For Eisner-winning comics author Nick Sousanis, comics are a way of thinking and exploring possibilities. Their multimodality allows us to see the world from entirely new perspectives and offers powerful tools for teaching and learning. Here, the creator of Unflattening shares sketches and drawings from his forthcoming work, Nostos, which looks back at what made us what we are—from the birth of the universe to conception and beyond.
Author - Editorial Staff
Date - 25 November 2023
Time to read - 2 min
Where it all begins: a piece of paper is a magical place to think in ways you couldn’t otherwise. One of Sousanis’s spread layouts in process.
Looking outward and inward: a finished spread from Nostos, with parallel narratives and references to Supernova HB9, Copernicus’s heliocentric model, Halley’s comet, red and white blood cells, DNA, Primo Levi, milk, CO2, and more.
One of the many sketches Sousanis made to think through the finished drawing above. All of his spreads play with reading flow in different ways. This reading path forms a circle, intended as two separate arcs that come apart and back together to bridge the top and bottom.
“Observing events in time and graphically noting them in a spatial sequence is a fundamentally human thing,” says Sousanis. “We read a page sequentially, left to right, top to bottom in the ways that we read text, but because comics are visual, we can't help but start to make connections across the page, start to see the lower right connect back to the upper left. We make connections in multiple directions and even within the words and the pictures.”
Sousanis thinks a comics page can dispense and accurately represent information and be aesthetically beautiful (or at least visually interesting). He says balancing those two aims is always at the top of his concerns in the work.
“What a chapter looks like before it looks like anything to anyone but me,” says Sousanis about the sketch above. Once he figures out its structure, he can begin.
The opening chapter to Nostos forms a 15-foot long, 22-page continuous sequence.
Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear more about Nostos.
Sorry, there was an error adding the item to your shopping bag.
Sorry, your session has expired. Please refresh your browser's tab.