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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Judge Dredd of 2000 AD

9p - Earth money. I remember my old school friend Philip Sullivan laughing his head off at the front page of 2000 AD - a comic that was; 'IN ORBIT EVERY MONDAY.'

I would always be buying comics as a youngster. The Dandy and the Beano were among my favourites. Also there was other names like; Beezer, Topper, Cor and Knockout. 

I used to read them avidly as a kid. They were my little world were I would often escape to, upstairs in my bedroom out of sight and mind. Out they would come - my growing array of wonderful British comics. 

As I started going to secondary (high) school. I began reading the endless war stories that were out - like; Commando, Battle, Warlord and Victor. 

I remember the German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt complaining on the BBC news, next to our Prime Minister James Callaghan, about these comic strips that were staunchly dedicated to loving our war heroes and demonising anything German or Japanese. 

It was the seventies and as a kid growing up through the sixties and seventies, the war was still very prevalent.  

Then along came a new one called 2000 AD - 9p - Earth Money and Philip Sullivan laughing. I remember reading one of the strips about this futuristic policeman called Judge Dredd. Wow! was this guy the complete works. He diced with death about 10 times a day and would sentence his criminals on the spot. What with all the Mary Whitehouse things going on at the time, I thought the strip would get banned. They banned the American Civil war cards of the sixties because they were blood thirsty.

The strip that Philip and I was reading was about a villainous assassin with a huge great F*#K OFF rifle that fired a plasma burst or ray. It engulfed the victim in a ball of heat that made them scream "Yeaaaaah' and then there would be a pile of ashes and a smouldering skull and bones. 

Our victims were Judges riding their huge motorbikes through the dystopian city of the future somewhere in America. Of course Judge Dredd is called in track down the serial marksman. I thought it was great. There were other comic strips too, but most of all I remember the infamous Judge Dredd.

It is hard to believe how successful the comic strip became with two movies portraying the character and countless graphic novels too. I would not have thought the character would have last as long as it has, exceeding the years 2000 AD by far. The year 2000 seemed a long way off back in the mid seventies to a 14 year old.




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