Oh yeah, I almost forgot – there’s a new edition of the classic Judge Dredd comics.
Those partwork collections are funny things, aren’t they? I remember as a kid collecting the entire Tree of Knowledge and Discovery partwork collections, separating the articles in each new issue out and adding them into massive binders. It was a hell of a financial commitment that I’m still so pleased my mum and dad were prepared to shell out for.
Throughout the years, publishers have still realised the value of the partwork, putting out exceedingly large collections in return for that weekly, fortnightly or monthly commitment from readers. And it isn’t just the reading material either; from knitting and sewing to modelling boats, planes and even starships, the chance to build up both your skills and your general knowledge is a valuable reason to stump up – provided the collection is affordable enough.
Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection raids almost forty years of prime Dredd archives to provide some of the biggest stories and hidden gems along with extra concept sketches, essays and follow-up stories. The promoters have been giving it some welly too; with TV adverts and strong social media and online outreach.
The most prominent batch of books in the line are some of my favourite stories; Necropolis and Day of Chaos are oft-mentioned among the elite in Dredd canon, while The Apocalypse War was one of my favourite collections, which I picked up in the early 90s and thoroughly enjoyed. Issue one (just £1.99) is America; another huge favourite of mine and definitely worth a read whether you intend to get the full set or not.
Priced at £9.99 per issue and released each fortnight, it’s certainly enough to put off all but the hardcore audience, especially as there are 80 issues planned for release – much more than a couple of shelves’ worth.
And that’s kind of the issue for me with this partwork; having read Dredd from a young age and throughout my teens I know there’s a great big chunk of Dredd stories to choose from, but for me, putting out as many as 80 hardback books might be pushing it – ten pounds twice a month would be a shade over three years; quite a commitment whether you’re a die-hard fan or just looking for a good regular read.
I’ll certainly keep an eye out for my favourite Judge Dredd stories though, and try to overcome my OCD for a collection which will invariably have a few gaps in the numbering.