Tuesday, September 14, 2010

That Frank Miller & Judge Dredd cover incident

The Judge Dredd Megazine celebrates its 20th anniversary tomorrow [the first issue went on sale September 15th, 1990]. Editor Matt Smith has produced a cracking birthday edition to mark the occasion. Lots of people have been visiting Vicious Imagery for the tale of Frank Miller's aborted 10th anniversary Meg cover - so here's the skinny:
"Hmph. He saw you coming!"

The Judge Dredd Megazine celebrated its tenth anniversary in the year 2000. To mark the occasion, then editor Andy Diggle saved up his editorial pennies and commissioned US comics legend Frank Miller to do the birthday issue cover. Andy had moved on to editing 2000 AD when Miller's pic arrived and I was freelance editor of the Meg.

By chance, Judge Dredd co-creator John Wagner happened to be in the office when the artwork arrived. I opened the package up in John's presence - you can see his typically terse response above. After some back and forth via email, Miller withdrew permission for us to publish his work - but nor did we have to pay him.

Some time later Miller put his original art up for auction, with all proceeds going to an extremely worthy cause, the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund. It sold for at least a thousand US dollars, so some good emerged from the whole episode. The original pops up eBay occasionally. Here it is, make of this what you will...

2 comments:

joe bloke said...

hell, could be worse. they could've got John Romita jr to do it.

oh, wait. . .

vollsticks said...

Wow. His foot is bigger than his torso! I think Mr. Wagner was right....