Coming of age up in a tumultuous period in Israel, a now-established comic artist fell into the Marvel universe. Wielding a sketch pen and a tenacity to succeed to the highest echelon of artistic illustration, Tomer Hanuka imbues each of his drawings with a dreamy quality that transcends a typical depiction of the heroic figure. "I grew up in a country that was born out of conflict. Where the prevalent 'hero' in culture was a soldier. Naturally, I looked for an escape and ended up consuming a different kind of macho fantasy that led me [to my current artwork]." Full of cinematic splendor, his works often take on cinema itself. A handful of his designs are reworkings of arthouse classics like Terrence Malick's Tree of Life and Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strange Love.
Hanuka moved at 22 years old to New York City, where he completed a degree at the School of Visual Arts. Together with his twin brother Asaf Hanuka, the duo have worked extensively in print—with Tomer achieving his ultimate dream of appearing on the cover of The New Yorker—continuously working on their anime-inspired aesthetic in a growing collection of acclaimed graphic novels and comics.
In many of his New Yorker covers the asymmetrical balance between two different people, two worlds categorizes the aesthetic distinction of Hanuka's works. The artist tells Creators that his intent in illustration is storytelling through visuals. To the artist, his 2D medium is similar to the arc of a story with its respective characterizations and embedded dramatic twists. The process of composing a picture contributes to what type of tale Hanuka tells: Will it be a horror story, or a drama, or a fantasy?
Speaking about his most recent New Yorker cover, the Israeli artist shares his priorities in choosing the best fitting color scheme and scale. He says, "I like small moments that feel significant and casual at once, so the 'acting' of the figures is passive almost. But every part of the drawing is there for a reason and the composition is severe enough to be calling the shots on what's going on."