White Dwarf No 36: “He’s tough… but he’s fair!”

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This image by Brian Bolland also appeared on the cover of Time Out around the same time, so it might have been commissioned by them.  Edit: I just checked the Time Out cover was earlier in the year by about three months.

I’ll only cover the stuff in this magazine that will be of particular interest to 2000AD readers, starting with the inside front cover which is a very yellow advert for the Judge Dredd board game, using the credit badge familiar from the strip (game design: Ian Livingstone, box art: Brian Bolland, board art: Ian Gibson).

Next up is the usual Games Workshop catalogue advert, with prime position given to the JD Boardgame (cost: £7.50).

A few pages later there’s an ad for pssst! – an underground comic style magazine and one of the places that The Adventures of Luther Arkwright first saw print (though the story didn’t get completed in those pages).  As an aside, their office is in Panther House, Mount Pleasant – I’ve been to this building for an entirely unrelated party for customers of a different business that was based there – about thirty years after this magazine was published.

Titan gets in on the Judge Dredd-a-thon next with a two page ad showing in much better quality printing and on better quality paper all of the tiny adverts we’ve seen in 2000AD in recent months.  We’ve got the full range of collected editions including new entry the Judge Dredd Colour Series Book (collecting McMahon’s stories from the annuals).  There’s four T-shirts: Judge Dredd on the Seat of Justice reading the Book of the Law; The Cursed Earth (cover from Prog 61); I Am the Law… I Am Judge Dredd (red and ‘gold’ on white – I suspect it’s really yellow but can stand to be corrected) and finally Stare Into the Face of Death, as sometimes worn by Nik Fiend from Alien Sex Fiend.  There’s three miniature figures at 45mm scale: Judge Dredd; Judge Death; Robo-Hunter.  A Judge Dredd badge (35mm high and says it’s gold-plated).  Finally are the candles of Dredd and Death, £4.95 each (at a time when the comic cost 20p).

.I’ll stop mentioning the reprint schedule at some point, but for the time being the range is manageable…

Next Dredd-related mention is Seasons Greetings from Mega-City One as Ian Livingstone introduces the magazine, 11 pages in.

Finally the main event – an article written by Ian Livingstone on Judge Dredd: The Game in the Making.  After half a page preamble about 2000AD and Judge Dredd (interspersed with pictures filling the rest of the first page) it gets to Ian’s idea to make a game featuring Dredd.  Interestingly the first decision was whether to make it a role-playing game or a board game – Games Workshop ended up doing one, then the other.  Faced with the idea of mapping all of Mega-City One, Ian took the lead from the stories set in Old New York and around Manhattan Island and compressed the interesting landmarks into the area around them.  Being slightly abstracted, criminals would be drawn from across the pre-Apocalypse War stories.  Wanting to reflect the humour evident in the comic, Ian chose to do this via the random matching of perps to crimes (hence yesterday’s incident where Judge Death went a-scrawling).  Further humour – and the main source of tactics in the game – come from the Action Cards (the well-presented playing card sized cards).  The entire game took two years to develop (Ian would also have been editing White Dwarf, expanding Games Workshop and creating Fighting Fantasy in this time) and was premiered at Games Day ’82 on 25th September (as mentioned in 2000AD when Project XXX was revealed).

A few pages later there’s An Introduction to Traveller.  Traveller is the role playing system used as the basis for one of the two Judge Dredd role playing games from Mongoose in the 2000s (and also Strontium Dog the following year).  This is a different edition of Traveller than the ones used twenty years later though, so onwards to…

Sector and Starburst – two Traveller-related computer programs for the ZX81 written by Marcus L Rowland, whose name will later appear on a scenario for the (Games Workshop)  Judge Dredd role playing game.

Completely irrelevant to 2000AD but of interest to me is a review of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain – I remember this coming out but didn’t get it at the time – I had my own copy a few years later though, on the ‘green spine’ edition.  The review does mention that the UK Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone wrote the thing, though stops short of mentioning that Ian is the editor of the magazine that this review is in…

News of the Worlds is a newspaper-style short news article page one of which concerns Judge Dread (‘blues singer’ – I’ve usually seen him described as a bawdy reggae singer) and his issues with the confusion arising from the Judge Dredd name.  There’s also a competition to win the board game on a caption competition – the panel featured is the Bolland pic of Dredd trying to stop Jurgen Monks being swallowed by the garbage grinder, from The Forever Crimes.

The inside back cover has an advert for the Games Workshop edition of Runequest – of tangential interest, but a later edition of this serves as basis for one of two Slaine roleplaying games in the 2000s.

Grailpage: There’s only one page of original art, so it’s Brian Bolland’s cover (though it’s a good cover, so isn’t just getting grailpage-by-default).

Back to the normal prog slog blog tomorrow!  Have a feedback survey while you’re waiting!

3 thoughts on “White Dwarf No 36: “He’s tough… but he’s fair!”

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