Sad to say, Carlos Ezquerra, the legendary Spanish comic-book artist who co-created futuristic/fascistic lawman Judge Dredd, bounty-hunting mutant Johnny Alpha, and badass vampire “bitch”* Durham Red (among many other characters), has passed into the infinite, at the age of 70.
Ezquerra was undoubtedly one of the finest draughtsmen to ever lend his talents to the British comic-book industry, and I have always been a huge admirer of his work. I remember, back in the days before the internet and cheap flatbed scanners, repeatedly trying to “input” a picture of Alpha into a school computer using a hand-scanner that distorted the image every time my hand shook a little or inadvertantly varied the speed of its movement across the page. Later, during my university days (when I was still trying to pass myself off as a cartoonist), I even attempted to imitate the signature bumps that he added to the outlines of his characters, but never managed to pull it off because I was using a cheap biro to “ink” my doodles, rather than the proper pens and brushes. Tch!
I never had the pleasure/honour of meeting Ezquerra in person, but I was chatting to (the equally legendary) Alan Grant at a convention once, when he pointed out his frequent-collaborator/friend passing us by on the other side of some trading tables… so I have at least been in the vicinity of the two men who created one of my fave sci-fi femme fatales… and that has to count for something, doesn’t it…?
* That was the unflattering (?) title of the Strontium Dog strip in which she first appeared (2000 AD, #505–529) (1987), and has also been used for several U.S. reprints of her adventures!