Friday, 8 March 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Walter's Secret Job'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Walter's Secret Job'
(according to Barney this strip is also known as 'Cab Driver', while Comics.org refer to it as 'Walt's Night Out')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 33

DATELINE
8 Oct 77

This Prog featured a supercover by Brett Ewins and Brendan McCarthy and Invasion, Dan Dare, Tharg's Future Shocks, M.A.C.H.1 and Shako strips as well as 200 Galactic Groats to cut-out-and-keep. It's not clear whether any newsagents accepted these as legal tender.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Robo-Hunter Book 4, Judge Dredd (Volume 2) Issue 24, Judge Dredd the Early Cases 3, Cyber Crush 14, The Best of 2000AD 73 and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
A suspicious Dredd follows Walter to find out what he's up to.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Fred.

INFORMATION
In Mega-City One, Kingston and Fourth are two streets that converge. There is a warehouse near where they cross.

Justice Gazette is a judicial publication. Synthi-Lix is a drink. The Dormeezee 2048 is model of bed. Zit guns are weapons. Dwite B. Rosewater is a senator.

A Judge's Lawgiver can fire a stun shot.

JUDGE DREDD
He suspects Walter of wrongdoing since the robot began giving him gifts. He follows him to a garage and incorrectly believes he has witnessed the robot's theft of a car. He takes on four armed robbers and arrests them all.


OTHER CHARACTERS
WALTER THE WOBOT
He has taken a job as a taxi driver for Fred's Taxis to make some money to purchase gifts for Dredd with. He can leak oil in a manner not unlike crying. He quits his extra job.

FRED
The owner of Fred's Taxis. He has a speech impediment. He employs several taxi drivers and for a time that included Walter.

ARRESTS
Four.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Walter: "A cup of fwesh Synthi-lix, dear master. Is there anything else you wequire fwom your humble wobot?"

WORST LINES
Number Four: "You're the one the clock's run out on, Lawman! Raise 'em!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says Angwy, Awwested, Cweeps, Cwipes, Dwedd, Fwed, Fwesh, Fwom, Hooway, Pwesents, Secwet, Wight-O, Wequire and Wobot, while Fred says Awound, Dwiver, Gweat, Wequire and Wing.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Dredd reads Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866). The Philip K. Dick short story A Present For Pat (1954) featured a robot taxi driver.

MISTAKES
Uncharacteristically, Walter manages to say both Dredd and Respond without any trouble.

RETROSPECT
This story may well have lead to Walter getting his own strip starting in Prog 50.

NOTES
The first present that Walter gives Dredd are some "disgusting pyjamas", years later Judge Dredd pyjamas would be a reality. I'll leave it up to you to decide which is worse.


The second present that Walter gives Dredd are a pair of socks and Ian Gibson successfully draws an impressive Sylvester Stallone likeness eighteen years before the 1995 Judge Dredd film.


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

Script: John Wagner
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
Despite the story being a game of two halves and the some of the artwork being a bit scrappy, this strip manages to be very endearing.