Erik Kriek

© Gert Jan Pos
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Erik Kriek

1966, Amsterdam

Erik Kriek is a sought-after, much acclaimed and internationally successful illustrator. He studied at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and became known for his cartoon strip series Gutsman. Initially meant as a parody of the 1950s superhero strips, these later became more of an autobiographical soap. In 2008 Kriek received the Stripschap Prize for his complete oeuvre. He is an illustrator for Weltwoche and Die Welt. His illustrations can also be found on film posters, book jackets and even T-shirts and shoes. The collection Het Onzienbare en andere verhalen [The Invisible and other stories] – graphic novel versions of H.P. Lovecraft’s horror stories – was published in 2012 and has since been translated into German, Spanish, French, Italian and Swedish. His latest collection In the Pines: 5 Murder Ballads has just come out.


  Dutch Foundation for Literature   Translations   Erik Kriek   Avant Verlag   Scratch   De Bezige Bij

Recently translated into German

In the Pines: 5 Murder Ballads
Translated by Benjamin Mildner
Avant-Verlag, 2016
Original titel: In the Pines - Murder ballads (Scratchbooks, 2016)

In the Pines is a collection of five graphic tales based on murder ballads: traditional songs about a gruesome event, either true or fictional. These are grim stories about unrequited love, crimes of passion, anger, jealousy and greed. The music is deeply rooted in the American tradition and still new music is being created by artists such as Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and Nick Cave.

Erik Kriek has loved this music for years. He chose five of his favourite, old and new songs for In the Pines, and reworked them into new, original graphic stories. The lyrics by among others Gillian Welch and Steve Earle, inspired five grim stories about love, treason, life and – of course – death. The artwork breathes the atmosphere of early twentieth-century America. In the vast Appalachian pines, things happen that sometimes best go unseen…
'In the Pines' has the feel of a group of carefully elaborated storyboards. This is truly a book that reads like a film. His sharp, black and white pen drawings, each accented with a single colour, are reminiscent of the work of Craigh Thompson. Unlike Thompson, Kriek manages to keep his comics short and clean.

Matti Meurisse,