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Illustration Student Lands Dream Comic Job

Rahsan Ekedal is a rising star in the comic industry. With his diverse drawing and storytelling abilities, this one-time School of Illustration student was snapped up by an editor early on in his art school career. Now Rahsan’s name can be found on the cover of Dark Horse Comic’s new series The Cleaners.

Creating the original artwork for a series is something that Rahsan has dreamed of doing since childhood. With his aspiration now a reality, Rahsan realizes jut how important attending Academy of Art University was to his success.

“I call on things I learned at the Academy every day,” he says. “I really appreciate what Chuck Pyle and the other amazing illustration instructors taught me. Chuck spent time with me individually to help me improve as a professional artist.”

Rahsan got his first big break at the San Francisco comic convention WonderCon. He impressed an editor at BOOM! Comics with a portfolio created in an Academy of Art University comic book class. The editor hired him to work on the Warhammer comic, and a year later Dark Horse contacted him about The Cleaners.

The series focuses on an independent crime scene cleaner in Los Angeles. The cleaners come to a trauma scene after the police have gathered evidence and restore the area.

“ It’s a challenge to illustrate because it’s a crime/horror book, but we’re trying to ground it in reality. So much so that it’s almost mundane,” he said. “That way when the horror comes, it’s that much more shocking.”

Rahsan spends a vast amount of time researching for the comic to ensure its details are correct. He believes attention to the minutia of a subject and adaptability are the most important things a comic artist can master.

“You’ve got to learn everything about drawing. You never know what a writer is going to ask you to draw. Comics touch on every genre in storytelling,” he said.

He urges future comic artists to take special care in learning the fundamentals of illustration like he did at the Academy. “When I got serious about comics, I realized I needed to go to school and really learn how to draw. All the schools I looked at promised to help me achieve my goals, but the Academy was the only one that offered proof. The student art in the halls was phenomenal,” he said.

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