Saturday, 30 May 2009


I was looking through some of my various scribbled notes and proposals from early on in my course, and came across an idea I'd originally had to illustrate some short poems, as a way of producing some work. As with a lot of things that I write down, I hadn't actually gotten any further with this idea. I've also been thinking recently about my comic strips, and how I could use this form of narrative illustration in a slightly different context. Mixing these two thoughts together, with a teaspoon full of my interest in Japanese culture, I had the idea of taking the Haiku – the traditional 3-line Japanese poetry – and presenting it in the form of a 3-panel comic strip!

The rules for constructing a Haiku are that it should consist of 17 syllables, divided over 3 lines into units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. Because the Haiku I have chosen to illustrate are literal translations of the original Japanese texts, the number of syllables when translated into English, does not follow this formula.

My aim with the visuals was to retain the style of my daily comic strips, but to pick up on the colouring of Japanese prints. I was interested in trying to achieve a combination of both the modern and the traditional, plus it also ties in with some of my more recent experiments with using a more limited palette.

I am really enjoying creating these, and have a number more I want to illustrate!

**Update 30/5/09**
By a strange coincidence, when I came online to upload these images, I noticed that my classmate Jenny Capon has also been doing some illustrations based on Haiku over the past few days. She even looked at the same website as I used to look for Haiku to illustrate. It's a small world after all...


  1. AnonymousMay 30, 2009

    hey! this is very conceptual :)
    I like the idea – keep playing!!!

    especially the praying fly 8>

  2. Really funny Paul! I love the idea.
    Your illustration and texture is really lovely!

  3. Great minds and all that jazz!
    These are fab. I thought about doing that fly one with the three children but couldn't work out how to do it.. I think you have the answer!

  4. could quite imagine these in the Guardian..