Viktor Hachmang has done it again. The Dutch illustrator and comics artist’s signature spellbinding style — which sees him playing with detailed layering and bold colours — looks in fine form in Twin Mirrors, his forthcoming publication on Landfill Editions.
Influenced by Japanese woodblock prints from the Edo-era, Viktor’s storytelling is as strong as his visual aesthetic, and both combine wonderfully in both this new book and the editorial work he produces for the likes of Bloomberg Bussinessweek, Jacobin, and Migrant Journal.
Twin Mirrors brings together short dream sequences in comics form. Following on from last year’s 4 Fragments, the newbie is “an ecstatic hyper-colours affair combining digital and handmade imagery.” Despite its compositional business, the comic was made with a rather minimal approach; strictly created using only traditional tools. “All of it is done with a fine liner, nib pens, manga screentone foil, Letraset and Mecanorma lettering”, Viktor tells It’s Nice That.
“A while ago I inherited a bunch of traditional materials from a graphic designer Henk Kamphorst”, explains the Hague-based illustrator. “He did a lot of design work in the pre-PC era, and boxes of his materials were lying around my studio and after a while, I decided to give them a go.” Quickly establishing a visual rhythm using the tools, Viktor began work on The Hermetic Library; the story revolves around a protagonist who finds a “seemingly ever-expanding room where the walls are completely covered with untitled books.”
The second half of Twin Mirrors is given over to a piece entitled Synopsis, which Viktor tells us “deals with the elemental fear of the white page.” Making use of the granular textures which are a byproduct of his printing techniques, Viktor creates a detailed depth of field, depicting piles upon piles of dusty library books. Echoing a similar colour palette that is produced by risograph printing, the publication is exemplary in its combination of digital and hand crafted working methods.
In other editorial commissions, Viktor illustrates the declining popularity of Hollywood movies in mainland China, drawing on Edward Hopper’s themes of “quintessential American urban loneliness.” Adopting a completely different style for a recent issue of Jacobin Magazine, Viktor illustrates an article by David Broder foreseeing a future vision of life in the US in the year 2025. For this commission, Viktor draws on the Blade Runner cyberpunk universe, creating an immersive street scene combining Moebius’ sci-fi counter culture comics and Katsuhiro Otomo’s iconic work Akira.
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