Recently*, I celebrated my birthday. My teenage daughter, who clearly is kind enough to listen to me from time to time, remembered me talking about the sci-fi fixations of my youth. To my extreme surprise and great pleasure, she presented me with a bound collection of Judge Dredd comic strips from the legendary British sci-fi comic 2000AD.
Ol’ Stoney Face happens to be my favourite ever comic character. The sheer depth of imagination that went into creating the consistent, dystopian future setting of Mega City One and the relentless invention of writers John Wagner and Alan Grant captivated me like no other sci-fi has since. Coupled with the excellent artwork of Brian Bolland (above), Carlos Ezquerra and Mike McMahon, the world of Dredd has never failed to deliver the kind of inspiration I need when considering the kind of atmosphere I want to convey in my books.
Although I wouldn’t call myself an out-and-out science fiction writer, my work does contain more than a few nods to the kind of imaginative, unsettling work I used to lap up from the pages of 2000AD and, later, The X-Files.
I thought I’d tip my hat to Dredd’s writers and artists and the inspiration they continue to provide more than 40 years since they were written.
*This is a relative term!