From: 'Aujourd'hui Demain Hier' (Dargaud, 2016).

Roman Muradov is a Russian illustrator, graphic novelist and art lecturer, living and working in the USA. His surreal illustrations with moody, spontaneous brushwork have appeared in a variety of esteemed publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vogue. As a comic artist, he has created experimental and philosophically themed stories for small press publications, international anthologies and a series of indie graphic novels, including '(In A Sense) Lost & Found' (Nobrow, 2014), 'Jacob Bladders and the State of the Art' (Uncivilized Books, 2016), 'Aujourd'hui Demain Hier' (Dargaud, 2016), 'Vanishing Act' (Fantagraphics, 2018) and 'Les Aventures de Munich dans Marcel Duchamp' (Dargaud, 2020).

Early life and background
Roman Muradov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, into an Armenian family. Because racists targeted them, the Muradov family eventually moved to Moscow, Russia, where Roman spent his youth stigmatized as a "refugee". At school, he was constantly reminded that the Russian language wasn't his. In a 2018 autobiographical article for, Muradov wrote: "English, then, came as an escape, a secret code shared between me and no one - not even English speakers, at least not in the form it took through misheard lyrics, approximated words, and half-digested novels." The experiences left him with a philosophical approach to the meaning and interpretation of communication, both in writing and visual form. When later in life, he began to explore his artistic talents, he summarized drawing as "a translation of all my voices and words - an attempt to draw nothing".

Unlike most other comic artists, Roman Muradov didn't grow up with comics at all - and as a child he hardly ever drew. His artistic influences came from writers, artists, comedians and musicians, including James Joyce, Armando Iannucci and Vladimir Nakokov. The strongest inspirations from the world of cartooning were Saul Steinberg and novelist/illustrator Tove Jansson. His methods, artistic approach and knowledge of the English language were strongly formed by the English post-punk band The Fall. Originally, he studied petroleum engineering at the Gubkin university in Moscow, then worked for a couple of years in that field. It wasn't until moving to the United States in his twenties that Muradov began to express himself through drawing. By now exposed to comics, he took a particular liking to alternative graphic novel creators like Chris Ware, Christophe Blain, Jason and Blutch.

'Resident Lover' (Mini Kuš! #66, 2018).

As an illustrator, Muradov became known and praised for the imaginative spontaneity in his drawings, his moody brushes of ink and his inventive dreamlike narrative techniques. Based in San Francisco, California and then in Brooklyn, New York City, he has made his surreal comics and illustrations for publications like The New Yorker, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, Washington Post, Vogue, Empire and many more. He has designed books for Penguin Random House, including the Penguin Classics Centennial Editions of James Joyce's 'Dubliners' (2014) and 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' (2016). Among his corporate clients are Warby Parker, NPR, Monocle, Lucky Peach, Apple, Google, Airbnb, Lyft, Patreon and Dropbox. He has also worked as a professor at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

'Jacob Bladders and the State of the Art' (Uncivilized Books, 2016).

Early comics
Since 2009, Muradov's comic stories have appeared in small-press comic books like his 'The Yellow Zine' series (9 issues, 2011-2018) and international comic anthologies like 'MySpace Dark Horse Presents' (2010), Sam Bradley's 'The Anthology Project Volume 2' (2011) and Édition Delcourt's 'Papier 4' (France, 2014). In 2011, he released his own anthology of four ironic depressing stories, 'Sad Comics', made available exclusively on the iPad. In the following year, he contributed the three-page 'Fantômas' segment in the 30th issue of Sophie Campbell's 'Glory' comic book (Image Comics, 2012). Roman Muradov also had standalone mini-comics published by the Latvian Kuš Comics imprint, such as the abstractly philosophical 'The End Of A Fence' (2015) and the dreamlike love-story-in-a-love-story 'Resident Lover' (2018).

'(In A Sense) Lost & Found' (Nobrow, 2014).

Graphic novels
Since 2014, Roman Muradov has several graphic novels released by US indie publishers, starting with '(In A Sense) Lost & Found' (Nobrow, 2014), an exploration of the theme of innocence in a world of strange bookstores and absurd conspiracies. It was followed by 'Jacob Bladders and the State of the Art' (Uncivilized Books, 2016), a noir detective story satirizing the world of commercial art. In 2018, Muradov created an ode to idleness with 'On Doing Nothing' (Chronicle Books, 2018), an illustrated novel weaving together the words and stories of artists, writers, philosophers, and eccentrics who have pursued inspiration by doing less. That same year saw the release of 'Vanishing Act' (Fantagraphics, 2018), an experimental graphic novel of 13 interconnected shorts stories, all made in a different tone, varying from comedy and confession to interpretative dance. Some Muradov books were released exclusively by Dargaud in France, such as the literary short comic story collection 'Aujourd'hui Demain Hier' (2016) and 'Les Aventures de Munich dans Marcel Duchamp' (2020), a fictional biography of the formative yet mysterious three-month stay of French artist/sculptor Marcel Duchamp in Munich, about which he tried to erase all traces later in life.

'Les Aventures de Munich dans Marcel Duchamp' (Dargaud, 2020).

His out-of-the-box and inventive approach to art have earned Muradov several accolades. He received several medals from the Society of Illustrators, including an award for his 2010 short story 'Antlers' from Dark Horse Presents, and a Gold Medal in 2013. In 2015, he was admitted to the ADC Young Guns, an exclusive club of young creative professionals. His work has also been featured in professional magazines like The Comics Journal, American Illustration and Creative Quarterly.

From: 'On Doing Nothing'.

Series and books by Roman Muradov you can order today:


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