Damn, if there was one designer / illustrator we could single out as having claimed a unique space for themself in 2013, it would have to be Butcher Billy. We’ve watched in awe as he’s dropped amazing graphic mashups one after the other, smashing his way through just about every pop culture icon you can think of. And just when you think he’s taken it to the limit, out pops another gem. After a while, you begin to get the feeling this cat’s on a trajectory that’s only just begun! Keep an eye on him as 2014 kicks in as he’s bound to have more tricks up his sleeve, but for now let’s rewind and take in the smash hits of one of our favourite designers. We kicked off our year of Butcherism by being lucky enough to snag an interview with the man himself - it’s true! You mean - what? You haven’t read it? Get busy: read this! Moving on - we first sat up and took notice of Billy’s good work round the start of the year, when he dropped his Pop Bastards series, in which he mashed up such unlikely combinations as the Stay-Puft giant with Ziggy Stardust and KISS, RoboCop with Porky Pig (and The Joker!) and loads more. If that wasn’t enough to make you sit up and take note, what followed was enough to make us lifelong fans, right away. Always the chef du jour of outlandish yet delicious graphic recipes, the Butcher took lyrics from famous songs by The Smiths and blended these with iconic 8-bit games from the 90s. The result? A truly remarkable graphic take on pop culture that immediately rang bells for anyone who was around when phones were still attached to the wall. It might have seemed a great start, but it was all just a warm-up and the Butcher hit us next with something so inspired it had the Twitterverse and all other social media in a froth. Yep, the Butcher’s classic combo of celebrity faces in a Batman mask was a master stroke. So, where to next for the designer who’d already cracked out so much graphic goodness? Hell, it seems he was only warming up - because before long, along came his ‘Clockwork Orange Babies’ series. It did what it says on the tin - creating the unholy spawn of Kubrick’s classic flick with a kiddy twist. Inspired? Without a doubt. A quick note on the Butcher’s skills: the mark of a lazy designer is duplicated components, which are easy to spot in Photoshop. A repeated object here and there gives the work away - but not with Butcher Billy. Here’s a designer whose dedication to getting it right shows in every piece he shares with the world on his Behance. But back to the action… Not content with mashing the living daylights out of Kubrick, Morrissey, Batman and more, he then set his sights on the musical heroes of the 90s, by pairing them with the legendary classic arcade game, Street Fighter. Nirvana, Hole, STP, Pearl Jam and the Smashing Pumpkins all got the Butcher treatment. And was that it? Was he done? Hell no - over the next few months, the man with the plan used his mashup formula to crank out even more: Sid & Nancy got the Nintendo treatment, dictators got superherofied and the list grew. But for us here at Springleap, the cherry on top has got to be the inspired ‘Post Punk Super Heroes’ series, which put a new spin on all-time famous singers and their lyrics by presenting them with classic comic front pages. Arise, charming man Sir SuperMorrissey (are you getting the idea the Butcher’s a Smiths fan yet?), Adam “Green Lantern’ Ant Ian ‘Batman’ Curtis and many others besides. Instant classic with a twist? And then some. As he wound up his year, the Butcher signed off with a superb twist on the theme - ‘Reversed Music icons’, which show musical heroes wearing T-shirts branded with bands they inspired. In his own words: “Bands and musicians that became hugely influential in music history - would they, when alive or in an early stage of their careers, support the new acts that came decades after inspired by their own legacy?” Immediate mega hit across the web - you can almost hear the fans shout ‘take my money!’. What a year, and what a prolific designer - we take our hats off to the Butcher, and will be keeping a keen eye on his output in 2014. We suggest you do the same! (all images ©Butcher Billy) psst: more Butcher for you? Click right this way: Post-Punk New Wave Super Friends Grunge Street Fighters Our interview with the man himself.