Story & Art by VOFAN
Translated by Sze K. Chan
If you are a fan of the Monogatari novels, you are likely familiar with series illustrator VOFAN. VOFAN’s artwork helps bring immense beauty to the world of Monogatari, continually drawing in new readers to the series. Now, Vertical Comics has finally released VOFAN’s art book Colorful Dreams in English. Let’s take a look at what this beautiful book has to offer to readers.
Colorful Dreams is structured as a collection of fourteen different short stories. While none of them directly relate to each other narratively, there is an underlying theme that provides cohesion. Many stories revolve around the daily fascinations of life and embracing the surreal. The narrative and setting is also inspired by VOFAN’s experiences in his home country of Taiwan. At the end of each story, VOFAN has a short explanation about the story’s conception and why he found it compelling. It gives you insight into VOFAN’s mindset as a creator, making his work even more admirable.
The biggest draw of Colorful Dreams is VOFAN’s artwork, and it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. The cover alone draws readers into the book, and prepares them for VOFAN’s boundless imagination. Colorful Dreams allows VOFAN’s creativity and versatility as an artist to shine through in a manner that is rarely possible. Since each story is self-contained, VOFAN takes the opportunity to change his art-style and techniques between stories. VOFAN will transition from bright and cheerful colors to more dark and ominous ones seamlessly, all while feeling distinctly unique to VOFAN himself. VOFAN also constantly tests out new perspectives within the book, further establishing each story as a new experience. Additionally, each story starts with a photo personally taken by VOFAN for the book. Each of these photos relate to the premise of the story, and VOFAN manipulates the shots so that they fit the perspective of the story as well. Colorful Dreams feels like a playground for VOFAN to experiment to his heart’s content and readers will be drawn in by his ingenuity.
Included at the end of the book is an interview with VOFAN from 2006, as well as a brief follow-up from 2019. VOFAN talks about how he got into drawing in the first place, his passion for photography, and the evolution of his artwork. It’s interesting learning about VOFAN’s development as an artist, as well as the journey he took to reach his current point in his career. He also specifically delves into the concept behind Colorful Dreams and the various ideas that he had for the book when it was initially being serialized. The 2019 follow-up establishes that even after over a decade as an artist, VOFAN is continuing to seek new ways to his innovate artwork. VOFAN clearly loves art and these interviews will make his work resonate even more with readers.
VOFAN’s talent as an artist is widely apparent to anyone who has seen his work, but Colorful Dreams showcases that talent in a new light. Colorful Dreams is a fantastic book that engages the imagination and showcases the beauty of life through the lens of its artist. If you are a fan of VOFAN’s work or simply love amazing artwork, this is not a book you want to skip out on.