(1954- ) UK Comic-strip writer of horror fantasy. His first work in comic books was a series of text stories featuring Nightraven, a pulp-style crimefighter who branded his victims; this appeared in Daredevils (1983), The Mighty World of Marvel (1983-1984) and Savage Sword of Conan (1984-1985). JD's first comics work was Captain Britain (1985; graph coll 1986).
After a variety of strips and text stories for UK papers and annuals, he was invited by DC Comics to write Hellblazer (1988-current), a then-new comic book starring Alan Moore's creation John Constantine, a chain-smoking, streetwise Londoner well versed in the art of black Magic and a magnet for Horror. Through a series of linked short stories which pitted him against a Voodoo boss, yuppie Demons, child-killers and football hooligans, Constantine has been shown by JD as haunted by his own demons, his past exploits having destroyed every relationship he has ever had. Following this highly successful first sequence of tales, JD took the character into more personal areas, journeying with groups of travellers, exploring New Age philosophy, paganism and ecological themes through a series of adventures which involved a psychic horror machine eventually defeated by mystical earth-power. JD continued the saga through Serial Killers, some lighter moments of literary fantasy, and exploration of Constantine's childhood, writing 37 stories in all (Hellblazer #1-#24, #28-#31, #33-#40 1988-1992).
Other works include World Without End (6 issues 1990-1991), an exploration of a Far-Future Earth made of living flesh, and House of Cards (graph 1991) painted by David Lloyd, a Graphic Novel featuring Nightraven. More substantial has been his work on Animal Man (#51-#79 1992-1994), in which JD returned to the theme of ecological horror. JD has shifted the emphasis of the series from crimefighting to studies in the power of Nature, the growing powers within Animal Man's daughter making her a useful, innocent voice to speak out against our inhumanity to those other creatures with whom we share our world. [RT/SH]