It is with heavy heart I post this on behalf of all at ECBT 2000AD.
Today we discovered Brett Ewins had died, after a short illness. We are so very sad to hear this, and wish to extend our thoughts and condolences to his friends and family.
As readers of 2000AD, and fans of comics in general, we were all touched by Brett in some way. While we may look at his career more closely at a later date, I’d like to touch briefly on why he was so important to so many of us.
He quickly became popular in 2000AD, originally asked to emulate a particular style on Judge Dredd, but before long showing he had his own unique look to bring to the pages of the comic.
For many of us he became a favourite artist when he worked on solo Judge Anderson strips. His tight linework, bizarre creatures, and mastery of the female form made him a fan favourite very quickly.
For me, he made a huge impact on my malleable young mind in the long running 2000AD series, Bad Company. While having a very sci-fi/fantasy setting, Ewins was able to portray the way conflict dehumanises in an unforgettable manner. This affected me so much I wrote an essay for my A level English class. In it I compared this war story to that of so many previous ‘boys own’ comics. I included the following panel to emphasise the sudden change in direction from the gung ho heroics of Victor and Warlord, to the heightened sense of damage a war can do to a person. I thank Mr Ewins for the great mark my essay got.
Many will remember Brett Ewins for other reasons, including founding Deadline with Steve Dillon, and the character of Johnny Nemo, who he co-created with long time collaborator Peter Milligan. In all these ways, and more, he left the UK comic industry a lasting legacy.
You can see Brett Ewins and Peter Milligan discussing their work at some length on Night Network here:
On a final personal note, I had the honour of meeting Brett in Earls Court last year. He was happy to chat to me for some time, and we discussed his work on Bad Company at length. He was very warm and pleasant to me, and thanked me for passing on my love of his art. I came away with an even greater appreciation of him and his work. I am so glad I had that opportunity before he passed.
We have truly lost someone great.
For those who wish to pass on their condolences, there is a Facebook memorial here:
Also, you can read and add tributes to Brett on the 2000AD Forum, here: