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Home ¦ Features ¦ John Higgins Interview Part 1

19th April 03

John Higgins is one of the longest serving artists on 2000AD and a true fan favourite. Starting all the way back in 1977 with a cover for Prog 43, his work has continually developed, showing that he's a master in pencil, ink, paints and now computers. He's just returned to the Megazine with the 3 part Monkey on my Back - based on an idea by the man himself. We caught up with him recently and put him in the 2000AD Review hotseat...

What tools do you use on the job, and have you had any training?

I had been to art school but learnt nothing that really helped with comic strip illustration. It is a constant learning curve as far as I am concerned. At the moment I use non repro blue for the pencil work, and then Unipen felt tip pens from 0.1 to 0.8 and then very broad felts for filling in larger areas. But ask me next week and it might be different.

You've used a wide amount of materials to create your work, including fully painted and pencil/ink only. Have you found an ideal method yet, or do you continue to experiment?

For colour comic strip work it has now settled down to blue pencil, felt tip and computer colouring. To do fully painted comic work is just not cost effective for me which is a shame as I do enjoy the traditional form of painting.

Who are your influences, and what current artists do you particularly admire (and why?)

My initial major influences were Richard Corben, Frank Frazetta and Neil Adams, now I admire too many artists to name them all, I appreciate them as much for the way they approach a story as for there artistic influence on me. Frazer Irving, Jock, Simon Davis and most of the regulars who appear in 2000AD would be in any list I made.

You're restricted your recent art efforts to the Megazine - do you feel this is a better format than the regular comic?

I feel they complement each other very well and work in slightly different ways, but working on longer episodes in the Megazine format with Monkey on my Back fitted the story better.

John Higgins was commissioned to update his cover for 2000AD 555 when the old logo (albeit updated) was brought back for prog 1234

Go to part 2

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Original content (c) 2002 Gavin Hanly (contact 2000AD Review).