Antony Johnston

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Antony Johnston
Johnston at the 2012 New York Comic Con.
Born 25 August 1972
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Area(s) Writer
Notable works
Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel
Dead Space
Alan Moore's The Courtyard
Three Days in Europe
Awards "Best Horror" American Independent Publishing Award

Antony Johnston (born 25 August 1972) is a British writer. He is known for the post apocalyptic comic series Wasteland, his work on the Dead Space series of videogames, the graphic novel adaptations of Anthony Horowitz' Alex Rider novels, and his work with Alan Moore.


Despite an early interest in comics and role-playing games, Johnston started his career as a graphic designer. He began his writing career with work for role-playing magazines before the Mark Salisbury-edited Writers on Comic Scriptwriting (Titan Books, 1999) rekindled his interest in comics.[1] Drawing on his design skills, he now designs many of his own comics and graphic novels.[2] In May 2001, Johnston was one of the three founding editors of, an attempt at taking a literary and critical approach to the comics medium designed to act as a journal and aimed at "the discerning reader."[3] Between 2001 and 2004, he contributed a mostly-monthly Editorial entitled "Cassandra Complex,"[4] and for five years formed one-third of the infrequent "Triple A" discussions, including the last (on 19 June 2006).[5]

His fiction debut, Frightening Curves, was an illustrated horror novel with artwork by Aman Chaudhary, published by now-defunct Cyberosia Publishing in 2001. The book won the Best Horror Award in the 2002 IPPY awards at Book Expo America.[6] Johnston would also produce a graphic novel – Rosemary's Backpack – and a contribution to the first PopImage anthology for Cyberosia in 2002.

In June 2008, Johnston held a Writing Masterclass workshop as part of the Thought Bubble Sequential Art Festival in Leeds.[7]

Johnston "lives in northwest England with the loves of his life: his partner, Marcia, his dogs... and his iMac."[8]

Oni and Avatar[edit]

Johnston's early comics work consisted primarily of non-serialised graphic novels for Oni Press,[9][10] and authorised comics adaptations of prose and poetry works by Alan Moore for Avatar Press.[11]


"The Coldest City" redirects here. For the 2017 film, see Atomic Blonde.

In 2002, he began his association with Oni Press by writing the five-issue miniseires Three Days in Europe (with art by Mike Hawthorne). Described by the publisher as a romantic comedy, Johnston revealed the origins of the series as being borne out of his "want[ing] to avoid being branded as a one-trick pony."[12] Initially, Johnston (who had been writing for comics journalism website produced a proposal for Oni Editor-in-Chief Jamie S. Rich, and with editor Jamie Lucas Jones transformed it into a title to be called Emily Spook.[12] While this, and Johnston's 150 West, a "crime/horror serial for the Warren Ellis-edited anthology Night Radio," were in the works, Johnston wrote the "completely different" series Three Days in Europe.[12]

After this initial mini-series, Johnston penned a number of graphic novels for Oni Press – Spooked (with Sophie Campbell), Julius (with Brett Weldele) and Closer (with Mike Norton) released between February and May 2004; The Long Haul (with Eduardo Barreto) and F-Stop (with Matthew Loux) released in February and April 2005.

In 2005, Johnston became the first – and thus far only – other writer to pen a story for Greg Rucka's award-winning espionage comic series Queen & Country, writing the three-issue Queen & Country: Declassified miniseries with artist Christopher Mitten.[13] A year later, Johnston and Mitten launched Wasteland (2006), an ongoing post-apocalyptic series, again for Oni Press.[14]

In 2013, Johnston wrote The Coldest City,[15] an original hardback graphic novel in the Cold War espionage genre, intended to be the first in a series of books all set in Berlin during the Cold War.[15]


Meanwhile, Johnston began an association with Avatar Press adapting work by Alan Moore. Announced in September 2002, Moore's Lovecraft tale The Courtyard was 'sequentially adapted' for comics by Johnston, described then as "one of the industry's rising stars."[16] Praised by writer Warren Ellis,[17] after collaborating with Moore personally on The Courtyard (initially intended to be published as part of Moore's Yuggoth Cultures, but ultimately published independently) Johnston went on to adapt a number of Moore's prose writings for Avatar Press. These included:

In addition, Yuggoth Creatures[19] and the four-issue Nightjar (with input from Bryan Talbot)[20] were inspired by Moore's earlier Cthulhu mythos works, but largely written by Johnston alone. Johnston's script for The Courtyard saw print in 2004 alongside the original short story which inspired the comics adaptation.

Johnston has also worked on non-Moore titles, including the adult story "Spellbound" for Vivid Girls (with Juan Jose Ryp) starring Vivid Entertainment stars Jenna Jameson and Tawny Roberts,[21] and the final Avatar release tying into the 2003 remake of cult horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Fearbook No. 1 (with Daniel HDR), released in 2006.[22]

Other projects[edit]

2006 also saw the release of Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel, the first of Johnston's adaptations of Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series for Walker Books.[23] In 2007 Del Rey Manga announced Johnston as the writer of a Marvel Comics-licensed original English-language manga version of Wolverine, due for publication in 2009.[24]

Most recently, Johnston began writing the comic book prequel to the Electronic Arts videogame Dead Space, illustrated by Ben Templesmith and published through Image Comics,[25] for whom he had previously written a number of short stories.[26] Shortly after, he was also announced as the game's scriptwriter.[27] Johnston stated that Alien, Die Hard, and X-Files were influences of both his Dead Space scripts and novels.[28] He also continued working on titles at Marvel, writing Daredevil with Andy Diggle,[29][30] a one-shot Daredevil: Cage Match[30] and Shadowland: Blood on the Streets a tie-in to a major Daredevil storyline.[31]

Johnston also worked with doom metal band Waves of Mercury on their 2013 EP As Seasons Fleet.[32]

In March 2015 he started a podcast called Unjustly Maligned at The Incomparable network.[33]

In May 2015 Johnston launched a new dark ambient/drone music project, SILENCAEON.[34]

Image comics[edit]

In 2013 Johnston began publishing with Image Comics,[35] starting with the "dark fantasy" Umbral in November 2013,[36] and sci-fi/crime series The Fuse in February 2014.[37]


In 2008, it was revealed that Mandalay Pictures had acquired the film rights to Julius, and F. Gary Gray was pencilled in as director.[38]

At the Cannes Festival 2015, Focus Features announced they had acquired North American distribution rights to Atomic Blonde, an adaptation of Johnston's graphic novel The Coldest City, starring Charlize Theron and directed by David Leitch.[39]



  • "Sunday Mourning" (short story, with Mike Norton, in 9-11, 2002)
  • Rosemary's Backpack (with Drew Gilbert, 112-page graphic novel, Cyberosia Publishing, 2002, ISBN 0-9709474-7-X)
  • Three Days in Europe (with Mike Hawthorne, 5-issue mini-series, Oni Press, 2002–2003, tpb, 152 pages, 2003, ISBN 1-929998-72-4)
  • Alan Moore's The Courtyard (adapted from work by Alan Moore, with art by Jacen Burrows, 2-issue mini-series, Avatar Press, March 2003, tpb, 2004)
  • Another Suburban Romance (adapted from work by Alan Moore, with art by Juan Jose Ryp, Avatar Press, April 2003)
  • Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths #3: "Me and Dorothy Parker" (adapted from song by Alan Moore, with art by Marat Mychaels, Avatar Press, 2003, tpb, Yuggoth Cultures, 2006, paperback, ISBN 1-59291-026-2, hardback, ISBN 1-59291-027-0)
  • Spooked (with Sophie Campbell, 168-page graphic novel, Oni Press, February 2004, ISBN 1-929998-79-1)
  • Julius (with Brett Weldele, 168-page graphic novel, Oni Press, March 2004, ISBN 1-929998-80-5)
  • Closer (with Mike Norton, 152-page graphic novel, Oni Press, May 2004, ISBN 1-929998-81-3)
  • "Sweeps Week" (short story, with Mike Norton, in Noble Causes: Extended Family No. 2, Image Comics, 2004)
  • Alan Moore's The Courtyard Companion (reprints Johnston's script for Alan Moore's The Courtyard with annotations by NG Christakos, Moore's original short story, new pinups/art by Jacen Burrows, and a new essay by Johnston, Avatar Press, 2004)
  • Alan Moore's Hypothetical Lizard (adapted from work by Alan Moore, with art by Lorenzo Lorente, 4-issue mini-series, Avatar Press, 2004–2005, tpb, 2007)
  • Yuggoth Creatures (with Jacen Burrows, Sebastian Fiumara, Andres Guinaldo, Matthew T. Martin, Juan Jose Ryp, Dheeraj Verma and Mike Wolfer, one-shot, Avatar Press, 2004)
  • Nightjar (with pencils by Max Fiumara and inks by Sebastian Fiumara, 4-issue mini-series, Avatar Press, 2004–2005)
  • "Spellbound" (short story, with Juan Jose Ryp, in Vivid Girls Volume 1, Avatar Press, 2005, ISBN 1-59291-022-X)
  • The Long Haul (with Eduardo Barreto, 176-page graphc novel, Oni Press, February 2005, ISBN 1-932664-05-X)
  • F-Stop (with Matthew Loux, 164-page graphic novel, Oni Press, April 2005, ISBN 1-932664-09-2)
  • "Hype" (short story, with Mike Hawthorne, in Four Letter Worlds, Image Comics, 2005)
  • Queen & Country Declassified (with Christopher Mitten, 3-issue mini-series, Oni Press, 2005)
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre Fearbook No. 1 (with Daniel HDR, Avatar Press, 2006)
  • Wasteland (with Christopher Mitten, ongoing series, Oni Press, 2006–2015) collected as:
    • Cities In Dust (collects Wasteland #1–6, March 2007, ISBN 978-1-932664-59-1)
    • Shades of God (collects Wasteland #8–13, December 2007, ISBN 978-1-932664-90-4)
    • Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos (collects Wasteland #15–19, December 2008, ISBN 978-1-934964-08-8)
    • Dog Tribe (collects Wasteland #21-24, Jun 2008, ISBN 978-1-934964-17-0)
    • Tales of the Uninvited (collects Wasteland #7, #14, #20, #25, November 2009, ISBN 978-1-934964-29-3)
    • The Enemy Within (collects Wasteland #26–31, October 2011, ISBN 978-1-934964-30-9)
    • Under the God (collects Wasteland #33–38, July 2012, ISBN 978-1-934964-94-1)
    • Lost in the Ozone (collects Wasteland #40–44, March 2013, ISBN 978-1-620100-13-4)
    • A Thousand Lies (collects Wasteland #46–51, January 2014, ISBN 978-1-620101-18-6)
    • Last Exit for the Lost (collects Wasteland #32, #39, #45, #52, August 2014, ISBN 978-1-620101-31-5)
    • Floodland (collects Wasteland #53–60, March 2015, ISBN 978-1-620101-48-3)
    • The Apocalyptic Edition, Volume One (Hardcover, collects Wasteland #1–13, July 2009, ISBN 978-1-934964-19-4)
    • The Apocalyptic Edition, Volume Two (Hardcover, collects Wasteland #14–25, August 2010, ISBN 978-1-934964-46-0)
    • The Apocalyptic Edition, Volume Three (Hardcover, collects Wasteland #26–39, July 2013, ISBN 978-1-620100-93-6)
    • The Apocalyptic Edition, Volume Four (Hardcover, collects Wasteland #40–52, June 2014, ISBN 978-1-620101-70-4)
    • The Apocalyptic Edition, Volume Five (Hardcover, collects Wasteland #53–60, October 2015, ISBN 978-1-620102-76-3)
  • Alex Rider (with Kanako Damerum and Yuzuru Takasaki):
    • Stormbreaker (Walker Books, 2006, ISBN 1-84428-111-6)
    • Point Blanc (Philomel Books, 2007, ISBN 0-399-25026-3)
    • Skeleton Key (Walker Books, September 2009, ISBN 1-4063-1348-3)
    • Eagle Strike (Walker Books, June 2012, ISBN 978-1-4063-1877-7)
  • "Best Side Out" (short story, with Noel Tuazon, in Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened, Villard Books, 2007)
  • "Supergiant Blues" (short story, with Luis Sopelana, in 24Seven Volume 2, Image Comics, 2007)
  • Texas Strangers (with co-author Dan Evans III and art by Mario Boon, Image Comics, 2007)
  • Dead Space (with Ben Templesmith, Image Comics, March–August 2008, hardback, December 2008, ISBN 1-60706-033-7)
  • Wolverine: Prodigal Son (with Wilson Tortosa, 177-page graphic novel, Del Rey, April 2009, ISBN 0-345-50516-6)
  • Light of Thy Countenance (adaptation of poem by Moore, with art by Felipe Massafera, 48-page graphic novella, Avatar Press, paperback, January 2009, ISBN 1-59291-062-9, hardcover, June 2009, ISBN 1-59291-063-7)
  • Dead Space: Extraction (with Ben Templesmith, one-shot, Image Comics, September 2009)
  • Daredevil #505–510, 512 (with co-author Andy Diggle and art by Marco Checchetto, ongoing series, Marvel Comics, April–November 2010, February 2011)
  • Daredevil: Cage Fight (with Sean Chen, one-shot, Marvel Comics, July 2010)
  • Shadowland: Blood on the Streets (with Wellington Alves, 4-issue mini-series, Marvel Comics, October 2010 – January 2011)
  • Dead Space: Salvage (with Christopher Shy, 104-page graphic novel, IDW Publishing, November 2010, ISBN 1-60010-815-6)
  • Shadowland: After the Fall (with Marco Checchetto/Roberto De La Torre, one-shot, Marvel Comics, February 2011)
  • Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu (with pencils by Sebastian Fiumara, 3-issue mini-series, Marvel Comics, October–December 2011)
  • Daredevil: Season One (with Wellington Alves, 136-page graphic novel, Marvel Comics, March 2012)
  • Fashion Beast, a 2012 adaptation of an Alan Moore screenplay written with Malcolm McLaren
  • The Coldest City (with Sam Hart, 180-page graphic novel, Oni Press, May 2012)
  • ZombiU: Z-14 (with Kevin Crossley, 14-part webcomic, Ubisoft, December 2012)
  • Umbral (with Christopher Mitten, ongoing series, Image Comics, 2013–present) collected as:
    • Book One: Out of the Shadows (collects Umbral #1–6, May 2014, ISBN 978-1-607069-84-3)
    • Book Two: The Dark Path (collects Umbral #7–12, Feb 2015, ISBN 978-1-632152-04-6)
  • The Fuse (with Justin Greenwood, ongoing series, Image Comics, 2014–present) collected as:
    • Vol 1: The Russia Shift (collects The Fuse #1–6, August 2014, ISBN 978-1-632150-08-0)
    • Vol 2: Gridlock (collects The Fuse #7–12, June 2015, ISBN 978-1-632153-13-5)
  • Codename Baboushka (with Shari Chankhamma, ongoing series, Image Comics, 2015–present)



  • Frightening Curves (Cyberosia Publishing, July 2001, ISBN 0-9709474-0-2)
  • (Dreams of Inan:) Stealing Life (Abaddon Books, January 2007, ISBN 1-905437-12-9)




Johnston's 2001 novel Frightening Curves won the 2002 American Independent Publishing (IPPY) "Best Horror" award at Book Expo America.[6][8]

Additionally, Johnston has been nominated for the following awards:

  • 2006: Nominated (for Wasteland) for the "Best New Series" Harvey Award
  • 2007: Nominated (for Wasteland) for "Favourite Black and White Comicbook – American" Eagle Award


  1. ^ Official biography
  2. ^ "Getting Things Written: Job Sheets," by Antony Johnston. Accessed 7 August 2008
  3. ^ "What Is Ninth Art?" by Antony Johnston, Alasdair Watson and Andrew Wheeler, May 2001. Accessed (via the Internet Archive) 7 August 2008
  4. ^ "Cassandra Complex Editorials" by Antony Johnston at (21 May 2001 – 30 April 2004). Accessed (via the Internet Archive) 7 August 2008
  5. ^ "Triple A" by the Ninth Art editorial board (Johnston, Watson & Wheeler) at (11 June 2001 – 19 June 2006). Accessed (via the Internet Archive) 7 August 2008
  6. ^ a b Winners and Finalists for the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2002, Independent Publisher
  7. ^ "ANTONY JOHNSTON WRITING MASTERCLASS 26 JUNE 6.30 – 8pm," 14 June 2008. Accessed 7 August 2008
  8. ^ a b Antony Johnston biography in Horowitz/Johnston/Kanako/Yuzuru Point Blank: The Graphic Novel (Philomel, 2007) ISBN 978-0-399-25026-2
  9. ^ Suicide Girls interview, Suicide Girls, 3 February 2005
  10. ^ Three's Not a Crowd: Johnston talks graphic novels at Oni in 2004, Comic Book Resources, 5 August 2003
  11. ^ Johnston's Working in Alan Moore's Courtyard, Comicon Pulse, 13 November 2002
  12. ^ a b c Rob Allstetter, "Oni's THREE DAYS IN EUROPE" at, 26 July 2002. Accessed 7 August 2008
  13. ^ Antony Johnston interview, 4 Color Rebellion, 12 July 2005
  14. ^ The Rising Tide: Antony Johnston talks Oni's Wasteland, Comic Book Resources, 25 April 2006
  15. ^ a b Antony Johnston infiltrates the Coldest City, Comic Book Resources, 1 May 2012
  16. ^ Avatar Press Release: "Alan Moore's The Courtyard," 24 September 2002. Accessed 7 August 2008
  17. ^ Avatar: Alan Moore's The Courtyard. Accessed 7 August 2008
  18. ^ On Adapting Alan Moore’s Light of Thy Countenance – an exclusive interview with Antony Johnston, Hypergeek, 16 March 2009
  19. ^ Embracing Lovecraftian Monsters in Johnston's "Yuggoth Creatures", Comic Book Resources, 22 April 2004
  20. ^ Opening up a jar of horror: Antony Johnston talks 'Nightjar', Comic Book Resources, 14 January 2004
  21. ^ "Vivid Comix: Vivid Girls Volume One – Spellbound". Accessed 7 August 2008 Archived 26 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Fearbook, Digital Retribution Comic Review
  23. ^ Publisher's book page, Walker Books
  24. ^ Another look at the manga-style Wolverine, X-Men, Newsarama, 22 April 2008
  25. ^ LeTendre, Brian (22 September 2009). "Johnston & Templesmith Talk "Dead Space: Extraction"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  26. ^ Wizard Q&A, Wizard, 5 March 2008
  27. ^ Chuck Gets Animated, Dead Space blog, 18 April 2008
  28. ^ Hawk, Lucky (26 October 2012). "Antony Johnston Interview". Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  29. ^ Manning, Shaun (18 December 2009). "Antony Johnston: A "Daredevil" in a "Cold City" "Wasteland"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  30. ^ a b Richards, Dave (26 March 2010). "Antony Johnston Deals with the Daredevil". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 30 March 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  31. ^ Richards, Dave (10 May 2010). "Johnston Spills "Blood on the Streets"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  32. ^ Review of As Seasons Fleet, Sorrow Eternal, 26 September 2013
  33. ^ [1], The Incomparable, 2 March 2015
  34. ^ [2], Bandcamp, 29 May 2015
  35. ^ [3], Image Comics twitter, 2 July 2013
  36. ^ Umbral preview, Comic Book Resources, 9 November 2013
  37. ^ Science-Fiction and Crime Investigation Collide in THE FUSE #1, Image Comics website, 12 November 2013
  38. ^ Mandalay nabs Oni Press' 'Julius', Variety, 18 August 2008
  39. ^ Focus Pre-Empts N.A. Rights To ‘The Coldest City;’ Charlize Theron To Star, ‘John Wick’s David Leitch & Chad Stahelski Directing: Cannes,, 9 May 2015


External links[edit]