Le Sarcophage (2001)
'Le Sarcophage' (2001).

Enki Bilal, the son of a Czech mother and a Bosnian father, spent the first nine years of his life in Belgrade, where the ghost of World War II still haunted everyday life. The Bilal family moved to Paris in 1961, where Bilal was drawn to comics and cinema. He started at Pilote in 1972, making illustrations, covers and short stories. Three years later, Bilal met writer Pierre Christin, with whom he created several comics by combining comic strips with photos, including 'Légendes d'Aujourd'hui', 'La Croisière des Oubliés' and 'Partie de Chasse'.

Partie de Chasse, by Enki Bilal
'Partie de Chasse' (Pilote, 1981).

In 1980 Bilal began his award-winning 'Nikopol-trilogy', including the books 'La Foire Aux Immortels', 'La Femme Piège' and 'Froid Équateur'. Besides these comic activities, Enki Bilal started working in film, theater and opera. He created sets, costumes and posters for a theater play and worked on two feature films.

Comic art by Enki Bilal
Artwork by Enki Bilal. 

Apart from these and other occupations, like photo retouching and glass painting, Bilal published 'Le Sommeil du Monstre', the first installment in his Hatzfeld tetralogy, in 1998. He published the last volume of this series about the breakup of Yugoslavia from a future viewpoint, in 2007.

comic art by Enki Bilal
Artwork by Enki Bilal.

Bilal's stories are set in a magically orientated but realistic future after the Yugoslavian civil wars, giving Bilal the perfect setting against which to illustrate his fears. He further reinforces his views by his dark and shadowy style of drawing, in which color features largely for evoking emotions. The result of Enki Bilal's efforts is a growing catalogue of intense and atmospheric graphic novels. Bilal's cinematic career was revived with the expensive 'Immortel (Ad Vitam)', his first attempt to adapt his books to the screen.

Bilal was one of several artists to make a graphic contribution to 'Pepperland’ (1980), a collective comic book tribute to the store Pepperland, to celebrate its 10th anniversary at the time. In 1983, he was one of many comic artists paying homage to the recently deceased Hergé in a special issue of (À Suivre), titled 'Adieu Hergé'. 

Enki Bilal was named Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2003, and he was invested with a knighthood in the Ordre National du Mérite in 2010. As asteroid was named after him in 2006.

Enki Bilal was an influence on Lae Schäfer

The Dormant Beast, by Enki Bilal
'The Dormant Beast'.

Enki Bilal site
(en Français)

Series and books by Enki Bilal you can order today:


If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.