'LIMBO - Lux in Tenebris?' (2019).

Stephan Louwes is a Belgian artist, who publishes his work online under the pen name Slartz. He made his official debut as a comic creator with the graphic novel series 'LIMBO' (Oogachtend, 2019- ).

Early life and career
Stephan Louwes was born in 1993 in Leuven, Flemish Brabant, as the son of a Dutch father and Surinamese mother. Growing up in this Belgian city, he became an avid comic reader, with Grzegorz Rosinski, Régis Loisel, Moebius and Frank Frazetta among his favorite creators. Fully focusing on drawing since age sixteen, he also takes inspiration from films, series, everyday life, absurdism and random items. After a first Applied Arts education at the local De Wijnpers school, Louwes studied Comics & Illustration at the LUCA School of Arts in Brussels between 2013 and 2018, graduating with a Master in Graphic Storytelling.

Louwes' graduation project was the graphic novel 'LIMBO - Lux in Tenebris?', subsequently published in book format by Oogachtend. A wordless graphic novel, each page is a full panel that tells the story of a boy who sees his friends disappear in the darkness one by one, leaving him wondering whether he'd risk his life to save them. To add to the overall mysterious atmosphere, both the cover and the interior of the book are printed on a thick type of kraft paper, while the author only used black ink and white paint. The first 2019 book release was followed by more 'LIMBO' installments, subsequently 'Vox Aquarum' (2021) and 'Legatum' (2023).

'Moon' (sample art).

Other activities
Since 2014, Stephan Louwes has been posting his artwork online under the pen name Slartz. He specializes in drawing wild nature scenary and "indecent wenchies", like his mascot character Elin. Around the same time, he also began working with youth novel author Johan Vandevelde on developing the cyberpunk comic series 'Moon', of the first book edition was published by Menlu in May 2023. He has additionally self-published the comic books 'Amazine' and 'The Tale of the Woodsman', and had his comics published on the online Pulp de Luxe comics portal.

Since 2021, Louwes is the bass player for Tragic Eyes, the solo project of singer/songwriter Wendel Berckmans.


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