Created and drawn by Leslie Minnis
Written by Andrew States
Below, I will tell you a little about what is at the heart of the story. Id also like to reclaim any notion that Jung and or Campbell’s influence in the creative process might suggest a right or left wing leaning. Not at all the case in this particular journey.
Echoroad is a graphic novel with an innovative approach to storytelling that explores delirium, fantasy and the demands of living in the future of our contemporary world. It is a proposed set of five comic issues that comprise a single graphic novel. Each comic embodies one of the five main characters, and each of those characters represents a separate aspect of the human psyche inspired by Carl Jung’s archetypes. In Echoroad, the human species exists as a collective cognitive entity, rather than as individuals. As we traverse towards old age as a species, our brains lessen in their ability to function as a storage system for thoughts. The decline manifests itself as widespread dementia, and a heightening of materialism. Human memories have become tangible and contained within the matter of our surrounding objects. This transfer of memories occurs through handling these inanimate objects. Once the transfer is complete; a void remains behind in the brain. These objects can be therefore kept, traded, lost, and used to experience the past lives of other people. However, each handling causes a further decomposition of the memory the object holds, as a purposeful lack of handling an object or memory could be regarded as a kind of secret. This is pertinent in Echoroad, as people need to work together in order to benefit from any kind of network of ideas, much like a brain. This world is seemingly set several hundred years in the future, although the relevance of time itself in Echoroad becomes a question.
With humanity near its end, we collectively long for an understanding of “the human dream”, but have come to see that we had lost this dream through development of technology. Therefore we can neither gain empowerment from our faith or our skill, and thus began our departure from our natural place in the world. The hero of our story is Ash, an archeologist of his own identity who stands for our consciousness. He fights through chaos to form a mental map based on experiences, hoping that this can somehow lead him to find and reclaim our history. Emil, Ash’s only friend, is a character who has inherited wisdom, much like our unconscious. He is a master of retaining experiences, but Ash often forgets or fails to understand him. The Anima or Animus is the character that represents Ash’s childlike dreams and potential. She is his imaginary friend or shadow; and represents what dreams he has for his future. As the Anima symbolizes potential and desires, this also leads to a denial of reality or escape into fantasy. Because she is something that Ash yearns for, she can also be seen as his weakness or vulnerability. The Trickster acts as a double-sided reality, much like a machine or technology are seen in our world today. He is stagnate or relegated to the past, a statue frozen in time because he is without a dream. By his doubt he naturally exploits the weakness of the Anima. The fifth story is about the dragon which symbolizes a piece of Ash that was either taken or given up from his past, something outside of himself that he now strives to reclaim. Here we explore whether he can successfully navigate the difference between himself and his environment.
The black and white image depicted above is composed of five, seamlessly streamed together graphic depictions, which act as panels for each issue of the graphic novel. The attempt to show the entirety of these stories simultaneously is a comment again on humanity’s story, and its relationship with time (or multiplicity of time). A distinction between chapters can be made by the change in drawing style of the panels that represent the changing context for each character. The comic is illustrated in the irregularly shaped panels, with the intention of assembling each page to fit into the “big picture” or overall mosaic of the story.
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Created from 2005-2015. My work is licensed under Creative Commons, so in the interest of a more free culture, it is free for others to use permitted they give credit to myself when due, also make their derivative works free for others to use, and do not do so for profit. See here- https://creativecommons.org/