Author Archives: Luke Pearson
This year I took part in Memory Palace, an exhibition at the V&A based on a piece of fiction by Hari Kunzru which was interpreted and adapted by 20 designers and illustrators to make a multidimensional walk-in story type thing. I was given a passage in which the imprisoned narrator is interrogated. Please click the image below to see the whole piece. Warning, it’s really big.
I had a lot of space to play with so I decided to do a large scale comic that breaks down and depicts the passage in a ridiculously literal way. I wanted to try and describe everything the character sees and experiences as the scene progresses. To be honest I would have liked to have gone even further with the amount of panels and different trains of thought branching off from the main narrative, but for various reasons it is as it is. It probably doesn’t make loads of sense out of context (you can buy a book that has the full story in it plus information about the exhibition) but you should be able to follow it. Below are some bits I cut out for easier viewing and some more info.
From the website:
Hari Kunzru’s story is set in a future London, hundreds of years after the world’s information infrastructure was wiped out by an immense magnetic storm. Technology and knowledge have been lost, and a dark age prevails. Nature has taken over the ruins of the old city and power has been seized by a group who enforce a life of extreme simplicity on all citizens. Recording, writing, collecting and art are outlawed.
The narrator of the story is in prison. He is accused of being a member of a banned sect, who has revived the ancient ‘art of memory’. They try to remember as much of the past as they can in a future where forgetting has been official policy for generations. The narrator uses his prison cell as his ‘memory palace’, the location for the things he has remembered: corrupted fragments and misunderstood details of things we may recognise from our time. He clings to his belief that without memory, civilisation is doomed.
I felt like I’d been pretty conservative when I saw what some other people had done with the brief. But I did make it really big so that’s something. Some other contributors included Isabel Greenberg, Rob Hunter, Alexis Deacon, Stuart Kolakovic and Henning Wagenbreth who made this cool sculpture. See the full list and more information here.
Here’s my piece in situ. I was going to draw it directly on the wall but I babied out and decided to hand draw it all separately, arrange it digitally and then get it stuck on the wall as a series of giant print offs.
These are some covers I’ve done over the course of the last couple of years and for whatever reason haven’t put them on my site yet. This first one is for a young adult book called Mothership, which is about a school for pregnant teenagers in space. You can read about it here. Note: The colour was shifted to purple by the publisher at the last minute. You can see my original version here.
This one is for my Granddad’s book about Erik Bloodaxe. You can read about it and order a copy here. I was really excited and proud to get to work with him on this. He basically designed the cover for me (see his rough drawing below, alongside the final for comparison).
This is the cover for an educational science comic about Malaria, the way the parasite works and what scientists are trying to do about it. The comic itself is drawn by Edward Ross, creator of the film theory comic series Filmish and now Grow, a great autobio series about becoming a parent for the first time. The interiors were coloured by Tom Humberstone, editor of Solipsistic Pop and currently cartoonist for New Statesman.
You can read the comic in full here.
This was done for a new edition of Ian Serraillier’s The Silver Sword. It went unused in the end.
A bunch of sketch pages (I wouldn’t call them sketchbook pages because my actual sketchbooks are endlessly boring) that were all a part of The Sketchbook Show. Click on them to make them needlessly massive. That last one is actually two pages smooshed together and it was drawn while watching Ridley Scott’s miserable Robin Hood film, so there are some embarrassing attempts at trying to draw Russell Crowe’s potatoey face in there. The second one down was drawn while I was watching War Horse. The little rabbit guy is Benedict Cumberbatch.
NOTE: THIS COMIC IS NSFW.
Also it reads right to left, manga style. Click the image to read all four pages.
This comic appears in Secret Prison 7, published by Retrofit Comics. It was conceived as a tribute to the alternative manga anthology Garo, featuring contemporary western alt-ish cartoonists working in the ‘traditional right-to-left/newsprint/pulp-manga format’. It’s satisfyingly large at 10 x 13″, 150 pages and is full of cool people. It’s one of my favourite comics of last year for sure, even if I wasn’t it. There are some other full comics from it online from Angie Wang, James Harvey and Katie Skelly, that are all distinctly better than mine. Below is the front cover and back cover of the anthology, by Ryan Cecil Smith and Angie Wang.
I have mixed feelings about my own comic. There are a few panels in there that I feel are some of the best little bits of a comic I’ve ever done, but there are also some awful drawings, particularly of the main character whose design slips all over the place and exposes some of my drawing weaknesses. Also I’m not convinced that the comic isn’t altogether a bit icky and embarrassing.
Two years earlier I was in Secret Prison 2 with this comic.
I feel a bit lame putting this on my site, buuuutttt if you have the right kind of phone-like item and you’re into that sort of thing you could follow me on Instagram as thatlukeperson. Or look at all my pictures online here. I post a lot of work in progress and sketchbook stuff that doesn’t get seen elsewhere. But not too much. I promise there are no photos of my meals (except this cool potato).
This is a small piece for The New York Times letters page. It accompanied a letter titled Invitation to a Dialogue: Rebuild the House, which you can read here. It puts forward the idea of reducing the average size of Congressional districts from 710,000 to 100,000. This would increase membership of the House of Representatives from 435 to about 3100, the benefit of this being that “these men and women would owe their seats more to the reputation they enjoyed within their community and less to the half-truths and misinformation put out by slick mass media campaigns paid for by the big-money interests.”
This is another NYT piece I did last year for a letter titled Sunday Dialogue: Schools for Rich and Poor. You can read that one here.