Film Intervjuer Tegneserier

John Wagner og Judge Dredd

Fikk du ikke det du ønska deg til jul? Bytt det i en Judge Dredd-bok. Her er et lite intervju med John Wagner, best kjent som hjernen bak Judge Dredd i 35 år. Men sjekk også ut hans A History of Violence, The Bogie Man og Button Man. Og se Dredd-filmen, hvis du ikke har gjort det ennå.


ØH: Who is the real protagonist in Judge Dredd, is it Dredd or Mega-City One?

JW: Both – and both, I think, equally important.

ØH: And is Dredd really a hero or a villain? Or both?

JW: Both – and both, I think, equally important.

ØH: What do you feel are the most daring and defining Dredd tales and characters, when it comes to political subtext and messages? I am thinking of publishing The Apocalypse War during the Cold War, which was a planned event, and the stories about the democratic movement in Mega-City One, which was more a spontaneous idea as I understand it?

JW: I’d say America and all the democracy storylines. They all pretty much stemmed from the original democracy story, «Letter From a Democrat», as in a way have the various mutant storylines running through Dredd.

ØH: Why do you think Dredd really hasn’t caught on outside of Britain?

JW: Don’t know, Øyvind. Some of it must be down to the poor production quality of early Dredd foreign editions and the poor choice of stories, which could be quite crude in the early days. In the US anyway – which is/was a market geared to superheroes and longer stories, so Dredd was a bit of an anomaly. The first film didn’t help either. Let’s hope the new one does more to popularise old Joe. Elsewhere in the world I don’t think we’ve tried hard enough.

ØH: Do you think your relationship with Dredd is a life-long marriage?

JW: Seems that way, but it’s got to end sometime.

ØH: Have you written a final story, a sort of «The Death of Judge Dredd»?

JW: Alex Garland, who wrote the movie, suggested I leave one with my will. Or did I suggest it and he just laughed? It’s a tantalising prospect. I’d certainly like to do it, it would be a terrific story to write. Perhaps it’s the story to go out on. I’ll propose it to the editorial team, shall I, see what they say?

ØH: What is your view on our thirst for law, order and safety on the one hand, and the fear of too much surveillance, too many laws and concentration of power on the other? And would you say that this is one of the major themes that runs through your Dredd stories.

JW: In an ideal world you could have one without the other. There’s no need for ‘authority’ to spy on ordinary people or to abuse power to keep the streets safe and society ticking over nicely. Nobody who opposes terrorism and serious crime would object to law enforcement keeping an eye on genuinely suspicious people. Unfortunately we’re human beings, we’re imperfect, power corrupts and power always wants more. In most western countries in most normal years far more innocent people are killed by police than by terrorists.


Av oyvindholen

Father, journalist, author, and journalist in D2/Dagens Næringsliv (www.dn.no).

5 svar på “John Wagner og Judge Dredd”

[…] Leborg spurte Mairowitz om han ikke ville gjøre Peer Gynt om til tegneserie, og i Moen – da fullt opptatt med å tegne Kristiania i 1890-årene i De fire store – fant de den perfekte tegneren. I hans penn fremstår Peer Gynt som bekmørk psykologisk fantasy, som om Henrik Ibsen hadde skrevet manus for det britiske science fiction-bladet 2000 AD. Det er nesten så du forventer at Peer ender opp i kasjotten til Judge Dredd. […]

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