Pat Mills: Judge Dredd, break dancing, and Iran

Pat Mills, creator and editor of the seminal British comic book anthology magazine 2000 AD has a new blog, and in this post he recounts the creation of the mag’s most popular and famous character, Judge Dredd. It’s an interesting read, especially if you like comics history and behind the scenes looks.

However, this particular bit caught my attention, since it was so out of left field:

“Coming back to that death penalty for dropping litter – if the idea seems unconvincing or ridiculous now, then consider the situation in modern Iran. I spent three months in that country a few years ago and once watched breakdancing teenagers halfway up a mountain outside Tehran. They believed they would be safe from the law, but the secret police were also watching, and moved in to arrest them. Dancing is against the law in Iran.”

By the way, the death penalty for littering that he’s referring to is in regards to the infamous zero tolerance that Judge Dredd has for any form of law breaking, not anything that actually happens in Iran. Not that the Islamic Republic doesn’t have its share of ludicrous laws and punishments, mind you.

But more importantly, I wonder what the heck he was doing in Iran for 3 months…