Daily Dredds Volume 2
By John Wagner, Alan Grant, Barry Kitson, Ian Gibson, Steve Dillon,
Review by Seth
A far wittier and more insightful man than I, once suggested that the best introduction to Dredd and his universe are the Daily Star strips.This is certainly true of 80s Dredd, but not so true of the latter day Dredd. Flying solo, Wagner took the strip in the progs to darker skies.
But we’re talking about Dredd in his 80s heyday here. These started as 5-6 panel strips on in the saturday edition of that bastion of free thinking and high brow political thought.
Not long after, Joe graduated to daily strips in the red topped rag. What could be better for exposure to the character or his home, 2000AD? (apart from a movie of course…)Wagner, Grant, Smith and other great artists daily? Yes please Mr. newspaper editor sir.
Writing a daily newspaper strip is its own discipline (so wiser men than me have said). IIf coming up with one six page strip a week was hard enough, a daily serial must be torture.
These books are beautifully presented, and (with the odd exception) the reprints are of a high quality and these are more than just rehashes of stories from the prog’. Although themes and characters are carried over (Mean Machine, Citizen Snork, Two Ton Tony Tubbs all make appearances in this second collection), these are original stories, with perhaps at least a cursory nod to continuity, if that sort of thing floats your boat).
Despite there being a number of strips that have been reprinted more times than the bible (“Bride of Death”, “Weirdies”, “The Mean Machine”,” A Guide To Mega City Law” “Vigilante”) the collection starts off very strong, but then starts tailing off toward the end. Although all the strips are credited to Wagner and Grant, the last strip reads like a solitary Alan Grant on script.Ian Gibson starts off as art droid but there are showings from Barry Kitson , Steve Dillon and Mike Collins bringing up the rear. Can’t fault the art,but if I had to call a favourite it would be Gibson’s work. Perfect for this format.
So, yeah.It is of its time, and Dredd’ has developed alot of the last 20 years. But these are still are classy strips and this is a great (although expensive) introduction to the world of Dredd.