From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Enki Bilal (born October 7, 1951) is a French graphic novel artist and film director. His drawing style is marked by sweeping lines, an uncanny realism and surreal use of color. He came to world wide prominence in the late 1970s via magazines such as Heavy Metal .
Born in Belgrade, Serbia (former Yugoslavia), he moved to Paris at the age of 9. There, at 14, he met René Goscinny and with his encouragement tried turning his talent to comic books. He worked on Goscinny's magazine Pilote in the 1970s, publishing his first story, Le Bol Maudit, in 1972.
The Nikopol trilogy (La Foire aux Immortels, La Femme Piège and Froid Équateur) took more than a decade to appear but is probably Bilal at his best, writing the script as well as doing all the artwork - the final chapter, Froid Équateur, was even awarded the book of the year award by the very serious magazine Lire and is acknowledged by the inventor of chess boxing, Iepe Rubingh, as being the inspiration for this new sport.
His latest publication has been Rendez-vous à Paris (2006), the third book in tetralogy (the Hatzfeld), this time dealing with the breakup of former Yugoslavia but from the future. The first installment came in 1998 in the shape of Le Sommeil du Monstre opening with the main character, Nike, remembering the war in a series of traumatic flashbacks. The third chapter of the tetralogy is titled Rendez-vous à Paris (2006). It gives a good indication of Bilal's popularity, being the fifth best selling new French comic of 2006 with 280,000 copies.
His cinematic career has recently been revived with the expensive Immortel (Ad Vitam) which is his first attempt to adapt his books to the screen. The film has split critics, some panning the use of CGI characters but others have seen it as a faithful reinterpretation of the books.
Légendes d'Aujourd'hui with scenario by Pierre Christin
- La Croisière des oubliés (The Cruise of Lost Souls) (1975)
- Le Vaisseau de pierre (Ship of Stone) (1976)
- La Ville qui n'existait pas (The Town That Didn't Exist) (1977)
- Mémoires d'outre-espace (Memories From Outer Space) (1978)
- Mémoires d'autre temps (Memories From Other Times) (1996)
With scenario by Jean-Pierre Dionnet
- Exterminateur 17 (Exterminator 17) (1979)
With scenario by Pierre Christin
- Les Phalanges de l'ordre noir (Ranks of the Black Order translated by Frank Wynne, published by Catalan Communications) (1979)
- Partie de chasse (The Hunting Party published by Catalan Communications) (1983)
- Coeurs sanglants et autres faits divers (Bleeding Hearts and Other Stories) (1988)
- La Foire aux Immortels (The Carnival of Immortals) (1980)
- La Femme Piège (The Woman Trap) (1986)
- Froid-Équateur (Cold Equator) (1992)
- Le Sommeil du monstre (The Dormant Beast) (1998)
- 32 Décembre (December 32) (2003)
- Rendez-vous à Paris (2006)
- Quatre? (Four?) (2007)
Christian Desbois Publications
- Bleu Sang (Blue Blood) (1994)
- EnkiBilalAnDeuxMilleUn (EnkiBilalInTwoThousandOne) (1996)
- Tykho Moon - livre d'un film (Tykho Moon - The book of the movie) (1996)
- Le Sarcophage (...) (2000)
- Los Angeles - L'Étoile oubliée de Laurie Bloom (Los Angeles - The Forgotten Star of Laurie Bloom) (1984)
- Hors Jeu (Expect Play) (1987)
- Un siècle d'Amour (A century of Love ) (1999)
- Magma (2000)
Filmography as director