Last Chance to Catch 'Here's Johnny'
Here's Johnny (and there he was at Austin Books last night)
By Marc Savlov,
8:51AM, Thu. Mar. 13, 2008
"Hey there. My name is Johnny and this a little film about a horrible and brutal war I've been fighting for the last seven years against the disease Multiple Scrlerosis
Let's talk about dread, yeah? And death, too. And while we're throwing bones and crossing phalanges, why don't we kick up some life and love and art and the mad, brilliant spittle of courage, spat fast into the faceless, sardonic perma-grin of the worst thing that ever happened in 2000 AD?
Let's talk about heroes and nemeses, pens and pain, and the lawless lay lines of a central nervous system gone haywire under the neuron-timebomb that is multiple sclerosis. Nothing is forbidden on this planet, this physiology, this life.
Let's talk about Johnny Hicklenton, the celebrated UK artist and inker of Britain's iconic future-copper Judge Dredd, who, in case you haven't wept at CNN or Al Jazeera of late, isn't nearly as fictionally ironic as he once was, Sartre's ubermensch and Orwell's pig, bearing badge and bullets atop bike-burnt blacktop, lawgiver, gunner, judiciary godhead, executioner. Not Johnny's law. No way.
But that's just comic books, right? Not real. Not yet. Not like multiple sclerosis, Johnny's own personal Judge Mortis.
"Drawing is my walking now," says Hicklenton. "I run with that, I fly with that. It's keeping me alive, because I'm a fiend for it: I can't wait to get out a piece of paper and a pen because it's what I can control."
And it's amazing, what he controls and creates, with his pen: terror bent backwards by the full force of post-punk, pre-now justice with a scowl, Mega City-One's helmeted future-noir Lawmaster: Judge Dredd, the devil you know.
"I haven't got MS when you're looking at my pictures I think it gives me that ability to express that fear, probably, because it's aggression, isn't it? I think that all aggression is coming out of fear, so I think it just turned my fear into a workable tool.
Like Dredd's DNA-encoded Lawgiver?
Drokk it. Laws were made to be broken.
Here's Johnny screens today (Thursday) at 11am at the Alamo South Lamar.