Click to enlarge

DREDDCON:3, The Brewery, London Dec 14 2002

Congratulations to Tharg for another fine DreddCon, for which I was delighted to act as chatshow host, interviewer, and occasional voiceover artist.

I only saw the panels I compered, obviously, so look forward to hearing good reports of the Big Finish Dredd Audio panels, the Tharg facemask prosthetic demo (I hope someone got good photos), the Tharg/Matt Smith interrogation session, and The Crazy World Of Fraser Irving.

The New Droids panel featured Si Spurrier, Boo Cook, Rob Williams, Adrian Bamforth, PJ Holden, Steve Roberts and webmaster Wakefield Carter and raised (and answered) the inevitable questions such as "how do you get into 2000AD", and "which character would you most like to do?" .

A straw poll of panel and audience suggested that the most missed series from 2000AD are Harry Twenty On The High Rock, The VCs, Invasion, Robo Hunter, Mach One, Alan Moore's Future Shocks, short strips of one or two pages (eg Sooner Or Later, Captain Klep, short Future Shocks), and epic series of six months length (eg Apocalypse War, Judge Child, Strontium Dog & his dad etc)

The Established Droids panel featured Fraser Irving, Siku, Andy Diggle, Peter Doherty, Steve Yeowell, Mike Collins, Mike Carey, Simon Fraser and Simon Davis and provoked heated discussion about the merits of computer games over comics, as well as unveiling exciting projects from all the creators, soon to be seen in 2000 and the Megazine.

The Mega City or Brit Cit panel examined the difference between US and UK comics publishing, with Alan Barnes, Andy Diggle, Matt Smith, Chris Weston and Greg Staples. Topics covered included Todd MacFarlane and what he owns, why Panini bought Marvel, how Royalties work, and how much more some comic companies pay than others. A recording and transcript of this panel might have given libel lawyers months of work.

Finally THARG'S PITCH FEST was the best yet, being the third annual such event. 10 would-be 2000AD authors were given 2 minutes on stage to pitch an idea for a Future Shock, short story, character or series, and all were of a very high standard.

The Top Five, voted for by the audience, were:

5 - MEG TALES by Misha Begley (age 13) - 'What If..?' stories in the Dredd Universe

3rd equal - THE GREY CABAL by Natalie Sandles - The elderly become the ruling elite but have to visit other worlds and steal their sperm, when they arrive on Earth they are 'greys'

3rd equal - YOU COULD BE A WINNER by Alan Donald - Readers Digest junk mail is in fact an invitation by aliens to great riches, and a test of human intelligence. With a twist in the tale.

2nd - SPERM COUNT by Paul Glasswell - Easily the biggest laughter raiser. A hilarious and unpublishable tale of the anal rape of a future Queen Victoria by a miniaturised Donald Pleasance. To quote Matt Smith "I'll be buggered if we publish that"

1st - YURI GAGARIN by Arthur Wyatt - A Past Imperfect story revisiting the Russian cosmonaut's 1961 encounter with cosmic rays. I hate to spoil the ending, as this story will inevitably appear in 2000AD, so just cast your mind back to the cosmonauts who went into space before Yuri, and expect a twist in the tail.

For DreddCon overall, Attendance was healthy, if understandably lower than previous years. By my calculation there were half as many people there (paying 15 pounds a ticket) than last year (at 6 pounds a ticket), which is ultimately more profitable for Rebellion and raised no complaints from anyone present.

See you all next time I hope - Splundig Vur Thrigg

Kev F Sutherland
Co-producer and publicist
May 24 & 25 2003