Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Judge Dredd: 'The Comic Pusher'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'The Comic Pusher'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 21

DATELINE
9 July 77

This prog also featured another Supercover by Brian Bolland and Invasion, Dan Dare, Harlem Heroes, M.A.C.H.1 and Shako strips.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Annual 1983, Judge Dredd (Volume 2, Issue 23), Judge Dredd: The Early Cases 3, The Complete Judge Dredd 2 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd hunts down a group attempting to sell comics to kids.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Max Normal, first use of Crumb as an insult, first appearance of 2000 A.D. within 2000 A.D.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One boasts streets named Third and Grover. Fat Sam's Soda Bar sells beverages such as Space Soda (150 credits), New Coke - The Surreal Thing (300 credits) and Martian Joy Juice. Skinner and Sloper are importers who own a warehouse. Both these businesses are involved in the illegal sale of comics.

Old comics are worth a fortune and selling them to children is a crime. They are made available as comic slugs: a microfilm containing a single issue. Comic slugs require a viewer to read them. 2000 A.D. is a comic from the twentieth century.

Ricochet Bullets are selection number 4 on a Judge's gun. Named Judges: Judge Strong.

(Fibber's Playtime might be a TV talent show that requires an audition, or similar).

JUDGE DREDD
He considers selling comics to children one of the lowest forms of crime. The arrests he makes close down one of the biggest comics operations in the city and millions of comic slugs are seized.

OTHER CHARACTERS
MAX NORMAL
One of Dredd's informers. Dredd describes him as a pinstripe freak. Dredd pays him 10,000 credits for info. He knew that Fat Sam's Soda Bar sold old comics under the counter to children. He gets away with calling Dredd "baby".





THE GRAND JUDGE
He thinks it important that the Judges are aware of the value of the seized comic slugs and advocates reading them.

ARRESTS
Presumably four: Skinner, Sloper and two henchmen.

DEATHS
None. Dredd shoots two perps, but the medic says says none of them will die.

BEST LINES
Dredd (whilst threatening a perp with a gun): "Open it- Or you get an extra nostril!"

WORST LINES
Dredd (having been lied to): "That's a good one! You two oughta try out for Fibber's Playtime!"

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Stomm!" and uses the word "crumb" as an insult.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None, but the section of 2000 A.D. seen by the Judges in the last panel is the cover of Prog 13 with Dredd obscured.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The idea of youthful rebellion creating a pinstripe freak like Max Normal is an interesting observation, presumably reached as a result of the contemporary punk phenomenon (The Sex Pistols 'God Save The Queen' was kept off the number one spot of the Top Of The Pops chart by the BBC due to worries about embarrassing the Queen during her silver Jubilee), but if all the citizens of Mega-City One already dressed like punks, what would a rebellious youth dress like? Would they identify with an establishment figure of the past?


MISTAKES
I don't think that featuring 2000 A.D. within 2000 A.D. works, but that's just personal taste.

RETROSPECT
Coca-Cola would indeed launch a New Coke in 1985, eight years after this comic was first published.

Dredd thinks to himself "Old comics are worth a fortune. Selling them to kids is one of the lowest forms of crime." Old comics are indeed worth a fortune. Accordingly to this probably slight out of date list, 2000 AD's first prog is apparently worth about £55-60, while due to the debut of you-know-who Prog 2 reaches between £65 and £70. If you purchased the first 21 progs upon first publication is would have set you back £1.68 (Earth money), but if you tried to purchase them now would cost between £214 and £224, up to 133 times that of their original cover price.

NOTES
Dredd goes on to think "After one or two, kids get so they can't give them up, then the price goes up and up..."

Ironically, this appears in a strip featured in the last prog to cost 8 pence Earth money. From the next week the price did indeed go up by one penny...

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: John Wagner
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Bill Nuttall

REVIEW
The design of Max Normal is so anachronistic on the streets of Mega-City One and all the better for it. The comics as addictive as drugs metaphor is cute, but wears thin very quickly and the reveal of 2000 AD is silly.


The End.