In Fine Style: The Dancehall Art of Wilfred Limonious is a must have, just released book by Christopher Bateman and Al “Fingers” Newman celebrating the work of pioneering and iconic Jamaican illustrator Wilfred Limonious (1949–99). Compiled over a number of years, the book features examples of Limonious’ newspaper comic strips alongside his distinctive artwork for the burgeoning dancehall scene coming out of 1980s Jamaica. It includes a foreword by Beth Lesser and additional words from Orville “Bagga” Case and Dr. Donna P. Hope.

Limonious is a graphic artist who created many of the most memorable Jamaican LP covers of the ’80s and early ’90s. His work remained relatively unknown outside of Jamaica because most of these records were never released internationally. Reggae and Dancehall aficionados frequenting vinyl import stores around the globe however often keep fond memories of these rare records not only due to the music but also because of Limonious’ vivid and often hilarious illustrations. Digging deeper into the crates one will also find examples that go beyond the often cited cartoon characters. Particularly his hand-made renditions of those geometric shapes that were ubiquitous in the ’80s have a charm of their very own.

This amazing book fills in pages that have long been missing from the official history of Jamaica’s popular culture. The artful, comic insights revealed in Wilfred Limonious’ drawings and designs are not only an overlooked contribution to Jamaica’s musical heritage, they are clues to the deepest layers of the island’s rebel identity.

— Professor Paul Gilroy, King’s College London


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