The first Judge Dredd story I read was about a reanimated popstar performing what looked like a literal interpretation of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
The popstar in question, called Jaxon Prince, was supposed to be a reference to both Prince and Michael Jackson, but MJ was the primary target. Judge Dredd is on security detail, along with other judges, as the zombified music icon gives his audiences what they paid for: a twitchy dance of the dead that reminds everyone that pop never dies (see the irony?).
This satirical story, called The Comeback (written by Alan Grant and John Wagner with art by Gary Leach), made me an instant fan of what I immediately knew was the baddest, most hardcore lawman in comics. I remember thinking, “Judge Dredd better have his own drokkin’ day of celebration.” He didn’t. He does now.
This coming September, Judge Dredd gets the lawful recognition he deserves as 2000AD looks to promote and discuss Britain’s most important comic contribution to the world during the aptly named Day of Dredd. As a quick note, the title for this event has been previously used in fan campaigns to petition for a sequel to the 2012 Judge Dredd reboot, Dredd.
The celebration, which will take place on September 7th, 2019, wants fans to share stories about their first encounters with Dredd, their favorite storylines, and their favorite characters. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #DAYOFDREDD while sharing these stories.
Comic shops and libraries can send pictures of their Day of Dredd displays using the same hashtag to receive care packages filled with 2000AD goodies.
2000AD has also announced it will be awarding the most creative Day of Dredd display with the DAY OF DREDD GOLDEN EAGLE certificate, which will net the winning comic shop or library rare trade paperbacks, toys, and merchandise.
Day of Dredd comes just days after the release of Judge Dredd: The Small House, by Rob Williams and Henry Flint, a critically acclaimed thriller considered a classic by many.
If you’ve yet to read a Dredd story and are looking to do so, I recommend tracking down one of the many Judge Dredd: Complete Case-File collections. They do a great job of presenting the character and some of his most important stories while also offering key samples of the best creative teams behind the lawman of Mega-City One. This is how I came across the Jaxon Prince story.
Judge Dredd has been upholding the law for over 40 years now, usually by way of face stomps and broken noses. Now we get to celebrate him, his creators, and the publisher behind him in an official capacity.
Be sure to mark September 7th on your calendars and use the hashtag #DAYOFDREDD when sharing your Judge Dredd stories.