Songs Illustrated: Bear in Heaven’s “Demon” by Tula Lotay

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In Songs Illustrated, Paste enlists its favorite comic book artists and cartoonists to translate songs into comic art.

Tula Lotay doesn’t just tell stories—she casts moods. Her elegant line work emerged fully-formed on her first long-form project, last year’s Supreme: Blue Rose. The British illustrator collaborated with iconic sci-fi scribe Warren Ellis for a sequential art mindfuck rooted in parallel dimensions. Lotay conveys ethereal concepts like insanity through fluorescent hues and tendrils of light. These images balance classic characters ripped from the annals of European film with visual spikes of surreality.

For Paste’s latest Songs Illustrated, Lotay interprets “Demon” by indie synth trio Bear in Heaven. The track, from last year’s Time Is Over One Day Old, charts the harrowing transformation of a lover turned horror. Lead singer Jon Philpot begs a significant other to “take your kiss from me” while alluding to a transgression of what the subject’s “demon did.” Barbed in warm waves of synth and textured cascades of snare, the song erects a huge contrast between the soothing instrumentation and the insidious themes. Lotay launches that narrative into the cosmos with an aesthetic that draws off Adrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris. Classic, erotic and chilling, this comic escorts the reader through a journey of adoration to repulsion rendered with astounding grace.

The following comic includes nudity and sexual themes.

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