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The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky

The Incal a graphic novel written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and drawn by Moebius.


I chose this book because it inspires me on many levels.  Also, I've been meaning to re-read it and this class was the perfect reason to do so.


The story revolves around the character of John DiFool, a "lowly class R detective" from the slums of the "city shaft" - a huge, vertically constructed underground city. His life changes when he discovers a mysterious artifact - the white incal, which causes him to undergo a personal transformation.  There are many other forces looking for the incal and its twin the black incal, and John's life is in constant danger from the moment he finds it. 

I enjoy how the story incorporates eastern philosophy (yin and yang, chakras, spiritual enlightenment) with tarot and social satire.  Jodorowsky, aside from being a film maker and comic creator, is also a spiritual guru.  He combines his knowledge of zen, tarot, shamanism, and psychology to create his own belief system, which gives this epic sci fi adventure a very interesting perspective.  I loved the creative freedom that his story expresses.


For this project, I had 3 main ideas with several variations on each idea.  The first (A) is a geometric composition emphasizing the color and shape of the 2 incals.  I liked the idea of using a beveled letter so I could show the pyramidal shape of the incals, and also so I could use different color values in an interesting pattern. Not sure if I like the curved J or the square J better.

First Sketch


The second idea (B) is an illustration of the opening scene in the book wherein John DiFool is falling from a great height into a giant pool of acid at the bottom of the city shaft.  This is a peek at the danger and violence that is common to Jodorowsky's work, but the image can also symbolize a leap of faith. I started with a rounded J, and then had the idea to do a square J.  I liked the square idea because I was able to use the shape to create a building that might be found in the 'city shaft'.

The third idea (C) is a play on the shape of A2.  I was able to create a simple letterform which included the two incals.  Underneath it I wrote the notes "2 incals + medium".  The incals are sentient objects, but cannot act without a medium - a person such as John DiFool. 

Sketch 2

Development of idea B.  In B2, I added a building facade underneath the crossbar of the J on the right side.  I accidentally created an optical illusion there, which I kind of like, but also think might be distracting.  In B3 I elongated the letter, to make the fall seem more dangerous.


Thanks for reading.  I appreciate critiques and feedback!

11/21/13

vector acid pit

Vector acid pit.

vector acid pit 2

Elongated the J for an even more dramatic drop.  I removed the front-facing side of the building because I thought it distracted too much from the falling figure.  Also added a beveled effect to the J as Jonathan suggested.  I think it looks cool, but I wonder if it makes the letter less legible.

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