This week’s Illustrated PEN is presented by guest editor Robert Kirby.

Robert Kirby writes: “Eric Kostiuk Williams’s work frequently explores the complexities of personal identity. In ‘The Literal World,’ he describes being a very young, closeted gay man in 2005 who finds solace and camaraderie in an online chatroom. The piece is a meditation both on how we apply the filter of social media to ourselves and others, and how the internet can actually help bridge gaps between people of very different points of view and value systems.”

Eric Kostiuk Williams is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Toronto, Canada. His debut autobiographical work Hungry Bottom Comics was nominated for the Doug Wright Spotlight Award, and each issue of the series was selected for the Best American Comics’ Notable Books of 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively. Recent freelance clients include The Art Gallery of Ontario, Joe Fresh, and the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention.  “Literal World” is from Babybel Wax Bodysuit, a new collection of comics incorporating science fiction, cultural critique, and memoir through American publisher Retrofit Comics. In spring 2017, Eric will be launching Condo Heartbreak Disco, a magical realism graphic novella, through Canadian publisher Koyama Press.

ridge gaps

between people of very different points of view and v
alue systems.