The Ian Gibson column: Judge Dredd for the Daily Star

Comics legend Ian Gibson talks about Judge Dredd, Halo Jones and the attraction of Google...

A genuine British comics legend: Ian Gibson

I’m getting older and I’ve just been reminded of such by some well intentioned person that it was my birthday. I’d happily forgotten all about it!

And it seems the weather is getting colder. No. I’m not hawking for a job as a TV weather girl. I don’t have the figure! Just lamenting the passing of the sunny days I’ve been enjoying down here on the South Coast. Apologies to all who are buried in snowdrifts and frozen in!

Which reminds me of the time, when working on Judge Dredd for the Daily Star, that my artwork for the week got stuck in a train en route to London. That winter they celebrated airlifting the Giles cartoon by helicopter. That’s celebrity! Me? I had to dig my car out of a snow drift every morning for the next week just to skid and slither my way down to the one available train link to Brighton so that the Editor could pick my page up on the way into town! And the aggravating part is that it was work I’d already done once! That’s dedication. And deadlines!

Deadlines are what snap me out of the lethargy I would happily wallow in, left to my own devices! I can easily throw away hours of my time chatting in ‘lolspeak’ on icanhascheezburger.com or watching videos of the Eagles on YouTube. Which isn’t so much lethargy as ‘distraction’. Lethargy is the bit left over after you’ve run out of distractions!

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But I was happily snapped out of it just days back, when I realised how little of the Dredd episode I’d completed and how fast the deadline was shooting past me. I felt a little like I was standing on the platform when the through train came by.

But that ‘whoosh’ became the sound of adrenalin pumping as I got into gear and amazed myself that I could still produce at some pace.

That’s when I remember that this job is ‘fun’. I allow myself to enjoy the process and it is no longer a job, but ‘playtime’! Again – apologies to all those 9-5 people who consider it a daily grind and are stuck in snowdrifts with ice forming on their eyelashes and steam coming out of their ears. I’d send in the huskies if I knew your location.

But sadly I have no huskies and my kittens can’t even find a mouse, let alone follow SatNav. Which is something else I don’t have.

In fact I think this computer is as close as I’ve actually come to dipping my toe into the 21st century! And I’m happy that I have, as it allows me to do stuff like ‘Google’.

Inspired by a comment from a ‘cheezburger’ chum, I decided to Google Halo Jones, and was amazed at the number of links or whatever they’re called. There even seems to be some Halo forum. Very gratifying to find that something you’ve been part of has taken on a life of its own! Even if it is just a couple of weirdos wearing beanie hats, with propellers, and a cut out picture of Toby pasted on the side. (?) I don’t know. I haven’t dared to look. I’ll just settle for the feeling of gratification and let’s not worry about the details!

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A happy mood pervades the house. The brushes seem to be working well – I just have to let them get on with it. And I watch in amazement as their dance produces images I’m pleased by. The current pages are for the collaboration with John Ostrander. So I hope you enjoy them when they finally emerge onto the web. Thanks for your company…!

Ian Gibson writes regularly for Den Of Geek – you can find his previous scribblings here.