Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Calhab Justice collected by Hachette Partworks

On sale now is Calhab Justice/Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection#47 by Hachette Partworks.  Ah, dear old Calhab, the love, the hate, the comics equivalent to Marmite, it’s been there for most of my adult life. (I’m the writer, btw.) Most peoples’ opinions have been formed from reading an issue or two back when the story was first published and/or the bits and pieces reprinted over the last couple of years. This book, though, reprints the whole story arc, not ...available for the best part of 20 years, spanning the art of John Ridgway, Lol, Colin MacNeil (artist on a particularly scatologically-based one-shot) and Kevin Cullen. Keeping with the Marmite theme, one of the detractors is current Tharg Matt Smith who just happens to contribute as ungracious an introduction to the book as common decency would allow. Never mind Matt, at least it served as a temporary distraction from yet another e-mail from some Earthlet asking if you still eat plastic cups. Better is the interview between yours truly and Michael Molcher especially commissioned for the collection to be found at the end of the book.

Looking back, I was given the opportunity warts and all to tell the whole story beginning to end; the exploration of the Scottish stereotype as a source of humour before changing, as the story arc took hold, into something more sinister; the development of MacBrayne’s character into something more than a Scottish version of Judge Dredd; the relationship between the main three characters; some reflections at the time on the country of my birth, if not experiencing a full-blown identity crisis, not fully at ease with herself either. Also, there is ‘Family Snapshot’, which remains if I do say so myself one of the best things I have ever written. But it’s probably at its best when Judge Ed MacBrayne is running around waving his claymore in the air and calling everybody a mad bam! I mean, I doubt there is anything there that will change your opinion of Calhab Justice, you’ll still either love or hate it, but at least having read the collection you’ll be better informed.

And if none of that tickles your fancy the book also has a couple of strips featuring fellow Celt Judge Joyce of the Emerald Isles courtesy of Garth Ennis, Greg Staples and it pains me to write the late great Steve Dillon.

Full list of contents: 1.Calhab Justice; 2.Hogmanay; 3.Dounreay; 4.Casualty; 5.Unfinished Business; 6.Flashback: McTash; 7.Family Snapshot; 8.False Dawn; 9.When Irish Pies are Smiling; 10.Innocents Abroad

Available to buy here:

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