I have been living in Purgatory for the last five years. A place undefined and inhabited by the unresolved. An ambiguous environment that has no rules and blurs culture, mythology and belief. This has been the realm my work has explored relentlessly.
A project that grew from years of sketches and character studies, The Resurrection Lands is a graphic novel that pays homage to its origins in the Moleskine sketchbook. Since 2009, the characters have been explored and developed with no intended sense of direction or purpose. As the years went on and the used sketchbooks piled up, themes emerged and a sequential art piece began to evolve.
At first, no more than a way to explore a few ideas and give one or two characters a little more depth, the musings quickly grew into a larger campaign. The story grew organically, with no initial pretence of being anything more than another study in the sketchbook. As more people began to explore the books, the more I was convinced to continue the project. However, it became apparent that a crucial element was central to this project; the sketchbook must be retained as the established aesthetic. Eraser marks, structural lines and so on are all retained, a unique characteristic of the novel and reminder for the reader of the origins of the creative material.
This collusion of creation and material gradually became far more than the sum of its parts and, for this reason, the final book will be presented as a sketchbook with an anonymous black cover, creating an intimate look into a hidden world; like a discovered journal. The journal is self-published as a limited edition of 150 copies, signed and authenticated by the creator, as if the sketchbook itself is being passed directly to the reader.
This is a visual approach to explore the range and interests of the illustrator, exploring a unique narrative that transports the reader out of the space of art and into a world of storytelling. It crosses boundaries in this way with a new lens for creative adaptation.
The Resurrection Lands is creating a different aesthetic on the convention of the graphic novel, discarding shiny, slick visuals to embrace the origins in the sketchbook and offer an insight into the creator’s processes. It enjoys a playful approach to drawing and storytelling at its core.
The first volume was released on April 2015, selling out within the first two days at the Middle East Film and Comic Con. A second edition has been printed to meet demand and coincide with the launch of Volume Two in April 2016. The series is set as a trilogy.
The publication is designed with anonymity in mind, especially on the shelf. Black buckram with the title embossed on the front cover. It is designed to be concealed. This is to reflect the narrative setting, so the book itself is allocated a kind of ‘no man’s land’ on the shelf. Its tactility is a key component of the experience of the book, requiring the reader to physically interact and explore the journal-style treatment. The Resurrection Lands is a homage to the sketchbook. A personal insight from the artist and author to the reader.