This was the second year of Lawgiver, a convention dedicated to Judge Dredd and aimed at fans of the comics or films.
There were a large number of Costumers at the event, I like the hobby but personally don’t like the term Cosplay. There were also a few professional reviewers there and some amateurs as well.
One of the professionals was Steven Ellis from SFX. He also writes for Sidecast, here is a link to that write-up where he explains not only the event but also the difference between writing for SFX and for Sidecast,
That’s the words of a professional doing the amateur’s job. Next, the words from a few attendees, or Citizens as the Convention refers to them (yes it is a nit confusing if the Citizen is dressed as a Judge).
“Had a Great Day with fans of Judge Dredd and fellow Judges. Till Next Time”
Alan Holloway, one of the regular letter writers to Tharg, has also given his opinion of the event.
Niall Matthew is a costumer who stuns Star Trek fans with his brilliant Khan costume. He is a Judge Dredd novice but his brother, Liam, patrols as a Judge in Planet Replicas uniform. Finally Niall has come over to Dredd and chose Lawgiver as his first step in to costuming in Dredd’s world. Here’s what he has to say of his experience, originally posted on the Lawgiver Citizens Group and reposted here with his permission.
“I used to read 2000AD and the Megazine for a brief time when I was in primary school.
Now in my 30’s, my interest in Dredd was reignited by the awesome 2012 film. And my interest increased further when my brother, Liam Lemmy Matthew, got himself a Judge outfit and was wearing it at pretty much every convention he could go to. At this point, I decided to subscribe to the Judge Dredd Mega Collection, which so far, is pretty damn epic (the only full story I have read previously was the Dark Judges)
After seeing all the photos and hearing Liam go on about last years Lawgiver, I decided to give it a go this year.
Having only met in person David Court, Scowlin Munkeh and Michelle Lally previously, this would be a new experience for me. More crazy convention people to meet yay!!! I decided, because my funds are short atm due to holidays, that I would make-shift a costume of the Homeless Junkie from the 2012 film out of clothes I already had (total cost of costume: £00,00) and make my way down for some Dredd-related fun)
After an epic trip down to Bristol, which consisted of ALL forms of travel (plane, bus, train, tram) I checked in with my Star trek Mirror Universe T-Shirt on. The receptionist, who had a strangely over the top royal family posh accent, recognised the shirt and accused me and my facial hair of being evil. Then I wondered into the bar aimlessly and recognised a few of the UK Judges Forum peeps, who were already on the beer and heading to the DSDC meeting place: a goddamn boat! As I approached the boat, I noticed a sign on the window saying ‘Who wants a block war?’. Looks like I arrived at the right place. Upon entering, I was thrown all over the place, not because the boat was away to capsize by the sheer number of Dredd fans there, but because I was being indroduced to everyone there. So continued a night of nervous-free chat with the fellow fans. There was even a sweedish Judge that brought some rather sour sweets in and insisted that I take the challenge of eating them. They were pretty damn tasty tbh. Once the bar closed, we headed back to the hotel to drink more.
So Monday arrived, and it was time for the actual event. I got dressed up as the homeless junkie (complete with sign) and made my way to the enterance of the Hilton Doubletree hotel. At this time in the morning, regular customers were checking in/out, so the looks I was getting from them as I was perched at the main door were priceless .
I did eventually make my way to the convention and picked a spot to set my costume up and look around. In one room were the guests, who seemed rather busy chatting and sketching for the fans non stop all day, another room consisted of various stalls, hand made replicas of badges and Lawgivers, and a Dredd miniatures game whic I couldn’t help but try out, as I do love a tabletop game. The remaining three rooms were the two panel rooms, and my favourite room, the games room. This room had used props from the 2012 film, concepts props and some rather fun games. For £2 each, you could shoot some perps with a nerf gun, whack them with a rubber baton, build the biggest Mega City One block, or use you Psi powers to blindly pin the Psi badge onto Dredd, the better you did, the better chance you had at winning some great prizes.
As I wandered from room to room, there were plenty of photo shoots going on, fans getting arrested by a wide variety of Judges. Brit-Cit, Germen, classic comic, 2012 Judges and more were mingling around, more than happy to talk to the fans and pose for photos. There was even a Judge Death and Judge Fear instilling terror to the halls.
The panels were great. As I’m still in the process of reintroducing myself to the universe of Judge Dredd, I was unfamiliar with a few of the guests, but that didn’t stop me from going to the panels and finding their insights into the character developing / art of Dredd very fascinating. My favourite panel was the one hosted by Judge Pal, where they were discussing the morality of the Judges system and whether it was a force of good or evil. At some point during one of the panels, a lady looked at me rather surpised. She said she saw me outside the hotel earlier in the day and though I was really homeless! My costume was 100% accurate! Success
The comic Judges were making a strange video downstairs, in a Yorkshire accent, reminiscing about the good ol’ days of the Law. All the Judges got together and posed for some epic photos on the streets of Bristol. One of them even attempted to stop traffic so they could cross safely, however, some white van men had other ideas and denied them passage across the road. I hope that Judge got their registration number! The day finished off with a twist on the traditional costume competitions which normally happens at conventions. We had a ‘Chiin-Off’ which involved participants to flex those chin muscles. Whoever had the best Dredd-like chin was the winner. The man dressed as The Dead Man busted all the competition and won himself a 2012 Dredd prop. Well done sir.
Once the convention was over, we retired to the bar and continued to chat about all things Dredd till silly o’ clock.
Overall I had a great experience at Lawgiver. For a small convention, there was so much to see and do, I wasn’t bored at all during the day. It was great to meet so many nice people (too many to tag here, but you all know who you are) I’ll be starting on my first proper Dredd costume soon Satan from the story of the same name.
You can read an earlier article with links to two other write-ups.