|Judge Dredd Year One #4 (IDW, July 2013)|
Art by Dave Sim
Chris Ryall was on his way to Angouleme and realized I was doing my covers the first week of the month so he faxed me January 17 that DREDD YEAR ONE #4 was on my list for the beginning of February "although I still need to get story details on that one." It's interesting to me so far at the beginning of the process of creating an issue. Virtually nothing exists: the covers are the first finished pieces.
A week later, he had heard from the writer, Matt Smith, whom he had asked specifically for an issue description and cover idea (for me!).
"Year One no 4 info - the future of Mega-City One is in the balance as insurrection builds, psicopathic juves rampage the streets and Justice Department is struggling to contain the unrest. Only Dredd can stop the Four Mothers of the Apocalypse from spreading their malign influence and destroying the 22nd century metropolis. As for covers...for Dave, something along the lines of a broken Judge badge being stamped underfoot, incorporated into the logo...?"
So that was what I started with on the top line. The badge part was pretty easy. I just took a photocopy of the logo badge and cut it into three parts and then traced those off. The bootprint was a bit more of a problem. No matter what I did, it looked like snow. Sort of like Canada in January (February, March and now April). No matter what you do, it looks like snow. That was when I got the idea to hatch the contours of the letters. It STILL looks like snow, but I'm sure the colourist will be able to help with that.
On the rest of the cover, I decided to just do the juves rampaging the streets. Briefly considered finding online images of the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots and then thought, no, this seems like a good time to practice my tiny, little figures. Which you really need to know how to do to even pretend to be a photorealistic comics guy. I was giving myself passing marks on the guy in the "N" with his arm in the "O". I worked backwards from bottom to top and I think they got better as I went along. "That's it. That's as deep into the page as it's possible to go."
Then I asked to see the two Neal Adams BEN CASEY dailies they had in the Heritage Auction I was at February 22nd.
Not even close. Two tiny little faces in one panel that were easily four or five MILES deeper into the page than I've ever gone.
Oh well. I still got paid. And thank you, IDW.