Snapshot in Time: Judge Dredd in Metal Hammer

Following up on our previous “Snapshot in Time” feature, which included a “Judge Dredd” strip from the Daily Star first published in 1984, comic artist and colourist Alan Craddock has shared some episodes he was commissioned to colour by 2000AD editor Steve MacManus, for publication in Metal Hammer magazine.

The colour strips are all “Saturday” strips from the strip’s original run, written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, with art by Ron Smith. These were condensed tales, offering a mini adventure starring the Lawman of the Future told in just one, sometimes two, strips.

We’re not sure of the dates these ran in Metal Hammer – does anyone out there have information? Let us know. Alan tells us he coloured the first set in November 1996.

Judge Dredd Daily Star strip, coloured by Alan Craddock
Judge Dredd Daily Star strip, coloured by Alan Craddock
Judge Dredd Daily Star strip, coloured by Alan Craddock

An artist and colourist with over 30 years of experience, Alan Craddock became a freelance artist after meeting fellow artist Angus Mckie at Newcastle University, who introduced him to the London based artist’s agency Arena. He was commissioned by many book publishers, including Penguin, Sphere, Corgi and New English Library.

His many comic credits span 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine, covers for The Super Heroes Monthly and its associated spin-offs including the Superman Spectacular in 1980-82 (for London Editions Magazines), as well as Fleetway’s Cartoon Network, Panini’s Action Man, Spider-Man Adventures, Wickid, Sindy and Digimon titles; Doctor Who Adventures and the “Doctor Who” strip in the Radio Times written by Gary Russell, drawn by Lee Sullivan, for BBC Publishing, Robot Wars, the Tweenies and FBX magazine for BBC Worldwide, and Doctor Who – Battles in Time, for GE Fabbri.

His credits, sometimes working with a team of artists, also include work on titles such as Jackie Chan Adventures, Spider-Man Heroes and Villains, the Marvel and DC figurine collections and Batman Automobilia for Eaglemoss and various US publishers including Marvel Comics, Dark Horse and DC Comics.

He’s also done some film work, on the Heavy Metal film, with Angus Mckie, and TV work, for Tyne Tees and the BBC. This includes a series of SF/Fantasy paintings for the investigative BBC Panorama programme, debunking the Scientology Cult created by L Ron Hubbard, and Star Wars work, for Disney.

In 1992 after producing a portfolio of digital art, Dave Gibbons asked Angus and Alan to colour the line art for the graphic novel series, Martha Washington, written by Frank Miller. On completion, Alan was asked to do Neil Gaiman’s Mr Hero for Techno Comix.

He has also worked extensively outside the comics field on video covers, magazine covers, children’s books, computer game covers, fantasy gamebooks (notably for Fighting Fantasy) and trading cards.

Alan coloured two sets of “Judge Dredd” strips, completing the second batch in March 1997.

Judge Dredd Daily Star strip, coloured by Alan Craddock
Judge Dredd Daily Star strip, coloured by Alan Craddock
Judge Dredd Daily Star strip, coloured by Alan Craddock
Judge Dredd Daily Star strip, coloured by Alan Craddock
Judge Dredd Daily Star strip, coloured by Alan Craddock
Judge Dredd Daily Star strip, coloured by Alan Craddock

Metal Hammer was first published in 1986, serving as a definitive authority on rock music. In 2017, Future bought the brand, alongside Classic Rock and Prog magazine, relaunching them under the new parent brand of Louder and ensuring that everything under the banner of rock, metal, prog, punk, grunge, indie, alt.rock, blues, emo and everything in-between were covered, courtesy of journalists with decades of experience across the industry.

Metal’s strong bond with the world of comics has endured for decades now, but it’s hard to argue against the most significant crossover of all being the immortal “I Am The Law”, from Anthrax. Over on the Metal Hammer web site, band front man Scott Ian tells Dom Lawson how the Judge Dredd-inspired thrash classic that propelled Anthrax to greatness.

Metal Hammer also published three “Sinister Dexter” stories, written by Dan Abnett, drawn by Andy Clarke and Steve Roberts.

Web Links

Snapshot in Time: the Daily Star’s Newspaper Strips in 1984, including Judge Dredd

The Daily Dredds: Volume 1: 1981-1986

• The Daily Dredds: Volume 1: 1981-1986

Rebellion’s first collection of Judge Dredd comic strips from the Daily Star, written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, illustrated by Ron Smith.

The Daily Dredds: Volume 2: 1986 - 1989

• The Daily Dredds: Volume 2: 1986 – 1989

This second volume of the Daily Star Dredds features the weekly strips published in the popular national tabloid that ran between July 1986 to the end of 1988, featuring action-packed stories from John Wagner and Alan Grant and sumptuous art from Ian Gibson, Mike Collins and the legendary Ron Smith.

Previous Judge Dredd Collections

• The Judge Dredd Collection (‎PAJ Publications, 1985) | ISBN: 978-0850379662
Earlier Collections
• The Judge Dredd Collection 2 (IPC Magazines, 1986) | ISBN: 978-0850376494
The Judge Dredd Collection 3 (IPC Magazines, 1987) | ISBN: 978-1852770365
The Judge Dredd Collection 4 (Fleetway, 1989, some repeats from earlier collections) | ISBN: ‎978-1853861468
The Judge Dredd Collection 5 (Fleetway Publications, 1990 – one continuous collection of a single daily story) | ISBN: ‎978-1853862137
• The Judge Dredd Mega Collection (hardback, 1990, Fleetway, Reprints: Judge Dredd weekly strips from the Daily Star, 5th September 1981 – 14th December 1985, with some omissions) | ISBN: 978-1853862144

The A to Z of British Newspaper Strips by Paul Hudson is available from Book Palace Books now, price £55 | ISBN: 978-1913548247 | Artists and Writers: Numerous | 320 Pages | Also available from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Judge Dredd, 2000AD copyright Rebellion Publishing Ltd

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



Categories: 2000AD, British Comics, British Comics - Newspaper Strips, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Magazines

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