These days, rarely do I look at an illustrator’s portfolio and outright gasp. It’s not that I’m necessarily jaded– I recognize and appreciate all the great art that comics illustrators put out every week. However, it takes a lot more than it used to to truly astound me.
Tomer Hanuka’s portfolio astounds me.
On July 17th, San Francisco’s White Walls Gallery will pay tribute to Tomer by presenting ‘The Art of The Divine,’ an exhibition centered around Hanuka’s new graphic novel collaboration with writer Boaz Lavie and his twin brother and fellow illustrator Asaf Hanuka. The comic will be released by First Second on July 14th and will explore themes of religion and war using a low fantasy premise. The story focuses on Mark, a military veteran who’s pulled back into the fray when his former comrade Jason comes knocking. They end up in Quanlom, an obscure South-East Asian country that is being ripped apart by a civil war led by ten year old twins with magic powers and an army of soldiers dressed like gods.
The exhibition will feature over 30 pieces, including layouts, pencils, concept art, and finalized pages. Chris Jalufka of Evil Tender will curate the exhibit and hopes that it will elucidate the comic book production process to attendees.
Tomer Hanuka’s use of color is outstanding. His use of understated pastels mixed with highly saturated colors for emphasis adds an incredibly effecting element to his impressively detailed linework. His work on The Divine elevates our sense of reality without fully removing us from it, seamlessly mixing the quotidian with the fantastic to bridge the gap between the world we know and the one that is just beyond our field of vision.