The Judge Dredd art of Brian Bolland is regarded as some of the greatest comic art of the Eighties, and helped catapult both the series and Brian Bolland himself to international acclaim, leading him to work on such titles as Camelot 3000 and Batman: The Killing Joke. His incredible Black & White art is showcased in this deluxe, over-sized facsimile edition featuring new high-resolution scans of his original art from 2000 AD showing Bolland’s delicate inking brushwork in unprecedented detail, as well as the titles and word balloons placed over it at the time by IPC’s art team. It promises to be an unmissable collection for fans of comics and of fine art.
- 2000AD/Rebellion, July 27, 2022
- ISBN 978-1-78618-464-1
- 15″ x 19″, 144 pages, hardcover
- $90 USD
- Order online: eBay
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index. This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.
A look at Bolland’s work for 2000AD: there are no complete stories, but a fantastic collection of pages and covers. The book is divided into three sections: The 2000 AD Years, The Titan/Eagle Years, and The Early Years. There is an introduction by David Roach and a short biography of Bolland.
We have more process information than any other AE format book for this work. Roach wrote CREATING THE JUDGE DREDD BY BRIAN BOLLAND APEX EDITION: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR THE RASH AND ENTHUSIASTIC for the Comics Journal, outlining the entire process. Then Imago Group did a detailed post about this book’s printing process. Roach’s piece should have been included as an afterword, but there is some overlap with the introduction, so the extra process text could have been included in place of the Dredd/Walter image.
Scans are mostly excellent. These pages come from all over the world, with seventy-three people thanked for their contribution. A few pages are a little light, and some don’t show any gradients, but overall it’s an excellent representation of Bolland’s original art. Limited margin notes and correction fluid. The word balloons have become transparent over time, perhaps from the glue used, and allow the reader to see the art underneath.
The design is simple and elegant. No colour was added to the title page, colophon, or chapter dividers, except for the Rebellion logo, which really pops. Each page is numbered, and also includes the art’s title, issue, and the page number. The front endpaper is quite blurry, while the back endpaper is exceptionally clear for its enlargement.
Production is well done: a sewn binding of 170gsm paper. The book lays flat when the center is smoothed, except where the signatures meet and are glued. The book comes shrink-wrapped in a cardboard case with the book’s title printed on it. The case’s tabs are flimsy and mine are ripping after opening and closing the case a few times, but most people won’t keep their book in the case. Or will they?
I would love to know how 2000AD/Rebellion was able to produce this book and sell it for $90 USD, significantly lower than any competitor.
The publishing and availability of this book was very odd. Solicited and sold via the publisher, it went out in June directly. Diamond’s availability date moved from September to July when it hit local comic shops. It’s currently unavailable unless you can track a copy down at a local comic shop. Your best bet is eBay.