British comic book artist Ron Smith has died aged ninety four. Smith is best known for his work on Judge Dredd.
The news came via the 2000AD twitter account where it was revealed that Ron Smith had passed away on the morning of Thursday 10th January aged ninety four. Via their social media feed 2000AD paid fitting tribute to an artist whose work will live on for many years to come.
We’re very sorry to hear that Judge Dredd artist Ron Smith has passed away. From co-creating Chopper to the weird Otto Sump and the wonderful Mayor Dave, he was an incredible artist with a career spanning decades. Our deepest sympathies to his family.
— 2000 AD (@2000AD) January 10, 2019
Smith piloted Spitfires in the Royal Air Force during World War Two but turned his focus to animation in 1947 as peacetime resumed.
By 1949 his artistic talents were turned towards illustration at which time he began drawing action adventure titles for weekly comic books like ‘Hotspur’ designed to spark the imagination of young boys.
In 1979 Smith increased his workload by taking on the anthology, 2000AD. Decades into his career the artists profile would rise as he established himself as one of the core artists working on Judge Dredd.
From 1981 to 1998 Ron Smith brought Dredd to life in a comic strip version printed in the daily national newspaper, The Daily Star. During this incredible run Smith was the primary artist almost without exception.
Finally moving on from Dredd, Ron Smith would also illustrate Rogue Troopers in the early nineties, though later in the decade he would officially retire. Smith revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Tributes have been plentiful for an artist who infused his bold artistic style with genuine humour.