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Jamie Hewlett's Phoo Action & Get The Freebies, Return From Z2 Comics

Looks like the link has gone live… Get The Freebies by Mat Wakeham and Jamie Hewlett was an anarchic comic strip that used to run the magazine Face in the nineties, back when magazines were still a thing and before Hewlett found additional fame with Gorillaz. It also got a BBC Three pilot TV show transmitted in 2008, Phoo Action which starred Jaime Winstone as Whitey Action, Carl Weathers as Police Chief Benjamin "Ben" Benson and Eddie Shin as Terry Phoo. A six-part series was commissioned, but just before production was due to begin, the BBC announced it was cancelled. Now we get to find out why.

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And now, Phoo Action and Get The Freebies are returning from Z2 Comics, as Phoo Action: Silver Jubilee. The coffee table tome includes every comic from the Get the Freebies comic strip, process art, a new prose novel, and an exclusive look into the BBC pilot. And it follows the release of The Gorillaz Almanac and The Gorillaz Art Book, from Z2 Comics.

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Written and curated by Mat Wakeham and featuring original designs by Hewlett, the book will present the full trajectory of the cult sensation that never was. 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.

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"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."

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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. While unseen development and character artwork from Hewlett presents a definitive and exhaustive timeline of the project.

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Phoo Action: Silver Jubilee is published in a standard hardcover and deluxe hardcover with a clamshell cover. The deluxe hardcover will come with enamel pins, magnets, and embroidered patches. And watch a bit of Phoo Action here…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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