Nikita Mandryka, who was born in Tunisia as the son of a Russian father, started his professional career in 1964 in Vaillant. For this magazine, he started out with the adventures of the reporter 'Boff', using the pseudonym Nik. He then took on a variety of pseudonyms, such as Kalkus, Karl Kruss, Caleq-Usse and Kilkoz, and started his most famous series, 'Le Concombre Masqué'. He drew this series from 1965 to 1969, and in addition, he created 'Les Miniscules' and 'Ailleurs'. Mandryka's collaboration with the publishing house Vaillant ended in 1975.
Le Concombre Masqué (Pif Gadget #7, 7/4/1969)
In 1966, Mandryka became one of the regular contributors to the magazine Pilote. He began with several short stories, but eventually teamed up with Marcel Gotlib to create 'Les Clopinettes'. He also wrote scenarios for other artists, such as Yves Got, Gotlib, Patrice Ricord and Ramon Monzon.
Ailleurs (Pif Gadget #4, 1969)
'Le Concombre Masqué' also appeared in Pilote from 1971. However, Mandryka left Pilote in 1972 after a dispute with editor-in-chief René Goscinny and co-founded the more adult magazine L'Écho des Savanes with Claire Bretécher and Marcel Gotlib.
'Le Concombre Masqué' reappeared in Pilote from 1979, and was eventually published in Spirou from 1989. For this magazine, he also created the gag series 'Cybertimes', scripted by Thiriet in 2003. Mandryka's work also appeared in Le Nouveau Clarté, Actuel and Métal Hurlant. From 1993, he was present in Perlin with 'Antoine, Camille et Bismuth' and in 1995, he returned to L'Écho des Savanes with 'Les Aventures Galactiques de Roger Bacon'. Nikita Mandryka has been editor-in-chief of the magazines Charlie Mensuel (1982) and Pilote (1984).