Antony Johnston

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Antony Johnston
Johnston at the 2012 New York Comic Con
Born (1972-08-25) 25 August 1972 (age 50)
Redditch, England
Notable works
The Coldest City
Dead Space
Awards"Best Horror" American Independent Publishing Award

Antony Johnston (born 25 August 1972) is a British writer of comics, video games, and novels. He is known for the post-apocalyptic comic series Wasteland, the graphic novel The Coldest City (adapted for film as Atomic Blonde), and his work on several Image Comics series. In May 2023, Johnston enters the cozy-mystery genre with the publication of The Dog Sitter Detective, the first in a series.[1]


Despite an early interest in comics and role-playing games,[2] 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.[3] Drawing on his design skills, he now designs many of his own comics and graphic novels.[4]

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".[5] Between 2001 and 2004, he contributed a mostly-monthly editorial entitled "Cassandra Complex",[6] and for five years formed one-third of the infrequent "Triple A" discussions, including the last (on 19 June 2006).[7]

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.[8] Johnston would also produce a graphic novel – Rosemary's Backpack – and a contribution to the first PopImage anthology for Cyberosia in 2002.

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]

In 2002, he began his association with Oni Press by writing the five-issue miniseries Three Days in Europe (with art by Mike Hawthorne).[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 2006, Johnston and Christopher Mitten launched Wasteland (2006), an ongoing post-apocalyptic series, for Oni Press.[13] It ran for 60 issues and concluded in April 2015.

The Coldest City and Atomic Blonde[edit]

In 2012, Johnston wrote The Coldest City,[14] 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.[14] A prequel, The Coldest Winter, was released in 2016. Both titles were published by Oni Press.[15]

At the Cannes Festival 2015, Focus Features announced they had acquired North American distribution rights to The Coldest City. Starring Charlize Theron and directed by David Leitch,[16] the film, retitled Atomic Blonde, premiered in March 2017 at the South by Southwest festival.

Brigitte Sharp spy thriller series[edit]

Johnston began publishing a series of spy thriller novels about elite MI6 hacker Brigitte Sharp in 2017. The series follows her after being sidelined for years at a desk job after her first field operation went sour through conspiracies and threats to global stability.

The series currently consists of The Exphoria Code (2017), The Tempus Project (2020), and The Patrios Network (2022).[17][18][19] In 2020, Red Planet Pictures optioned the first book for a TV series.[20]

The Dog Sitter Detective Series[edit]

Johnston signed with Allison & Busby in 2022 to deliver a series of books in a new genre: the cozy mystery.[1] The first, the eponymous The Dog Sitter Detective, was slated to appear in May 2023. The second, Death in Little Venice, is scheduled for publication in January 2024.

Other projects[edit]

In 2006, Johnston adapted Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series for Walker Books,[21] beginning with Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel. Johnston also wrote Wolverine: Prodigal Son, a Marvel Comics-licensed original English-language manga version of Wolverine, .[22] Other Marvel work by Johnston included several Daredevil comics.[23][24]

In 2008 Johnston wrote the script for the video game Dead Space[25] as well as a comic book prequel to the Electronic Arts videogame.

In 2013 Johnston began publishing with Image Comics,[26] starting with the "dark fantasy" Umbral in November 2013,[27] and sci-fi/crime series The Fuse in February 2014.[28] In 2015, he launched Codename Baboushka, an espionage thriller.[29]

Johnston worked with doom metal band Waves of Mercury on their 2013 EP As Seasons Fleet.[30] In 2015, he launched a dark ambient/drone music project, SILENCAEON.[31]

In 2020, Johnston published The Organised Writer, a book describing a productivity system for writers.[32][33]

Johnston appears regularly on podcasts on The Incomparable network, where he produced Unjustly Maligned for 87 episodes from 2015 to 2017.[34] He independently produces the heavy-metal podcast Thrash It Out.[35] Johnston also hosts and produced Writing and Breathing, a podcast in which he to spoke to authors about their working methods, across 32 episodes in 2020 and 2021.[36]


Johnston's 2001 novel Frightening Curves won the 2002 American Independent Publishing (IPPY) "Best Horror" award at Book Expo America.[8][37]

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








See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Allison & Busby snaps up cosy crime series from the 'immeasurably talented' Johnston". The Bookseller. Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  2. ^ Unjustly Maligned: GURPS
  3. ^ "Official biography". Archived from the original on 10 March 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2008.
  4. ^ "Getting Things Written: Job Sheets," by Antony Johnston. Accessed 7 August 2008
  5. ^ "What Is Ninth Art?" by Antony Johnston, Alasdair Watson and Andrew Wheeler, May 2001. Accessed (via the Internet Archive) 7 August 2008
  6. ^ "Cassandra Complex Editorials" by Antony Johnston at (21 May 2001 – 30 April 2004). Accessed (via the Internet Archive) 7 August 2008
  7. ^ "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
  8. ^ a b Winners and Finalists for the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2002 Archived 4 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Independent Publisher
  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[permanent dead link], Comicon Pulse, 13 November 2002
  12. ^ Rob Allstetter, "Oni's THREE DAYS IN EUROPE" at, 26 July 2002. Accessed 7 August 2008
  13. ^ The Rising Tide: Antony Johnston talks Oni's Wasteland, Comic Book Resources, 25 April 2006
  14. ^ a b Antony Johnston infiltrates the Coldest City, Comic Book Resources, 1 May 2012
  15. ^ Cold War graphic novel Coldest Winter: Exclusive, extended preview, [Entertainment Weekly, 11 July 2016
  16. ^ Focus Pre-Empts N.A. Rights To 'The Coldest City;' Charlize Theron To Star, 'John Wick's David Leitch & Chad Stahelski Directing: Cannes, Deadline Hollywood, 9 May 2015
  17. ^ "Lightning scoops Johnston's MI6 thriller after TV deal". Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  18. ^ "Lightning scoops cyber-thriller sequel". Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  19. ^ "Lightning scoops Johnston's MI6 thriller after TV deal".
  20. ^ "Red Planet Pictures To Bring Antony Johnston's 'The Exphoria Code' To Television". Retrieved 12 March 2023.
  21. ^ Publisher's book page Archived 17 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Walker Books
  22. ^ Another look at the manga-style Wolverine, X-Men Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Newsarama, 22 April 2008
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Chuck Gets Animated, Dead Space blog, 18 April 2008
  26. ^ [1], Image Comics twitter, 2 July 2013
  27. ^ Umbral preview, Comic Book Resources, 9 November 2013
  28. ^ Science-Fiction and Crime Investigation Collide in THE FUSE #1, Image Comics website, 12 November 2013
  29. ^ Bullets, High Kicks and Humanity, Comics Alliance, 14 January 2016
  30. ^ Review of As Seasons Fleet, Sorrow Eternal, 26 September 2013
  31. ^ [2], Bandcamp, 29 May 2015
  32. ^ The Writing Coach
  33. ^ Authors' Matters by ALCS
  34. ^ [3], The Incomparable, 2 March 2015
  35. ^ Thrash It Out
  36. ^ Writing and Breathing
  37. ^ Antony Johnston biography in Horowitz/Johnston/Kanako/Yuzuru Point Blank: The Graphic Novel (Philomel, 2007) ISBN 978-0-399-25026-2


External links[edit]