Erwin Sels, who uses the pseudonym Ersel, was born in Antwerp in Belgium as the son of comic artist and longtime Vandersteen collaborator Frank Sels. He followed in his father's footsteps, and became one of his assistants on the 'Silberpfeil' comic for the German market for five years until the end of it's run in 1986. Since then, Ersel has overseen the reprints of his father's work, including the completion of the science fiction comic 'Op Zoek naar Alfadir' (2004) and the 'Silberpfeil' reprints by Wick Comics.
After his father's death in late 1986, Ersel has started to work on several unfinished projects with Léon Lekeu for Ronny Matton. One of these, 'Saga van een Wraak', was eventually published by Oranje in 1991. While taking a job with a bank, Sels provided illustrations to the publishing houses Averbode and De Sikkel. He specialized in realistic and historical drawing, and began a cooperation with Jan Bucquoy, with whom he produced 'Frenchy' for Himalaya from 1989 to 1991. They also created 'Indochine' for Farao in 1990, which Sels still signed with his own name.
Les Pionniers du Nouveau Monde
In 1990, he made a comics version of 'Brugge die Stille' for Himalaya, followed by an adaptation of 'The Last of the Mohicans' for publisher Claude Lefrancq, for which he first used the pseudonym Ersel. In 1994, he began a collaboration with the publishing house Glénat and took over the artwork of 'Les Pionniers du Nouveau Monde', a series created and scripted by Jean-François Charles. For this publisher, he worked with Ruellan (Maryse Charles) on 'Claymore' (1999-2002) and 'Les Derniers Jours de la Géhenne' (two book in 2001 and 2005), and with Ferry van Vosselen on 'Le Gardien de la Lance' (2002-07).
Le Gardien de la Lance
In addition, Ersel illustrated 'Black Notes - Le Dernier Rebelle' with a script by Franck Delvaux at Éditions Loup in 2000. In 2008 he drew the second book in the series 'Disparitions', from a script by Jacques Mazeau. In 2009 and 2010 he worked with scriptwriter Renot on the series 'Le Zouave' Glénat Grafica) and 'Médée' (Casterman). He is also one of the artists for Rooie Oortjes Magazine since 1993.
Les Derniers Jours de la Géhenne