A preview pic for the new DURHAM RED revamp by me and artist Ben Willsher got released last week in 2000 AD.
And here it is...
Regular 2000 AD readers will know Ben from his long-time art duties on JUDGE DREDD, but he’s also worked on various other comics, including several DOCTOR WHO projects, and has recently been drawing attention from overseas... Combining sharp design with dynamic linework and fluid storytelling, Ben’s the perfect artist for a cinematic action-adventure series like this.
To see more of his work, go check out his website.
Rest assured, Durham won’t be spending the entire series in her underwear! Her final redesign has been approved by the Mighty Tharg, but is yet to be revealed...
This new look needed to land somewhere between the original version by Carlos Ezquerra (which first appeared in Prog 505, back in 1987) and the far-future rebirth devised by Mark Harrison and Dan Abnett in the early 2000s - although we favoured the Ezquerra version, since those adventures are closer to the timeline of our story.
We wanted something fresh that would appeal to a new and contemporary readership, while remaining instantly recognisable to old-schoolers. Balancing the two is a tricky proposition, but such revisions have been achieved with aplomb recently, notably by DC’s NEW 52 BATGIRL by artist Babs Tarr and writer Cameron Stewart, as well as Nicola Scott’s redesign of VAMPIRELLA...
However, form must also follow function. The redesign had to reflect where this series sees Durham as a character, that is, a down-on-her-luck bounty hunter struggling to maintain a moral compass against her vampiric nature. (Everyone in the STRONTIUM DOG universe is terrified of Durham; in this series you’ll see exactly why...)
Me and Ben went back and forth for WEEKS about how best to convey everything we wanted to say about her. As a baseline, I always start by ‘casting’ a character, just to get a vague visual sense of who they are and how they’ll look on the page. I was thinking someone with the smarts and venom of Lauren Bacall in TO HAVE OR HAVE NOT and Linda Fiorentino in THE LAST SEDUCTION, but who could throw a punch like Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey, while Ben was petitioning for someone lithe and snakey like Jaimie Alexander from THOR and TV’s BLINDSPOT. And so it went on, week after week, covering everything from body type, hairstyle, clothes, weapons, the whole shebang!
All will be revealed in 2000 AD March 2018.