In 2023, from 21 July to 21 August, I had the opportunity to contribute to the Gevel-expositie (façade exhibition) of Paradiso, the famous music podium in Amsterdam. Every month they showcase an artist at the frontwall of the building, leading from left tor right and from right to left to the entrance. It consists out of printed full-colr posters on A2 and/or A1 format.
I saw this as an opportunity to show what is possible with the comic-strip. On each side, two of the characters from the Laagland-comic run to see who is the quickest to arrive at the entrance. They fight in a playfull way through other obstructions. On both sides, a musician fades in and out of view. In the back, at the horizon, the cityscapes constantly changes. At both sides, a car breaks free and disrupts the race by knocking out one of the contestants. Not only the cityscape morphs all the time, but the time changes from panel to panel. From morning to noon, from afternoon to nighttime and to morning again in four panels. In this way, there are two streams of time working at the same moment throughout all the panels. The race is from moment to moment, but the days race by in a faster pace. Textually we see the characters occasionally shout out to the passerby, thereby breaking the fourth wall, but more important is the header text. On the left side, the thoughts of a young woman going to Paradiso for the first time in her life are represented and on the right side we read the thoughts of a male veteran concert attendant.
This to me is just a sample of the formal possibilities within the comic-strip that are very unique to the medium. I also avoided the traditional flat computer colors by working with traditional materials like ink, watercolor, gouache, crayon, ballpoint and felt-pens to draw and color the panels. Besides this formal side there is room for the typical exaggerations that have become a staple of the comic-strip, thus creating some light-hearted humor in a constricted format.
Read the following panels from bottom to top
Read panels below from top to bottom