Having Gorillaz play London’s O2 arena on Monday and Tuesday might have helped. But Jamie Hewlett was on hand this afternoon to sign copies of his new collection of work, featuring Gorillaz, Tank Girl, and so much more. Strips, sketches, full-blown artwork, the lot.
And so, in Taschen, just off Sloane Square in London as the Christmas lights began to emerge from the dusky gloom, unsure if they were allowed to shine yet, Jamie’s fans gathered and queued — a line that snaked around and back on itself like the very signature they were there to acquire.
It got cold fast. But the line continued to snake, and wind, and hundreds of people bunked off work, off college, off relationships, to come and pay homage to the master. And £39.99 to the shop. Eventually admittance was granted into the warmth, and Jamie was on form, happy, smiling, exuberant.
Yes, I picked up my copy, yes, I got it signed, along with a couple of other pieces. I got the chance to talk about the late departed Steve Dillon, who began Deadline magazine with Brett Ewins and gave Jamie his big break. We commiserated the loss, but I remembered the pride Steve felt about Jamie’s subsequent achievements. Jamie said that he considered Steve to be a second father.
I left into the night, while Taschen’s decision to play Gorillaz tracks forced a familiar whistle or two. It was cold. It was dark, and my arms were suddenly a lot heavier. £39.99 buys you a lot of book.
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