Several Lexus models have been given the Manga treatment. Which is your favorite?
It’s safe to say you’ve never seen Lexus models represented like this before. This summer, the British Museum will host the largest exhibition of Manga ever held outside of Japan, which has inspired Lexus to commission some striking Manga illustrations of its own showing off the UX compact SUV, the LC Coupe and the ES sedan in fantasy scenarios.
First up is an eye-catching illustration drawn up by artist Timothy Kong, whose work blends Japanese manga and anime with influences from classical western painters to create a distinctive style. It shows the Lexus ES evading a fire-breathing dragon. It’s certainly an unusual scenario for the family sedan, but the artist believes a dragon perfectly represents the automaker’s bold design language. "I chose a dragon to highlight the brave design of Lexus cars,” he explained.
"In Japanese culture dragons are shown to be incredibly powerful and proud creatures that represent courage and strength, and to challenge one is seen to be a brave endeavor.” He found drawing the car to be the most challenging aspect as he spent a lot of time "making sure that the car was painted and drawn as accurately as possible to the original design.” As for the design of the ES, Kong finds the front design "quite interesting" due to its diagonal sharp shapes used for the grille and lights. "I think [it] gives the ES a nice aggressive and fresh feel,” he said.
The Lexus UX, on the other hand, was given the Manga treatment by artist Yishan Li, who has been published internationally in more than 30 comic books. Her interpretation of the UX is inspired by the car’s "New Horizons” tagline, as the goal was to draw a woman "sitting on her car by the shore at sunset, relaxing after completing a big creative project.” Like Kong, Li also found the car challenging to draw. "There are so many precise curves and complex elements on a car. They’re a lot harder to draw than characters,” she said.
Last but not least is an action-packed illustration drawn by Bulgarian-born artist Daniel Atasanov that shows a red Lexus LC driving away from an explosion at high speeds while a warrior rides on the roof. It reminds us of the scene from Black Panther in which the superhero clings onto the roof of the 2019 Lexus LC 500 during a high-speed chase.
"This was the first time I had been asked to draw a real car within a piece and make it look like part of a fictional story. The car itself is an autonomous being, but at the same time has a symbiotic relationship with the man. That’s why there is no driver behind the wheel; the car is intelligent, self-driving and reliable.”