John Bolton (1951, London) is a British comic book artist and illustrator most known for his dense, painted style, which often verges on the photorealism.
Bolton gained a degree in graphics and design before he began, in an almost casual way, to work in comics. His first works in Great Britain were for magazines like Look In (alongside other British talents such as Arthur Ranson, Angus P. Allan and Jim Baikie), The House of Hammer and Warrior (edited by Dez Skinn). In 1981 Marvel Comics' editor Ralph Macchio noticed his work and called him to work for an adaptment of Kull of Valusia for Epic Comics. After illustrating two Kull stories, Bolton began working on the historical-fantasy character Marada, written by Chris Claremont (author of X-Men). This was published by Epic Illustrated one year later.
Cover for Man-Bat mini-series.After another fantasy series, Black Dragon (1985), the duo Claremont & Bolton produced some short stories about X-Men's lives for X-Men Classic. This represented the first introduction of Bolton to the world of superheroes. In this period Bolton worked on covers for Eclipse and Pacific publishers, and on the graphic novel Someplace Strange, written by Ann Nocenti (1988).
From 1989 Bolton devoted himself to horror, his favourite genre. Apart from a great number of covers for DARK HORSE Comics and adaptations of horror movies, the main work of this period is his collaboration with writer Clive Barker (including the Hellraiser comic book version).
In 1990 Bolton worked on the first episode of Books of Magic for DC Comics, written by Neil Gaiman. The face of the protagonist, Timothy Hunter, is that of Bolton's elder brother as a young man. In other comic books he has also portrayed his wife, Liliana, and the two sons Edward and James.
In 1995 Bolton produced art for the Man-Bat mini-series, written by Jamie Delano for DC Comics. Bolton said he accepted only because the story pivoted on a villain, instead of Batman, who he considered too winning a character.
Later Bolton worked on another Batman book, Batman/Joker: Switch. His latest works include User, written by Devin Grayson, Menz Insana, a mad trip by Christopher Fowler, and Gifts of the Night by Paul Chadwick.
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