Carlos Ezquerra, the Spanish artist who co-created Judge Dredd for 2000AD, has died at the age of 70.
The sad news was confirmed on the 2000AD website, who posted a photo of Ezquerra at his drawing desk.
“One of the all-time greatest comic book artists, the Spanish illustrator was one of the titans of 2000AD,” read the tribute.
“Modest and unassuming, Carlos was nonetheless a legend whose contribution to the global comic book industry cannot be understated. His distinctive style – characterised by breathtakingly dynamic, high-energy storytelling and the distinctive ridged thick inking that outlined so many key moments – was instantly recognizable.
“Despite a brush with lung cancer in 2010, he continued to work and, although the cancer returned this year it was believed he was recovering well. His sudden death is a profound loss not just to 2000AD but to the comic book medium.
A statement on behalf of the staff at 2000AD said that they had lost someone who was “the heart and soul” of the magazine, and that “his name deserves to be uttered alongside Kirby, Ditko, Miller, Moebius, and Eisner.”
Ezquerra grew up in Zaragoza, beginning his career drawing westerns and war stories for Spanish publishers before heading to Britain to work on IPC’s Battle Picture Weekly. Joining 2000AD in 1976, he worked with John Wagner to develop Judge Dredd – a character that would go on to become synonymous with the magazine and one of the most recognizable names and faces in comics.
“Carlos was without a doubt 2000AD’s greatest artist, and, indeed the premier artist of British comics,” original 2000AD editor Pat Mills told The Guardian. “He was also a great guy to hang out with and he had a fabulous dark sense of humour. We will all miss him hugely.”