JUDGE DREDD: THE COMPLETE CASE FILES VOL. 10 (2000 AD, First Printing, 2008; Softcover)
Collects the Judge Dredd stories from 2000 A.D. #474-522 and 2000 A.D. Sci-Fi Special 1985 (cover dates 1984 for the 2000 A.D. Sci-Fi Special 1985 and June 14, 1986- May 16, 1987).
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Artists: Kevin O'Neill, Ian Gibson, Cam Kennedy, John Higgins, Barry Kitson, Robin Smith, Ron Smith, Brendan McCarthy, Cliff Robinson, Garry Leach, Steve Dillon, Mark Farmer, John Cooper, Jeff Anderson, Jose Ortiz, Kim Raymond, and Paul Hardy
I discovered something when reading this volume: Judge Dredd ages in real time. They refer to his decade of service as a Judge, and this book collects the tenth year of publication of the character. I wonder if this is still the case today. It would make him pretty darn old if it's true.
As usual, the artwork is all over the place in terms of quality. Some of it is photo realistic, while some of it is too cartoonish for my tastes. The writing is consistently solid. Gone are the huge sprawling “arcs” found in the earlier volumes in this line, in are short stories that are cranked out so fast that your head spins. The Taxidermist is one such idea that is tied up in one short story but should have gone on longer. The Shooting Party is another. I've always subscribed to the notion that it's better to be left begging for more than screaming for mercy, but some of these plots have legs beyond their seven page per week allotment.
The Interrogation is brilliant, and again, it's another idea wrapped up in a scant six pages but could have gone on ten times as long and still have been interesting. 10 Years On is amazing, a standout among the standouts in this book. There are some incredible artists who have worked on this title over the years.
I have to be in a specific mood to read Judge Dredd or else it leaves me cold. But when I am in the mood for it I enjoy the heck out of it. It's black humor and satire wrapped in an ultra-violent package. I have Volume 11, and whenever the mood strikes me I'll crack it open and tear through it.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- These are wider than standard trade paperbacks. The material is still reprinted smaller than it was in the original publications.
There is a cover gallery in the back of the book which features only six of the twenty two covers that Judge Dredd appeared on out of the issue collected in this book.
Linework and Color restoration: Everything looks clean and clear. This book is printed in black and white, which is fine since that's how the title was back then with the exception of the occasional color double page spread which kicked off the strip. Those are scanned and printed in black and white, resulting in a grayscale mess.
Paper stock: Uncoated paper stock. The paper used in the European printed versions (like my copy here) feels odd to the touch. I can't quite explain it.
Binding: Sewn binding. There is gutter loss across the double page spreads, which is often annoying as the word balloons get sucked right down the middle.
Cardstock cover notes: Super thick cardstock covers with a matte coating that is sufficiently resistant to scuffing.