Carlos Ezquerra
Art robot Carlos Ezquerra.jpg
Ezquerra in 2005
BornCarlos Sanchez Ezquerra
(1947-11-12)12 November 1947
Ibdes, province of Zaragoza, Spain
Died1 October 2018(2018-10-01) (aged 70)
Pseudonym(s)L. John Silver
Notable works
Judge Dredd
Strontium Dog
Just a Pilgrim
The Stainless Steel Rat
AwardsInkpot Award[1]
National Comics Awards
Children2[2]

Carlos Sanchez Ezquerra (12 November 1947 – 1 October 2018)[3][4][5] was a Spanish comics artist who worked mainly in British comics. He is best known as the co-creator of Judge Dredd.

Biography

Early work

Born in Ibdes, province of Zaragoza, Aragon, Ezquerra started his career drawing westerns and war stories for Spanish publishers. In 1973, he got work in the UK market through agent Barry Coker, drawing for girls' romance titles like Valentine and Mirabelle, as well as westerns for Thorpe & Porter's Pocket Western Library, and a variety of adventure strips for D. C. Thomson & Co.'s The Wizard. The UK was a popular market for Spanish artists as the exchange rate meant the work paid well, but Ezquerra moved to London to be near the work,[6] settling in Croydon with his wife.[7]

Battle and 2000 AD

In 1974, on the strength of his uncredited work for The Wizard, Pat Mills and John Wagner headhunted him, through Coker, to work for the new IPC title Battle Picture Weekly. He drew "Rat Pack":[8] inspired by the film The Dirty Dozen, the strip, written by Gerry Finley-Day, featured a gang of criminals recruited to carry out suicide missions. But his commitments elsewhere meant he couldn't draw it full-time, and other artists were also used.[6] In 1976 Battle editor Dave Hunt convinced him to commit himself to the title, offering him the laid-back anti-hero "Major Eazy", written by Alan Hebden. Ezquerra drew nearly 100 episodes in the next two and a half years,[8] basing the character's appearance on the actor James Coburn.[6]

Judge Dredd in the first panel of Ezquerra's first published Judge Dredd story, "Krong", in 2000 AD #5, March 1977.
Judge Dredd in the first panel of Ezquerra's first published Judge Dredd story, "Krong", in 2000 AD #5, March 1977.

He was asked to visualise a new character, future lawman Judge Dredd, for the science fiction weekly 2000 AD, prior to its launch in 1977. His elaborate designs displeased the strip's writer, John Wagner, but impressed editor Pat Mills, and his cityscapes persuaded Mills to set the strip further into the future than initially intended.[7] But Wagner (temporarily) quit over ownership issues,[9]: pp. 12–13  and Ezquerra followed him when the first published appearance of the character was drawn by another artist, Mike McMahon.[7] He returned to Battle, where he once again teamed up with Alan Hebden to create "El Mestizo", a black gun-for-hire who played both sides against the middle during the American Civil War.

Final image of Judge Dredd in Ezquerra's last published Judge Dredd story, "Get Jerry Sing", 40 years later in 2000 AD #2023, March 2017.
Final image of Judge Dredd in Ezquerra's last published Judge Dredd story, "Get Jerry Sing", 40 years later in 2000 AD #2023, March 2017.

In 1978 he and Wagner created "Strontium Dog", a sci-fi western about a bounty hunter in a future where mutants are an oppressed minority forced into doing such dirty work, for Starlord,[10] a short-lived sister title to 2000 AD with higher production values.[9]: pp.39–41  Starlord was later merged into 2000 AD, bringing "Strontium Dog" with it.[10] Ezquerra was almost the only artist to draw the character, until 1988, when writer Alan Grant decided to kill him off in a storyline called "The Final Solution". Ezquerra disagreed with the decision, and refused to draw the story, which was instead illustrated by Simon Harrison and Colin MacNeil.[11] In 2000 Wagner and Ezquerra revived "Strontium Dog" based on a treatment Wagner had written for an abortive TV pilot.[9]: p. 211  Initially, stories were set before the character's death in a revised continuity, but 2010's "The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha" brought Johnny back from the dead.[12]

Other 2000 AD strips he drew included Fiends of the Eastern Front (1980), a vampire story set in World War II, written by Gerry Finley-Day, and adaptations of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat novels, with the title character once again resembling James Coburn. In 1982 he returned to "Judge Dredd" to draw "The Apocalypse War", a seven-month epic which he drew in its entirety. He continued to draw the character semi-regularly, handling the whole of "Necropolis" in 1990, "Origins" in 2006–07, and many others.

His son Hector inked and coloured in his pencil work for Strontium Dog between 2008 and 2012.[13]

The character of Stogie from the long running 2000 AD strip Robo-Hunter was given the full name Carlos Sanchez Robo-Stogie in tribute to Ezquerra.

Other work

Ezquerra also collaborated numerous times with writer Garth Ennis on Bloody Mary, Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, War Stories, a Hitman annual with artist Steve Pugh, and two Preacher specials (The Good Old Boys and The Saint of Killers miniseries) for DC Comics, and Just a Pilgrim for Black Bull Entertainment.

Ezquerra occasionally used the pen name "L. John Silver" for work such as 2000 AD's "The Riddle of the Astral Assassin!" prog 118, and ABC Warriors, progs 134–136.

Awards

Death

In later life Ezquerra moved to Andorra. He died of lung cancer on 1 October 2018, at the age of 70.[15][16] He never retired, and his uncompleted final work, "Spector," was published posthumously in June 2019 by 2000 AD.

Bibliography

Comics

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2018)

Comics work includes:

All stories written by John Wagner unless otherwise stated.
All stories below written by John Wagner and Alan Grant writing in partnership, unless otherwise stated.
All stories below written by John Wagner alone.

Collected editions

Some of Ezquerra's more recent Judge Dredd and Cursed Earth Koburn work has been collected into one volume:[19]

Toys

He drew the artwork on the header cards for Corgi model's range of X-Ploratron die-cast models. (Diecast Collector Magazine, September 2006 issue, page 38)[20]

The four X-Ploratron models were;

Notes

  1. ^ Inkpot Award
  2. ^ Obituary by Karl Stock, in Judge Dredd Megazine #402 (cover date 18 December 2018), p. 36
  3. ^ "Carlos Ezquerra, Comic Book Artist and Co-Creator of 'Judge Dredd,' Dies at 70" in The Hollywood Reporter, 1 October 2018, by Graeme McMillan
  4. ^ Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra dies aged 70, in The Guardian, 1 October 2018
  5. ^ Muere el dibujante zaragozano Carlos Ezquerra, co-creador de 'Judge Dredd' (in Spanish)
  6. ^ a b c Michael Molcher, "Interrogation: Carlos Ezquerra" part 2, Judge Dredd Megazine #301, 14 September 2010, pp. 16–22
  7. ^ a b c Michael Molcher, "Interrogation: Carlos Ezquerra" part 3, Judge Dredd Megazine #302, 12 October 2010, pp. 16–23
  8. ^ a b David Bishop, "Blazing Battle Action" part 1, Judge Dredd Megazine #209, 16 September 2003, pp. 73–78
  9. ^ a b c David Bishop, Thrill Power Overload, Rebellion, 2002–2009
  10. ^ a b David Bishop, "John Wagner: The Quiet American", Judge Dredd Megazine #250, 17 October 2006, pp. 24–30
  11. ^ Michael Molcher, "Interrogation: Carlos Ezquerra" part 1, Judge Dredd Megazine #300, 17 August 2010, pp. 16–22
  12. ^ Tony Ingram, Mutant Mayhem in Milton Keynes: The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha, Strontium Dog Archived 2012-01-28 at the Wayback Machine, Broken Frontier, 19 August 2011
  13. ^ 2000 AD prog 1617
  14. ^ a b comics.org
  15. ^ Obituary in 2000 AD #2103 (cover dated 17 October 2018), p. 9
  16. ^ Muere el dibujante de cómics Carlos Ezquerra, cocreador del Juez Dredd at Elpais.com
  17. ^ In December 1999 the issue after #1173 was numbered 2000, after the New Year. Another issue #2000 followed issue #1999 in September 2016.
  18. ^ comics.org
  19. ^ 2000ad.com (Retrieved 23 June 2021)
  20. ^ Pigott, Mike (September 2006). ""Corgi X-Ploratrons" article in Diecast Collector Magazine". (Warners Group Publications).

References

Interviews

Further reading