Alan Grant, the Scottish comics writer best known for his work on 2000 AD and Batman, has passed away. He was 73 years old. His wife Susan announced his passing on Facebook this morning. Grant, who was born in 1949, began his work in the comics industry in in 1967, when he became an editor for D.C. Thomson. He left in 1970 to work for IPC on romance magazines, but would become best known for his work with the character of Judge Dredd in the pages of 2000 AD. Once he got to the U.S., Batman would take up most of his attention -- but even then, Dredd would creep back in, with Grant penning Batman/Judge Dredd crossover comics published by DC in the 1990s, when DC had the U.S. license for Judge Dredd.
During his time on the Batman titles in the 1980s and 1990s, Grant co-created Anarky, Victor Zsasz, and the Ventriloquist. Each of those characters have shown up in TV and film projects, with Anarky and Zsasz having major roles on Arrow and Gotham, respectively. Another Grant co-creation, Ratcatcher, played a role in The Suicide Squad.
"[Grant] was a towering presence in comics and a force of nature in life," Wonder Woman artist Liam Sharp wrote on Twitter. "Changes in circumstances meant I have not seen him for far too long and I had been meaning to put that right. Alas..."
Grant worked on Starlord (the 2000 AD strip, not the Marvel character), as well as Blackhawk and Future Shock, but besides Judge Dredd, his best known work would be for Strontium Dog, another 2000 AD feature that would become a staple to international audiences. Some of Grant's Judge Dredd work is currently being sold on Humble Bundle to benefit Cancer Research UK and Save the Children.
Grant was a frequent collaborator with another DC Thomson editor, John Wagner, with whom he worked on Judge Dredd, Tarzan, and Judge Dredd/Batman comics. Wagner, too, developed a strong reputation in the U.K. and became a recognizable name in American comics as a result. When their partnership eventually broke up, Wagner would remain on Judge Dredd, while Grant would take Judge Anderson and Strontium Dog.
Grant received an Inkpot Award, given out by Comic Con International in San Diego to celebrate a notable career in comics and pop culture, in 1992.
Our condolences go out to Mr. Grant's friends, family, fans, and collaborators during this difficult time.