Harold Alfred Johns was born on 14 June 1918 and studied at Victoria College of Art and Science in 1938, where he met Frank Hampson. During the Second World War he drove tanks for the Yorkshire Hussars, trained as a cartographer and was awarded the British Empire Medal. After the war he studied at Southport School of Arts and Crafts, again with Hampson. He assisted Hampson and Marcus Morris in produced the dummy issue of the Eagle that sold the paper to Hulton Press, and soon joined Hampson's studio to work on Dan Dare.
When Hampson fell ill in the summer of 1952, Johns took over as the primary artist for the "Marooned on Mercury" storyline, assisted by Greta Tomlinson, from scripts written by Chad Varah. He and Tomlinson were sacked in 1953 for moonlighting on other comics, despite having previously cleared it with Marcus Morris.
He continued to work as an illustrator, until he died suddenly, whilst out sketching in Sefton, Lancashire, in 1980, aged 62.
- Daniel Tatarksy, Dan Dare: The Biography, Orion Books, 2010
- Eagle Archive: The Artists (via Internet Archive)