You’ve perhaps seen some of Elias Ericson’s comics and illustrations already as they have a tendency to pop up, uncredited, on many an internet comment thread. Thanks to the wonders of google image search I spent much of today engrossed in his work, which I highly recommend!
Self-described as a queer 19-year-old boy who draws a lot, Ericson does have one published book for Swedish readers, Åror, as well as appearing in a few indie anthologies. His tumblr, super queer artsy blog, and deviantArt though are mostly translated into English, and show off the artist’s various styles across comics, cartoons, sketches, illustrations, and paintings.
His comics, both long and short form which often focus on queer and trans issues, have become quite well known in various progressive circles, though Ericson has also had trouble with people editing the dialogue to suit their own agendas.
The above – very popular! – strip was edited to portray the left character as a girl gamer for example. Grr. Other great ones to check out are New Passengers, this one, Really Kind of Obvious, and this one.
Anyway, what really struck me about Ericson’s work was just how many different styles he uses, not just in design but in line art, colour palettes, shading techniques and comic layouts, so I really wanted to share his work. This link should show all his comics.
Quite a few of the comics and illustrations employ a rather fabulous touch of psychedelic surrealism, which also turns up in a few of the animations that he does as well – most spectacularly here and here [warning – flashing colours]. This animation is also used a little in his webcomic, Espaced. It’s a tad distracting, but the webcomic is well worth reading all the same.
Depression is also covered extensively, in a very genuine and honest way. These strips tend to be short and punchy, expressing the real pain of those with depression or other debilitating illnesses without necessarily having to cop to a happy ending. This strip and this strip are further examples.
And finally there are the stand alone illustrations, once more across an array of different styles, that are just aching to be prints or serve as the creative spark for another comic. The Kindest Punk on Earth and this fabulousness almost definitely belong on my wall, while Awake and this scene seem like perfect beginnings to a longer story.
In conclusion, I would love to see a collection of Elias Ericson’s comics and illustrations for an English (and Swedish!) audience. And he’s 19! Ridiculously talented :P
Laura Sneddon is a comics journalist and academic, writing for the mainstream UK press with a particular focus on women and feminism in comics. Currently working on a PhD, do not offend her chair leg of truth; it is wise and terrible. Her writing is indexed at comicbookgrrrl.com and procrastinated upon via @thalestral on Twitter.