British comic books artist and designer Jamie Hewlett attended Worthing Art College, where he set up his own fanzine, Atomtan, with fellow students Alan Martin and Philip Bond. When Hewlett left college, Brett Ewins offered him and his friend Alan Martin to do comics in a new magazine called Deadline. In 1988, the boys collaborated on a strip called 'Tank Girl'. The anarchic strip about a teenage punk girl soon became Deadline's most popular comic.
Hewlett was subsequently asked by bands like Senseless Things and Cud to do illustrate album covers. By 1992, he broke through in the comics mainstream with 'Hewligan's Haircut' in 2000 AD, and the 'Shade the Changing Man' series at DC, both written by Peter Milligan. A 'Tank Girl' feature film was released by MGM in 1995.
For the occasion, Hewlett, in cooperation with Milligan, drew a new 'Tank Girl' miniseries for DC/Vertigo, and cooperated on the adaptation of the movie. From the mid-1990s, Hewlett focused more on advertising and designs for television. He created the strip 'Get the Freebies' for the British monthly The Face. At this time, he lived in a flat with Blur's Damon Albarn, with whom he set up the pop group Gorillaz in 1998. Hewlett did the character designs, based upon his 'Get the Freebies' characters, for this virtual band, while Albarn focused on the music. Gorillaz became Hewlett's main project from then on, and new comics were put on shelve.
Hewlett and Albarn additionally collaborated on the stage show 'Monkey: Journey to the West', a re-working of the ancient Chinese legend Journey to the West, and the animation sequence for the BBC's coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. His 'Get the Freebies' strip was adapted by BBC 3 for a pilot entitled Phoo Action, broadcast in February 2008, while new 'Tank Girl' strips were created by co-creator Alan Martin and artist Rufus Dayglo.