Bigger than Jesus?

idetail of an lllustration of the band oasis noel and liam gallagher

Oasis illustration for an article in the Sunday Independent newspaper. This one was truncated to avoid potential controversy


I was very proud of this one but it was only partially shown in the paper. It was felt that because a significant segment of the readership were Catholic—or Christian at least, it might be inflammatory to show the cross, the singer with his arms out as if crucified—and spitting!—and just for good measure, the John Lennon quote “Bigger than Jesus”?

newspaper illustration of the band oasis
Above: The full illustration

Of course, I wasn’t trying to shock anyone, but rather to show as many facets of the band’s personality as possible, and humourously refer to The Beatles, from whom they drew much inspiration.

When Oasis performed on the MTV Music Awards, Liam, the singer had assumed that arms-out pose at the end of their set, and dribbled spit onto the stage—for some bizarre reason! That pose and Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” line criss-crossed in my imagination. Association of ideas.

newspaper illustration of the band oasis
Above: smaller browser-friendly size

Other Illustration Elements

The choppers, referred to their big 7 or 8 minute video which had recently aired—on repeat—on MTV. The song bore the immortal lyric, “All my people, right here, right now. Yeah, you know what I mean.” Nope, not really. The Rolls Royce is from their album cover, and a nice call-back to the rock n’ roll excesses of Keith Moon, who famously drove one into  swimming pool.

The three figures in the background are the other band members. I seem to recall Noel Gallagher at the MTV Awards I think it was, referring to himself and his brother as the band and that the other three were basically non-entities. The descriptions “cabbages” or “turnip-heads” rings a distant bell, but I could be wrong. Perhaps he was cheekily joking, and didn’t mean any malice.

newspaper illustration of the band oasis detail liam and helicopters
Above: The sensitive bit
detail of illustration of oasis: noel gallagher
Above: Noel Gallagher
detail of newspaper illustration of oasis: liam gallagher
Above: Liam Gallgher
close up of helicopter
Above: Extreme close-up
newspaper illustration of the band oasis
Above: The Censored version, sans top third

Illustrator: John White
Media: Ink, Watercolour, pencil, on gessoed board
Client: Sunday Independent Newspaper
Writer: Ken Murray