After getting his first comic book art published in Brainstorm in 1975, he drew the cover for 2000 AD No. 43 in 1977 and decided to go freelance in 1978, with an eye on becoming a comic artist. In 1981 he started getting regular work at 2000 AD, one of his early projects being the art for a Tharg's Future Shocks by Alan Moore, as well as doing covers for Marvel UK.
After this he worked steadily at 2000 AD and joined the British Invasion in the mid-eighties, notably doing the colouring on Moore's Watchmen and Batman: The Killing Joke a job he got through colouring Steve Dillon's art on Moore's ABC Warriors story. This led to more work in the American market, although he has kept working on British titles too especially with Judge Dredd over 20 years.
Most recently he has provided the art for Greysuit with Pat Mills, as well as working with Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti on The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning and Jonah Hex No. 28.
Higgins is also a writer. He wrote and drew his first Future Shock at 2000 AD and did the same for Razorjack, a comic book mini-series from Com.x, which was reprinted in 2009 and again in 2014 by Titan comics with new stories and art.
Higgins has worked in a number of different areas providing artwork for animation, film and book covers like The Cabinet of Light and The Morgaine Stories. In 2012, Higgins worked on the Before Watchmen project, drawing the serialised feature "Curse of the Crimson Corsair" which was initially written by Len Wein. Higgins later became the writer of the feature as well.
The last two years have been the busiest years of his career so far, collaborating with Eric Kripke in 2015 on the Vertigo mini series Jacked and 2016 working on a "how to" book. Beyond colouring the Watchmen - the art of John Higgins, whilst preparing himself to go back onto Greysuit for 2000AD.