John Hicklenton – 8 May 1967 – 19 March 2010 – R.I.P.

I know that this isn’t technically gaming related (although there was a pretty awful Judge Dredd game out many many moons ago) but……

Back in the early 80’s – the really early 80’s – one of my older brothers started reading a comic called 2000AD. Up until that point, the only comics that I had really read were the likes of The Beano, Dandy, Buster, Whizzer and Chips etc – all the really insipid crap that you used to get. There was at the time a more “grown up” kids comic called Eagle, but 2000AD was like a revolution.

“What!? This is a comic, and that guy is shooting the other guy….in his face!” it was amazing. It may not seem like a big deal now when you can see people getting shot in the face whenever you want. But back then there was no internet, the newspapers barely had pictures in them (and those that did weren’t even in colour), and the closest you got to multimedia was a fuzzy pirated Betamax video and a packet of Space Raiders. Yes, this was the 80’s, and we didn’t even have MTV.

But back to the point. There were two characters/stories in 2000AD that had me mesmerised – Judge Dredd and Torquemada. Which is where John Hicklenton comes in. He was the illustrator for many of the stories involving these characters. First when it was all black and white, and then when 2000AD went fully colour. I was an avid 2000AD reader for about ten years until I “grew up” and didn’t keep tabs on any of the goings on in that area.

So I was saddened to read that John Hicklenton had travelled to Dignitas in Switzerland to end his life after a battle with Multiple Sclerosis. He was 42.

This was a talented and driven artist who, I’m sure, will be sadly missed by all who knew him and those who admired his work. You can find a really good interview from 2006 where he explains his comic book origins here

John Hicklenton 1967 - 2010

Peas and loaves

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6 thoughts on “John Hicklenton – 8 May 1967 – 19 March 2010 – R.I.P.

  1. Jeex, really puts it into perspective….I was born in ’69 and am 41.

    Yeah I know go on say it.

    Anyways yes I agree and so remember those comics, whilst I’ve never really thought about the people behind these things it is a shame that someone so talented should die so young.

    R.I.P.

  2. I remember those stories well, though I rarely bought 2000AD. It must have been through friends I saw them.

    I loved the Torquemada stories. The art style was so distinctive and the stories were so bizarre sometimes! You can still buy 2000AD, but it gets expensive when you’re buying it weekly, and it’s so thin now. Must go look for some of those compilation books again.

    Sad news. 😦

  3. He’s actually two years younger than my brother who got me into 2000AD (and it’s my brother’s birthday tomorrow). It’s just weird that I hadn’t actually thought about any of the old comic stuff for literally years and then I saw that. I had his posters on my wall!

    The only other illustrator from 2000AD that is currently well known is Jamie Hewlett who did Tank Girl and Hewligan’s Haircut, but is now known for being the guy doing the graphics for Gorillaz.

    And the Nemesis stuff – I think volume 1 was before his time. But you notice a major difference in the portrayal of the characters in the Hicklenton work over the earlier artist.

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