Peter "Magic" Johnston, born in Belfast, studied art at Newham College of Further Education and Sheffield Hallam University. From 1990 to 1993 he drew political, editorial, strip and pocket cartoons and illustrations for The Brief in London, and the Belfast Telegraph, the News Letter, the Sunday News, the Sunday World and the Irish News in Belfast. From 1992 to 1996 he published dv8, a Belfast-based arts and culture magazine which included comic strips by Malachy Coney, Seán Doran and Davy Francis. Since then he has worked in a variety of positions in the media and film industries, and gained a PhD from Queen's University, Belfast, in Film and Visual Studies in 2011.
His brother Tom is also a cartoonist.