Jens K Styve

A lovely scratchy, fluid penmanship, with characters brimming over with personality

Serien min Camera Obscura er anmeldt av ein engelsk seriejournalist!

Camera Obscura: A 24 Hour Comic by Jens K Styve

I first came across Jens a while back on Twitter and have been looking forward to the opportunity to pick up one of his books. For me, the experience of reading online, as much fun as it can be, is never quite the same as holding a comic in your hands. I warmed to his style very quickly, a lovely scratchy, fluid penmanship, with beautifully rendered cartoony characters brimming over with personality.

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Camera Obscura is the first of two books I picked from his site (more on the second shortly) and as a 24 hour comic, a really good example of his imagination unleashed on the page, with subtle watercolours perfectly enhancing the story of photographer commissioned to take a portrait of Death, hinting at the fading sepia-tones of old photographs throughout.

It’s a testament to Jens» abilities as a visual storyteller that it took me a second read-through to notice Camera Obscura is a silent comic, relying briefly on visual captions to suggest sound effects, and a smattering of punctuation to indicate conversation never elaborated on. And in the tradition of the great silent comedies, which it seems to embody, Camera Obscura is not left wanting for that omission, relying ably on some neatly-crafted and expressive body language and some melodramatic exaggerated facials to carry its poignant and charmingly funny tale.

For me, Jens marks himself here as an accomplished storyteller, not least because of the limitations of the 24-hour challenge and the fact he has created something so perfectly well formed within that time, but for the deft way he handles the humour of the book, something not easy to pull off, but served up so naturally here. I’ll be rooting out more Jens K Styve, and I highly recommend you do the same at the first available opportunity (I’ll give you a hint – you can find him @jenskstyve).

Robin William Scott / The Mini Comic Courier


Kjøp Camera Obscura frå Gumroad (pdf)

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