Butcher Billy is the nom de plume of Brazilian artist Bily Mariano Da Luz. By day, a humble, loveable creative director at a digital agency, by night, the terrifyingly talented artist who combines pop culture, music, politics, and comic books in new and sometimes disturbing ways. He lived in the UK for a time, which might explain his interest in British bands. He has traveled widely, which may explain his wide range of interests and influences. Butcher Billy studied Graphic Design at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, in Brazil.
Butcher Billy had this to say for himself: “I like to experiment with my references in pop culture, which I would say are a blend of everything I absorbed during all my life – street art, vinyl album covers, comics, cheap tabloid newspapers, exploitation movies, historic cultural movements, cartoons, outsider artists, pop music. I like to study everything about those references from typography to creative concepts, and I believe all that ends up reflecting in my style in one way or another. I have to admit I like to poke fun at serious statements. It’s probably why so many people label my work as controversial. As a lot of it is based on the clash of concepts, I target the figures that people seem to care about the most.”
In the past, Butcher Billy has drawn Sid and Nancy as Super Mario and Princess Peach. He’s drawn Osama bin Laden as the Green Goblin and Chairman Mao as Darkside. His most recent projects portray rock musicians as Marvel characters. He drew Billy Idol as Thor, the Donald Blake version, not the new female Thor. He drew Devo as Iron Man. Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees becomes a tortured-looking Scarlet Witch. Ian Curtis of Joy Division rates two portraits as Spiderman. Gary Numan becomes an oddly androgynous Vision. Robert Smith of The Cure becomes Nightcrawler, with a pun on the X-Man’s blue fur and the song “I Don’t Care If Monday’s Blue.” Morrisey of The Smiths is portrayed as the incredible Hulk.
His current projects portray rock and punk musicians as characters from the Marvel universe. However, he has previously drawn some of the same musicians as DC characters. Morrissey has been Superman as well as the Hulk. Robert Smith has been Plastic Man.
Billy Butcher’s art is strong and vibrant, and his attention to detail is superb.
Which is your favorite?