Junior Express and School Friend, and later drew for TV Century 21 and its sister magazine, Lady Penelope, as well as The Tripods for Beeb. He went on to draw various newspaper strips for periodicals such as The Sun and the Daily Mirror, including Eartha, Jane (the 1980s revival), Danielle, Girl Chat, George and Lynne, The Seekers and Modesty Blaise, as well as working for Countdown/TV Action, Look-In and Penthouse Comix, and on annuals for Brown Watson. His career really took off, though, when he began to work for 2000 AD, initially on Judge Dredd (which he still contributes to, but has expressed a dislike of as he is not fond of drawing science fiction) and later on Nikolai Dante, Black Light, Angel Zero, Doctor Sin and The Order. For the Judge Dredd Megazine Burns has worked on The Scarlet Apocrypha and Devlin Waugh, amongst others, and he drew Dolebusters for Eagle. He has also drawn comics adaptations of various classic novels for Classical Comics, including Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Lorna Doone. Robbie Morrison has described Burns as "the last of a certain kind of classic British artist... it’s been a pleasure and an honour to work with him," and Simon Fraser says that "John Burns obviously does that epic swashbuckling sweep better than anyone." Kek-W has described Burns as "amazing" and his art as "utterly phenomenal".
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