Northwest Alternative Comics: Malvin Malai-Harrison

During my time at the WSU Museum Collection Study Center, I took the time to observe and read many of the comics that the artists contributed to the collection. They were all very impressive and unique in their own ways and it was easy to tell that they all had their own inspirations for the pieces that they created. One comic artist that stood out to be was Taylor Dow. This artists work was truly impressive because they illustrated their comics with an ultra-fine radio graph pen. I was able to look very closely and see how intentional the artist was with every stroke of the pen, admire all of the small details that went into their illustration and ponder about the time that it must of took them to draw out a single panel. I was quite impressed to say the least. Furthermore, the subject matter was super interesting as well. I read both Abruption and Apocalypse Dad while I was there and both of these stories were really well done. I loved how the artist used very little dialogue to tell the story and allowed the illustrations to do most of the work in communicating what was going on.

Abruption by Taylor Dow. 2016.

For Abruption, there were many design principles that went into this creation. For instance, this scene of the mysterious glowing light, they used repetition of the circle along with different sizes to illustrate the distance. Moreover, contrast between black and white shading, and the contrast of the lines surrounding the circle gives off an impression that this circle is rather bright and emits a lot of light. In the top right panel, we can see the use of gradation between frequency of lines used slowly fading as they near the center of the circle.

For closure, I’d say that this scene illustrates Aspect-to-Aspect because it shows different perspectives of the same scene to give the reader different viewpoints that they inherently put together to get a holistic understanding of what is happening.

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