Oculus is a graphic novel printed in Risograph and tells the story of two characters in “total immersion of a virtual world”. Created by illustrator Félix Decombat, he plays with familiar concepts by basing this new world on reality, similar to games like Second Life and Grand Theft Auto.
“The characters progress through the world where internet references (like the deep web, Tinder, Winamax etc.) get more and more obvious along the way, and the characters get more and more distanced from reality,” explains Félix. The idea came to Félix after watching Alain Della Negra’s documentary The cat, the Reverend and the Slave, the Black Mirror series and Paul Verhoeven’s science fiction movies. The sense of eeriness in the book is heightened through the use of relatable motifs from everyday life.
“For the first part I worked with a marker and gradually the airbrush becomes more present in the story,” the illustrator explains. Félix wanted to distinguish the virtual environment from reality, and the soft focus of the airbrush becomes a hazy reminder that we’re somewhere alien. The illustrator intersperses wider shots with more detailed crops and feel more refined and sharper than when we last featured his more low-fi illustrations.
The story is told in black and white which allows Félix to weave his techniques together and avoids any class of colour. The Risograph printing also adds texture to the whole book, enhancing both the deep black pen markings and the lighter swoop of the airbrush.
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