Tony Tubbs – we were in hysterics.
“It’s sad now that so many Scottish children are going to be obese. It’s not funny anymore. I find it hard to write Judge Dredd now, I really do.”
Taking inspiration from tabloid newspapers about youth gangs, unemployment, overcrowding and neighbour rage for his stories, Grant explained to the paper he and Wagner exaggerated them all and placed into the future but that he found it “pretty horrific when you realise that what you’ve written, admittedly an extrapolation of a trend, has got stronger and stronger,” said Grant.
Grant also appeared on BBC’s Newsnight Scotland, voicing his concerns that Britain was fast becoming a fascist state with free speech fast on its way to becoming banned.
In related news, Alan may be pleased to hear that almost three-quarters of people surveyed in Scotland have come out against CCTV cameras which record conversations, according to research by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
• Read the Sunday Herald interview in full here