From the short biography presented in the beginning of The Art of John Bolton, originally published in 1988: "John Bolton spends his days locked inside his eerie prop-and-dead-bug filled studio in North London, England. After receiving his diploma in illustration and design he contributed to all kinds of famous (and infamous) British magazines and was subsequently commissioned to produce covers and artwork for book publishers. He began working in comics in 1980. An award-winning artist who has worked on graphic novels and prestige format books with Clive Barker, Chris Claremont, Christopher Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Sam Raimi, Anne Rice and others, he has handled assignments for every major publisher in the comics field."
One of his best-know creator-owned projects has been Marada the She-Wolf, originally serialized in Marvel's Epic Illustrated and a subsequent graphic novel, and recently repackaged by Titan.
In addition to his comic book art, Bolton has contributed pieces to role-playing game books, such as Vampire: The Dark Ages, as well as to fantasy and science fiction novel covers. The Art of John Bolton collects his "subjectively chosen best works." His art has been influential on other, later artists, and Bolton is not humble about acknowledging other artists as well. On Twitter, he laments the recent death of H.R. Giger: "Giger was a God, a true genius. His death reminds us of our own mortality. His work will not be forgotten."
Bolton was also the subject of Neil Gaiman's 2003 film, A Short Film About John Bolton, in which the illustrator is portrayed by actor John O'Mahony.