Arlen: A Story About the Wonders of Comics, Enlightenment, and Adventure. [Read more]
Arlen - Front & Back Cover
The composition of the front and back cover is inspired by the motifs and conventions of American comics and Japanese manga, with the front cover showcasing sound effects and different types of line to create an element of dynamism. The back cover is kept relatively clean, prioritising the text's readability over visual excitement, using a sunset colour palette to reflect the story's heavenly aerial setting.
Synopsis: When Arlen, the crow, was tasked to offer a form of entertainment to The Lady, he suggested comic books. With curiosity, The Lady asked him why comics are interesting and what values they can bring. With such questions, Arlen decided to embark on an adventure to different comics universes, from the superhero dimension to the floating world universe of Japanese woodcut prints. The recordings of his journey and the things he learnt along the way will be pieced together to create the ultimate form of entertainment for The Lady.
Arlen Pg 1-2
The opening double-page spread introduces the main character: Arlen, who signposts elements of the story through his conversations with the omniscient narrator.
Arlen Pg 3-4
Arlen's recounting of his journey to Earth and initial discovery of comics and graphic narratives is interrupted by a summoning from The Lady, the other crucial character of the story.
Arlen Pg 5-6
After being summoned, Arlen assumes his formal appearance to meet The Lady, showing his transformation process and his powers' scope.
Arlen Pg 7-8
Arlen opens the door to the throne room to meet The Lady (2nd character), who is officially introduced to readers.
Arlen Pg 9-10
The narrator provides underpinning information of The Lady to the readers, telling us who she is and how Arlen sees her.
Arlen Pg 11-12
Continuing the story, The Lady states her boredom and requests a form of entertainment from Arlen who responds by recommending comics to her.
Yan Tsai Cheung
Yan has decided to broaden her skillset, investing in other visual interests beyond her typical experience of branding, editorial design, and photography. Nevertheless, her newest project retains the same ethos as her previous work: "design with precision; illustrate with whimsy".
Yan's research of the static, sequential arts (comics and manga) highlights the medium's potential and value to the broader fields of art and design. Throughout the year, she has investigated comics' practical elements as well as their context, fortifying a strength in illustration, which resulted in the creation of a unique and original character, Arlen, and a storyline to bring him to life in a comic.
Arlen: A Story About the Wonders of Comics, Enlightenment, and Adventure.
In 2017, Yan was awarded The Award for Excellence during her Art Foundation at Loughborough University before continuing to earn the Highly Commended for Best In-House Printed Product award from the 2019 Association of Creative and Print Managers in Education (ACPME) awards for Big Book Project work in the Graphic Communication & Illustration Course (at Loughborough University).