Jamie Hewlett in 2014 signing copies of Tank Girl.
|Born||Jamie Christopher Hewlett
3 April 1968
Horsham, Sussex, England, United Kingdom
|Area(s)||Artist, illustrator, writer|
Monkey: Journey to the West
Get the Freebies/Phoo Action
|Awards||Design Museum's Designer of the Year (2006)
Ivor Novello's Songwriter of the Year (2006)
|Spouse(s)||Emma de Caunes (m. 2011)|
Jamie Christopher Hewlett (born 3 April 1968) is an English comic book artist, designer, and director. He is best known for being the co-creator of the comic Tank Girl and co-creator of the virtual band Gorillaz.
Brought up in Horsham, West Sussex, Jamie Hewlett was a pupil at Tanbridge House School, a local co-educational comprehensive for pupils aged 11–16 years. He contributed to the art work of a road safety campaign that ended up runner-up in a national television competition.
While studying at Northbrook College Worthing, Hewlett, Alan Martin and fellow student Philip Bond had created a fanzine called Atomtan. This brought him to the attention of Brett Ewins. After leaving college Hewlett and Martin were invited by Ewins to create material for a new magazine he was setting up with Steve Dillon in 1988.
The magazine was called Deadline and featured a mixture of comic strips produced by British creators, and articles on music and culture. Martin and Hewlett created Tank Girl, an anarchic strip about a teenage punk girl who drove a tank and had a mutant kangaroo for a boyfriend. The strip proved instantly popular and quickly became the most talked about part of Deadline. Hewlett's eccentric style proved popular and he started to work with bands such as Senseless Things and Cud providing covers for record releases; he also contributed artwork sporadically to Commodore User magazine.
He also designed decor for a nightclub called The Factory in Chatsworth Road, Worthing. The decor featured red and green stripes, a wall of blown-up panels from Tank Girl set against 1970s wallpaper, a Ford Escort hung from the ceiling and toilets pasted with pages from old comic book annuals. The Factory has since been refurbished and renamed several times.
By 1992, Hewlett had become a major creator in the comics industry, and one of the few to break into mainstream media. He had worked with writer Peter Milligan on Hewligan's Haircut in 2000 AD issues 700 to 707. The series was later compiled into a trade paperback. He was also involved in providing covers and art for Shade, the Changing Man, also written by Milligan for DC Comics.
Tank Girl was also optioned to be made into a film by MGM after being considered by, among others, Steven Spielberg. The film was released in 1995 and featured Lori Petty as Tank Girl. It was a commercial and critical failure and was criticised by fans who said it failed to capture the essence of the original strip. Hewlett had very little involvement with the film.
He also opened a secondhand clothing store, 49. The shop, at 49 Rowlands Road, Worthing, was managed by girlfriend Jane Oliver, originally a member of Elastica, but this was a short-lived venture and closed within a year.
Deadline was eventually cancelled in 1996 due to falling sales in a changed market and Hewlett concentrated on working in advertising and designs for television, most notably the children's series SMTV Live, featuring Ant & Dec. He also created the strip 'Get The Freebies' published monthly in British fashion magazine The Face. The stories, all set in London, followed the exploits of Terry Phoo, a gay, Buddhist kung-fu law enforcement officer and his sidekick Whitey Action, an enigmatic young anarchist with a bad attitude, as they tackle their primary adversaries The Freebies Gang of the title. The dynamic between the two heroes was much like that of Tank Girl and her mutant kangaroo boyfriend Booga, with the episodes from the female protagonist's point of view. The strip's primary function was for Jamie to vent his spleen against the media idols and trends of the day, the story often taking second place to the jokes.
At this time, he had moved into a flat with Blur's Damon Albarn after Hewlett split with Oliver, and it was while sharing the flat that the pair came up with the idea of Gorillaz, a virtual band. Albarn would work on the music, while Hewlett would come up with character designs, and both came up with ideas for the members of the band. The first Gorillaz EP was released in 2000 followed by the first album, Gorillaz in 2001. In 2005, their second full studio album, Demon Days was released.
In January 2006, Hewlett's artwork for Gorillaz was shortlisted for the Design Museum's 'Designer of the Year' award. In May 2006, Jamie Hewlett was named the Designer of the Year 2006. On 25 May 2006, both Hewlett and Albarn won the joint award for "Songwriters of the Year" at the Ivor Novello Awards.
In 2007, Hewlett and Albarn premiered their first major work since Gorillaz. Entitled Monkey: Journey to the West, a re-working of the ancient Chinese legend Journey to the West. Albarn wrote the score whilst Hewlett designed the set, animations and costumes. Written and adapted by Chen Shi-zheng, the show featured 45 Chinese circus acrobats, Shaolin monks and Chinese vocalists. It premiered at the Palace Theatre, Manchester as part of the Manchester International Festival, on 28 June 2007.
Hewlett and Albarn created the animation sequence the BBC used to introduce coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. The sequence titled Journey to the East uses the Monkey character from Monkey: Journey to the West.
A 2014 Kickstarter campaign successfully raised the capital for a new Tank Girl book 21st Century Tank Girl featuring co-creators Hewlett, and Martin as well as other artists including Brett Parson, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Philip Bond, Jim Mahfood, Craig Knowles, and Jonathan Edwards.
In November 2015, Hewlett debuted his first art exhibition called 'The Suggestionists' at the Saatchi Gallery in London. The exhibition then made its American debut at the Woodward Gallery in Manhattan in May 2016.
Throughout his career as a designer and a comic book artist, Hewlett's works have contained a diverse selection of influences from a variety of many different artists.
In a 2013 interview with Consequence of Sound, Hewlett stated that his primary influences were the works of cartoonists such as Mort Drucker, Carl Giles, Jack Davis, and Ronald Lowe. In a 2012 interview for Absolut Vodka, Hewlett also listed Harvey Kurtzman's American satirical magazine MAD Magazine as a leading influence of his art. Hewlett has mentioned that he is largely influenced by the works of American animators Chuck Jones and Tex Avery of Warner Bros. Animation, and cites the works of British comic book artists Ronald Searle and Mike McMahon as influences on his artwork. In fact, Hewlett has even stated that the entirety of Chuck Jones' filmography and Mad Magazine as a whole are the biggest overall influences on his work.
Rufus Dayglo, Hewlett's colleague, has said that both he and Hewlett were very influenced by not only the works of Chuck Jones and Tex Avery, but also various UPA cartoons. Hewlett's Absolut London web profile also revealed that along with Chuck Jones, American filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and American author Hunter S. Thompson were big influences on his artwork as well. Hewlett has also admitted to being heavily inspired by the likes of artists such as Robert Crumb, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Martin Kippenberger, and Richard Caton Woodville, acknowledging the impact their art has on his own work.
Hewlett has admitted to being a big fan of Brendan McCarthy's works, more specifically his work on his comic book Strange Days. Hewlett has said that French comic book artist Moebius is a big influence on his art, calling him 'unbelievably inspiring' and saying that he considers him to be 'one of the greatest'. In addition to Moebius, Hewlett has been heavily influenced by the works of artists like Tony Hart and Tanino Liberatore as well. In an interview with The Telegraph, Hewlett also mentioned being a fan of American animator Brad Bird and his work on Family Dog, as well as American cartoonist Charles Schulz' Peanuts comic strips.
In a conversation with Mark Kermode, Hewlett said that the 1973 French stop motion animated film Fantastic Planet was the very first animated film that showed him animation is also a medium for adults.
Interior comics work includes:
- Tank Girl (art, with Alan Martin, in Deadline, 1988–1995)
- Judge Dredd: "Spock's Mock Chocs" (art, with writer Alan Grant and shared art duties with Brendan McCarthy, in 2000 AD #614, 1989, collected in Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Volume 12, October 2008)
- Sooner or Later: "Swifty's Return" (art, with writer Peter Milligan, in 2000 AD #614–617, 1989)
- "King Pant" (writer, with art by Philip Bond, in A1 #2, Atomeka Press, 1989, ISBN 1-871878-11-X)
- "Hellcity" (art, with writer Alan Martin, in A1 #4, Atomeka Press, 1990, ISBN 1-871878-56-X)
- Hewligan's Haircut (with writer Peter Milligan, in 2000 AD #700–707, 1990, collected in Hewligan's Haircut hardcover, August 2003)
- Doom Patrol #50 (with Grant Morrison, Vertigo, December 1991, collected in Doom Patrol Volume 4: Musclebound, August 2006)
- Tank Girl: The Odyssey (art, with writer Peter Milligan, 4-issue mini-series, Vertigo, 1995)
Comics covers include:
Musical projects include:
- Monkey: Journey to the West
- The cover of the second Mindless Self Indulgence album, Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy
- The back cover of The Good, the Bad & the Queen by Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Simon Tong & Tony Allen
Artistic projects include:
- Under Water Colours – Trueman Brewrey – East London, 17–31 October 2009
- Thompson, Dan. "Tank Girl in Worthing". Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- Vogler, Thomas (September 1998). "Tank Girl, Anodder Oddyssey: Joyce Lives (and Dies) in Popular Culture". Other Voices. 1 (2). Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- Keane, Brent (28 November 2003). "The Friday Review: Hewligan's Haircut". Ninth Art. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- Bates, John (December 1994). "Tank Girl Stomps Hollywood". Wired. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "JAMIE HEWLETT Graphic Artist (1968- ) Designer of the Year 2006". Design Museum. 2006. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Cartoon". WEb.archive.org. Archived from the original on 27 June 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
- "Get The Freebies Episode One". Issuu.com. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
- Gaiman, Neil (July 2005). "Keeping It (Un)real". Wired. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "gorillaz_news: Jamie Hewlett named UK Designer Of The Year for Gorillaz work (UPDATE: with reactions)". Gorillaz-news.livejournal.com. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
- "Ivor Novello Awards - the results". NME. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- Chadderton, David (July 2007). "Monkey: Journey to the West". British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Monkey facts and figures". BBC News. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- "Emma de Caunes s'est mariée avec Jamie Hewlett". Pure People. 11 September 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- Alan C. Martin, Alan C. "21st CENTURY TANK GIRL: a book by Hewlett & Martin & Co". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- Franks, Allison (July 2013). "Jamie Hewlett chats Gorillaz, comics, and his favorite childhood toy". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- "Absolut London - Jamie Hewlett Q&A - "When did you know you wanted to be an animator/artist?"". YouTube. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Fairs, Marcus (June 2006). "Jamie Hewlett". http://www.iconeye.com/. Icon Eye. Retrieved 14 November 2014. External link in
- Melville, Carman. "JAMIE HEWLETT: THE ARTIST BEHIND THE GORILLAZ". Fuel Magazine.
- Dickinson, Dan. "GORILLAZ Q&A". v. VJ Army. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- watson, Bernice. "An audience with Rufus Dayglo". Liberation Frequency. Bernice Watson. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- "Absolut London". http://absolutlondon.co.uk/. Absolut Vodka. Retrieved 14 November 2014. External link in
- Simpson, Avril. "Gorillaz in our midst". The Telegraph. The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- "Alfred Dunhill - The Voice Campaign Jamie Hewlett". Vimeo. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Buchanan, Stuart. "Interview: Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz) – Sex, Tanks & Kangaroos". Stuart Buchanan. Glasgow University Magazine. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- "Jamie Hewlett Talks Gorillaz Part 2". Clash Music. Admin. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- "JAMIE HEWLETT Graphic Artist (1968- ) Designer of the Year 2006". design.designmuseum.org. Design Museum. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
Q. What or who inspires you? A. Jack Davis, Ronald Searle, Liberatore, Moebius, Tony Hart.
- Ovenden, Olivia. "Gorillaz artist Jamie Hewlett: 'I'm always hiding behind my drawings'". thetelegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
- Kermode, Mark. "Off Camera: Savage Animation". BBC. BBC.
- "GROW - food justice campaign". Oxfam GB. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
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