Comics great, Carlos Ezquerra, passes away at 70.

#1
Sad news this afternoon as it's confirmed that Carlos Ezquerra - co-creator of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and others - has died. Carlos had been dealing with lung cancer for the last decade, and it appears that his death was due to that battle.

An utterly idiosyncratic artist, a thoroughly decent human, and a titan of British comics - particularly 2000AD, but he appeared in others - as well as a familiar sight in comics worldwide.

I adored his work - particularly his "marker pen colours" era on Judge Dredd - and I have so many favourite strips, but I'm particularly fond of this piece by Carlos illustrating the Stainless Steel Rat for a couple of personal reasons.

2000AD have put out a brief statement:

“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.”

Jason Kingsley, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Rebellion, said: “It is hard to put into words the influence Carlos’s work has had on me over the years. He may be physically gone from us, but the huge legacy of his creative abilities lives on. My personal condolences to his family.”
https://2000ad.com/post/4322


 
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#7
One of my art heroes, will never forget those gorgeous pages with those distinctive, thick, dashed ink lines.

RIP Carlos
 
#8
I've updated the OP with a statement from 2000AD. Still shocked at this - he'd been so positive about his recent surgery having been successful and winning another bout with his "old enemy".
 
#15
Massive shock, he posted on Facebook that he was recovering well a few weeks ago. He is the reason I started reading comics some 40 years ago. A true great and by all accounts I've heard a top class person. RIP.
 
#16
Beyond gutted to hear this.

Along with The Eagle, 2000AD was my childhood in comics & Carlos told so many ama ing stories through his art. He also gave m my first comic crush in the form of Durham Red

RIP.
 
#17
I’m coming up to the point in the Case Files of the Apocalypse War. From the few images I’ve seen, it looks great. A legend that will be missed. RIP.
 
#18
Massive shock, he posted on Facebook that he was recovering well a few weeks ago. He is the reason I started reading comics some 40 years ago. A true great and by all accounts I've heard a top class person. RIP.
Yeah, he was incredibly positive about this not being as bad as his last bout with lung cancer, saying he was an "experienced veteran" in fighting it now and that his surgery had gone well. Even knowing how quickly things can shift with cancer, it's a real shock to see him so positive then get this news so soon after.

Beyond gutted to hear this.

Along with The Eagle, 2000AD was my childhood in comics & Carlos told so many ama ing stories through his art. He also gave m my first comic crush in the form of Durham Red

RIP.
Same here. Carlos, Bolland and McMahon were the Holy Trinity of Dredd, and while there were other astonishing artists in the prog - Cam Kennedy, Brett Ewins, Steve Dillon, Ron Smith, Eric Bradbury, Simon Bisley, Kev O'Neill... the list just goes on and on - Carlos was, like John Wagner or Pat Mills, just The Prog for me.

I’m coming up to the point in the Case Files of the Apocalypse War. From the few images I’ve seen, it looks great. A legend that will be missed. RIP.
You're in for a treat. Apocalypse War is peak early-ish-Dredd, with Wagner and Grant on top form, and Carlos turning in a masterclass in B&W strip art on a crazy weekly schedule for months. Apocalypse War and Necropolis showcase Carlos at his best doing B&W and colour art respectively, and they both stand pretty much alone without the need for too much heavy continuity to appreciate them.

Looking to the future, while Dredd is very much a "house" character, I'm not sure where this leaves Strontium Dog now, as with Wagner pretty much semi-retired and Carlos gone it's hard to see it continue even on the occasional basis it has been. Part of me thinks it should just come to a natural end now, rather than passing to another writer & artist pairing.
 
#20
Gods damn. One of the greats - he created many of my favourite characters, and his art was instantly recognisable.

Looking to the future, while Dredd is very much a "house" character, I'm not sure where this leaves Strontium Dog now, as with Wagner pretty much semi-retired and Carlos gone it's hard to see it continue even on the occasional basis it has been. Part of me thinks it should just come to a natural end now, rather than passing to another writer & artist pairing.
I'm not sure about this either - I'd miss Strontium Dog (the post-revival stories have mostly been excellent), but it wouldn't feel right to see someone else drawing it.
 
#21
I'm not sure about this either - I'd miss Strontium Dog (the post-revival stories have mostly been excellent), but it wouldn't feel right to see someone else drawing it.
Exactly. Simon Harrison and Colin MacNeil both worked on the strip, but apart from that it's been Carlos's baby and is pretty much tied to him in a way that no other 2000AD strip is. If I remember correctly, the last SD strip ended on what now feels like a perfect note - Johnny making some peace with Wulf's death and looking to the future with Wulf's son - so it could conceivably be left there without feeling incomplete.

I know Carlos's son, Hector, regularly inked him in recent years, but I don't know whether he would be able to follow in his father's footsteps. I don't think I've ever seen his own work, though inking Carlos's pencils would have been good experience to build on.

It's a real shame Carlos didn't live to see El Mestizo reprinted - if I remember correctly, it was a particular favourite of his and it's due for a reprint in the next month or so in Rebellion's Treasury of British Comics line. Hopefully Rebellion will make a real event of it, and it would be a lovely gesture if a portion of the profits could go to a suitable charity.
 
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