Phenomena: The Golden City of Eyes is the first book in a new YA graphic novel series by Brian Michael Bendis and André Lima Araújo from Abrams Books. It’s an art-forward story of three desperate characters in our world after something strange and universe-changing took place. We sat down with its creators to discuss how their collaboration came to be, what makes this book special for them as creators, and how taking an art first, dialogue minimal approach lent itself to making such a satisfying journey.
Having worked only so much together in the past at DC, the two came together to form a unique creative process that was essentially driven by brief descriptions and original art sent back and forth between the two until their visions melded and the world and characters of Phenomena were formed. It was a special and emotionally-driven project for the two creators, with Brian explaining how the independence of the book in particular allowed for the creation of a book beyond the strict boundaries of traditional genre categories.
Brian spends much of the interview lauding André for his art, which is really the driving factor within Phenomena. The pair discusses the ways which both plot and character were able to be developed more by showing the reader than by telling them. It’s the most exciting and interesting part of the book and their discussion of what makes good storytelling and characterization work gave even more context to an already exciting new world. This is one of the most exciting new series of the year and their personal enthusiasm for the project helps the book shine even brighter.
Phenomena: The Golden City of Eyes by Brian Michael Bendis and André Lima Araújo is available September 13th wherever books are sold and with our Bookshop.org affiliate link.