Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Batman and Judge Dredd Comic Book Writer Alan Grant 1949 - 2022


British comic book writer Alan Grant has died at the age of 73. No cause of death named, but he had been ill for some time. 

From The Evening Standard:

Alan Grant was born in Bristol in 1949 and grew up in Scotland. As a comic book writer, he worked on some of the biggest titles, like Batman and Judge Dredd.

But he was also known for nurturing new talent and is credited with discovering writer Alan Moore when he found his script in an unsolicited submissions pile at 2000 AD.

His writing was influenced by his early experiences. At school, his teachers would beat him for being left-handed, and he was regularly expelled, but as a statement from 2000 AD said, “the injustice of his treatment [gave] him a powerful distaste for authority which saturated his writing.”

He had a “mischievous and wicked sense of humour that was at times scatological and at others soulful,” says 2000 AD’s obituary.

He began working as a trainee journalist at the age of 18, at a Dundee-based publisher and home to the Beano. Grant then moved to London in 1970 to work as a writer and sub-editor, but after writing a strip for the short-lived comic book Starlord, he was offered an editorial position at 2000 AD.

In 1980, he left his job and was left unemployed when another job fell through. But comic book writer John Wagner asked Grant to help him with his work, and the pair became a powerhouse, under the pseudonym T.B. Grover.

2000 AD’s obituary says that “their partnership redefined Judge Dredd, their black humour and wild imaginations forging what many consider to be the strip’s first great ‘golden age.’”

Grant’s writing always maintained a political edge and was always a “fierce and strongly independent thinker.”

He later worked on DC Comics’ Detective Comics and Batman and continued to work for 2000 AD through the 1990s.

Grant continued to write into his last years, despite being ill, and worked on a Judge Anderson story in 2018 and a war story in the Battle Special in 2020.

He and his wife Sue organised a comics festival in their village of Moniaive in Dumfriesshire for years.

Alan Grant died on July 20, 2022.

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