Last weekend, I had a phone call from my mate Spike. He was in London on a training course with work and his employer had put him up in a hotel.
It just happened to be the same hotel that 2000AD were using to host their 40th anniversary bash on the same weekend and, as none of his coworkers were particularly interested, he had to share the news with someone, hence the phone call to me.
Later in the evening, he mailed me this picture:
That’s Gordon Rennie, Dave Gibbons in the middle and while I sort of recognised the guy on the right, I had to get Spike to confirm who it was. When he told me it was Carlos Ezquerra, whose artwork I adore, I had to ask Spike a favour – if he had the chance, and if Ezquerra was up for it, to get a sketch of Johnny Alpha for me. If Ezquerra was charging, I’d pay anything.
Long story short, Spike hung out with various artists and writers over the weekend (when he wasn’t on his training course) but didn’t see Ezquerra again. Having finished his course on the Sunday, Spike returned to the hotel, left his bags at reception and did one final sweep of the meeting rooms but pretty much everyone had gone.
He headed back to reception to get his bags . . . only to find Ezquerra waiting for a taxi. Being the absolute diamond he is, Spike asked him if he’d do a sketch for me. I can only guess Ezquerra is just so used to drawing Judge Dredd that he grabbed some hotel stationery and started this:
before Spike stopped him and said “Actually, Gary’s a big fan of Johnny Alpha.”
Taking another page, Ezquerra started again and, just a few minutes later, Spike had the following which he later mailed to me and is currently sitting on my desk:
How cool is that?!
Huge thanks to Carlos Ezquerra for doing that, and even bigger thanks to Spike for getting it for me. I owe you some serious beer, my friend.