John Hicklenton passes away
I’m terribly sad to hear the news that artist John Hicklenton has passed away. Regular readers will be aware that although still a young man (alas no proof against illness) John was fighting against MS and the prognosis was not good (see here). By all accounts Johnny did not go gentle into that dark night but raged, raged against the dying of the light, speaking out on his affliction, raising awareness of the problems sufferers endured and being the subject of a Grierson award winning documentary, Here’s Johnny, which went out on UK TV.
(Judge Dredd and the blood of Satanus 3, art by John Hicklenton, (c) Rebellion)
The 2000 AD forums broke the news via Pat Mills, who said of John: “John Hicklenton passed away peacefully last week. His ending was an expected one and he saw it as a triumph over his illness MS. Amongst his final words to me were “MS – you have a week to live, you’ve met someone you shouldn’t have f***** with”. A great artist and a true hero.”
(the vile fiend Torquemada from Pat Mills’ Nemesis, art by John Hicklenton, (c) Rebellion)
John’s art style was pretty unique – I must admit the first time I came across it in 2000 AD I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but pretty soon I came to think it was simply brilliant, scratchy, dark, often disturbing and so well suited to tales like Nemesis (one of the eternal delights of 2000 AD to me has been introducing me to new artists and writers I might never otherwise have come to love). The usual thing to say at times like this is ‘after a long illness he finally lost the battle’, but from what those who knew him far better than I are saying Johnny didn’t see it as losing the battle but taking the damnable disease with him, with both barrels blazing. Goodbye, John, you will be missed. (thanks to PJ Holden for the link)