Monday, October 09, 2006


I went back to Birmingham this weekend, for my parents' golden wedding anniversary. It turned out to be a good do, it was just the immediate family (although that's still 15 people, including my brother's newborn). It's always a source of mild anxiety when we all get together, as there's we're not a particularly close bunch, and there can be tension between us (especially the older ones), never explicit, but always hanging in the background. But there was relatively little of that, everyone behaved themselves, the food was great (courtesy of Syd the chef, who was absolutely lovely as well as being a wonderful cook). The bombshell came at lunch on Sunday, when my 2nd brother announced he was getting married. I'd had an inkling this was coming, but it was still a shock to hear this actually said. It's a complicated situation for all sorts of reasons, but I'm certainly not in a position to criticize anyone else's love life, so I can only wish them all the best.

In a parallel universe of awkward family ties, 2000 AD is currently running Origins, which will over the course of the next 6 months or so lay out definitively the tale of how Judge Dredd's world came to be. It's written and drawn by Dredd creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, and is well worth anybody's time. It's only up to Episode 4, so there's still time to jump on board. What Wagner's done with Dredd over the past 30 years is little short of miraculous, it's still one of the finest pieces of social satire you'll read anywhere, and this story promises to be a landmark, so you really should take out a subscription to the comic.

On a sad note, one thing that's missing from this tale is the lettering of tom Frame, who died recently. Lettering is the Cinderella job in comics, often un-noticed, but essential, and tom's work was as much a part of Mega City One as Wagner's prose or the drawing of Ezquerra, MacMahon, Bolland, and all the artists who've contributed to the strip over the years - in fact, even Wagner himself takes second place to Frame as the most prolific talent to work on Dredd not to mention the many other stories he worked on in his career). Please remember him by contributing something to this excellent charity:

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