Thursday, December 30, 2010

Small interview on Strip Turnhout

On the nice and interesting website of Strip Turnhout you can find a small article abou my recent activities. Click here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Scherven will be translated!

Provisory cover

After my 'Memories'-trilogy has been translated in French by the Canadian editor La Pasteque as 'Jeux de mémoire', they have also decided to publish 'Scherven' in the same language. And again I'm very proud! La Pasteque has planned the book to appear early 2012. I will keep you posted.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Exhibition 'Mooi is dat!'

Since the 13th of november the pages of 'Mooi is dat!' are exhibited in the Amsterdam Library.
The exhibition also includes original work and sketches of the artists and will last till the 16th of january 2011. After it will start a journey which begins at the Stripmuseum in Brussels, Belgium.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Memory of Holland

As I've written before my contribution to 'Mooi is dat!' is my visual interpretation of the beautiful poem 'Memory of Holland' by Hendrik Marsman. It was written in 1936 and describes the beauty but also the threat of the Dutch landscape and nature. The poem was chosen as the most popular one of the 20th century.
DenkendaanHolland.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Memory of Holland

Thinking of Holland
I see wide-flowing rivers
slowly traversing
infinite plains,
rarefied poplars
like lofty plumes
on the skyline in lanes;
and submerged in the vastness
of unbounded spaces
the farmhouses
strewn over the land,
tree clumps, villages,
truncated towers,
churches and elm trees -
all wondrously planned.
the sky hangs low
and slowly the sun by
mists of all colours
is stifled and greyed
and in all the regions
the voice of the water
with its endless disasters
is feared and obeyed.

When I read the poem I could recognize the wideness and beauty of the Dutch landscape, but I also felt the threat in Marsman's words, growing and growing with every strophe. I have tried to translate that feeling in the imagery and colours of my artwork.
In the last strophe Marsman describes the danger of the water that is everywhere. There it became even more interesting for me. Because Marsman and his wife fled from France by boat at the beginning of the Second Worldwar. But their ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat and Marsman died, swallowed by... the water.
That's why I have drawn a small story in the margin where you can see Marsman's last minutes. Finally the two stories come together 'in water'.

If you're interested in a signed print of this work (size 28,5 x 40,0 cm), prize 20,- euro's (shipping costs not included), please send me an email:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Utrecht, 6th of november

Utrecht12010.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Last saturday I was at 'de Kunststripbeurs' in Utrecht with my books, prints, postcards and other stuff. This happening in the 'Janskerk' is a very nice way for comicartists to meet a new public.
For the visitors there was a lot to discover: well known artists like Joost Swarte, Hanco Kolk and Maaike Hartjes, but also upcoming talents like Aimé de Jong and Martijn van Santen.
Utrecht22010.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
The doors opened at ten o'clock but the start was quite slow. Around one o'clock more people came in and I had a busy afternoon signing and selling my stuff.
At two o'clock 'Mooi is dat!' was presented and after that I could also sell signed prints of my contribution to the book. I got very positive reactions on it.
But my moment of the day was meeting Javier Mariscal who gave me beautiful compliments about my work. He made my day!
Utrecht32010.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Monday, November 8, 2010

Impression Comic Artfair Utrecht!

Journalist Michael Minneboo made a nice (movie) impression of the 'Kunststripbeurs' of last saturday in Utrecht.
Take a look here!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Next sturday, don't forget: Comics-art fair in Utrecht

Kunststripbeurs.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
I just want to remind you that this saturday, 6th of november, I will be at the 'Kunststripbeurs' at the Janskerk in Utrecht. Doors open at 10 o'clock. I will bring all my books, and sign them personally for you if you like, postcards and several colorprints.
After the presentation of 'Mooi is dat' at 2 o'clock I will also sell signed prints of my contribution to the book: 'Denkend aan Holland'.
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Presentation 'Mooi is dat!'

NRC.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
On the 'Kunststripbeurs' in the Janskerk in Utrecht next saturday (6th of november), 'Mooi is dat!' will be presented. I've written about it before. It's a book with more than fifty highlights from Dutch literature, translated in a one page-comic.
Editor Gert Jan Pos also asked me to contribute and I made my interpretation of the poem 'Denkend aan Holland' from Hendrik Marsman.
Yesterday there was already a praising article in NRC Handelsblad in which my contribution -together with other ones- was described and -partly- shown.
I can also show you the cover, beautifully designed by Ruben Steeman (who did the complete book).
Mooiisdat.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
What I have seen of the book is really great, a kaleidoscope of styles of the invited Dutch and Belgian artists.
After the 'Kunststripbeurs' I will show my complete contribution on this blog.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Comic-art Fair, 6th of november, Janskerk, Utrecht

Kunststripbeurs.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
On saturday the 6th of november I will be at the 'Kunststripbeurs, Janskerk, Janskerkhof 26, Utrecht. It is a fair where comic-artists will sell their work, like books, prints, original artwork etc.... I will bring all of my books. 'Verbleekte Herinneringen', 'Gekleurd Geheugen', 'Gevonden Verleden' and 'Ingelijste Herinneringen' will be reasonably priced.
I will also sell 'Verzamelde Herinneringen' and 'Scherven'. And of course your book will be signed personally. Apart from my books you can find sets of postcards and various signed full colour prints, also fairly priced.
The doors of the church will open at ten o'clock and close at five o'clock. I hope to meet you there!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Framed Memories

A few years ago I had an exhibition at Gallery Lambiek in Amsterdam showing drawings that fitted my 'Memories trilogy'. They also appeared in the small book 'Ingelijste Herinneringen', which came out in a signed and limited edition. The booklet is still available (send me an email if you're interested). In 2008 I showed the same drawings together with my 'Scherven portraits' at Lilys Gallery in the Hague. Now I also like to show my Framed Memories on this blog.
Nazomer1970.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Indian summer 1969

Ooievaarskuitenvet.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Beet-1.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Have a bite

Deeerstekeer.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
The first time

Kerstmis1968.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Christmas 1965

Oudekranten.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Old newspapers

Snuitje.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Snuitje2.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Pep.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Vrijdagavond.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Willem2.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Willem 2

BazookaJoe.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Bazooka Joe

Driecornerspinantie.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
3 Corners penalty

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stripdagen Houten

Houten2010.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Okay, I'm a bit late. But tomorrow (25th of september) I will be signing Scherven (and my other books) at the Oog & Blik stand in Houten. If you consider to come don't hesitate and drop by! It will be a pleasure to sign a book for you and make a small drawing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Scherven Portraits

Before I started drawing Scherven I had made portraits of all main characters. Not traditional portaits, but drawings combined with all kind of elements that tell something about each person. In the portraits I also have tried to bring in the atmosphere of the forties.

Victor.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Esther.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Chris.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Corne.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Maas.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

VrouwMaas.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Vrouw Maas

Krijn.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Dingeman.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Pieter.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Rozenberg.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Meester Rozenberg

Geert.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Daams.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My inspiration map

Last week I saw something really nice on Forbidden Planet's weblog. An artist had made his Inspiration Map, in which he showed the artists that had had influence on his work. It inspired me to make mine.
For me it all started when I studied at the Academy of Arts in Rotterdam in the 80's. A fellow student made me discover artists like Joost Swarte (1) and Ever Meulen (2). Exponents of the underground comics in the Lowlands at that time. I was really impressed by both their 'Klare Lijn' style. After that I discovered more and more artists I started to admire. Especially 'Atomic style' artists like Daniël Torres (4), Floc'h,(5), Serge Clerc (6) and Yves Chaland (3). When I saw his work, something started to grow inside of me: one day I wanted to make my own comics, preferably in a style like Chaland. He still is my greatest example with his elegant and flowing style. I still find it a great loss that he lost his life at the 'periferique' of Paris at the 18th of july, 1990.
In the nineties I got to know artists like Seth (7), Chris Ware (8), Michel Rabagliati (9) and Adrian Tomine (10).All with their own characteristics and qualities. I admire the atmoshere and refinement of Seths work, the innovative and detailed style of Ware, the very acessible and sympathetic artwork of Michel Rabagliati and the strong stories and drawings of Adrian Tomine.
All named artists named inspired and influenced me in a way. It started in the Lowlands, moved more to the south (France and Spain) and then ended on the other side of the ocean (Unites States and Canada). Of course I'm also inspired by other work, but for me these ten comic artists are the most important inspirators that made and make me do what I do now. Hopefully one day I will come a little bit closer to their level.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Proud to present...

Last week I received the first printed copies of 'Jeux de mémoire' edited by La Pasteque. I'm very proud of it, it looks marvelous. A hardcover edition, 148 pages, beautifully designed by the people of La Pasteque.
'Jeux de mémoire' will appear first in Quebec (Canada) next october and after that in France, january next year.
I'm also invited by La Pasteque to attend the Angouleme-festival to sign my debut in France. I'm really looking forward to it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mooi is dat!

MooiisdatCover.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
One reason I was so busy during the last weeks: a project called 'Mooi is dat!'. It's an idea from Gert Jan Pos (Hollands Comics-promotor), a book with the fifty higlights of Dutch literature, but then translated in images by fifty Dutch and Flemish artists. And I will be one of them, which I think is an honour. Some other artists are: Joost Swarte, Erik Kriek, Guido van Driel, Pieter de Poortere, Randall C. etc...
Every artist has chosen his favorite piece. Mine is the poem 'Denkend aan Holland' by Hendrik Marsman. A legendary poem which describes in a beautiful, but also threatening way the Dutch landscape. 'Denkend aan Holland' was chosen as the favorite poem of the 20th century. Really an honour for me to draw it... in one page.

My page is finished, but I can't show it be fore the book is published. 'Mooi is dat!' will be presented beginning of november and there will be a (travelling) expo that starts in the Library of Amsterdam.

Reactions on Scherven

OmslagSchervenDef.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
It's a while ago that I posted something. I have been busy (see next post) and have had my holidays. But here I am again. More than 2 months ago I was on the Haarlem Comic-festival to sign 'Scherven'. It's always nice to be there. I was quite busy signing books and got compliments from people who already had read it. I also must say that there was quite a lot of publicity around the book.
There has been written about it in Dutch and Belgian newspapers, in Comic magazines in both countries and on several websites. I have also done some interviews for magazines and radio. The reviews were mainly positive to very positive, and I am -off course- very happy with that. But I also enjoy reactions of readers I got, like: "I felt sorry the book ended" and "When will Book Two appear?" Great!
If you want to read some quotes read this post. I hope I can bring you some more news about 'Scherven' within a few weeks...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

5th and 6th of june: Stripdagen Haarlem

StripdagenHaarlem.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Next saturday and sunday, on the 5th and 6th of june, you can visit the 'Stripdagen Haarlem'. Always a nice festival with national and international (f.i. Chris Ware and Charles Burns) artists.
I will be there both saturday and sunday to sign my book Scherven. You can find me at the Oog & Blik | De Bezige Bij stand in the Philharmonie, Lange Begijnstraat 11. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The press about Scherven

The press has payed a lot of attention to Scherven already. Here are some quotes:

Nederlandse schrijvende pers

"Een prachtig via flashbacks verteld verhaal, dat bovendien van prachtige
tekeningen is voorzien" - Metro

"Bij Scherven ging vooral veel tijd zitten in het ingenieuze scenario" - Het Parool

"De Graafs tekeningen roepen door hun eenvoud de sfeer van toen goed op" - Algemeen Dagblad

"De Graaf besteedt veel aandacht aan de esthetiek van zijn beelden, waardoor hij sfeervolle inkleuringen gebruikt en met een mooie rafelige toets werkt" - De Volkskrant

"Geslaagde combinatie van tekeningen, collages, familiefoto's en dagboekaantekeningen" - Esta

Nederlandse radio

"Zo tover je uit dat soort hele kleine dingen, alledaagse dingen een heel mooi verhaal tevoorschijn" - VPRO's De Avonden, Radio 6

"'t Zijn prachtige tekeningen en je hebt de sfeer van de tijd weten te pakken" -
Chris natuurlijk, Radio Rijnmond

Belgische schrijvende pers

"Over deze chaotische meidagen maakte Erik de Graaf (48) een boeiend album: Scherven" -De Standaard

"Uit de verhalen van zijn grootouders distilleerde Erik de Graaf een boeiend verslag over de begindagen van de Tweede Wereldoorlog" -

"De aanblik van een pagina van de Graaf is volstrekt uniek en herkenbaar, wat hem bijvoorbeeld al een publicatie bij de prestigieuze Canadese uitgever Drawn and Quarterly opleverde" - Focus Knack

Nederlandse en Belgische strip-pers

"Wie aan deze vertelling begint met het idee dat het zoveelste verhaal over de Tweede Wereldoorlog nauwelijks nog boeiend kan zijn, heeft het mis. Met ogenschijnlijk simpele tekeningen, goed gekozen scenes en een sober maar efficiënt gekozen kleurpalet trekt Erik de Graaf je het verhaal in en weet hij je aandacht vast te houden tot aan het einde van het eerste deel..." - ZozoLala

"Het mooie trage tempo waarin het verhaal zich ontvouwt versterkt de verstilde onderkoeling van zijn tekenstijl, waardoor hij juist dieper onder de huid komt. De nachtmerrie is voelbaar" - Zone 5300

"Het voorlopige resultaat van deze expeditie in de tijd, die met veelvuldige flashbacks niettemin een soms bedrieglijke rust lijkt uit te stralen, mag zeker geslaagd worden genoemd-en doet uitzien naar meer" - Stripschrift

"Fraai boek en zeer passend in deze meidagen" - Het Stripschap

"Deze strip mag nu al tot één van de klassiekers gerekend worden..." -

Nederlandse en Belgische websites en webmagazines

"Een erg mooi vormgegeven boek en een prachtig tijdsdocument" - 8weekly

"Scherven bewijst dat de vele beloftes na zijn eerste albums niet zonder gevolgen zijn gebleven. Het album behoort nu al tot de toppers van 2010" -

"Scherven is een prachtige beeldroman over het verliezen van liefde en vriendschap tijdens Wereldoorlog Twee" -

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Book presentation at Yendor well visited

TafelYendor.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Yesterday afternoon my new book Scherven was presented at Yendor in Rotterdam. After a very kind welcome-speech of Mara of Oog & Blik/De Bezige Bij I presented the first two copies to my cousins Dick and Johan. Their fathers fought at my grandparents village at the beginning of the Second Worldwar. I used parts of their story in Scherven.
MensenYendor.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
My cousin Dick also had beautiful words about my grandmother, grandfather and mother and how his father Cor felt very much at home at their little house in those frightening days.
After that I started signing my books for a couple of hours in a very nice atmosphere. There were a lot of people and I ended the afternoon at almost fifty signed books.
I enjoyed the presentation very much and I'm happy with all the kind words about my work and my new book!
SignerenYendor.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Interview at Radio Rijnmond

LogoRijnmond.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Yesterday at the 1st of may I was interviewed at Radio Rijnmond about Scherven by the kind Chris Vemer. You can download the podcast here if you want to listen to it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The making of Scherven part 4

Eenblauweoforanjelucht.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
In this last part on Stripspeciaalzaak I explain and show how the cover of Scherven was created.
If you want to read and see it, go to and enjoy!
Stripspeczaak.jpg picture by erikdegraaf

Interview on Radio 6

Microfoon.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Last saturday I had a very nice interview on Radio 6 with Wim Brand in his programm 'De Avonden'. If you want to listen click here and go to the website of 'De Avonden'.

Friday, April 23, 2010

On Radio 6

LogoRadio6.jpg picture by erikdegraaf
Tomorrow morning (24th of april) between 11 and 12 o'clock I will be on Radio 6 to talk about Scherven. It's a live program called 'De Avonden, de zaterdageditie'. If you want to listen you can tune in on Radio 6's website.