TIMEMONGERS – Visions of Tomorrow the live show was developed in early 2022 by Maria Surducan in collaboration with Julien Limonne (Studio Kord), who wrote and performed the music.

The concert was produced in the frame of the pilot project Comic Art Europe, co-financed by the Creative Europe program of the European Commission.
Partners: Lyon BD, Escola Joso, Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

A delegated Gone Prod production

Voiceover actors: Bertrand Belouineau (FR), Alexander Laube (ENG)
Trailer Video Images : Thibaud Avenein
Trailer Video Editing : Patrice Gautot

With a runtime of 35 minutes, the concert is a stylized fairy-tale about the life long search for happiness/immortality. It was played in June 2022 in the frame of the Lyon Comics Festival, then performed again in October 2022 in Great Britain, at The Lakes International Comics Festival.


In late 2020 Comic Art Europe launched a call for projects exploring the subject ”Visions of tomorrow”. My submission, called Timemongers, proposed the creation of a live drawing concert. Called contes-a-bulles in France, these types of performances usually see two performers on stage, the artist and the musician. The live drawing is recorded and simultaneously projected on a screen. My aim was to create a narrative concert that would tell a complete story, engage and involve the audience.

In March 2021 I received the news that my submission had been selected among the five finalists, and I started my one year journey to transform it into reality.


Conceived as an immersive experience, where the public’s choice influences the drawings, the concert is structured in four parts corresponding to the four main live-drawn panels.

The first episode is the burning world and the child who does not want to be born.

The second illustration is the choice. Now grown up, the child arrives at a crossroad and must make a choice.

The third illustration is a vision of paradise, inspired by the pagan enchanted forest motif, the roman convivium, the Christian representations of agape and Mamre’s Oak. The goal was to create an image of absolute bliss, an enclave outside time, but where, and this was especially important during a pandemic, the character would not be alone.

While in paradise, the main character stops time, but, since they keep the memory of the burning world in their mind, the fire eventually spreads to their safe space and time starts running once again.

The final panel presents a happy ending of sorts – the hero learns to live with the flames, and find happiness in the memories of their life.


The development process took about six months, time spent figuring the composition and trouble shooting the technical issues. For each illustration, a specific order of drawing had to be devised and then rehearsed. The goal was to keep the audience interested in what was happening on screen, while simultaneously allowing the artist to complete the images on time. The narration came together through a set of cards, but also through hand-drawn subtitles and voice over snippets.

This process also involved a lot of technical tests to find the correct paper weight and the right paints that would dry fast enough, have a good flow and still allow a fair level of detail. The result of these experiments was an significant number of preparatory drawings (the process can be seen in Instra Story Highlights).

As I was in Romania and my collaborator, Julien, was in France, we sent each other recordings of our progress, tried to guess how the the beats would work, navigated through foreign languages (the concert is available in French and English, for now) and watched everything come together two days before the first concert. ” Maria Surducan