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John Wagner is a comics writer who was born in Pennsylvania in 1949 and moved to Scotland as a boy. Alongside Pat Mills, Wagner was responsible for revitalising British boys' comics in the 1970s, and has continued to be a leading light in British comics ever since.
He is best known for his work on 2000 AD, for which he created Judge Dredd. He is noted for his taut, violent thrillers and his black humour.
Wagner started his career as a sub-editor at D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd in the 1960s, where he met Pat Mills. The pair left to go freelance in 1971, writing for various IPC comics. Wagner later edited the girls comics Sandie and Princess Tina, often adding increasingly bizarre storylines in order to not only amuse himself, but to see if anyone actually read the strips! He briefly left comics in 1974, but returned to help Mills develop Battle Picture Weekly to compete with DC Thompson's Warlord title. Battle was the first title in a wave of tougher boys’ comics IPC were to produce during the 1970s. In Battle, he most notably wrote Darkie's Mob, a tough World War II action series which was among one of the most popular strips in the comic. He also edited Valiant, for which he wrote the tough cop series One-Eyed Jack based upon the film Dirty Harry, and scripted the spy strip Dredger for Mills's Action.