DC to DC, From Dundee to Gotham, Alan Grant Remembered
Alan Grant, one of Scotland’s greatest comic book writers and the man behind Judge Dredd and Batman as well as a host of other titles, has died aged 73. In work that spanned work from DC Thomson to DC comics — from Dundee to Gotham — inarguably was key to transforming ‘comics’ and graphic novels from a medium for children and young people to a massive and serious artform in its own right.
His work on Judge Dredd was famously drawn from his “disdain for the populist authoritarianism of Margaret Thatcher”. He gave comic books a radical political edge and arguably started the ‘radicalisation ‘ of the Batman figure now translated into a huge global phenomena.
The Scottish Book Trust called Grant “a leading star of Scottish comics — and a great ambassador for them.” He began his career as editor in the late 1960s, working first for DC Thomson in Dundee and, then, for London-based IPC Magazines. From 1978 to 1980, he served as editor of 2000 AD, and wrote Tharg’s Future Shocks, Judge Dredd, Stronium Dog, Robo-Hunter and Blackhawk.
Taken with the astonishing work of Grant Morrison (Doom Patrol, The Invisibles, St Swithin’s Day, the New Adventures of Hitler) and Mark Millar (Swamp Thing, Kingsman, Kick-Ass, Civil War, Logan) — the Scots trio can be credited with having an enormous influence on transforming the genre of comic books and creating the (both) brilliant and problematic super-hero universe, a space they both created and tried to subvert.
Here is an Artworks Scotland documentary about him: