No. 147 – Damnation Alley

Brian Bolland’s cover for The Cursed Earth Part One (Titan Books, 1982) v Damnation Alley[1] (1977)

Based on the Roger Zelazny (1937–1995) novel2] of the same name (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1969; itself based on his novella of 1967), the plot of Damnation Alley follows convicted murderer Hell Tanner [ostensibly the inspiration for Spikes Harvey Rotten] on a suicide mission to deliver a plague vaccine, in exchange for a full pardon, from the police states of Los Angeles to Boston through Damnation Alley, a post-nuclear wasteland of violent, unpredictable weather that prevents air travel.

The Judge Dredd story included a toy tie-in with Matchbox (now owned by Mattel, Inc.) of their K-2001 Raider Command vehicle (1976), and the artists were given the toy as a model for the combined K-2001 Land Raider (front) and Killdozer[3] (rear) vehicles – so yes, the toy came first.


  1. Poster art by by Paul Lehr (1930–1998)
  2. Kevin O’Neill has stated that The Cursed Earth epic (progs 6185 (1978)) was indeed inspired by Damnation Alley (interview, Death Ray #17, Blackfish Publishing, February/March 2009)
  3. Vicious Imagery: 28 Days of 2000 AD #24: Brian Bolland Pt. 1 (24 February 2007), interview by David Bishop


3 thoughts on “No. 147 – Damnation Alley

  1. There was also a series called “Plague 2000” which ran in ‘The Crunch’ comic from issue 14 (April 1979). Not sure how long it lasted but it featured a group of soldiers having to deliver an antidote to a plague over land from Los Angeles to New York. Sounds familiar and it post dates the Cursed Earth but I haven’t re-read it so I don’t know if it owes more of a debt to Dredd or Damnation Alley. I do remember there being a biker gang in it though.


  2. Well spotted, Alastair. I must admit that, until today, I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of a comic called The Crunch. Much of what appears here I’m actually learning on the fly. 🙂


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