What Happens When Four Pages of a Comic Book Go Missing Right At Deadline?

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Steve Dillon had to re-draw a four page Judge Dredd story over a weekend when he lost it the night before it was due!



When the great Steve Dillon passed away three years ago, there was a multitude of tributes to the brilliant artist, who drew so many classic comic book stories (perhaps most famously his work with Garth Ennis on Hellblazer, Preacher and Punisher). One of the more amusing tributes was from 2000 A.D., who noted a hilarious story about Dillon fairly early in his career.

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Dillon was doing the art for the Judge Dredd story, "City of the Damned," circa 1985. At the time, the set-up for Judge Dredd stories (written by John Wagner and Alan Grant) is that there would be a two-page color opening and then four black and white pages. The color pages were due on Day X and then the four black and white pages were due two weeks later, on a Friday, with the comic going to print on Monday.

Dillon submitted the two-page spread on time and it was excellent...

However, after finishing the black and white pages, which were even lettered by Tom Frame, Dillon and Frame went out for a drink on that Thursday night. I'll let John Higgins tell the rest of the story, from a post on 2000 A.D.'s website in honor of Dillon...

“Steve and Tom Frame went on a pub crawl starting at The Assembly House in Kentish Town. Tom had finished the lettering and everything, and they had a good night out.

“It must have been on the Thursday and they were going to drop it off on the Friday to go to production, and off to press on the Monday – I don’t know what the schedule was but Steve would always push it to the last minute.

“Anyway, they were enjoying socialising in the Assembly House and got into a cab to get off home, but Steve woke up the next morning to find the folder with all the artwork in – because he’d taken it to the pub – had gone missing. Assuming it had disappeared between the Assembly House and home, he went dashing everywhere: he rang the cab company that took them home, he checked on the bus, he did everything he possibly could but couldn’t find the artwork.

“I think he might have admitted it to Steve MacManus and decided that him and Tom would do it again over the weekend, ready for Monday to go to press. They finished it off, possibly with the help of some of the people he was sharing a house with at that time – which was Steve O’Leary and a couple of other people – but he turned it around in how ever many hours there are between Friday night and Sunday night last thing.

Here are the replacement pages as they saw publication (on time) in 2000 A.D. Prog 404...

However, the story doesn't end there. Higgins continues...

“So he dashed and got the whole thing in on Monday in time to go off to press, then him and Tom thought “****ing hell, we need a beer!”.

“They go into the Assembly House and the first thing the barman says is “Steve! You left your folder here...”.”

Hilarious, right?

Well, about two hundred issues later, they published the original four pages by Dillon and it's interesting to see the slight differences...



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