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February 2, 2016 AT 6:00 pm

Adafruit’s comic book reading list: Alone by Olivia Stephens #adafruitcomics #blackhistorymonth @oliveoilcorp

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A new edition of Adafruit’s comic reading list — it’s Alone created by Olivia Stephens, written up by Shipping Group Managing Director Zay!

Warren Ellis, he of the saying many things about things, has often said one of the reasons he’s into comics is that there’s very little between the creatures and the audience. It’s not like TV or Film — it’s more like indie music. There’s an intimacy to it all.

With web comics that’s even more true — and the best of them are often raw, stylistically unique, and intimate. They feel like a direct line to the creator. Case in point: Alone by Olivia Stephens.

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Alone uses vignettes and beautifully realized characters to tell the tale of the budding relationship between Jack, a quiet widower, and Sarah, a lively musician.

The style and execution here is really special. Stephens uses color and layouts to get across the energy of scenes, the connections between characters, and the raw vitality of the world.

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Stephens blends this design approach to get us inside the intense relationship Sarah has to her music, and then turns it up a notch when the music dovetails with Sarah and Jack’s relationship.

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But she’s also adept at the day to day, the quiet moments, and rendering the distance that can grow between people, especially people in relationships.

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Stephens has said:

Art has always been important to me. As a child my brother and I entertained ourselves with nubs of crayon and printer paper. In the 8th grade I saved enough money to purchase my very first Wacom Tablet. Since then I have continued to draw for my leisure and personal development, but I always felt like I was alone. I didn’t necessarily feel out of the loop because I was a woman. I felt out of the loop because I was a woman of color. It later occurred to me that many of my artistic influences were white or Asian men. The culture of art I was so fascinated by did not produce characters in my image, and when it did, those characters were usually male.

On Jack and Sarah:

Their design came from my frustration at that mainstream Nicholas Sparks picture of romance. I’m utterly bored of watching the same white people find each other again and again. The choice also stems from what you mentioned: People need to realize that interracial relationships don’t require one of the partners to be white.

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If you’re interested in an intimate vision of what it means to love and be loved, told in a raw, unique style on a broad palate, check out Alone.

It’s for you.

Check out our previous posts Bee and the Puppycat, Spacetrawler, Grrl PowerKrazy KatShe-Hulk, King CityThe Whiteboard, HubrisAkiraThe Wicked and the DivineSagaAre  You My Mother?Cairo,  StaticElfquestHip Hop Family TreeFinderPeanutsLove and RocketsAs the Crow FliesHellblazerStrong Female ProtagonistSafe Area Goradže,  The Legion of Super-HeroesThe Arab of the FutureBarefoot GenStay Still and Stay SilentThe Invisbles, Brenda Starr: Reporter, and Lackadaisy!


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