Zarjaz #21 - Available NOW!Available right this very second from the FutureQuake Shop is the latest issue of Zarjaz - #21 to be exact - and it features Judge Dredd: True Believers by me and Paul Williams:
As a new series of officially sanctioned Judge Dredd comics hit the streets, the real Dredd continues his investigation into the murder of the girlfriend of the comics writer and artist Jay Lorien. However, what he uncovers may well spell the end for Mega City One...
There's not a lot I can say about this story without giving everything away (and when you read it, you'll understand), but what I can say is that True Believers was an attempt to do a more a modern Dredd tale, something more up to date and tying in with some of the current-ish story lines and narrative styles being done in the pages of 2000AD. It was also one of the toughest things I've ever written, and one of those scripts where I really had to up my game to try and make it work. Whether I succeeded in that is something I'll leave up to you, gentle reader...
As for the artwork... Well, again, I can't say much about Paul's art without giving away some huge spoilers, but I put something into the script that I wasn't sure about and Mr Williams more than rose to the challenge and pretty much blew everyone away. He also brought something modern and sleek to the pages that captures the tone of the story perfectly, but also a dynamism and kinetic energy that really makes the action sequences pop off the page. He is, for my money, a name to watch.
Paul, however, has another strip in the same issue, Tales Of Mega City One: Fear & Loathing, with a script by Santiago Mayoud. I've been lucky enough to seen some of this and I can say you're in for another visual treat. And if that wasn't enough for you, Paul's also posted a blog about his process for the two strips over on his Tumblr (along with the very first strip we ever did together back in 2008 - a strip that we'd both blotted from our memories it was so amazing. *coughs*). Me and Paul also have a Durham Red strip in the pipeline for Dogbreath, too, which should be dropping next year. More on that closer to the time.
Update: Paul has posted a couple of preview pages from his strips over on his Tumblr, with some commentary.
Letters for True Believers were by Paul and Bolt-01 - the reasons for which will become clear when you read the story. Special mention should go to Bolt-01 for, once again, putting up with me and my dialogue tweaks.
The cover for Zarjaz #21 is by art droid Patrick Goddard (with colours by Owen Watts) and looks a bit like this:
Over at The Quaequam Blog, you can find out what else is in the issue. Zarjaz #21 - along with a whole load of back issues which I may or may not have contributed to - is available from both the FutureQuake Shop and the FQ Comicsy Shop priced £3.00 (+ shipping) Earth Money. So, if you want some supplementary Thrill Power, Zarjaz is the place to be!
Remember: the editors and creators behind this issue can't be held responsible for cases of Thrill Power Overload reading it may cause.
Update: Zarjaz #21 gets a review courtesy of Owen Watts over at Down The Tubes and a review on episode 176 of Everything Comes Back To 2000AD podcast - and both have some incredibly kind words about True Believers.