First up, we have FutureQuake #21, which has within its pages Call Of Nature by me and Jason Smith (with letters by Bolt-01):
When an alien race makes contact with Earth, the humans soon discover they're facing something that's just too big to fight...This was actually the second version of this story - I hesitate to use the word "draft", because this version only used the title and a couple of basic plot elements from the first one; pretty much everything else is completely new. I wanted to try and bring a lighter tone to the whole "first contact" story, and Jason took that idea and ran with it, producing some really beautiful art - there are more panels in Call Of Nature than I can count that just make me smile, but to say more would give too much of the story away...
FutureQuake #21 features a cover by Gibson Quarter that looks like this:
You can find out more about the cover on Gibson's Blog.
FutureQuake #21 is available now from the FutureQuake Shop priced £3.50 (+ p&p). As ever, you can click the image of the cover over on the right side of your screen to head straight to the shop so you can see for yourself why the comic has been nominated so many times for an Eagle Award!
Remember to check out the FutureQuake Press Website and the FQP Blog for news and previews of upcoming issues - and be sure and check out the latter for the complete running order of this issue.
Next up is Zarjaz #15, an all "Dredd-world" issue, featuring a collection of tales from the mean streets of Mega City One and beyond...
I have to confess here that I'm feeling a bit spoiled with this particular issue. My contributions to it include my first Judge Dredd story for Zarjaz - the first one I ever wrote for the comic, and the first one to be published (er, if you don't include Death To The Future, of course...) - and my first collaborations with Zarjaz veteran David Broughton and the incomparable Kevin Levell!
First, we have Judge Dredd: The Taking Of Mopad 456:
Despite the towering city blocks that form the skyline of Mega-City One, there is still a severe housing shortage plaguing the city, forcing many citizens to live in mobile homes - known as Mopads - that remain constantly on the move through the millions of miles of roadway.As I've already said, the story was an attempt to do a shamelessly old school Judge Dredd tale, trying to capture that feel the series had during the early-mid 80's, and Kev (who, I'm sure you'll agree after reading the strip, is a 2000AD art droid in waiting) just nailed it perfectly. It's left me desperately wanting to work with Kev again in the near future, but I suspect he's going to be a very busy guy...
But when one Mopad catches the attention of Judge Dredd, trouble isn't far behind...
My second contribution to the issue is Judge Dredd: Big JIMPin':
On the streets of Mega-City One, a Judge's reputation can sometimes be their most effective weapon in upholding the law, and JIMP's - Judge Impersonators - can go a long way to eroding that.
But when someone starts to impersonate Judge Dredd, the grand old man of Justice is forced to stamp it out quickly before his own reputation is damaged beyond repair...
Big JIMPin' was a tricky one to get right, I have to admit. I wanted to try and do Dredd in a the style of how the strip is written now, but it proved to be tougher than I thought. Still not 100% sure I got it right... Thankfully, I had Zarjaz and Dogbreath vet David Broughton on board to tackle the art and breathe some life into the strip in his own unique style. David has also posted something about the process of creating the strip over on his blog, and there's a rather nice write up of the strip over on the Forbidden Planet International Blog.
Both Dredd strips were lettered by Bolt-01.
Zarjaz #15 features a cover by Edmund Bagwell (based on a Chris Weston commission), and looks a bit like this:
The guys at Everything Comes Back To 2000AD have posted a huge collection of previews of this issue to whet your appetite further.
Zarjaz #15 is now available from the FutureQuake Shop, priced £3.00 (+ p&p) Earth money. Again, you can click the cover image over on the right of the screen to head straight there, but if you prefer to grab your copy from a bricks and mortar shop, you should be able to get them from your local Forbidden Planet International store and Orbital Comics in London in the coming weeks!
As always, for all your Zarjaz and Dogbreath news, check out The Quaequam Blog - but remember to set your browsers for maximum Thrill Power!