Carlos Ezquerra, who died this week, created twisted worlds not far from our own, writes Ian Dunt, editor of politics.co.uk Fascist Spain meets British punk: the subversive genius of Judge Dredd | Ian Dunt
It’s a mark of honour for the British comic book industry that its most instantly recognisable icon is also its most subversive. That achievement is down in great part to Carlos Ezquerra, the Spanish artist who co-created Judge Dredd and died on Monday at the age of 70.
Ezquerra started his career drawing war comics in Barcelona before moving to the UK and working for the anthology 2000AD and others. He brought the iconography of fascist Spain to Dredd’s extremely weird and vivid design and combined it with his experiences of living in Croydon through the 70s and 80s: the punk movement on his doorstep and TV images of policemen charging striking miners.
The eagle motif and helmet were drawn from fascism, the permanently drawn truncheon from police on the picket line, the zips, chains and knee pads from punk. “I was living in Franco’s Spain,” he told an interviewer last year, “but also I was living in Mrs Thatcher’s England.”