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Monday, May 25, 2015

It was twenty(-one) years ago today(-ish)

Almost exactly 21 years ago, Prog 889 headed into newsagents on the 19th of May, 1994. The cover date was 27 May.

About a month before, as I was editor of Comic World I received a packet of promo material from Fleetway Editions, probably put together by editor Steve McManus or John Tomlinson, who was working at Fleetway as an editorial assistant around that time. Whoever it was, the photocopies were all a bit wonky, guys.

Editors did not receive a huge amount of press material; I used to do a monthly summary of Judge Dredd Megazine based on a phone call to David Bishop, for instance, or if there was to be a relaunch or promoted issue, I'd head up to Fleetway with my trusty dictaphone.

But for some reason, I have a set of press releases from Prog 889 which I thought I'd share with you. Starting with the cover, which is an interesting study. The photocopy reveals a number of differences between the promo version and the final artwork that graced the cover. The printed image appeared squashed to make room for the lettering, but there are other, subtler differences. Dredd is holding his Lawgiver at a different angle, for instance, and the Eagle's "wing" on Dredd's shoulder has only five feathers rather than the published six (thanks to Chris Mitchell, who pointed this out when I posted the image of Facebook a few days ago). 

Because this was a relaunch issue, the number of pages was increased to 44 rather than the usual 36 and there was a cover-mounted free gift of £17 worth of discount coupons for videos and games at HMV, although this had to be weighed against a 5p price increase to 75p.

Some of these details escaped the information sheet that was sent out (above), which concentrated on the stories that were being launched that issue. Here are the promo sheets for each character and scans of artwork that accompanied them... nothing for Dredd, unfortunately, although I may stumble upon it at a later date.


(* artwork © Rebellion.)

1 comment:

  1. The curious thing there of course is that McGruder survived Wilderlands in order to resign and be replaced by Volt.