“Now show me the pig.”100 Months: The End of All Things by Johnny Hicklenton.
- Four out of Five stars
- 170 pages
- Published April 1st, 2012 by Cutting Edge Press (first published November 18th, 2010)
- ISBN 0956544525 (ISBN13: 9780956544520)
- Edition Language English
From the publisher, “The final work of a comics visionary, this intense, hallucinatory story with artwork of breathtaking intensity is a true graphic novel, engaging ultimate themes of life, death, and salvation
The late John Hicklenton was one of Britain’s leading comic book artists, famous for the brutal, visceral draughtsmanship he brought to the 2000AD/Judge Dredd titles and Nemesis the Warlock. His final graphic novel is a parable of environmental devastation, depicting the quest of Mara, Warrior and Earth Goddess, as she seeks revenge against the Longpig: a Satanic personification of capitalism, red in tooth and claw, whose followers, a legion of the damned, look quite a lot like us. The world of the Longpig is rich in killing fields and scenes of mass crucifixion that recall Goya, Blake, and Bacon, and represents a true crossover of the graphic novel form with fine art. John took his own life with the help of an assisted dying group, following a heroic struggle with multiple sclerosis. This book was drawn and written in foreknowledge of his imminent death, and its insight into universal themes of life, death, salvation, and damnation seems to come from a place between worlds. Its words those of a prophet, its artwork transcending the comic book form, 100 Months will redefine the adult graphic novel.”
I am raised upon the breeze my love…100 Months by John Hinklenton
100 Months: The End of All Thing Is John Hinkletons final brutalistic adieu to the world, and it is by far the hardest book I have ever had to review. I have spent the last two months mulling over how to say what this is without sounding vapid and constrained. Because this story is everything, and in the end, it is nothing because John is gone.
John Hinklenton died of MS in 2010. He chose to end his own life and his own battle with MS on his terms. Along the way he described his struggle the only way he knew how to, he drew it. A struggle between two unstoppable forces. In the Introduction to 100 Months, Hicklenton’s friend and colleague Pat Mills wrote “. . . [we would] never ask Jimi Hendrix to turn down the volume . . . and [we should] never ask John Hincklenton to turn down the netherworld, the examination of his soul and the loss of himself.” Hinklenton battled MS with every cell of his body, with every memory, emotion, moment, and power that he could muster. What 100 Months is, is that struggle, the struggle of every cell put into pictures. It is his opus.
The first page of this novel sees the release of The Beast. A daughter of pain and suffering released into the world after 100,000 years. This beast has no face and an androgynous body. She ultimately thirsts for annihilation. She vows to kill the Swine God. Throughout the course of the story you see The Beast lay waste to cities, step upon the skull of the fallen, and seek out the seed of the long pig to destroy it at its source. These are not the rantings of a wild man, but the calculated thought of man whose body is slowly being torn asunder from the inside. All brought forth by his pen. It is a powerful and unsettling book.
Should you read this? That is entirely up to you. What I look for in literature is to be emotionally affected. This is effective in that regard. Was it pleasant to read? Absolutely not. But, the author’s death was neither friendly nor easy. It was pain and suffering. By reading this, I paid homage to his craft and to his last moments. In that, I am grateful to have read this.