Otto Sump, from the cover of Prog 280 - artwork by Ron Smith
|First appearance||Judge Dredd "Sob story" in 2000 AD #132 (September 22, 1979)|
|Created by||John Wagner|
Fictional character biography
Sump was a notoriously ugly man; so ugly that his parents abandoned him on the steps of a face-changing clinic. In later life, he was too ugly to be hired for any job other than "rat-scarer," and he lost that job when animal rights activists complained. When Judge Dredd learned that the successful contestants of a game show, "Sob Story" in which miserable people beg the audience to send them money, were being murdered and their winnings stolen, he had a computer find him the "worst hard-luck case in Mega-City One" to use as bait—and Sump "won hands down." Sump made a fortune, and Dredd caught his murderers when they tried to murder Sump.
Sump invested his new-found fortune into starting a beautician practice; when this failed (the incompetent Sump made his clients look even worse), he made a fortune by selling products which made people hideously ugly, which became fashionable. The Judges tried to curtail this trend by punitively taxing ugly products, which thereupon became the preserve of the extremely wealthy. He also created a popular new food brand called "Gunge," which was made from insects and mould and the like. Gunge was banned following complaints from concerned citizens, but the Judges secretly made and sold it themselves under a new name, labelled with the Justice Department "approved" stamp so that the ingredients did not have to be listed.
Otto Sump went into business selling "Smart Sweets," which his customers believed would increase their intelligence. Although they did no such thing, Sump carefully avoided making any specific claims of their effectiveness in his commercials (even commenting that "You gotta be dumb to buy Smart Sweets) and thus stayed within the letter of the law. The unamused Judge Dredd found an excuse to shut this business down when a group of particularly stupid criminals claimed that Smart Sweets gave them the intelligence to plan a crime.
Eventually, the Ugly Clinics and related products became available at prices that citizens could afford; made increasingly rich, Sump donated a lot of his income to charity and would eventually marry an air-dancer & take his elderly mother into private healthcare. In the year 2124, he was murdered by his mother, who was disgusted and humiliated with his Ugly Clinic empire.
- UGLY? Don't tell ME about ugly! I got ugly comin' outa my ears!
Otto Sump appeared in 2000 AD progs 132, 186-188, 280, and 436. He also appeared in the Judge Dredd Megazine volume 4 issues 12-13.
- Judge Dredd:
- The A-Z of Judge Dredd: The Complete Encyclopedia from Aaron Aardvark to Zachary Zziiz (by Mike Butcher, St. Martin's Press, March 1995, ISBN 0-312-13733-8)