Echoroad is a psychological graphic novel with an innovative approach to storytelling-
Created and drawn by Leslie Minnis
Written by Andrew States
Hello! and thanks a million for taking an interest in this collaborative project! It's been in the works for some time now, but will hopefully be able to make the leap to completion with your help. I plan to add access to the virtual comic of Echoroad, but because I have not yet worked out the details with that, I will have to postpone that perk, however many of you will recieve this. I also wished I was able to offer bigger perks, but the budget for completing this is already so tight that I thought it better not to make promises I couldn't deliver. Please keep in mind anyone who contributes over $100 will receive a signed original comic page (inked). Below, I will tell you a little about what is at the heart of the story.
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. You will also see a finished version of chapter two, to help you envision the project as it will be completed. 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 will be illustrated in the irregularly shaped panels, with the full intention of assembling each page to fit into the “big picture” or overall mosaic of the entire story.
Often, when we see a movie, or read a book, the story is told to us in a linear fashion, and we are in no way aware of what we will see in the coming scenes or pages. When viewing a poster such as this, you are not expected to read it any particular order; in fact many of the panels are arranged in a way that makes it difficult to know which action may take place before another. Similarly, your eye will naturally jump around from the end of the story, to the middle, to the beginning. When watching a movie or hearing a story, the moral does not begin to make sense without some kind of reference to history or a future to anticipate. So this suggests that each understanding is taking place within a multiplicity of time and space, as well as voices. The panels of Echoroad bring the story to an instant state of cohesion, yet retain the life and motion of the story.
An individual experience is impossible, as language makes no sense without someone else to talk to. In addition to this, we can have no meaning without language. Grammar, a law within language, is what helps to make sense of it. Grammar is much like laws or boundaries (established within a culture) that need to be drawn within experiences, to give them their meaning and shape. A life with no boundaries fails to give your experiences form, and so there again you need other people to live meaningfully. Essentially, Echoroadis a moral map: When it is too large, individual meaning suffers; when it is too small, meaning in itself is lacking.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
One challenge that will have to be addressed after the project is completed is to find the right publisher. In addition to this, creative solutions to handling the unique approach to the comic layout will have to be addressed when it comes to printing.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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