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Carlos Ezquerra

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2000ad 366

2000 AD prog 366, 1984, featuring "Strontium Dog"

Carlos Sánchez Ezquerra (born Zaragoza, Spain, November 1947) was introduced to British comics by agent Barry Coker in the early 1970s, and his first work was for girls' titles Valentine and Mirabelle, Pocket Chiller Library, Pocket Western Library and other titles in the Pocket Library range, while living in Barcelona.

In 1973 he started working for DC Thomson's The Wizard, drawing strips such as "He Was Only a Private Soldier", "The Lancers From Lost Valley", "Strongbow", "Chained to his Sword" and "Simon Gaunt". Early in this period he moved to England, settling in Croydon. He then moved to IPC's Battle Picture Weekly in 1975, drawing the Dirty Dozen-inspired "Rat Pack", written by Gerry Finley-Day, followed by "Major Eazy", written by Alan Hebden and visually based on James Coburn, in 1976.

He was then asked to visualise "Judge Dredd", John Wagner's ultra-violent future cop series, for the in-development 2000 AD. His costume design was partly inspired by the fascist iconography of Franco's Spain, and his futuristic architecture and hardware inspired editor Pat Mills to push the strip further into the future than originally intended. Ezquerra drew a handful of early strips, but was upset that he wasn't the series' only artist, and in particular that the first episode had been drawn by Mike McMahon in a style very similar to his, and left the strip, returning to work for Battle, where he and Alan Hebden created a new characters, "El Mestizo", a black bounty hunter operating during the American Civil War.

IPC launched a second science fiction title, Starlord, in 1978, and Wagner and Ezquerra contributed "Strontium Dog", a deep-space western starring mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha. Starlord merged into 2000 AD within the year. "Strontium Dog" was one of the strips carried over, and became a mainstay of the comic, drawn exclusively by Ezquerra until 1988. Ezquerra himself was just as much a mainstay, drawing an adaptation of Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat, scripted by Kelvin Gosnell, and World War II vampire strip "Fiends of the Eastern Front", written by Finley-Day, as well as episodes of "ABC Warriors" and "ABC Warriors" in 1979-80. He added two sequels to The Stainless Steel Rat in 1980 and 1985. In 1982 he returned to Judge Dredd, drawing all 26 episodes of "The Apocalypse War", becoming one of a rotating team of regular artists on the strip over the next few years.

He left "Strontium Dog" in 1988, not wanting to participate in the killing-off of the character (which ultimately happened in 1990, in the hands of other artists). He joined writer Pat Mills on "Third World War" for new political comic Crisis in 1988, drawing the first storyline. He then returned for another stint on Judge Dredd, drawing the epic "Necropolis" in 1990. He has drawn on and off ever since, in both 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine, including the epics "Judgement Day" (1992), "The Pit" (1995), and, most recently "Origins" (2006-7). Also with John Wagner, he created "Al's Baby" in the Megazine in 1991. In 1999 "Strontium Dog" was revived, and Ezquerra returned to the strip, telling new stories set before Johnny's death.

Outside of 2000 AD, Ezquerra has also done work in American comics, often in collaboration with writers John Wagner, Alan Grant and Garth Ennis.

ReferencesEdit

  • Michael Molcher, "Interrogation: Carlos Ezquerra", Judge Dredd Megazine 300-302, 2010
  • Steve Holland, Carlos Ezquerra interview, Bear Alley, 1 March 2007

Online referenceEdit

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