Be­yond Watch­men & Judge Dredd: The Art of John Hig­gins

Char­ac­ter build­ing The vet­eran English artist re­veals how he got to draw some of the best-known fig­ures in comics…

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The artist re­veals how he got to draw some of the best-known char­ac­ters in comics.

John Hig­gins is best known as the colourist on Watch­men. But he’s far more than that, as this 272-page soft­back book re­veals.

This book is a com­pan­ion piece to an ex­hi­bi­tion at Liver­pool’s Vic­to­ria Gallery & Mu­seum (on show un­til Oc­to­ber), and lets John tell the story of his ca­reer in his own words.

There’s a lot of text here, but it’s not just all back­story and back­slap­ping. In­stead, John’s ac­count is full of re­fresh­ing hon­esty, in­clud­ing a lot of use­ful, prac­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion for as­pir­ing artists, such as how page rates are bro­ken down and the ben­e­fits of work­ing in book pub­lish­ing ver­sus comic pub­lish­ing. He also re­veals some neat tricks of the trade.

As you’d ex­pect, care­fully cu­rated ex­am­ples of John’s ex­cel­lent art­work bring ev­ery­thing to life. And with fas­ci­nat­ing anec­dotes from across a 30-odd year ca­reer, and a fore­word from his Watch­men col­lab­o­ra­tor Dave Gib­bons, it all adds up to a fas­ci­nat­ing ac­count from a great graphic artist.

John worked with Alan Moore and Brian Bol­land as the colourist on The Killing Joke.

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