There’s a comic out there for every mood you have, and I’m sure your moods are more than just angsty fight scenes, right? This week’s iFanboy Upstart is an enterprising UK cartoonist whose work evokes curiosity and whimsy but is grounded in the real world.
Comics artist Luke Pearson made his debut back in 2010 doing short stories for various UK anthologies like Solipsistic Pop and Ferocious Quarterly, doing work which reminds me of a young Tove Jansson or perhaps Jason but a more sophisticated design sense. Pearson was very prodigious in 2012, doing these shorts as well as some webcomics and an excellent early series of music-themed strips for the now-defunct London alternative newspaper The Stool Pigeon. At the end of 2010 Pearson self-published his own ongoing strip series Hildafolk that reads like a European folk tale as retold by Hayao Miyazaki. That excellent work caught the notice of the upstart UK press NoBrow in 2011, leading Pearson to contribute to that publisher’s yearly anthology of the same name and later publish two follow-ups with Hilda, Hilda & The Midnight Giant and Hilda & The Bird Parade in 2012.
Pearson’s gone on to do more shorts for various anthologies like Secret Prison and illustrations for magazines and covers, but his Hilda series has become his signature work — and for good reason. Like a European country-side version of Jeff Smith’s Bone, the three Hilda volumes are energetic and innocent.