Judge Dredd is taking Brazil by storm, in particular in the form of its own Judge Dredd Megazine called Juiz Dredd Megazine. It ran for 6 issues of 64 pages in its initial series and is getting ready to kick off a new series, too.
Because it's new to Brazil, the Megazine contains a mixture of new and classic material, from Dan Abnett and Karl Richardson's Grey Area to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Chrono Cops, and Judge Dredd by John Wagner and Brian Bolland. It collects materials from the earliest days of 2000 AD to strips that have appeared in the last few years, including Judge Dredd, Sláine, Nikolai Dante, Grey Area, Aquila, Future Shocks, and Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales.
Helcio de Carvalho, the Managing Director at Mythos Editora, based in São Paulo, who publish the Megazine, comments on why he wants to bring Judge Dredd to Brazil:
Because I'm a fan… and because I really wanted to release a comic totally different from what Brazilian fans are used to. Our mass market is, of course, dominated by Marvel and DC… but we felt there should be fans out there longing for something fresh and new – and we were right. We've been investing to promote our Megazine and slowly, but surely, building a steady audience. Ben's been really understanding about that, helping us out in whatever we need to accomplish that.
We received a lot of e-mails from fans and critics from all over congratulating us for the daring enterprise, and hoping our Megazine would go beyond its first run. Well, in mid-2013 we renewed our contract for six more issues plus a X-Mas special, and recently for another of six issues run plus a bunch of specials! My feeling is that more 2000AD material will attract more fans till we establish Dredd as a top character in Brazil.
The appeal to Brazilian readers is hard to gainsay based on the initial reaction and enthusiasm. Carvalho tries to pin down the source of the fandom:
Hard to say… Dredd has a lot going for him as far as character appeal is concerned… and the whole chaotic and apocalyptic universe he lives in is so damn magnetic that soon as you get to know it you can't help feeling its pull. 2000AD is the home of outstanding creators, exciting characters and fascinating plots. We're still getting fans used to the idea of so many different universes together in one comic, presented in short installments. This is rather unique down here.
Of course our numbers are not as big as Marvel or DC's, but that's OK – especially in today's market. The good and important thing is that our figures allow us to venture an expansion of the 2000AD line and bring more great new stuff to Brazilian fans!
So there you have it. The Judge is universal, and who knows? Maybe this expansion might find its way into influencing some of our Judge Dredd Megazine stories, too. Judge Dredd fandom has always been a universal ambassador, but now even more so, and that's the way we like our comics–creating cultural bridges the world over in appreciation of good storytelling and compelling artwork. Best of luck to Juiz Dredd Megazine.