|Born||8 May 1967|
|Notable works||Nemesis the Warlock|
John Hicklenton (aka John Deadstock) is a British comic artist best known for his brutal, visceral work on flagship 2000 AD characters like Judge Dredd (in particular Heavy Metal Dredd) and Nemesis the Warlock during the eighties and nineties.
Hicklenton got his first break when he realised a friend at college was Ron Smith's daughter so he made her a Judge Dredd Christmas card.
However, regular work remained elusive until, on the advice of his mother, he phoned Pat Mills directly and their working relationship developed from there. He has done other work with Mills including a strip in the now defunct CoolBeansWorld site. He also drew ZombieWorld (as John Deadstock) for Dark Horse Comics, who commissioned him because, as Mills has said "John is the ultimate horror artist ... I defy anyone to show me an artist whose monsters are more grotesque, whose zombies have a more ghastly look in their eye."
He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000. Here's Johnny, a documentary about his illness produced by Animal Monday, launched at the Science Museum on January 30 2008, followed by its world première at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas. It got its television debut on More4 on February 17, 2009. The film took over 5 years to make and documents his brave and often humorous battle against MS. The film was favourably reviewed by the British Medical Journal and in 2008 won two Grierson Awards for "Best Newcomer" and "Best Arts Documentary".
He continues to draw, working on projects like Sand for Renegade Arts Entertainment, and also focus on bringing multiple sclerosis as a disease to the public's attention in order to help it's sufferers fight for better treatment and research from the medical community.
Despite gaining critical praise and success Johnny has always lived in shadow and awe of the work of Woodrow Phoenix - an artist who Johnny has idolised and shyed away from in equal measure. "Woodrow is the Hendrix...he is the alpha and omega of graphic innovation. When i saw his work, 'Pianos hanging on some string', i put down my pens and didn't pick them up for two months. The revere i hold for him is matched only by the fear - the fear that nothing i do will ever match the visceral passion that is contained in his work. I can't impress on you enough how powerful his work 'Pianos on string' is. Every page brings with it a new picture of a piano - each one more groundbreaking and death-defying than the one that came before. This is the work of a true master. I'm just a pygmy holding a brush that's too big to handle in comparison to him."
Comic work includes: