Miss out on “Yellow” at Your Peril! OFF LIFE book project launches on Kickstarter

Today the tease is over and – after a year of hard work and illustration – the team behind Britain’s only free street comic, OFF LIFE,  have unveiled their plans for Yellow: the collected book and launched its Kickstarter campaign.

Yellow is a celebration of illustration and the people who’ve made it their own, featuring original artwork from 52 of the world’s most exciting artists, who for the past year have been illustrating a different news story every week, to show that their medium is more than just pretty pictures.

The book includes dozens of the most exciting artists working today, including Jean Jullien, Hattie Stewart, Supermundane, Joe DecieMalika Favre, Stanley Chow, Pete Fowler, Charlotte Mei and Martin Rowson.

Yellow Front Cover

The OFF LIFE team launched Yellow online back in November 2014 to see what artists could bring to news coverage beyond traditional journalism. The idea was simple: split a year into 52 weeks and allocate each one to an artist – asking them to illustrate a news story that occurs within those seven days. Week-by-week OFF LIFE then built an entire illustrated year from the perspective of today’s most exciting artists.

A new piece was posted every Monday until a whole year of news had been penned. Now, each artwork will then be collected in this new book – complimented by essays from some of today’s top writers and thinkers.

Art by Jamie Coe for Yellow
Art by Jamie Coe for Yellow
Art by Louise Pomeroy
Art by Louise Pomeroy

“After years of creating OFF LIFE, we started Yellow as a way of hitting back at the sneers and frowned looks that illustration receives from the traditional art world,” award-winning editor Daniel Humphry explains. “The simple, visual nature of illustration means that anyone who looks at an artwork – even if just glanced for a moment – is forced to confront whatever messages it might contain.

“For that reason illustration is digestable, populist and can hit like a hammer – making it the perfect medium to communicate big ideas as widely as possible. We hope Yellow can help show the power that illustration has as an art form, and that it shines a light on the artists who’ve made it their own.”

Yellow is a celebration of illustration and the power of ideas,” enthuses Steve Leard, the project’s Art Director. “I find illustration at its best when it conveys stories and narratives – when it stops you in your tracks and makes you pay attention.

“Coupled with a sympathetic design, the book is a great collection of today’s illustration scene.”

Art by Ian Stevenson will be complimented by an essay by acclaimed political journalist Owen Jones.
Art by Ian Stevenson will be complimented by an essay by acclaimed political journalist Owen Jones.

“We value good print and no compromise will be made in the making of this book – not on paper, ink, cover or binding,” says Daniel of the project. “We’re trying to stay away from the dirty ‘art book’ phrase but, trust us, Yellow will look and feel proper tasty. ”

Every single person who backs Yellow through Kickstarter will not only receive a copy of the book, but also have their name featured in the acknowledgements page.

Art by Jean Julien
Art by Jean Julien
“Yellow is a very cool project in the sense that it allows people to get news in a way that’s opposite to how it’s usually associated with illustration,” says artist Jean Julien, while Charlotte Mei notes ““We’re showed images all the time, on the news you’ll see photos and video, but in some ways it’s no more honest than an illustration or a drawing – you’re only seeing one side of the story.
“Illustration can be a more honest representation of a human story.”
Yellow gathers so much content and so many different styles of illustration,” adds Malika Favre of the planned book, “while also making a point of illustrating something that’s real and just happened.”

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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