Butcher Billy’s Post-Punk Superheroes: Turning 80s music icons into comic book crimefighters

By on November 1, 2015

Butcher Billy was born and raised and currently still lives in Curitiba, the capital and largest city of the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. He graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, in Brazil, with a degree in Graphic Design, and works a creative director in a digital agency. He’s traveled extensively, and lived and worked in England for a few years.

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Butcher Billy – photo by Coelho Visual Works

As a child of the 80s, his interest in art and design ran parallel with an interest in punk and new wave music, and well as television shows, blockbuster movies, video games, comic books, and everything else you can imagine. His work frequently mashes-up iconic images — like, the good old ultra-violence of Clockwork Orange — with something else often entirely unexpected, with delightfully unique results.

Butcher Billy - Morrissey as Superman

A few years ago, he got the idea to mock-up a comic book cover with Morrissey of the Smiths taking Superman’s place, inspired by the idea that the “S” could easily stand for “Smiths,” and Morrissey’s Clark Kent-ish look — the glasses, that chin, not to mention, as he told one interviewer, “the status of saint-ity that Moz seem to inspire in people – that would match not only the visual aspect of it but also the psychological.”

Morrissey

Billy then realized that he had an idea that could be expanded to include other post-punk icons — like Siouxsie Sioux, and Robert Smith of The Cure — all of them depicted as DC Comics superheroes, recognizing, as he told that interviewer, that “Ian Curtis or Johnny Rotten are as iconic to me as Superman or Batman.”

Butcher BIlly - Wall

Butcher Billy: “Real people or imaginary characters, the incorruptible ideals of perfect superheroes or the human flaws and desires sometimes so desperately depicted in song lyrics – all of those influences affect us to the point of defining our character and personality, career paths and life choices.”

Earlier this year, Butcher Billy told the Guardian UK: “I’m a huge fan of comics, cinema, music, games, art… Salvador Dali, Tim Burton, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Stanley Kubrick populate my mind all at the same time, and the weird thing is it makes total sense.”

The roster of Butcher Billy’s re-imagined Post-Punk Super Friends was eventually expanded to included Marvel Comics characters too, nearly all of them appearing with bold, bright colors that we’re all used to seeing in comic illustration. Earlier this year, he added more to his collection, and indeed, he is a prolific artist, taking on new assignments and clients and churning out new work all the time.

Butcher Billy - Post-Punk Marvels

Have a look at this gallery of Butcher Billy’s Post-Punk Superheroes while you listen to Siouxsie and the Banshees’s “Cities in Dust” (12″ Extended Eruption Mix)”:

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Check out Butcher Billy on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter, and buy T-shirts, artwork and other Butcher Billy merchandise here.

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.