Page last updated at 21:05 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Judge Dredd artist dies at suicide centre Dignitas

John Hicklenton
John Hicklenton finished his last book the day before he travelled to Zurich

A respected graphic artist known for characters such as Judge Dredd has died at the Swiss-based assisted suicide centre Dignitas, it has been revealed.

John Hicklenton, 42, who lived in Brighton, died at Dignitas on 19 March following a 10-year fight with multiple sclerosis.

He was best known for his work in cult British comic 2000AD.

Mr Hicklenton's agent, Adrian Weston, described him as a "clear-sighted and visionary" person.

He was a strident MS campaigner and appeared in an award-winning television documentary called Here's Johnny that charted his battle with the condition.

'Great privilege'

In the feature, he said: "Drawing is my walking now, I run with it, I fly with it.

"It's keeping me alive. I have a thing with it. I can't wait to get a piece of paper with a pen because it's what I can control.

"I haven't got MS when I'm looking at my pictures and I haven't got it when I'm drawing them either. It gives me an ability to express that fear."

Mr Weston said: "He was one of the most clear-sighted and visionary people I have ever met.

"Having worked with him was one of the greatest privileges of my professional life."

He said that Mr Hicklenton completed his last book, 100 Months, the day before he travelled to Zurich.

The MS Trust said: "John was best known for his work on comic 2000AD and for illustrating characters such as Judge Dredd, but he also led a high-profile campaign for better rights for people with MS.

"In 2008, his documentary on his battle with the disease, Here's Johnny, received Grierson awards for Best Newcomer and Best Arts Documentary.

"The fact that John Hicklenton was prepared to use his fame to raise awareness of a condition so often overlooked by the media, and to wage his personal war on MS so publicly is something that is greatly appreciated by people in the MS community."

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