Norwich artist's work shown opposite Russian hospital as new book released

Norwich artist M.J. Hiblen has released his new paperback book Holding The Line this month

Norwich artist M.J. Hiblen has released his new paperback book Holding The Line this month - Credit: M.J. Hiblen

A Norwich artist's work has been captivating people across the globe with one of his pieces graffitied next to a hospital in Russia. 

Mark Hiblen, 49, who prefers to be known as M.J, has released his expanded and revised 2021 paperback Holding the Line which illustrates the heroic work of frontline NHS workers in a comic book style. 

His first limited edition hardback edition was sold globally with 20-30pc of the profits going to the NHS.

The artist, who lives in the city centre, has attracted plenty of interest on social media with more than 325,000 followers. 

One of M.J. Hiblen's pieces of art which features in Holding The Line

One of M.J. Hiblen's pieces of art which features in Holding The Line - Credit: M.J. Hiblen

One of Mr Hiblen's pieces, depicting a nurse sticking her middle finger up at a cartoon coronavirus, has been graffitied opposite Kuvatov Republican Clinical Hospital which was placed under quarantine due to a mass infection incident in April 2020.

On his new publication, Mr Hiblen said: "It was a bit like looking at the way frontline workers, particularly nurses, have been facing up to this almost impossible way of working, seeing people dying, working massive hours, and being exposed to people with the virus.


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"I have had quite a few people who work in the States, doctors and nurses, who bought the book to show their kids what it was like." 

The front cover of M.J. Hiblen's new book Holding The Line

The front cover of M.J. Hiblen's new book Holding The Line - Credit: M.J. Hiblen

Mr Hiblen creates his work digitally on his iPad and is entirely self-taught having left his job working with adults with learning difficulties in 2014. 

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He now has aspirations to create art for Marvel having created his Holding the Line book in six weeks. 

Norwich-based artist MJ Hiblen, who has published a book of graphic illustrations of NHS workers, ca

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

Mr Hiblen said: "I tend to work all hours which is not good. I don't really have a social life and it drives my partner mad! 

"When I get into a project, I tend to go crazy. It usually takes me one hour to create an image." 

Norwich artist M.J. Hiblen has released a new comic art publication in tribute to NHS workers

Norwich artist M.J. Hiblen has released a new comic art publication in tribute to NHS workers - Credit: M.J. Hiblen

Calvin D. Sun, a physician and clinical assistant in emergency medicine, has written the introduction for Holding the Line which is 112 pages long. 

The book is available online through stores such as WHS and Waterstones, as well as being auctioned as a NFT file. 

M.J. Hiblen can be found by searching @mjhiblenart on Instagram and @MJHiblen on Twitter. 

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