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The Shadow

Review Johanna Hörrmann

Comics! I like comics. Admittedly, my own collection is still in an early age and probably the smallest of all my household members. All the more I was delighted to recently expand it by a small, fine new publication: “The Shadow” is the first comic by Jonas Laugs.

Comic album, in the background envelope and postcard. The cover illustration shows the two main characters at the edge of a lake with a reflection of the shadow, a town on a mountain side behind them.
Figure Comic unboxing!

Trailed by a creepy shadow, the two main characters Ajema and Dehe set out on an adventurous search for a safe haven. The short story is a quick read, but I still can’t put the booklet down right away. The colorful, detailed drawings of landscapes and characters keep me flipping the pages back and forth over and over.

At first, the lettering puzzles me: Why does the f have a double crossbar? The chosen typeface seems a bit exalted to me, almost too attention-catching in the illustrations’ context. Suddenly it all falls into place: The typeface “Inky Hands” is actually created by Jonas and based on his own handwriting.

Panel detail with speech bubble and German text. Illustration.
Figure “Inky Hands” in action.

The 32-page comic in A5 size is printed on cream white, uncoated paper, which I appreciate both haptically and visually. For an even book-ier appearance, I could see a slightly thinner paper for the inner pages – and enhancing the saddle-stitching with a pressed back! As a result, the closed brochure could lie flat nicely without bulging.

I discovered the comic through Jonas’ Mastodon announcement, “The Shadow” can be obtained as printed booklet or eBook via his website. For everyone who needs to start reading right now, the comic can also be read as a PDF directly on his website, free of charge.

Front and back cover with cohesive design, the main characters shown once from the front, once from the back.
Figure Nice cover design: Front and back form a continuous image.

Jonas and I studied together and I value him as an illustrator and designer. Jonas lives and works both in Edinburgh and Lübeck, Germany and the comic has also been published in both Englisch and German. Schön!

Comic page with two panels. Ajema and Dehe standing at the entrance of the City of Witches. Illustration.
Figure Single page of the English version. Image: Jonas Laugs

Maybe, in the future, there’ll be more to read and see of Ajema and Dehe. I would be thrilled. Until then, I’ll continue to ponder the hidden question posed to me as a reader …

Jonas Laugs:
The Shadow. A short Comic.
Lübeck/Edinburgh 2022