I may have been a bit unkind to the IDW editorial team in my review of their Carlos Ezquerra Complete Collection Volume 1. I was bothered by how the original pages that were printed in colour in the Prog were poorly reproduced in the book with huge areas of black obliterating any detail. It turns out that those problems may pre-date the IDW book.
Let’s start with a scan from the original Fungus story in an actual copy of Prog 277.
Some nice detail visible on the two judges, their bikes and the Fungus infected victim.
Now here’s that panel from the recent IDW book:
All very blocky blacks with a lack of detail. But here is the same panel from my iPad version of The Judge Dredd Case files 6:
Which, allowing for my reproductive efforts, is just the same. So the fault would seem to lie further back with the plates used for the Case Files volume in 2006. I know next to nothing about the reproduction of classic comic art in new volumes but it would seem to me that a little more effort could have been made to the black and white rendering of original colour pages. For comparison here’s what my crappy scanner made of the colour page when I set it to B&W and fiddled with the settings a bit:
OK, it’s not perfect but there is a lot more detail visible. Anyway IDW are not completely off the hook as they did miss out the last page of the final story in the book.
Anybody who knows more about the plates used to produce these collections and the processes involved, do please get in touch.