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Author Topic: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist  (Read 4530 times)

Dandontdare

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #30 on: 04 November, 2012, 01:09:30 AM »
It seems odd that I, like so many others, didn't really rate Ron when we were kids, but only with hindsight do we realise how much he defined what we love about Dredd, and how many classic stories and images he was responsible for.

I used to sometimes get annoyed by his wonky gun-hands - he occasionally drew Dredd's hands, but then had to draw the lawgiver barrel pointing at an impossible angle so it would be shooting the right way.

so underrated yes, but understated never!

Man2Man

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #31 on: 04 November, 2012, 12:27:46 PM »
underrated yes, but understated never!

Aye, the OP meant underrated I think, or that his importance had been understated. Everyone knows you don't get anywhere near a Judge Death story unless you're of the first rank of Dredd artists (i), and Ron Smith's belated crack at the character (in Theatre of Death) seemed to me to bring some of the madness and grotesquerie that the artist displayed in his depictions of the citizens and monsters like Rex Peters (après drinking the blood of Satanus) to a character who was increasingly being portrayed as something more corporeal. In that respect, Smith was ahead of what Irving would do with the character much later and what Wagner and Staples (?) are about to attempt soon.


(i) off the top of my head, the list goes something like Bolland, Ezquerra, Doherty, Gibson, Staples, Irving, Flint, MacNeil. Rarified company, and even if you allow oddities and apocrypha to slip through, that list still includes Ewins, Robinson, Smith, Bisley, Hairsine, Fabry, Murray/Brashill.

TordelBack

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #32 on: 04 November, 2012, 01:38:17 PM »
EDIT:  Stupid-gun related accident, post now deleted
« Last Edit: 04 November, 2012, 01:42:27 PM by TordelBack »

Spikes

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #33 on: 08 November, 2012, 08:26:27 PM »
This looks interesting for fan's of RON SMITH

Great original Dredd cover, and some, what looks to be, interesting contents - interviews, photo's and sketch/character designs by Ron. A bit pricey at £9.99, though.




 

FinH

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #34 on: 13 November, 2012, 08:50:12 AM »
I always thought it was weird that, even though Dredd make such a big deal about Judge Lopez having a moustache, Ron felt compelled to put a dashing little Erroll Flynn 'tache on every other Judge he drew...

Man2Man

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #35 on: 13 November, 2012, 10:03:54 AM »
I always thought it was weird that, even though Dredd make such a big deal about Judge Lopez having a moustache, Ron felt compelled to put a dashing little Erroll Flynn 'tache on every other Judge he drew...

... and himself. I suppose that's the difference between a situation where Dredd's one of 60,000 (?) judges in a city of 800 million people and when he's isolated on a ship with two other people, with nothing outside but the vast empty lawlessness of space. Most stories which depict those kind of voyages (The Odyssey, The Searchers, Mutiny on the Bounty) present them as explorations of their characters too, setting them against each other and testing their endurance and resolve to their limits in an effort to get at the heart of what they really are when pushed to their limits and reduced to their essence.

It'd be a stretch to argue that The Judge Child is a deep psychological study of Dredd, but it does demonstrate something really fundamental about the character, that he's incredibly twitchy about even the slightest sign of self-regard, regarding that as an indication of corruption or dereliction of duty (an after effect of Rico), and that he is fundamentally a bully. Even as recently as stories like Uncle Ump's Umpty Candy (145) it was possible to understand Dredd as a harsh but fair figure, but the Lopez incident demonstrated that when there are no citizens around upon whom Dredd can take out his fierce self-loathing, and the only other authority is a green judge like Hershey who's unable to challenge Dredd's authority, he's an absolute prick.

The fact that Hershey's still around, and has developed into the kind of figure who can cast that incident up to make Dredd aware of both his current and his present failings, is one of the joys of reading this strip. It's clear that incident played a key role in shaping both Hershey's understanding of Dredd and her own idea of the kind of judge/Chief Judge she wanted to be.

FinH

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #36 on: 13 November, 2012, 10:32:50 AM »
Well, yeah.  That is true.  I didn't really mean to get into the deeper psychological ramifications of Dredd's persecution of Lopez.  I guess all I was really getting at was that Dredd makes out that a Judge having a moustache is a rather unorthodox practice, and yet Ron's peppered the Judges with legions of Rhett Butler lookalikes.  It's like in Ron's world a pencil-thin moustache is standard issue Justice Dept. issue equipment.

Man2Man

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #37 on: 13 November, 2012, 11:23:23 AM »
"past and present failings" (see above)

TordelBack

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #38 on: 13 November, 2012, 11:33:42 AM »
It's like in Ron's world a pencil-thin moustache is standard issue Justice Dept. issue equipment.

Only so many ways to distinguish one helmeted judge from another!  But yeah, Ron did seem to have a particular fondness for the penciltache variant of face fungus.  Mind you, he's also one of the few artists whose female judges occasionally kept their helmets on.

shaolin_monkey

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #39 on: 13 November, 2012, 11:59:48 AM »
I always thought it was weird that, even though Dredd make such a big deal about Judge Lopez having a moustache, Ron felt compelled to put a dashing little Erroll Flynn 'tache on every other Judge he drew...


The fact that Hershey's still around, and has developed into the kind of figure who can cast that incident up to make Dredd aware of both his current and his present failings, is one of the joys of reading this strip. It's clear that incident played a key role in shaping both Hershey's understanding of Dredd and her own idea of the kind of judge/Chief Judge she wanted to be.

Absolutely!  The recent run-in between hershey and Dredd where she points out he'll thrown in his badge like some childish tantrum if he doesn't get his way is a great indication of Hershey's experience of Dredd, including the Lopez incident.  She knows full well he's a bully used to getting his own way, and she's having none of it!  Superbly written and developed characters.

Spikes

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #40 on: 13 November, 2012, 06:08:07 PM »
Best not to mention Movember around Grumpy Joe.

FinH

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #41 on: 13 November, 2012, 08:47:10 PM »
Actually, Carlos Ezquerra used to draw half his Tek Judges with full-on hobo beards.  I guess they didn't fall under Dredd's facial hair jurisdiction, though (belonging to a specialist department and all).  Maybe it was to indicate that they were eccentric scientist types.

DW2012

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #42 on: 19 November, 2012, 08:09:33 PM »
It seems odd that I, like so many others, didn't really rate Ron when we were kids, but only with hindsight do we realise how much he defined what we love about Dredd, and how many classic stories and images he was responsible for.

I used to sometimes get annoyed by his wonky gun-hands - he occasionally drew Dredd's hands, but then had to draw the lawgiver barrel pointing at an impossible angle so it would be shooting the right way.

so underrated yes, but understated never!

I immediately think of the 'unique' gun hands when Ron Smith is mentioned.  It does seem to be quiet a distinct feature of his style.  Some of his Judge Child art work is pretty memorable, especially the bits when Dredd and Hershey get involved in that Alien televised war.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #43 on: 19 November, 2012, 09:09:23 PM »

FinH

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Re: Ron Smith - an undertstated artist
« Reply #44 on: 25 November, 2012, 01:58:06 AM »
Just read 'A, B or C Warrior and saw Ron Smith art in full colour for the first time: very, very nice indeed!