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.
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.
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.
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.