2000AD is a boys comic. That’s how it was created, that’s how it was marketed, that’s how it was sold in to newsagents. But even for a boys comic, there have been surprisingly few female creators in its thirty-five year run. Hilary Robertson, Natalie Sandalls, it’s not a stellar list.
In this week’s 2000AD, Emma Beeby will be the first woman to write for the Judge Dredd strip. Co-written with 2000AD stalwart Gordon Rennie, who she has previously worked with on Doctor Who audio dramas, the story Suicide Watch beings a new three parter – indeed all the strips that issue are new ones.It’s a week for first, we also get the first Muslim Judge in PSI Judge Hamida. Which combined means it’s enough to make it into today’s Guardian newspaper.
Beeby’s take on Dredd sees Mega-City One recovering from a recent disaster which killed the majority of citizens. “We wanted to do a story that was going to show what was left, with all the resulting pain and horror. Dredd pairs up with a female PSI-Judge, Hamida, a Muslim suffering a crisis of faith. So we put Dredd in quite a serious story, but the world of Dredd allows a lot of flexibility in storytelling – which is one of the reasons for it lasting 35 years,” she said.
“It was funny in planning the writing – Gordon I think assumed that since he has years of experience writing Dredd, I’d rather start off leading on the scenes with the female judge. But I was itching to write him, and insisted it be the other way around. If I was going to write Dredd, I was going to write Dredd. I hope I can do more, and I hope to see more women do so.”
So, which all-male bastion of comics will be next to fall?