'Les Contes de Suicidé'/'Quiroga' (2016).

Lucas Nine is an Argentinean illustrator, designer, graphic novel author and director of animated films. Active since the 1990s, his artwork has been published in magazines, newspapers and books all over the world. His graphic novels alternate between abstract fantasy, social satire and historical fiction, delving into absurdism ('Dingo Romero', 'Thé de Noix'), the cultural legacy of Argentina ('El Circo Criollo'), South America's great writers and political history ('Quiroga', 'Borges, Inspector de Aves') and graphical explorations of European cities ('Budapest ou Presque', 'Delicatessen - Tout est Bon'). Lucas Nine's animated film productions - the short 'Les Triolets' (2002) and his contribution to the anthology 'Ánima Buenos Aires' (2012) - were shown and awarded on international film festivals.

Early life and education
Lucas Nine was born in 1975 in San Isidro, a city in the Greater Buenos Aires region, as one of the four children of the influential comic artist, illustrator and sculptor Carlos Nine. As a boy, Lucas Nine often hung around his father's drawing board, with pencils and brushes in his hand, developing a passion for comics, illustrations and graphic art. Another encouragement in his artistic ambitions was his mother, Alicia Isabel Caseiras, a talented writer and storyteller. With this creative family background, he enrolled at the Centro Polivalente de Arte, where in 1992 he got his Master's degree in Fine Arts. Lucas Nine then studied Filmmaking at the Instituto Municipal de Arte Cinematográfico in the port city Avellaneda. Besides his father, Lucas Nine's influences include comic masters like Alberto Breccia, José Muñoz - both from Argentina - and the American Alex Toth.


'Rabanito'. 

Magazines, newspapers and books
During the 1990s, Nine began publishing his comic stories in alternative magazines from Buenos Aires, such as Garufa, Fierro, Lápiz Japones, Vestite y Andate, Suelteme! and El Tripero. In Argentina, other drawings and illustrations by Lucas Nine have appeared in the news magazines Latido and Internet Surf, the children's magazine Billiken, the cultural periodical Orsai, the satirical weekly Caras y Caretas and local editions of the pop cultural magazines Rolling Stone and Les Inrockuptibles. He has also drawn for the daily newspapers La Nación, Perfil and Clarín.

A regular attendant of international comic and movie festivals, and a participant in art expositions throughout Argentina and across the world, Nine's artwork quickly spread to publications outside of the Buenos Aires region. Comic stories by Lucas Nine were present in magazines and anthologies across South and Central America, such as Dolor de Ojo (Rosario, Argentina), Crash Comics (Bolivia), El Gallito Inglés (Mexico), Olho Magico, Graffiti and Candyland Comics (Brazil). In Europe, he had his comic stories published in El Ojo Clínico, Fan Comic and Zona de Obras from Spain, and Clafoutis and Gorgonzola from France. As an illustrator, he contributed artwork to the German LGBT monthly First and the Spanish film magazine Cinemanía. As an active member of the Association of Cartoonists of Argentina (ADA), he co-directed with Rodolfo Fucile the first series of Sacapuntas (2006-2010), the digital magazine of the entity.

Lucas Nine has also been a productive illustrator for children's and youth literature, working for Argentinean publishers like Alfaguara, Puerto de Palos, Santillana, Richmond, Aique, Sudamericana, Longseller, Colihue and Norma.


Illustration by Lucas Nine.

Animation
In addition to print media, Lucas Nine has also worked in the movie industry; many of his productions were shown during international film festivals. In 2002, he was writer, director and producer of 'Les Triolets', an experimental animated short about a cheap cabaret ruled by the Devil himself. It was shown at the II Festival de Cine Independiente de Buenos Aires (2000), Annecy's Animation Festival (France, 2002, 2003 and 2010), the Castelli Animati Festival (Italy, 2002), Festival de Cine de Mar del Plata (Argentina, 2007), Animadrid (Spain, 2009), Filme im Schloss (Germany, 2011) and broadcast on Argentine and Swiss TV in 2002 and 2004. Nine was screenwriter and animation director of one of the segments in 'Ánima Buenos Aires' (2012), an anthology feature film about the heart and soul of Buenos Aires, presented in four segments, penned by four of Argentina's leading graphic artists. The production won prizes at film festivals in Argentina, Italy, The Netherlands, Cuba, Hungary and Canada.


'Dingo Romero' (2004).

Graphic novels
With already an impressive track record in cartooning, animation and illustration, Lucas Nine debuted as an allround graphic novelist in 2004. Just like his father, he uses a different graphic approach for each project. Several of his works were first published in Europe (Spain, France), before appearing in his home country Argentina. Nine's first graphic novel was 'Dingo Romero', published in 2004 by Ediciones De Ponent in Spain and in 2008 by Les Rêveurs in France. Created in a nervous inking style, the landscape-format book tells the story of a dog bandit, womanizer and brawler crossing the Mexican Pampas. His next work, 'El Circo Criollo' (Ediciones Del Eclipse, 2009), was an expressive graphical revisitation of Argentina's popular circus tradition, made with bold, spontaneous brushwork, and published directly in Argentina.


'Borges, Inspector de Aves' (2017).

Nine used a retro style and a playful narrative format for his next graphic novel, the absurd fable 'Thé de Noix' (Les Rêveurs, 2011). Originally published in France, the story is set an a baby world, where Timothée - an agent of the Ministry of Children - ensures that his contemporaries are well treated by the adult brood. An Argentine edition followed in 2015. In 'Les Contes de Suicidé' ("Suicide Tales", Warum, 2016), Lucas Nine and scriptwriter Lautaro Ortiz adapted stories by the Uruguayan master of short stories and fantasy novels, Horacio Quiroga (1878-1937). In Argentina, the book appeared under the title 'Quiroga' (2018). In 'Borges, Inspector de Aves' (2017), Lucas Nine payed homage to another classic South American writer, Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). The writer was openly critical of the Perón government, resulting in a "promotion" from his position at the Miguel Cané Library to Inspector of Poultry and Rabbits at the Buenos Aires municipal market. In moody black-and-white artwork with greytones and collage elements, Nine creates an alternate history parody that explores what could have happened if Borges had accepted this almost surreal post. The Argentine edition was followed by publications in France (2018) and Ecuador (2020).

Nine's next book, 'Budapest ou Presque' (France, 2019), was another detective story, this time more fantasy-oriented, as it follows a detective investigating a mysterious vampire who terrorizes Budapest. 'Delicatessen - Tout est Bon' (France, 2022) is a comedy set in Paris during the "Belle Époque", filled with cultural references to late 19th-century France. For the graphical rendition of the book, Nine payed homage to Honoré Daumier and the impressionist painters of the time.


'Delicatessen - Tout est Bon' (2022).

Expositions and festivals
Over the years, Lucas Nine's work has been show in both solo and group expositions in South America and Europe. In 1995, his artwork for children was exhibited at the International Fair of Children's Book Illustrator in Bologna, Italy, and the show was later transferred and exhibited in various cities in Japan. Nine's work as comic creator was selected to be part of the traveling exhibition 'Consecuencias - Historieta Argentina', organized by INJUVE in Spain in 2000-2001. A solo show of his work was held at the Centro Cultural Recoleta (Buenos Aires, 2000), while it was also part of collective expositions at the Buenos Aires Palais de Glace in the period 2003-2005, and in several events in other Argentine cities (Husuaia, Mendoza, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Cordoba, Salta). Between 1998 and 2010, Nine's artwork was present at Brazilian events like the 'Salao Internacional de Desenho para Imprensa', the 'Festival Internacional de Quadrinhos' and 'Humor, Diálogo Universal', while in Spain it appeared at 'Lewis Carroll a la Sombra de Alicia', 'Meta' and 'Crash 04. His art was also represented during the 2008 exhibition dedicated to Argentina by the CBDI in Angoulême, France.

Recognition
The Argentine Association of Children's and Youth Literature (ALIJA) distinguished Lucas Nine with the 2004 ALIJA Highlights award in the "Outstanding Illustration" category for his work on the book 'Cuentos para temblar de miedo' by Elsa Bornemann (Editorial Alfaguara). In 2006, he won the same award in the category "Total Book" for his participation in the production of 'La Piedra de la Paciencia' by Canela (Editorial Sudamericana). The German graphic design magazine Novum Gebrauchsgraphik dedicated its November 2009 issue to the work of Lucas Nine.


Self-portrait.

lucasnine.blogspot.com

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