Progs 592 to 594 – What I Did During the Summer Holidays By PJ Maybe, Age 13

Story: What I Did During the Summer Holidays By PJ Maybe, Age 13
Appears: 2000AD Progs 592-594
Issues: 3
Writers: John Wagner
Art: Liam Sharp
Dated: 17 September 1988 to 1 October 1988

We have been waiting to PJ to return for some time and he does not disappoint. This is a very British use of black humour. The teenage narration, both in words and lettering style really sets the tone and you can see the homage to Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole very clearly.

The fact the story is now in full colour also adds a youthful dimension to things. Whilst the departure of the grim black and white style with its oppressive blacks is very much missed the use of colour in this story does add to the tone of the piece.

Not only does PJ return but we see a well-chosen cameo by taxidermist Mr Sardini.

Progs 588 to 591 – Twister

Story: Twister
Appears: 2000AD Progs 588-591
Issues: 4
Writers: John Wagner
Art: John Ridgeway
Dated: 20 August 1988 to 10 September 1988

Well it looks like Oz is the new Apocalypse War – in that it is the story that keeps on giving. It seems that The Wizard of Oz wasn’t literal enough a joke so now they send Dredd to the land of the munchkins. Pretty much literally.

You know that it isn’t real and you can see it coming a mile off but you for some reason you don’t mind. You cheerfully put up with the very predictable storyline because had a certain charm, a certain magic to it.

The key to its success, just like the Hollywood film, is the technicolour. From the second part, where Dredd arrives in storybook Oz, all Judge Dredd stories were printed in colour. Saving this printing transition for this moment is a stroke of genius. The fact the rest of the adventure stays in colour must have been a real eye-opener for readers. Switching to black and white for the last two pages when Dredd arrives back in the real world is a brilliant touch.

Progs 583 to 584 – Bloodline

Story: Bloodline
Appears: 2000AD Progs 583-584
Issues: 2
Writers: John Wagner
Art: Will Simpson
Dated: 11 June 1988 to 09 July 1988

This is a cryptic and narratively ambitious story that is the keystone for some dramatic future events. Through the last few stories we have seen Dredd getting older and questioning his judgement once again. Now we see that the Justice Department has a frightening contingency.