I’ve just noticed that the comic book artist John Hicklenton is also being reported as having died:
According to several news sites including Forbidden Planet, artist John Hicklenton has passed away. As you may know, especially if you watched the award winning documentary about him Here’s Johnny, he had lived with MS for many years.John Hicklenton came to the notice of 2000 AD readers as the new artist on Nemesis the Warlock during the late eighties. His work was striking, challenging and subversive. As you will see if you look back over The Slog covering that period, I had difficulty adjusting to his style initially. However, his comic strip work improved at a rate that matched my adjustment so that by the end of the eighties he had become one my favourite artists of the expanding 2000 AD line. His Judge Dredd work for The Megazine during the early nineties was both fresh and expressive.
Via Paul Rainey at 2000AD Prog Slog.
I remember John Hicklenton’s work on Nemesis being very different to everything that had come before, and when Paul says it was “striking, challenging and subversive”, he hits the nail dead centre. This was dark, scary artwork that evoked a bleaker world than that of Kev O’ Neill or Bryan Talbot, though always with a hint of humour.
His stint on ‘Third World War’ in Crisis was the first time I got to see him working on a ‘realistic’ strip, rather than fantasy, and he rendered the racist cop in the storyline incredibly well (Angie Mills'(?) colouring boo-boos aside).
He took a similar sensibility with him to Toxic, where he had a run on ‘Fear Teachers’, which never got a chance to be finished, thanks to the comic’s early demise. But again, his bent towards the grotesque – and his propensity for unpleasant, bald, stubbly men – was full of interest, regardless of the script, his skilled style of rich line draughtmanship adapting well to the then up-and-coming trend for painted panels.
Rest in piecework, John!
There’s now a report on John’s death on the BBC News website, confirming that he went to Dignitas, the assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland:
Mr Hinklenton’s agent, Adrian Weston, described him as a “clear-sighted and visionary” person.
…”He was one of the most clear-sighted and visionary people I have ever met.
“Having worked with him was one of the greatest privileges of my professional life.”
He said that Mr Hinklenton completed his last book, 100 Months, the day before he travelled to Zurich.
The MS Trust said: “John was best known for his work on comic 2000AD and for illustrating characters such as Judge Dredd, but he also led a high-profile campaign for better rights for people with MS.
…”The fact that John Hicklenton was prepared to use his fame to raise awareness of a condition so often overlooked by the media, and to wage his personal war on MS so publicly is something that is greatly appreciated by people in the MS community.”