Alan Grant, fan-favourite writer known for his work on Batman, Lobo, Judge Dredd, and Anderson, has died. He was 73. He had been ill for some time.
The news came via a Facebook post by his wife Sue Grant and immediately tributes started pouring in.
We are devastated to hear the news that we have lost Alan Grant, a giant of comics whose wit, humanity, and talent made 2000 AD what it is.
— 2000 AD Comics (@2000AD) July 21, 2022
Horribly saddened to hear of the passing of Alan Grant. Lobo, LEGION, Batman—these books questioned what super hero comics could be and do: they were sharply, cooly cynical and yet oddly—and wonderfully—they contained a powerful, warm undercurrent of hope. Hell of a writer. RIP. pic.twitter.com/CP1YuF1D96
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) July 21, 2022
Terrible to hear of Alan Grant’s passing. An absolute giant of British comics, and a great human being. A man whose contribution to comics is immense and I’m sure would’ve deserved something from the honours system but who would have had no hesitation in disdainfully refusing it.
— PJ Holden (@pauljholden) July 21, 2022
Alan Grant was born on February 9, 1949 in Bristol, England. At a very young age, he and his family moved to Newtongrange, Scotland, where he grew up. In 1967 he entered comics as an editor for Dundee-based publishing behemoth D.C. Thomson and in 1970 he moved to London to work for IPC, predominantly on their romance comic magazines.
Grant’s rise came in no small part thanks to a friendship and partnership with Judge Dredd co-creator John Wagner, whom he knew as a fellow comics subeditor and writer. Grant would assist Wagner with uncompleted scripts during the early days of 2000AD and later. When they shared the same house, the two would form a prolific and prodigious writing team. The Grant-Wagner team worked through the 1980s on British comic anthology strips for 2000AD and Starlord – often under the guise of a pseudonym. Their work has been tied to Strontium Dog, Robo-Hunter, Ace Trucking Co., Judge Anderson, and Judge Dredd, the latter of which marking the qualitative heyday of the character.
When America came calling in the late ’80s, Grant and Wagner were able to make their mark to a whole new audience via fan-favourite runs on DC’s Batman titles, particularly alongside Norm Breyfogle. After the dissolution of the Wagner-Grant partnership, Grant remained a favourite solo writer on the Batman line. He co-created Anarchy, Amygdala, Jeremiah Arkham, and Mr. Zsasz with Breyfogle; the Ventriloquist and Ratcatcher with Wagner and Breyfogle; and more. Through the 1990s he was one of the main writers on the Batman line. He is also fondly remembered for work on popularising alien bounty hunter Lobo, a supporting character from Keith Giffen’s Omega Men series.
Back in the UK, he continued to produce work for the UK market – on three series of Mazeworld, with Arthur Ranson, and continuing the Anderson: PSI Division series in the pages of 2000AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine sister title until 2019.
Increasingly ill health reduced his productivity but not his imagination or will to write. In 2007 he wrote an adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson 1886 novel Kidnapped, drawn by Cam Kennedy. He also set up his own comics company, Berserker Comics. In 2016, the Wagner-Grant creative team was revived and paired with Dan Cornwell to create soccer comic with a sci-fi twist Rok of the Reds.