Tuesday 10 November 2015


Script: Mark Howard. Art: David Broughton. Lettering: Bolt 01.
Commissioned on: 06/01/15 Artwork Started: 08/02/15
Finished on: 03/03/15  Published on: 01/07/15

Above: Judge Dredd raining on yet another citizens parade.

Dave Evans otherwise known as 'Bolt 01' Editor of 2000AD fanzines Zarjaz and Dogbreath sent me a six page Judge Dredd script by independent comic strip writer Mark Howard.

The Script:
As usual I read the script several times before I begin to start working on the rough page layouts. This was a great strip to work on full of interesting characters and situations to illustrate.
The first thing I notice is that four of the pages have a high text box/bubble and panel per page count. Most of the panels also have situations or objects that need to be visible to drive the story on. As Zarjaz is an A5 and not A4 size fanzine I knew that I had to put more time into the rough page layouts to find a way of reducing everthing on the art side of things. However you can only shrink the text so much before it becomes illegible.

I've worked on Marks scripts before and really love his stories. You can tell that he really puts a lot of time and effort into them and this script is no exception.

Above: Finished page 1 artwork with grey tone shading.

Above: Page 1 finished inks.

Above: Page 1 finished pencils.

Above: A scan of a page (page 2 frames/panel's 3 & 4.) from Marks script.  On my third reading of the script I begin to scribble thumbnails on the page (to save time) as I think of angles and character positions that will allow the lettering to be added in the correct sequence. You can see that I have a few goes at it before I get it right with the thumbnail at the bottom of the page.

Above: Rough page layouts for page 2 version 1. Even though there is a lot of content on this page
I decide that I want to make the page layouts as dynamic as possible rather than going for the easy option and just do a six box grid layout with every box the same size. The above version was never going to work as I had attempted to cram panels 2,3 and 4 with all their text bubbles in the centre of the page so that I could have dramatic splash panels for panels 1 and 6.

Above: Rough page layouts for page 2 version 2. My second attempt pretty much nailed it. There is just about room for all the text bubbles and every detail that needs to be in the art also fits. However I'm not happy with the last panel. I get to draw Dredd on his Lawmaster so I want it to look good.

Above: Rough page layouts for page 2 version 3. This is the final rough layout.

Above: Page 2 finished pencils based on page 2 rough page layouts version 3.
The finished pencils take me roughly 7 hours to complete and about 5 hours to ink.

Above: Rough page layouts for page 3.

Above: Page 3 finished pencils. In panel 6 you can see (as mentioned in the script) the family are from the UK. Due to lack of space the badge is covered up by text balloon on the published version.

Above: Rough page layouts for page 4 panels/frames 1 & 2 with thumbnails detailing everything that needs to go into the panels.

Above: Rough page layouts for page 4 panels/frames 3 & 4 with thumbnails detailing everything that needs to go into the panels.

Above: Rough page layouts for page 4 panels/frames 5 & 6 with thumbnails detailing everything that needs to go into the panels.

Above: Page four finished pencils.

Above: Page five finished pencils.

Above: Page five panel 3 is the most dramatic panel with the main chracter Judge Dredd in it. After penciling the panel I decide that his left arm dosen't look right in that position. I decide to redraw it.

Above: The finished page 5 panel 3 with the redrawn left arm now in shadow to add depth.

Above: Rough page layouts for page 6, I've withheld the finished pencils to protect the story.

As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoyed working on this. Mark really challenged me and got about every square millimeter of content he could into each A5 page. If you have not read Judge Dredd 'Yet another rainy day' why not give it a go. Unlike 'Old stoney face' it put a smile on my face.

Where to buy:
Judge Dredd 'Yet another rainy day'' appears in Zarjaz #24 (see the cover pic below) which can be bought online via the Futurequake online shop here http://www.futurequake.co.uk/shop.php

Below: Cover art by the amazing Mike Collins.


Below: Zarjaz #25 is also now available to buy online from Future Quake.
Cover art by last years Thought Bubble 2000AD competition winner Daniel Dwyer.


  1. Love these breakdowns you do, Dave. It helps me to see that I still try to put too much detail into my scripts. in many ways we have similar problems; you must turn sketches into detailed panels and I must turn detailed panel descriptions into sketches. By giving too much detail I restrain you but a word-sketch sets you free to do what you do best - if that makes sense!

    Even so, you always make a good job of my scripts, making them look better than they are, and I'm always excited when I hear you've agreed to work on one of them. If there's anything you'd like to collaborate on, or just explore, I'd be more than happy to be involved.

    Thank you for showing these, Dave, I really appreciate it.

    1. Thanks Mark, its great working with you too and I'm glad that you have managed to get something helpfull out of these breakdowns. That makes it all worth while.