Alan Grant, the longtime writer of Judge Dredd, as well as comics like Lobo, Detective Comics, Strontium Dog and The Demon, has passed away at the age of 73. His death was announced by his wife, Susan, on Facebook. No cause of death has been revealed.
“Grant was one of his generation’s finest writers, combining a sharp eye for dialogue and political satire with a deep empathy that made his characters seem incredibly human and rounded,” his frequent publisher, 2000 AD, said in a tribute post on their website. “Through his work he had a profound and enduring influence on 2000 AD and on the comics industry.”
Grant and his frequent collaborator, writer John Wagner, both worked as editors for D.C. Thomson early in their careers, but wouldn’t meet until later when Wagner was helping to launch 2000 AD, the long-running, popular British comics anthology for International Publishing Corporation. Wagner was also writing Tarzan at the time, and needed help — thus starting a partnership that would last for decades. Grant would also take an editorial role at IPC, but would later quit to go freelance.
With Wagner, Grant co-wrote Judge Dredd, Robo-Hunter, Strontium Dog and other strips for 2000 AD. Together they helped turn Judge Dredd into 2000 AD’s most popular strip in the 1980s, setting the stage for Dredd — and Grant and Wagner — to come to America.
The duo’s first American work came in the late 1980s, when DC published the maxi-series Outcasts. That was followed by a stint on Detective Comics, where, along with artist Norm Breyfogle, they created The Ratcatcher and The Ventriloquist. Wagner left the title, leaving Grant as the sole writer, but the duo would go on to write The Last American for Epic Comics. They also co-wrote the Judge Dredd/Batman crossover, Judgement in Gotham.
Grant continued writing comics on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the 1990s, with his American work mostly staying concentrated at DC. During that time he wrote Lobo, The Demon, L.E.G.I.O.N., Strontium Dog, Batman: Shadow of the Bat (where he co-created Victor Zsasz and Jeremiah Arkham), Mazeworld, Psychonuats and Batman crossovers with Daredevil and Spawn.
His work in the 2000s was mainly concentrated in the UK, where he continued to work on strips like Judge Anderson and also began working on television scripts. He also launched two comics publishing companies of his own, Bad Press Ltd and then Berserker Comics. For several years, Grant and his wife organized a comics festival in their village of Moniaive in Dumfriesshire.
Many creators noted his passing on social media today: