Batman and Judge Dredd Writer Alan Grant Dead at 73

Batman and Judge Dredd Writer Alan Grant Dead at 73
Image: Simon Bisley/DC Comics

Alan Grant had the kind of comics career that quickly becomes legendary. He started in the 60s, writing romance comics. Later, he teamed up with John Wagner to work on Tarzan and 2000 AD for IPC comics. After working on numerous horror/sci-fi titles, Grant and Wagner co-wrote Judge Dredd, which Grant worked on extensively in the 80s.

In the 80s, Grant proclaimed himself an anarchist and even wrote a Batman sidekick character, Anarky, with the hope of helping spread his political views through his art. According to an interview with Planeta DeAgostini, an Italian comics publisher, Grant was expecting Anarky to take over the Robin role, but Tim Drake, the third Robin, was already in development. He attempted to buy the rights to Anarky, but DC Comics refused.

Image: DC ComicsImage: DC Comics

One of his favourite Batman stories, according to the interview with Planeta DeAgostini, is the fight between Batman and Etrigan. “In the final part of the series, Batman is forced to battle against Etrigan, despite knowing that the fight can only end one way…in Batman’s own death. But Etrigan changes his mind and makes a little speech to Batman: “I like you, man. I like your style. I wonder what force stirs your bile. Eh? What dark demon drives you on, to fight when even hope is gone? Cheer up. It’s over. Go your own way – free. Because there’s something deep inside you, man, that’s very much like me!”

Image: Norm Breyfogle/DC ComicsImage: Norm Breyfogle/DC Comics

In 1992 Grant was honoured by Comic-Con International with an Inkpot Award. According to the 2000 AD site, “He continued to work for 2000 AD throughout the 1990s, mainly on Anderson, Psi Division, where his partnership with artist Arthur Ranson produced incredibly beautiful stories such as Shamballa and Satan, and the three-volume series Mazeworld, inspired by three months he spent in prison for possession of half an LSD tablet in 1969.”

Although ill for some time, Alan continued to write. His last work for 2000 AD was a Judge Anderson story in 2018 and a war story in the Battle Special in 2020.”

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