Joan Cornellà's illustrated sleeve for the forthcoming Wilco album, Schmilco

21 July 2016

Chicago band Wilco has used a comic strip by Joan Cornellà for its forthcoming tenth studio album, Schmilco.

This is the first time Joan’s work has been used on an album cover. Typical of Joan’s style, the artwork is inviting and bright, short and sharp, with a creative use of colour.

What makes Joan’s comic strips ideal for an album sleeve is that they are pieces of work you have to study for a while. On first glance Joan’s illustrative style and colour combinations make the comics almost feel as if they are aimed at children, but once your eyes focus they are clearly not.

Each piece of Joan’s work sneaks in an element of black comedy that is unexpected. It’s a very clever move to put a comic on a record sleeve. If you’re scanning through the racks for something new you’ve got to pick it up to read it and then you’re also more likely to buy it, the ultimate goal for both artists involved.

Joan’s dark sense of humour additionally makes him the perfect collaborator for a band like Wilco, with lead singer Jeff Tweedy commenting on this new album’s sound to be “joyously negative”, possibly the most apt description for Joan’s work as well. It’s the ideal sleeve partnership for this promising record.

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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