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Work / Illustration

Evan Cohen’s illustrated characters work together to travel through the panels of his comic

Evan Cohen’s latest comic sees a community of characters working together to travel through the panels of their own story. Aiming to create a kind of 21st Century parable, Visions is an exploration of relationships, spiritual and physical, he says. “Set within a story about creation and ancient myth, it’s about the connections we share with our community and the world at large.”

The comic follows the characters as they walk, dig, clamber, fly and warp their way through the book, and their journey, like Lemmings. Evan cleverly plays with the format of the comic book, wherein the characters manipulate and traverse the panels as their landscape. “I’ve been trying to break the rules surrounding comics without going too far into the abstract. I’m finding my own way of stretching out of the normal system and making a voice of my own.” The characters travel as a unit, helping each other overcome obstacles to get to their destination, which Evan says is enlightenment.

“I wanted the story to feel like ancient lore that could be passed along through generations. The community must come together and work as one to find peace in their own world. Hopefully the viewer is left with a sense of wonder and filled with a more positive outlook on life.”

Visions is different in style and colour to the last comic of Evan’s we featured, Noise – a black and white story about isolation, which conveyed anxiety and loneliness. This, he says, is “hopeful and fantastical” using bright colours and more playful imagery. Considering Risograph printing as well, the illustrator chose a simple but vivid palette. “A few colours can really heighten important parts of an image,” he explains.

Some pages purposely jump out of the narrative as a break, to portray a specific feeling or experience, or tell a small side story within the story – a snippet of the larger picture. “Pages that surprise you or even confuse you are powerful tools in storytelling,” Evan says. “I feel they keep the reader wanting more and staying longer.”

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