Judge Dredd co-creator and longtime 2000 AD artist Carlos Ezquerra has passed away due to complications from lung cancer. He was 70 years old.
Confirmed by Ezquerra’s Spanish publisher EC Comics, news of Ezquerra’s death has led to an outpouring of tributes online from the comic book industry, including Mega-City One Creative Lead Rob Williams, former Judge Dredd writer Mark Millar, and former IDW Publishing Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall.
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Looks like it’s true. Just enormously sad about this. RIP Carlos Ezquerra, 2000AD, Battle. The greatest Dredd panel. pic.twitter.com/Cevqjw0UZX
— Rob Williams (@Robwilliams71) October 1, 2018
Very sorry to hear about the passing of Judge Dredd artist/co-creator Carlos Ezquerra. It was a thrill to get to work with him on a cover for our Dredd launch. First time we talked, he offered to make me paella and to put me up if I ever came to visit. I never made it, dammit. pic.twitter.com/HNYcmC4FlC
— Chris Ryall (@chris_ryall) October 1, 2018
In addition to co-creating Judge Dredd with John Wagner in the pages of 1977’s 2000 AD #2, Ezquerra also co-created the British sci-fi series Stronium Dog, which originally ran from 1978 until 1992 before receiving a revival in 2008. For most of the sci-fi series’ tenure, Ezquerra served as the primary illustrator.
Very sad to hear that Judge Dredd legend Carlos Ezquerra has passed away, surely the definitive Dredd artist. Had the honour of working with him back in my early 20s on the Purgatory strip. His unique style elevated every strip he touched: pic.twitter.com/pVvawVZsHU
— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) October 1, 2018
Outside of his work with 2000 AD, Ezquerra was also a longtime collaborator with writer Garth Ennis, co-creating the 1996 DC Comics series Bloody Mary and the 2000 Vertigo series Adventures in the Rifle Brigade. Additionally, Ezquerra illustrated two Preacher specials written by Ennis, including the Saint of Killers miniseries.
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Just feeling hollowed out by the news that Carlos Ezquerra has passed away. Between Strontium Dog and Judge Dredd, his work has meant more to me over the years than any other comic artist. I remember how his pages would smell of fine cigar smoke. He was just a lovely man. #RIP
— Andy Diggle (@andydiggle) October 1, 2018
Born in Zaragoza, Spain, on Nov. 12, 1947, Ezquerra drew Western comics for Spanish publishers before or beginning work in 1973 for British publishers, creating art for Western and romance comics. Handpicked by Wagner, the duo created the futuristic lawman Judge Dredd, one of the most enduring and iconic characters in British comic books, who has been subsequently adapted into two live-action films and an upcoming television series.