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01st Oct 2018

Comic book legend and Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra has died

Will Lavin

R.I.P. Carlos Ezquerra

It’s a sad day in the world of comic books as beloved artist Carlos Ezquerra has passed away at the age of 70.

The Spanish illustrator was responsible for co-creating 2000 AD’s iconic Judge Dredd character, as well as Strontium Dog and many other all-time classics.

Beginning his career in Barcelona, drawing westerns and war stories for various Spanish publications, it was actually romance titles such as Valentine and Mirabelle that helped Carlos break into the UK market. From there he was head-hunted to contribute to new IPC title Battle Picture Weekly where he drew Rat Pack, Major Easy and El Mestizo.

His distinctive style – characterised by breathtakingly dynamic, high-energy storytelling and the distinctive ridged thick inking that outlined so many key moments – was instantly recognisable and it’s because of this in 1976 he was asked to create a new character, future lawman Judge Dredd, for 2000 AD, which at the time was a new weekly science fiction comic.

With the help of John Wagner, Dredd went on to become one of the world’s most recognisable comic book characters.

Continuing to work after a brush with lung cancer in 2010, it returned earlier this year but Carlos was believed to be recovering well.

His sudden death is a profound loss to the world of comic books.

A statement made by 2000 AD read:

“It is difficult to put this into words, but we have lost someone who was the heart and soul of 2000 AD. It is no exaggeration to call Carlos Ezquerra one of the greatest comic book artists of all-time, and his name deserves to be uttered alongside Kirby, Ditko, Miller, Moebius, and Eisner.

“Yet this doesn’t really do justice to someone whose work was loved by millions and has had an influence far beyond the comic book page. From Judge Dredd to Strontium Dog, from Rat Pack to Major Eazy, Carlos has left us with a legacy of stunning and distinctive work that was and always will be 2000 AD.

“He has been one of the pillars, producing the same dynamic, enthralling and arresting art we always loved him for. We thought we had many more adventures to come from the master, so we are devastated to discover we were wrong.

“Our most profound condolences to his family, his friends, and to the generations of readers who knew instantly they were reading a Carlos Ezquerra comic book.”