John Hicklenton passes away

Published On March 23, 2010 | By Joe Gordon | Comics

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 blood of satanus 3 John Hicklenton

(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.”

Nemesis' Torquemada John Hicklenton

(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)

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

12 Responses to John Hicklenton passes away

  1. Kercal says:

    Very sad. He was one of the artists who made a great impact on me as I grew up with 2000ad and had a strong and unique style. I missed the documentary but will try and catch up with it soon but in the short term thoughts and best wishes to friends and family.

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  4. A brilliant artist – he’ll be sadly missed.

  5. Nathan says:

    I met John five years ago and was lucky enough to have a good chat with him in his home. An utterly brilliant man and not just because he was exceptionally talented. He had an infectious personality. I’ll always remember how incredibly determined, funny and passionate he was. May he always be fondly remembered as a great artist and a wonderful man. Rest in peace John.

  6. Sharon says:

    Mr. Hicklenston did not die of natural causes. It was an assisted suicide.

  7. Richard says:

    Sharon; Yes, we are aware it was an assisted suicide, and have referred to it here:

    John Hicklenton was a passionate believer in not letting his disease defeat him and his assisted suicide was all part of this. John decided when and how he died as shown in his words to Pat Mills, shortly before he travelled to the Dignitas Clinic:

    “MS, you have a week to live. You’ve met someone you shouldn’t have fucked with.“

  8. Silvia says:

    I was very sad to hear about this young man who had to make that decision of ending his life while he still could. The Dignitas website was one of the first websites I visited after my own MS diagnosis. I am lucky though, because shortly after looking into that site I came across others, the most significant was telling me about LDN (low dose naltrexone) I have been on this cheap and safe drug (which helps people with all autoimmune diseases, so look it up) and my disease has not progressed since and I’ve even had symptom relief. Now I am campaigning together with other LDN users to make this drug available for all who need it, as a first line of treatment, not as a last ditch attempt to salvage what other drugs have tried to destroy. If John Hinkleton only had been given this information and chance he would not have had to result to Dignitas. And for those who condemn his move they have no idea what a brave step this was. A progressive disease like MS is awful. Help others before they need to go down that route, campaign and tell people, patients and doctors, to look into LDN (

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