Carlos Sanchez Ezquerra was born in Ibdes, in the province of Zaragoza, Spain, on November 12, 1947. He began his career drawing westerns and war comics for Spanish publishers, and began illustrating romance, western and adventure titles for the British market in 1973. The following year, he began drawing for the IPC title “Battle Picture Weekly,” and created the anti-hero Major Eazy with writer Alan Hebden in 1976, going on to draw almost 100 issues with the character for the next two-and-a-half years.
During this time, John Wagner approached Ezquerra to design a character for the new science-fiction weekly “2000 AD.” After being shown a photograph of David Carradine’s character in the film Death Race 2000, Ezquerra drew up the look of Judge Dredd and his world, which implied a more futuristic setting than Wagner had intended. The first strip, drawn by Ezquerra and rewritten by editor Pat Mills, was rejected for being too violent, and Ezquerra left after Mills sourced out the character’s new debut to another artist, newcomer Mike McMahon.
Ezquerra and Wagner reunited to create another lasting sci-fi strip, ‘Strontium Dog,’ which was published in “Starlord” magazine until it was folded into “2000 AD.” Ezquerra drew almost all of the character’s adventures until 1988, when the decision was made to kill off the lead character: Ezquerra disagreed with the idea and opted out of drawing the story, leaving it to another art team. He and Wagner would return to the character in 2000, crafting prequel stories until the character’s eventual resurrection in 2010.
Other “2000 AD” strips drawn by Ezquerra included 1980’s World War II vampire tale ‘Fiends of the Eastern Front’ (written by Gerry Finley-Day), and various other Judge Dredd stories like ‘The Apocalypse War’ (1982) and ‘Origins’ (2007). He also regularly collaborated with Garth Ennis on various titles, like “Bloody Mary,” “Adventures in the Rifle Brigade,” “War Stories,” and “Just a Pilgrim,” as well as a “Hitman” annual, and two “Preacher” annuals.
Ezquerra was married, and had a son named Hector, who worked as inker on some of his father’s art. He lived in Croydon, London, and Andorra, Spain. In 2010, Ezquerra was diagnosed with lung cancer and had one removed: he joked, “OK, one less lung but … who the hell needs two for drawing?” His death was reportedly a result of postoperative complications. Pat Mills told The Guardian, “Carlos was without a doubt ‘2000 AD”s greatest artist, and, indeed the premier artist of British comics. He was also a great guy to hang out with and he had a fabulous dark sense of humour. We will all miss him hugely.”