Illustrations: Ebonny Cavanagh

Meet the Traveller from the After Winter graphic novel

It’s been difficult, strenuous even, to choose one amongst the different designs for the main role of the Traveller in the After  Winter graphic novel being created by students from Teesside University. 

All the concepts presented by second year Comics and Graphic Novels students were daring and beautiful, and showed a great understanding not only of Schubert’s Winter Journey, but of the hope and joy that Streetwise Opera will bring to this story through our upcoming production After Winter.

Student Naomi Asipa tells us more about the process:

A total of six character designs for After Winter‘s Traveller were submitted to Streetwise Opera, following a week of hard work and memorable creativity! Teesside’s Comics students have begun mind-mapping the entire libretto to get a better understanding of the Traveller’s physical, emotional and metaphorical journey following heartbreak. With twenty-six songs to analyse, the students are putting their heads together to make sure their understanding of this journey is solid before moving onto their individual songs.

After consulting with participants in our singing and creative workshops at Middlesbrough Town Hall, and with some of the Streetwise staff, we chose the concept created by Ebonny Cavanagh. We really liked the personality of this character. It feels very strong, like he is moved by a mix of anger and sorrow that reminds us of Schubert’s main character, who will be played in our production by much-loved British baritone Roderick Williams.

This is what Ebonny had to say about our choice:

Hi I’m Ebonny and my design was the one picked for the Traveler! I originally started with a handful of influences, mainly revolving around Les Mis and Oliver Twist. The class had all also decided that their collective interpretation was to be that of a Logan/Keanu sad lonely man vibe so I took that and ran with it, with my group helping decide on the colour palette. I didn’t expect my work to be picked and I’m both overwhelmed and very proud of the fact my design was picked. I’m very glad that Streetwise picked my design and I look forward to working with both them and the rest of the class on the comic.

Here is Ebonny’s superb design, along with a few sketches that have been part of the creative process. This is just the beginning of this journey, that will lead to a full graphic novel based on our production, and we are all incredibly excited about the amazing work being done by Teesside University students. Huge thanks to all of them and to their tutor Julian Lawrence, Senior Lecturer at the BA (Hons) Comics & Graphic Novels programme.

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