Brett Ewins, the influential British artist perhaps best known for his work on Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper, has passed away at age 59.
An early collaborator of Peter Milligan, whom he met at Goldsmiths College, and Brendan McCarthy, Ewins began providing covers for 2000 AD before soon reteaming with McCarthy on Future Shocks and Judge Dredd. His other 2000 AD work included ABC Warriors, Bad Company, Judge Anderson and the aforementioned Rogue Trooper.
In 1984, Ewins joined Milligan and McCarthy to create Strange Days, the short-lived Eclipse Comics anthology (which featured “Paradax,” “Freakwave” and “Johnny Nemo”), and later partnered with Steve Dillon to found Deadline, the influential music and comics magazine that published Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin’s Tank Girl, as well as strips by the likes of Philip Bond, Nick Abadzis, D’Israeli and Al Columbia.
Ewins also collaborated with Milligan and Dillon on the Skreemer limited series for DC Comics, where his credits also include issues of Swamp Thing, Hellblazer and Secret Origins. He experienced a nervous breakdown in the early 1990s that saw him lose commissions from publishers and turn toward more personal work, including paintings.
The artist, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, suffered serious head injuries and cardiac arrest in January 2012 during a confrontation in which he stabbed a police officer. After serving nine months (part of it in a hospital), Ewins’ charge was reduced to battery, and he was released on bail.
2000 AD released the following statement about Ewins’ passing this morning on its Facebook page:
We are very saddened to hear of the death of artist Brett Ewins.
Throughout his years of working for 2000 AD, Brett was responsible for some truly unmissable art – from Judge Dredd and Anderson Psi Division to Rogue Trooper and his incredible work on Bad Company with Peter Milligan and Jim McCarthy.
He was also a hugely influential figure in British comics thanks to his founding of Deadline with Steve Dillon in 1988, something that changed the face of the industry forever.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Brett’s family and friends.