Alan Grant, comic book writer best known for his work on Judge Dredd in 2000 AD as well as many Batman stories – obituary

Alan Grant, who died at the age of 73, was a prolific writer of comics and comics, known for his work on Judge Dredd in the 2000 AD sci-fi comics as well as various late-century Batman titles. 1980s to late 1990s.

His grandmother taught him to read when he was three using The Beano and The Dandy (“The first word I could read was “aaargh!”), Grant worked briefly in a bank before arriving at DC Thomson, the Dundee publishers, subsequently forming a writing partnership and friendship with a former Thomson student, John Wagner. Later, they were poached by DC Comics in America to script Batman.

It was the creation of 2000 AD and Judge Dredd, however, that brought out the best in the writing duo. The character, a snarling, heavily armored fascist super cop, developed by Wagner, first appeared in 1977. With his catchphrase “I am the law”, he combined the powers of judge, jury and executioner as he was fighting crime in the violent dystopian MegaCity One. . Grant began writing for the character in the early 1980s.

From the outset, Grant and Wagner set out to satirize contemporary British and American cultural trends. They read tabloids to find stories about youth gangs, unemployment, overcrowding, and “neighbor rage” that they exaggerated and placed in the future. “People in Scotland hated Maggie Thatcher and a lot of what we did with Judge Dredd was very much a reaction to that,” Grant recalled.

Over the years, Judge Dredd gained a reputation for his seemingly prophetic powers, and later in life Grant identified several predicted developments on the show in the 1980s, including the obesity epidemic and the ban To smoke. A screenplay by Judge Dredd featured morbidly obese activists campaigning for extra food; another featured the Smokatorium, the only place in MegaCity One where people were allowed to smoke.