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Don’t mess with this nurse! Norwich artist’s book celebrates NHS superheroes

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 07:49 26 August 2020

Norwich-based artist MJ Hiblen has published a book of graphic art inspired by front line workers' Covid-19 response Picture: Eyewear Publishing/MJ Hiblen

Norwich-based artist MJ Hiblen has published a book of graphic art inspired by front line workers' Covid-19 response Picture: Eyewear Publishing/MJ Hiblen

Picture: Eyewear Publishing/MJ H

The coronavirus epidemic has opened millions of eyes to how our frontline workers are heroes.

Norwich-based artist MJ Hiblen has published a book of graphic art inspired by front line workers' Covid-19 response Picture: Eyewear Publishing/MJ HiblenNorwich-based artist MJ Hiblen has published a book of graphic art inspired by front line workers' Covid-19 response Picture: Eyewear Publishing/MJ Hiblen

Now they are being taken to the next level - as superheroes.

A Norwich-based artist has released a book of graphic novel-style illustrations of nurses, doctors, firefighters and other key workers engaged in the ‘good-versus-evil’ battle against Covid-19.

MJ Hiblen is a local self-taught artist based in Pottergate, Norwich and his illustrations have received hundreds of thousands of views online.

They have attracted a global following which includes mainly frontline health workers themselves but also celebrities including Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill and Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in Marvel movies.

Norwich-based artist MJ Hiblen, who has published a book of graphic illustrations of NHS workers, called Front Line Heroes      Photo: Mark HiblenNorwich-based artist MJ Hiblen, who has published a book of graphic illustrations of NHS workers, called Front Line Heroes Photo: Mark Hiblen

A spokesperson for Eyewear Publishing, which has produced the book, said: “The depth of feeling from health workers in response to the images has been phenomenal. One of the first illustrations he posted on Instagram of a nurse squaring up to a huge ‘virus’ received this response: ‘Can I buy a print of this? It’s the greatest expression I’ve seen of how this feels as a nurse. Thank you for making it’.”

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Mr Hiblen said responses from health workers to his illustrations “reminded them of their strength and what this time of Covid-19 has meant. A lot of the images were ideas I took from messages of what they were dealing with, so in a way the frontline community created a lot of the ideas.”

He added that the feeling he got was that these workers felt they were waging war on this new, and potentially fatal, virus.

Norwich-based artist MJ Hiblen has published a book of graphic art inspired by front line workers' Covid-19 response Picture: Eyewear Publishing/MJ HiblenNorwich-based artist MJ Hiblen has published a book of graphic art inspired by front line workers' Covid-19 response Picture: Eyewear Publishing/MJ Hiblen

He said the illustrations were inspired by seeing friends who worked in the health service “battered” by the virus.

The book, called Front Line Heroes, has more than 40 illustrations, and features an introduction by comic legend Geof Isherwood (Marvel illustrator of Dr Strange, Thor and other classic titles).

Norwich-based artist MJ Hiblen has published a book of graphic art inspired by front line workers' Covid-19 response Picture: Eyewear Publishing/MJ HiblenNorwich-based artist MJ Hiblen has published a book of graphic art inspired by front line workers' Covid-19 response Picture: Eyewear Publishing/MJ Hiblen


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