This has been a sad summer for Batman fans. Only a month after the passing of iconic Batman artist Tim Sale, the comic book community has lost another beloved artist. Alan Grant, the writer behind 2000 AD and many favorite Batman stories, has passed away at age 73. His wife, Sue Grant, announced this news on Facebook on the morning of July 21.
Tom King, a fellow Batman writer, had this to say about the news:
“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.”
Grant worked in comic books since the 1970s when began his decades-long partnership with John Wagner. Together, they worked on 2000 AD, a British science fiction anthology. With this magazine, Grant wrote numerous stories focusing on the long-running character of Judge Dredd, who was co-created by Wagner. Judge Dredd was later portrayed on screen by Sylvestor Stallone in 1995’s Judge Dredd and by Karl Urban in 2012’s Dredd. In 1988, Grant joined Detective Comics and wrote the Outcasts limited series with Wagner. This led to the pair’s contribution to Batman stories of that era.
Following Wagner’s departure from DC, Grant stayed on, becoming a major Batman writer through the end of the 1990s. Grant co-created well-known Batman villains including the Ventriloquist and the Ratcatcher. In 1992, Grant received the Inkpot Award, a honor given annually at the San Diego Comic-Con to significant artists in the animation and comic book industries. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Grant worked with residents in his local community of Moniaive to create comic books, both to provide an outlet to alleviate boredom and to create an economic boost during a time of hardship.
The extent of Grant’s contributions to the industry was addressed by PJ Holden, another comic book writer: “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.” His full statement can be seen below:
Numerous fans, collaborators and fellow comic book writers and artists also took to Twitter to share their condolences and memories, including Simon Spurrier (Star Wars: Doctor Aphra), Fraser Campbell (Sleeping Dogs), and Alex Segura (Secret Identity)
In his tweet, writer and artist Liam Sharp, whose work includes Green Arrow and Wonder Woman, described Grant as a “towering presence in comics”:
Grant was described as a “leading star of Scottish comics” by the Scottish Book Trust, who posted their message alongside an image of the late writer.
Our condolences go out to Grant’s family. You can watch an interview with Grant via the Glasgow Museums below: