Jack Evans’ mix-and-match zine assembles doodles, scraps and abandoned projects

Earwig sticks to tradition in some aspects, but breaks away in others – like the custom logotype that mimics falling ribbon.

9 April 2024

Any avid illustrator will know, over time you can amass a whole load of material – quick sketches, the odd portrait, aimless doodles – without any idea of what to do with it. This was the case for Jack Evans, a London-based illustrator, graphic designer and prop maker whose sketchbooks were calling out to be developed into something bigger.

Jack has always had a passion for collecting – art books, comics and more recently vintage pulp comics from the 60s and 70s. It was this magpie-like outlook that conjured up the desire to create something similar. “As a collector I always felt the desire to have my own little piece in the collections of others,” says Jack. “But committing something yourself to print, even something small, I feel is a really brave thing.”

What held Jack back for so many years was direction; what theme, concept or storyline would a self-published publication take? Did he need a cohesive style to bring it all together? Recently, Jack decided to bury these niggling deliberations and instead let intuition take the lead. This resulted in his wonderfully eclectic zine Earwig, a mismatched collection of work that somehow feels more sophisticated than slapdash.


Jack Evans: Earwig (Copyright © Jack Evans, 2024)

To kick things off Jack began sifting through three years worth of material – small projects, scraps of paper in folders and his many sketchbooks. “I try to keep a sketchbook and draw any little thing that interests me, lots of drawing from museum artefacts and little sculptural objects find their way into my scenes”, he says. Then, after picking out what interested him, he compiled them loosely into a 20-page zine. As the zine covers such a large span of time, Jack’s aware that the style varies quite a lot – but this isn’t something that bothers him too much. “I’m at a place with my work where I’m not too concerned with ‘style’ after years of feeling I had to find my style,” he says. In fact, the mix and unification of various styles adds to the experience, injecting a sense of unpredictability and an element of discovery throughout the pages.

There were some original concepts that ended up being abandoned along the way. The drawing of a fountain led to the zine nearly being called Five Fountains, “however a really great artist Sophie Artz made a zine called Forty Four Fountains and completely eclipsed my ambitions so that idea got scrapped,” says Jack. Roman imagery also pops up a few times throughout the zine, the irony of which isn’t lost on Jack. “I found it quite funny when the Roman Empire meme came around as I often had little Roman characters and artefacts hanging around in my illustrations,” he says. “I did find it a little embarrassing to realise how macho and basic my own Roman Empire interests are!”

Certain design elements root Jack’s zine firmly in the tradition of small-scale publishing, while others give it a distinct edge. The monochrome Risograph blue is a common feature in independent publishing and for ease of completion Jack leant into this tradition. The custom logotype, however, sets the zine apart, its graphic, clean form contrasting perfectly with the analogue feel of the rest. Inspired by the inline fonts Dubbeldik and Yagi, and the Sega logotype, the logo is divided by a central line, though Jack adds a sense of movement with the forked ends and curved motion resembling a “falling ribbon”. The zine was printed by the independent print studio pagemasters in Lewisham.

Jack has purposefully labelled the zine Book #One to keep up momentum and motivation. He’s got big plans to add more “complexity” and colour to future issues, as well as stickers, posters and prints. We can’t wait to see where Earwig’s many legs take it next.

GalleryJack Evans: Earwig (Copyright © Jack Evans, 2024)

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Jack Evans: Earwig (Copyright © Jack Evans, 2024)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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