After finishing these yesterday, I headed straight for my (ebay purchased) copy of issue 1467... I opened it with a fair amount of trepidation, I must say.
I'd seen some of Richard Elson's work in issues of 2000AD that I'd bought recently (as part of my preparation for this project), so I knew the art would be pretty good.
I wanted to get the most I could out of this and the amount of effort I have gone to on this deserves nothing but a calm critic of both my version of the script and Richard Elson's original printed incarnation.
From the outset, it's clear that we're going to have tackled the story very differently. Obviously (I'm sorry to say) I can't scan and publish the originals here to enhance this comparison.
Richard's page is more successful in the environment and scene setting department with plenty of graffiti and things to help identify the location. I'll also add that his gun for the protagonist is by far a better piece of artillery than mine. He has also done a great job on the design of his cyber-punk "victims". Overall there is much more to look at. I think that my page scores over Richard's in only one, but I think, important area - emotional connection with the character, I think because my "Nobody" really is more of an 'every-man'.
There's not much to tell between the versions in the first three panels, although the design of vehicles and stuff is far better in the printed page. Also the flow through from page one is far clearer with the graffiti and enclosed location being more easily identifiable. The major difference is in the final panel, my figures may be just a tad too static but I think I've captured the feel of a nightclub - Richard however has really done a top job of conveying a futuristic and distinctly Mega-City One feel.
PJ Holden said to me that comic pages for 2000AD are (and need) to be frenetic - I now know what he meant. Strangely enough Richard's take on the page is more like my first version. Although, there's far more action in his page and a nice 'gang' emblem that also helps to identify the crew of 'baddies'. The only thing I think I can say I have going in my favour and it's really a minor thing is the connection with the characters, I think mine is more 'in it' with them.
Mr Elson's Dredd is much grittier and again, there is more detail and (in general) far more design about on the page. The major story point that I've failed to convey is a badly parked hover-car in panel four - I love the crashed parking sign Richard has employed (actually, I'm slightly jealous of the simplicity and humour of it). I realize that I'm going to have to work on my future-tech as well - Richard's is really cool! Other than that, the two pages have been handled very similarly.
My hospital is a classic sort of bright and white place (not unlike those seen in ER and Scrubs) and therein lies the major difference on this page, by going darker and more 'secret laboratory', Richard has succeeded in propelling us into the future - it's identifiable as a hospital but something is unfamiliar - it's a delicate balancing act and he's done it very well. Take as read from here that Richard has better tech than me. Again though, I think there is more connection to my character.
These are very different pages and Richard has added an unscripted panel of Dredd's "eyes" which strangely conveys that Dredd understands 'Nobody'. I don't know how, but somehow he's managed to get a sense of kinetic anger (from Dredd's gloves no less) into the panel that pulls the plug. I don't think there's anything really wrong with how my storytelling works and I've got emotional content in my version - Hat off to Richard Elson though, I can really see why he is a published 2000AD artist.
I have improved so much over the course of doing this and at this point I have only completed nine full sample pages of comic art. I feel positive about my work and if I have developed this far in such a short space of time, I think I have every reason to be confident about the prospects of actually getting work in comics (if not at 2000AD) at some point in the future.