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Author Topic: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022  (Read 2478 times)

Funt Solo

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Re: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022
« Reply #30 on: 19 May, 2022, 12:50:06 AM »
re: Father Earth.

I haven't ever looked into it, but are all the previous reprints of "Father Earth" (pre-dating Rebellion's collections) as bad as the versions in Case Files etc.? It was collected in the 1989 Annual, Complete Judge Dredd 12, a couple of Titan editions and there's always the original printing in progs 122-125. Is every version of it in reprint and the original printing as bad for loss of detail etc.?

Scanning from the comics isn't ideal, but for a Bolland Dredd that only runs to four episodes (20-ish pages?) I'm surprised that scanning and cleaning up from the progs hasn't been done by now.

I can tell you that the print in the 1989 Annual is crisp and clean - far superior to the print in the Case Files.

Edit: actually, the annual print is cleaner than the original prog - which I think is down to paper quality. The prog is kind of yellow - the annual is white.
« Last Edit: 19 May, 2022, 12:53:43 AM by Funt Solo »
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Funt Solo

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Re: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022
« Reply #31 on: 19 May, 2022, 01:27:09 AM »
Here's the comparison (TTB) of prog, annual and case files. The annual scan is a bit blurry on the RHS as it was in the gutter. You'll notice that the framing is a bit different in the annual - not sure what happened there.

In terms of reproduction, the grey shading effect that Bolland has used for some of the droids just gets turned into mostly black mush by the time it's in the case file. Btw - the case file image is taken straight from the pdf version, the other two I scanned in myself.

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davidbishop

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Re: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022
« Reply #32 on: 19 May, 2022, 06:47:58 AM »
Looks like the annual version has been reconfigured in-house, a job that was done by art assistants unkindly known as 'bodgers'. This was done to cut a page from an old story, or resize for a slightly different format.

ISTR doing it for a story or two in one of the Special Editions. One of the creators got in touch afterwards to express their unhappiness in having their work chopped about; I apologized and made sure that didn't happen again.

davidbishop

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Re: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022
« Reply #33 on: 19 May, 2022, 06:50:00 AM »
The resizing might explain why there are no good materials for this story. The original films may have been chopped about to create the resized annual reprint, nobody realising there was not another extant version of the original available. But that's pure speculation.

The Amstor Computer

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Re: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022
« Reply #34 on: 19 May, 2022, 09:33:03 AM »
Thanks for the examples, Funt. Looks like both prog and annual reprint would be good sources, either for full page replacements or panel-by-panel (although there's a good bit of loss of detail around things like Dredd's badge in the CF reprint, you could improve the look of the page a lot with a panel replacement for the robots).

As David says, annual, yearbook etc. reprints were often edited by art staff to fit the new page dimensions, and it's a pity as they are often the best source for scans for reprint - better quality stock, more robust and longer-lasting vs the more ephemeral weekly comics etc. We reprinted "Dash Decent" in full in our Kevin O'Neill collection and when it came to finding source scans there was a fantastic reprint of it in one of the '90s yearbooks (really crisp, and it looked like it was taken from either original art or good film copies) but because of the change in format it had been edited - and in this case, not particularly well - to extend the page vertically. We ended up using it, but I rebuilt the strip page-by-page to "un-edit" it back to match the original in the prog, and used scanned elements from the prog pages where the editing for the yearbook had removed captions, shifted elements, removed letratone... It was a huge task, but I think it gave us the best version of the strip available. We did the same for the opening half-dozen pages of "Captain Condor", using a later reprint and "un-editing" it to match the original printing, so I clearly never learned my lesson  :)

It would certainly be possible to "un-edit" the annual version of "Father Earth" (again, looks like it's been edited to extend vertically based on the addition of the black areas above the panels) but it would likely be a fair investment in time for Rebellion's repro droids. The original prog looks decent though, and would probably be a quicker and easier fix for the poor pages, so hopefully it will be taken on for future reprints.

Max Headroom

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Re: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022
« Reply #35 on: 19 May, 2022, 08:48:02 PM »
This story also appeared in the 'Judge Death' volume published by Titan in 1983 - possibly this could be used as a future source for reprint.

Richard

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Re: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022
« Reply #36 on: 19 May, 2022, 11:19:05 PM »
As someone who dislikes the Father Earth story, this whole discussion seems quite ironic!

The Amstor Computer

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Re: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022
« Reply #37 on: 21 May, 2022, 03:50:12 PM »
This story also appeared in the 'Judge Death' volume published by Titan in 1983 - possibly this could be used as a future source for reprint.

If it was, then it would likely be the best source. Titan's albums were typically very well reproduced, on good stock, and they will have aged better than the original progs, and it's unlikely that there was any editing done. Curious enough about it now to see if I can track down a copy...

Tjm86

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Re: The Best of John Wagner's Judge Dredd - coming March 2022
« Reply #38 on: 21 May, 2022, 05:18:33 PM »
The Titan Judge Death volume is the best reprint I've seen to date.  IIRC Titan had access to some of the best sources back in the day.  Wasn't this about the time the truth about IPC's treatment of original art and the disappearance of much of Bolland's artwork came to light?