IGOR KORDEY: THE DESIGN OF COMICS + THE ART OF STORYTELLING AT BELGRADE DESIGN WEEK

igor kordey: the design of comics + the art of storytelling at belgrade design week

designboom dec 29, 2014

 

croatian author and illustrator igor kordey defines stories though pictures — intricately hand-drawn, shaded, colored and rendered with a dynamism unlike many others. the graphic novelist has paved his own way in the field, developing new systems to lead a reader through the plot, visually describe action and time, and relay emotion, conflict and personality through drawing. with a genre defined only by himself, kordey find himself as an innovator in the art of comics, redefining the traditional visuals set in place and delivering, instead, a new way of perceiving graphic novels and their message.

during belgrade design week 2014, kordey treated the audience to a captivating discussion and in-depth look at the evolution of his practice, the storytelling techniques he has personally developed and the ways in which the design of comics is intrinsically linked to the art of storytelling.

at belgrade design week, igor kordey talks about the design of comics + the art of storytelling

one of kordey’s recent masterworks is ‘smoke’ written by alex de campi and drawn by himself. the novel is a thriller set in an alternate, dystopian london, about 10 years in the future. in this reality — run by a government both morally and financially bankrupt — an ex-soldier-turned-government-assassin must contend with a crisis in the city, an unusual terrorist group, their even more unusual demands, and a vindictive ex-girlfriend, all as he tries to rebuild his own shattered life.

layouts like the ‘fishbone’ have been developed personally by kordey to relay the movement of time — in this spread, the action toggles back-and-forth between two vertical windows, allowing the reader to visualize two events in succession on a single page. details fixed within a large spread offer a chance for the reader to more clearly understand the small, yet important elements that build up the storyline and fictional world in which it takes place.

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long, vertical panels reveal the story for the reader from left to right

his professional career has progressed upward for over 30 years, working with publishers such as heavy metal magazine, marvel, DC comics and dark horse, all over europe, USA, canada and latin america. much of his recent work deals with historical subjects, but from time to time he tackles other genres: themes of dystopia, fantasy, whimsy can be seen widely throughout his books ‘smoke’ and ‘keltos’.

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spreads reveal the ‘fishbone’ layout (right), invented by kordey to describe a series of actions

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detail of the ‘fishbone’ layout, detailing action-reaction-action-reaction…

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the ‘fishbone’ is able to show simultaneous action on a single spread

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a detail of the character’s torn face

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the spread includes various page layouts that move the readers’ eye around the page

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long panels fit in a host of characters and scenes, allowing for a range of visual storytelling on a single page

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a detail of the colors and shadows that lead the eye around the page

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both horizontal and vertical panels reveal different actions in the overall scene

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detail of two actions happening at the same time — a gun resounds, while a man hears the noise on the toilet

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stacked horizontal panels move the action downwards, with the final image set a bit larger at the end

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small horizontal details between longer ones add a sense of dimension to the page

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a spread of multiple vertical layouts reveals the story from left to right

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the scene unfolds as the viewer reads the story through text and image

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portrait of igor kordey

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about belgrade design week:

2014 marks the ninth edition of belgrade design week, an annual, internationally-renowned festival for creative industries and modern business in serbia and throughout the south east european area. since 2005, founder jovan jelovac has successfully forged multicultural connections between artists, designers and entrepreneurs from the region with the greater global design scene. the initiative serves as a platform for creatives to engage in the exchange of ideas across a range of disciplines — advertising, architecture, arts management, communications, design, fashion, marketing, new media and publishing — delivering approximately 30 international speakers who share their perspectives and personal developments in their respective fields.

this year’s conference program ‘brand new world’ sets opens up discussion regarding the creation of new values in today’s fast changing world. on the occasion of this edition, president of the republic of serbia, tomislav nikolic opened the initiative, stressing the importance of the creative industries for the continued development of the country’s economy. local designers stand side by side with some the world’s greatest talents in a rare opportunity to bring the world to belgrade and to present belgrade to the world. find out more about the program, selection of keynote speakers and exhibition sites on designboom, here.

nina azzarello

read the original on designboom

BDW was a wonderfully rewarding experience. I think the mix that made it work so well was a tangible passion for design realized in the most relaxed and friendly atmosphere that I have come across for any event like this – truly inspirational, long may it thrive.   As for what is a smart, forging partnerships and working with like minded designers and clients always seems a pretty smart and rewarding way to go about design and I have a very good feeling that BDW will be the catalyst for many such collaborations.

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