The coffee table tome PHOO ACTION: SILVER JUBILEE includes every comic from the Get the Freebies comic strip, process art, a new prose novel, and an exclusive look into the 2008 BBC pilot.
The press release follows:
Media Release — Following the releases of The Gorillaz Almanac and The Gorillaz Art Book, Z2 Comics is proud to once more collaborate with artist and design luminary Jamie Hewlett with PHOO ACTION: SILVER JUBILEE, a new oversized art book featuring the comic and show that serve as the kinetic missing link between Tank Girl and Gorillaz.
Written and curated by PHOO ACTION co-author Mat Wakeham and featuring original designs by Hewlett, the book will present the full trajectory of what would become the cult sensation—from the Get the Freebies comic strip first presented in UK magazine The Face from 1996 to 1997, to the 2008 PHOO ACTION BBC pilot and beyond.
Meticulously assembled by Wakeham with forewords that serve as an oral history of the evolving project, PHOO ACTION: SILVER JUBILEE shows the origins of Whitey Action, a cynical teen and potty-mouthed heroine, alongside Terry Phoo, a hapless kung-fu super cop. Born from counter-culture superhero chic and hyperactive pre-millennial angloism, the comic features the pair waging a two-person war against the mutant Freebies gang—led by an outlandish, hysterical crime boss with a basketball for a head.
“To say that I hold dear these characters and this property is an understatement. I am so extremely grateful to be their current custodian and curator—and that I still get to be a creative collaborator in their world, too,” Wakeham says. “This book is my open love letter to some of the funniest, most reprehensible, and inspired underground comics of the late 20th century, from the hand of one of Britain’s leading cultural luminaries—Mr. Jamie Hewlett.”
For the first time, this book will collect the entirety of the 12-part Get the Freebies comic in English, alongside a cover piece from Hewlett—the first new official comic art of Terry and Whitey to celebrate their 25th anniversary. PHOO ACTION: SILVER JUBILEE will also include a never-before-seen introductory comic to a planned second season that was never produced, with a prose novel from Wakeham detailing the rest of the chapters. The novel will feature original illustrations from iconic comic artist Philip Bond (The Invisibles, Kill Your Boyfriend). A treasure trove of unseen development and character artwork from Hewlett presents a definitive and exhaustive timeline of this underground masterpiece.
Z2 Comics, Jamie Hewlett, and Mat Wakeham present PHOO ACTION: SILVER JUBILEE in standard hardcover and deluxe hardcover with a clamshell cover. The deluxe hardcover will come with enamel pins, magnets, and embroidered patches. PHOO ACTION: SILVER JUBILEE will release in early Winter.
Phoo Action: Silver Jubilee
About Jamie Hewlett:
British artist and designer Jamie Hewlett is a prolific producer of ever-fresh material infused with a punk sensibility, and is best known as the creator of the legendary comic book hero Tank Girl and co-creator, with Damon Albarn, of Gorillaz, the most successful virtual band ever. Moving seamlessly between design, art and music, Hewlett has forged a distinctive visual style and a unique place as one of the most energetic figures of contemporary pop culture.
With influences ranging from hip hop to zombie slasher movies, Hewlett emerged in the mid-1990s as co-creator of the zeitgeist-defining Tank Girl comic, his first major commercial success, a character he created for Deadline Magazine. And in 2000, inspired by the dearth of good music videos in MTV, Hewlett also conceived the visual concept – alongside then roommate musician Damon Albarn – behind the several million selling, multi award winning virtual band Gorillaz, fronted by four wildly talented but totally disparate characters, singer 2D, bassist Murdoc Niccals, Japanese guitarist Noodle and drummer Russel Hobbs, work which won him the Design Museum’s Designer of the Year Award in 2006. A truly global phenomenon, the BRIT and Grammy-winning pop group of animated characters formed following a collision of mishaps, meetings and pure luck to blow up a pre-digital world with their colourful backstory and ground-breaking virtual ways. Gorillaz have gone on to top charts around the world, toured the globe from San Diego to Syria, and picked up hundreds of millions of streams and record sales along the way.
Other projects include Monkey: Journey to the West, a Chinese opera designed by Hewlett and composed by Damon Albarn; and BAFTA award winning titles for the BBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2015 The Suggestionists, an exhibition of prints at the Saatchi Gallery in London as part of his first ever solo exhibition, demonstrated an exciting new direction in Hewlett’s practice.
In 2002, Hewlett’s monograph was published by Taschen which traced, through stories, characters, strips, and sketches from the Tank Girl era through Gorillaz and up to the present day, Hewlett’s exceptional capacity for invention and celebrate a polymath artist who refuses to rest on his laurels.
About Mat Wakeham:
Mat’s media career spans advertising, the music industry, podcasting, film and TV.
At the turn of the millennium, he worked on the global creative launch of the animated music phenomenon Gorillaz alongside Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn. He co-wrote and directed Charts of Darkness, a one-off Channel4 show about the group, also having a hand in design, character and story scripting across animation, digital, print and live shows for Jamie’s design studio Zombie Flesh Eaters.
Moving on to become a senior creative partner within the WPP advertising network, before developing Phoo Action, the BAFTA Scotland ‘Best Television Drama’ award-winning adaptation of Jamie Hewlett’s property of the same name for BBC Scotland.
He next produced Ian Clark’s feature film, THE FACILITY, for Vertigo Films, and was Associate Producer of Simon Aboud’s debut COMES A BRIGHT DAY. At boutique production and finance house Catalyst Global Media he had responsibility for projects across their film and TV slate. These included; comedy horror SLAUGHTERHOUSE RULEZ, exec produced by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, as well as NETFLIX mini-series RESIDUE directed by Alex Garcia Lopez.
Mat then co-produced the UK feature TWO FOR JOY, starring Samantha Morton, Daniel Mays and Billie Piper, for director-writer Tom Beard, which was made in partnership with Creative England and the BFI in 2017.
He and BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Rebecca Knapp founded film and TV production company Auroral Pictures LTD in 2018. Auroral Pictures currently is financing three films as part of their growing slate of projects from both upcoming and internationally recognised UK talent. Mat also works with film and television professionals; both individuals and companies, as well as broadcasters and funding bodies, as a story and script consultant through his company Treatment and Script.
He is curator and collaborator on the upcoming Z2 Comics publication ‘Phoo Action, Silver Jubilee’, a celebration of the cult, ’90s comic strip created by Jamie Hewlett.
About Z2 Comics:
Recently dubbed the “Hottest brand in music” by Forbes, Z2 Comics has quickly become the premier destination for authentic graphic novels and collectibles, created in partnership with top-tier artists, musicians and pop-culture icons. Distributed globally via Simon & Schuster, Z2 has produced 50-plus unique graphic novel properties, collaborating with Gorillaz , Blondie, Elvis Presley, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Pantera, Tori Amos, Last Podcast On The Left, Emily Hampshire, Balmain, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Jason Derulo, The Grateful Dead, Machine Gun Kelly, Sublime, Beethoven, RZA, Mötley Crüe, Vince Staples, Cheech & Chong, The Doors, Anthrax, Public Enemy, Ronnie James Dio, King Diamond, All Time Low, Ivan Moody, Yungblud, Cypress Hill, Babymetal, Major Lazer, RZA, Alter Bridge, Sturgill Simpson, Poppy, John Lee Hooker, and Charlie “Bird” Parker. Learn more at Z2comics.com, and follow us on Instagram (@z2comics) and Twitter (@z2comics).