Common People by Jamie Hewlett

Jamie Hewlett, one half of Gorillaz (or is it one third? Or a quarter? How do they work again?), put pen to paper for another Britpop star long before he hooked up with Damon Albarn. Way way back in 1995, he produced a mini-comic version of Pulp's Common People for the French release of the single. Jarvis looks suitably angular, and the general design takes me back to the days of other Hewlett classics like Tank Girl and Hewligan's Haircut. Terrifyingly, this is twenty years old.

Read More

Best Animated Feature … feature


Okay, so this is pretty pointless, but also kind of interesting.

What are the chances of an animated film ever getting a Best Picture Oscar nomination, now that Best Animated Feature Film exists? The category was only introduced in 2001, but what should have won, had it always existed? And what exactly is the difference between a “Picture” and a “Feature” anyway?

Ponder these questions no longer! Here is a full(ish) list of actual and probable winners from the past couple of decades. And yes, that’s right, my critical judgment is equivalent to the entire voting membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In some cases, it's not even a matter of opinion, it's just that nothing else was released that year, so films like The Rescuers Down Under would have won by default.

The actual winners

2014 – Big Hero 6
2013 – Frozen
2012 – Brave
2011 – Rango
2010 – Toy Story 3
2009 – Up
2008 – Wall-E
2007 – Ratatouille
2006 – Happy Feet
2005 – Wallace And Gromit And The Curse Of The Wererabbit
2004 – The Incredibles
2003 – Finding Nemo
2002 – Spirited Away
2001 – Shrek (Monsters Inc was robbed!)

The winners that weren't winners because the category didn't exist yet but they probably would have been winners in my humble opinion

2000 – Chicken Run
1999 – The Iron Giant 
1998 – Antz
1997 – Princess Mononoke
1996 – James And The Giant Peach
1995 – Toy Story
1994 – The Lion King
1993 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
1992 – Aladdin
1991 – Beauty And The Beast
1990 – The Rescuers Down Under 
1989 – The Little Mermaid
1988 – Akira
1987 – I can’t find a single recognisable animated film released this year. 
1986 – Castle In The Sky
1985 – The Black Cauldron
1984 – Nope, nothing here either.
1983 – Nothing.
1982 – The Secret Of NIMH
1981 – Heavy Metal

… and then that’s where my research ends. It’s a bit depressing that there are entire years without any recognisable films. What we can learn from this: the eighties was a terrible decade for animation, and we have it very, very good right now.


Updated from a post originally written in 2008.

Spice Girls on The Face, 1997


As promised, another great Spice Girls cover from 1997. Compare this to the Guardian Weekend one – two incredibly different approaches, but both great executions. One is grimy and faceless, the other is glossy and smiley, but they both play on the same instant iconic nature of the subject matter. In summary: the Spice Girls were an art director's dream.

Picture from the Flickr group The Face (1980–2004).