My team-mate – artist Ben Willsher – has been stretchered off our Durham Red project, but fear not. Indigo Prime and Dredd supremo Lee Carter is joining the team!
Sorry to report that the Durham Red revamp I’ve been scripting for 2000 AD has hit a spot of behind-the-scenes bother, resulting in an injured artist and a minor delay. A few weeks ago, my project team-mate – Judge Dredd artist Ben Willsher - badly scalded his hand (on one of those fancy boiling-water taps) resulting in a severe burn that required hospital treatment. The injury was compounded by the fact that Ben made the mistake of trying to soothe the wound with a bag of frozen peas! As his nurse apparently went to great lengths to explain, never ever cool a burn with ice or iced water! (Instead, run it under cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes.)
With his hand strapped up during recovery, Ben has been unable to work at his usual capacity and has therefore been forced to step down from Red at the risk of missing his allotted deadline.
I want you guys to know just how hard Ben has worked on this project. Durham Red and the Strontium Dog universe mean the world to him, and this project has been a genuine labour of love. Ben came to this with a distinct vision in mind from the very beginning, which he’s been seeing through by colouring his own pages and spending several weeks obsessing with me over Red’s new design.
Ben has managed to get four episodes of Durham Red: Born Bad in the can, leaving another four to go. “I am absolutely gutted to have to step away from Red, especially over such a silly and avoidable mishap,” says Ben. “But ‘C’est la vie’, as the French Esther Rantzen fans say. Despite the disappointment of leaving the series, I am overjoyed to have Lee Carter take over!”
If you’re unfamiliar with Lee’s art, go check out his website this instant! His dynamic work on strips including Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Angelic and Indigo Prime are something to behold. His pages boil with mood and atmosphere, his action scenes have thump and grit, while his flights into psychedelia are mind-blowing! In short, he’s perfect for this new version of Durham Red. Ben adds, “Honestly, I couldn’t be leaving Red in better hands – and both of Lee’s hands work! He’s an incredible artist. I’m so glad he’s joined the team. You’re all in for a treat when you see his pages!”
Our strip was originally intended to run in the recent ‘jumping on’ Prog #2073 in lieu of John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Ellie De Ville’s Strontium Dog: The Son. The two strips have now switched slots.
The first episode of Durham Red: Born Bad will now be published in Prog #2082, out on 23 May 2018, available at all good newsagents and comic book stores, plus digitally from the 2000 AD webstore, along with the official 2000 AD apps for iOS, Android and Windows.
Get 3,000 coffins ready...