UTILLE (2018-2020)

Available in

Graphic novel, 164 pages, sci-fi/fantasy
Personal project
Publisher: self-published (6 magazines, 2018-2020 / 1 book, 2024)

This is a sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel series that consists of 6 magazines, each of which is about 24-34 pages, which I self-published between 2018 and 2020. Parallel to print-publishing, the story was also running as a webcomic in vertical scroll-format at Tapas and Webtoon, with a solid base of readers and positive ratings. Between 2017 and 2020 I worked on this project between freelance jobs. UTILLE was honoured “Best Self-published Comic” at ICOM-Preis (Germany) in 2020 and was nominated as “Best Youth Comic” for GINGCO-Award (Germany) in 2019.

The story takes place in a peculiar futuristic setting: a strange planet that is entirely covered by the same ultra-fast growing kind of tree, that grows several kilometers in height and resembles a flower. Within these trees, humans are living in cocoon-like shelters that they attach to the stems. Somewhere on that planet is a tower that generates a massive wave every few month, resulting in the complete deforestation of the planet. The humans have adapted to this deadly cycle and are living a fairly monotonuous but somewhat normal life under the guidance of a cult-leader. Among them is the young heroine Mara who is driven to break out from the cycle, venturing towards the tower with her friend Sash. Legend has it that around the tower is a city called UTILLE, in which humanlike hybrid beings are living in harmony and untouched by the destructive wave.

See some documentation about this project in my instagram stories, flick through some sample pages and watch a making-of video below.

See some of the layouts I did for this comic here.

An excerpt from UTILLE #1

An excerpt from UTILLE #3

An excerpt from UTILLE #5

Some Riso prints I made for merch on cons and festivals, printed at Drucken 3000 in Berlin.

UTILLE was created with a mix of traditional and digital techniques. The lineart of the first 22 pages was handdrawn on paper, then I switched to digital lineart. However I maintained an analogue step for each page: I painted gradients and greytones with chinese inkstone on watercolour paper, to give each page an analogue feel and texture. Watch the process here.

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