Thursday 25 March 2010


Unfortunately I'm not attending this year's Hi-Ex convention in Inverness on 27-28th March, but to relieve my guilty a little, I did this A3 inked drawing of Hellboy for their charity auction.

Even if you can't make the convention, I believe it's still possible to bid for any items you desire by contacting Rich and Vicky via their site.

I'm going to be curious to see how this baby does compared to last years Batman piece I donated....

Have a great time if you're going and tell them I said hi!



A couple of days ago, the sad news arrived that 2000AD artist John Hinklenton has passed away after a legendary fight against the disease MS.

I'm sorry to say I never had the honour of knowing him personally, but his work inspired me from the very first time I opened 2000AD 23 years ago, when I saw the strip "Nemesis in The Two Torquemadas" (written by Pat Mills with whom I work with on Defoe now).

His unique and brutal art style left me with images in my head that I still carry with me now, and I thank him for no doubt being influential in where my career has taken me.

I seriously recommend purchasing the dvd "Here's Johnny", a fantastic documentary about his life, his art, and how he coped with MS.

Below are a few scans of that very issue I still own of 2000AD...

Finally, here's a tribute, written by his good friend Pat Mills to be published in a future issue of the Megazine....

Article for next Megazine. From Pat Mills.

Here’s Johnny

Pat Mills looks back at the career of the extraordinarily talented John Hicklenton who sadly passed away on Friday 19th March 2010.

A year or so ago, I showed some of Johnny’s pages from Judge Dredd - The Tenth Circle to my co-creator on Requiem Vampire Knight, artist Olivier Ledroit. He looked at them in awe and exclaimed. “How does he sleep at night?!” If you’ve seen the Tenth Circle, you’ll know what Olivier means. Actually, I took it as a compliment as Requiem is also pretty dark .And Johnny slept very well . His art might be disturbing for some, but never for me , for reasons which I think 2000AD fan Jonathan Fisher has summed up best , “John's work is subversive, sublime and perverse yet beautiful and intriguing.”

For me, Johnny is the Jimi Hendrix of comic artists. Easy viewing comic “muzak” he’s not. His grotesque images bear comparison with Gerald Scarfe and Ralph Steadman and are not for the squeamish. Yet his elegant thin line work has much in common with Aubrey Beardsley. Internationally rated by artists such as Moebius, let me take you now on a brief tour of some of his creations.

Johnny’s first work was a future shock written by Neil Gaiman .(Curiously, the only story of Neil’s that 2000AD ever published). Johnny sent it to me and on the basis of this and other grotesqueries, I asked him to draw Nemesis. He at once brought a scary organic sensibility to the Warlock and a psychotic look to Torquemada . This psycho-look he recreated later in the Inspector Ryan stories from Third World War. The racist deranged Ryan was conceived by my co-writer Alan Mitchell and Alan brilliantly directed Johnny on the story, choosing Angela Kincaid to colour it which she did beautifully without destroying the artist’s black line, a common problem with colorists. Many regard the Inspector Ryan series as his finest work and certainly they did in Europe. It was reprinted in graphic album form in German, French and Dutch editions in an elite masterwork series. But never in the UK, alas, although I hope reader requests might persuade Rebellion to follow suit one day.

Then there was our Zombie World Tree of Death saga for Dark Horse USA – about a Satanic cabbalistic map based on the London Underground map which brings demons into our world. It was reprinted recently in the collection “Winter’s Dregs”. (Johnny is credited as Johnny Deadstock after the band he was a part of.) We went to the catacombs in Kensal Green Cemetery to research the story and had an enjoyable Goth day out wandering underground amongst the Victorian caskets wondering, “What if…?”. The black comedy results include exploding coffins with a zombie stuck to the ceiling. The demons featured are also brilliant – my favourite is a wolf with a huge distended belly elevated high above us on tripod-like legs.

The German publisher Extreme , backed by top German band Die Arzte, also loved Johnny’s work . They said they wanted extreme, so we produced the graphic novel Torturer for them set in Cathar France. This was a return to the demonic Inquisition world Johnny first captured in Nemesis. His range of demons seems inexhaustible. Many of them have appeared in his Judge Dredds and especially in The Tenth Circle when Dredd visits Dante’s Inferno. Reproduction problems may not have shown this story to best advantage but I think that’s being looked into now. And who else but Johnny could create man-mountain Hungry Jacko? X Face? Or Darcagis, the demon with stakes through his eyes? And the triple George Bush bleeding oil? I always regretted that Johnny never drew my recent Dredd story “Birthday Boy” about a villain with candles stuck in his face and body. If he had, it would have become as memorable as Pinhead.

Johnny started a biographical novel based on his multi- award winning documentary about his fight against MS. ( ) It was great, but then he decided to write and draw a fantasy story instead as his final work : 100 months. He completed it just last week. More about 100 months , Pandora and two other Johnny classics – Bedlam and Fearteachers - another time, other than to say they are all fabulous and worth an article to themselves. Once again, it’s other countries that often seem to recognize his talent : 100 Months first sold to two countries in Europe, although I’ve just heard a UK publisher has also picked it up.

But 2000AD was always his first love. His wonderful partner Claire told me, “Please know that Johnny, my beautiful Johnny, was funny, wise and brave to the last - just as he was every other day of his war. The day before 'D-day' he wrote the afterword for Slaine and drew 2 wonderful sketches to sit alongside it.” Clint Langley and I intend to feature these sketches and words in a future Slaine volume dedicated to Johnny.

Sleep well, my dear friend.

Pat Mills March 23, 2010.

Thursday 11 March 2010


Hey guys,

Sorry about the quiet few weeks. Too much work to get done, and in all honesty I'm feeling a little off my game right now, so I'm pulling an all nighter tonight to try and get back on track.

For now, here's a little something from 2005, in the horrible period where I had stopped working for Vertigo and was basically out of work for over a year. Out of around 30 editors I had wrote to for work, only around 3 or 4 had the courtesy to reply--one of which was DC's Michael Wright who graciously tried me out for two books--Justice League Unlimited and a new Batgirl series.

Unfortunately the plans for the proposed new Batgirl series fell through, but I got the JLU work! Some of my pencilled pages from that issue can be found at this earlier post.

So here's the few pages I came up with. It's a bit of a secret look at the "casting couch" of the comics world (but without having to take off my pants and pose with donkey). I'm still pretty happy with them, looking back. Though one thing that I'd change is that her thighs look a bit too big and manly on the last page....yeesh...