Judge Dredd co-creator and Spanish artist Carlos Ezquerra passed away at the age of 70.
While Ezquerra created Judge Dredd alongside John Wagner, he wasn’t the first artist to officially work on the character. That would go to Mike McHone. Following the first published story of Dredd with McMahone’s artwork, both John Wagner and Ezquerra would leave 2000 AD over a dispute of ownership of Judge Dredd. However, they would both return to the character and their creation.
Dredd wasn’t his only creation. He would go on to create El Mestizo and Strontium Dog. Strontium Dog was a sci-fi western starring a bounty hunter in a futuristic world where mutants are an oppressed minority for 2000 AD’s sister magazine Starlord.
Ezquerra would also collaborate with Garth Ennis for Bloody Mary, Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, War Stories, Hitman, as well as Preacher.
A number of comic book professionals mourned his passing by honoring his legacy.
Stunned and saddened to hear the news about Carlos Ezquerra. Our thoughts go out to his wife and family.
— Pat Mills (@PatMillsComics) October 1, 2018
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
Another irreplaceable master has left us. Thank you for so, so much, Carlos Ezquerra #RIP #CarlosEzquerra pic.twitter.com/UWghNwYELS
— David C31 @NYCC Baldeón (@david_baldeon) October 1, 2018
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
R.I.P. Carlos Ezquerra. Master storyteller. Comics artist par excellence. Thank you for everything you showed us. Travel safely. Sleep well.
Four panels from 1982’s Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War by John Wagner, Alan Grant, Carlos Ezquerra & Tom Frame. pic.twitter.com/iDUgg11Xeh
— Colin Smith (@Colin_TBTAMC) October 1, 2018
Just heard that Carlos Ezquerra passed away. I’m shocked and greatly saddened. He was a good friend and an immense talent.
— Dave Gibbons (@davegibbons90) October 1, 2018
Ive been waiting for an official confirmation, but really I’m just hoping it’ll turn out to be wrong. Carlos Ezquerra was a giant among artists and a giant among men. Never a bad page and indelibly linked to my childhood through Dredd. He’s what you want to be as an artist.
— PJ Holden @ NYCC K2 Artists Alley! (@pauljholden) October 1, 2018
RIP, Carlos Ezquerra.
I met him some years ago, he was such a nice and kind person. Farewell, master. pic.twitter.com/u1YqJzG75o
— Pepe Larraz NYCC C32 (@PepeLarraz) October 1, 2018
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
RIP Carlos Ezquerra. The Apocalypse War panels here just capture some fragments of what made him so interesting. https://t.co/FnqRW04pRP
— Kieron Gillen (@kierongillen) October 1, 2018
It’s unclear how Ezquerra died, but Newsarama reports he had been “reportedly diagnosed with lung cancer over a decade ago.”