Nox Bizarre – A journey to find what cannot be found.
This project started as an invite to exhibit at Phoenix Zinefest. Sometimes, being asked to participate in something new is enough to spark a firestorm of creativity.
The idea for the zine came to me a few weeks after that initial invite. In a waking dream one day, I saw myself shooting marbles as I did during grade school. We were in a dirt field. I selected my taw (big shooter marble), put my knuckle down, and shot. The rest of what I imagined is in the zine.
Being moved by this inspiration, I considered what tools I'd use to create the piece. I'd already been warming up to drawing on the iPad and decided to use it exclusively for the art. It was a challenge, as I ended up doing everything from ideation, sketching, final illustrations, and typography all within the app I was using, Adobe Draw.
This workflow has some real advantages over pen, ink, and paper. First, the export features make getting work to print faster than scanning and retouching in the computer. Second, much time is saved refining sketches, as one can just wipe the slate clean. And third, less paper is used which seems like a good thing.
In another time, either an eon ago or in some distant future, a sentient probe steps through a cosmic curtain and enters a far off dimension. With it go the last hopes and fears of humankind.
This probe, or "Noble Omnifunctional Xiform", begins cataloging its observations. These include notes about the various artifacts, places, and events it encounters while traveling this plane of unreality.
At its core, Nox Bizarre is an artistic expression set against a backdrop of otherworldly curiosities. Beyond this, it's a search for that which cannot be found. A passing riddle about the value of tangible and intangible things.
There's a lingo to this place. It's definitely multi-cultural. There's this strange form of English mixed with and influenced by other languages. Things here make some sense, but skirt the edge of the unknowable for visitors.
Our world is full of advertising, marketing, and commercial ventures. I want to explore a landscape where such ridiculousness is pushed even further. You'll see billboards that dwarf buildings. There's coined currency for almost everything being sold. Food brands have hidden agendas, but the additives they put in their products promise great abilities.
The older I get, the less I understand and the more I see clearly. And it always surprises me how fiction holds the power to inform, shape, and clarify reality.
There is an online component to the zine, a directory of codes which correspond to pages in the zine. These codes offer bits of information about the artifacts and places I've collected. However, if you don't have the zine yet, I'd recommend avoiding the reveals.
I'll publish Nox Bizarre on no schedule in particular. As I draw new artifacts and places, and more of the story reveals itself to me, I'll release a new collection. I'm already working on v2, which I plan to share soon.