This comic book is my extremely honest and open monologue about what I understood in 25 years and what seemed to me the most important at that moment. I have visualised my thoughts about joy and inspiration, about problems and sadness, about death and love, about friendship and family, and about how important it is to move forward and not be afraid of anything. Book was published in English in 2017 and in Russian in 2018.
More than three years ago, before my birthday, I decided that since I'm going to turn 25, it should be noted somehow in a special way.
I dreamed about a real big comic book for a long time, but I constantly put it off, because it seemed to me too difficult. So, I decided that it’s enough to look for excuses and I should finally do it.
For several days I was writing down the main thoughts, what I wanted to tell and share and found out that all my thoughts can be divided into different, important topics: inspiration, happiness, sadness, death, love, friendship and so on. After that, I came up with the idea to combine everything into a trip through my thoughts and even to visualise it as a map.
At the same time, sections of the book and themes flow into one another, there is no division into chapters, and everything can be read as one story, one stream of thoughts and emotions. The book combines comics elements and illustrations, everything is mixed and I do not separate one from the other.
I used just basic colors, it was important for me to have a minimum of colors and a maximum of meaning, so I chose gray (a whole palette of shades), black and red. Here is one of the spreads in the process:
PUBLISHING IN ENGLISH
The main problem for me was: where to get the money for the print? I was advised to use crowdfunding, and I did a project on Planeta (Russian crowdfunding platform) and unexpectedly a lot of people donated money, so I managed to print a small amount of books in English (around 100 copies). Why the first language wasn't Russian? At that time I lived in Finland and knew that I would make a presentation there and I wanted the first edition to be available to a large number of my friends and not all of them speak Russian. In addition, I understood that I could not even print a large amount of copies with the money I raised, which means I could not give the opportunity to purchase comics to subscribers from Russia.
So the first edition was really small and tenser thing,
I even made the cover very non-commercial (just black with embossing).
English edition (left), Russian edition (right)
For almost a year I was looking for a publishing house and finally found a wonderful little Moscow publishing house Jellyfish Jam, publishing house that helped me release a book in Russian. We changed the cover to a more commercial one and translated the text into Russian.
The book received a lot of good reviews, people wrote me very touching messages about how it supported and inspired them. This book has become my most honest and open monologue about things that may not always be visible in my everyday sketches, for example, there are very honest things about sadness and love.