Appupen is currently working on the next offering from Halahala, delving deeper into his mythical world from an artist residency at La Maison des Auteurs in Angouleme, France.
Envisioned as a series of silent short stories in the tradition of the Legends of Halahala series, we encounter the world of the inner child in Halahala through the Ponder, a magical fish as omnipresent as water.
Appupen believes that the inner child is in need of attention. The conditions of this world today demand that each of us must protect our inner selves. So we create armored suits to get through our daily lives, facing the onslaught of information be it about politics, profits, pandemic or pleasure. The suit numbs the little inner fellow, much like our brains have learnt to focus only on senses essential for our survival. He becomes less sensitive to external stimuli in order to get through. However, this applies to all information and even the art that he encounters. Change comes from our ability to think and envision something better. Art relies on the viewer to make sense of it. Can we really think of change or find the sensitivity to contemplate art from inside these suits?
Appupen argues that the inner child is the sensitive part, that more or less makes us human. By numbing that, and hiding in suits of blind pursuit of mainstream trends and profits we may be compromising our own good senses. Therefore we must awaken, and nurture the inner child especially now as we spin the world out of control. Our actions affect all life on our planet too, and the Green is dying.
The call echoes across the world, but no one is listening. But everyone recognizes it – we only choose to ignore it from the darkness of our damp suits.
This work also draws from earlier Halahala books and characters. Remember that Halahala is a mindscape and that is why it is a fantasy world. The real is fantasy and the fantasy is real, says the Ponder.
Here are some images and snippets to give you an idea of the work in progress.
The Bringer of Light, is a tribute to Miles Davis, who holds some secret key to the inner dimension according to Appupen.
Pachu has already had many avatars in the Halahala dimension, but this was his first story from 2017.
The Lighthouse is a short adventure about the effort behind spreading the light.
The Makery deep inside the inner sphere.
Here is a short tribute to Angouleme, the city of comics, starring Ayyo: The Last Worrier of Halahala!