Les Cités Obscures - La Route d'Armilia (1987)
François Schuiten was born in Brussels in 1956, as the son of two architects. He was a classmate of Benoît Peeters, with whom he would make his best known comics. While still at school, they made their own fanzine called Go. By the age of 16, Schuiten had the opportunity to publish his first story, 'Mutation', in the Belgian edition of the comics magazine Pilote.
Le Rail (1981)
He studied at the Saint-Luc Institute where he met Claude Renard, who was head of the comics department. Together, they created the comics 'Aux Médianes de Cymbiola' (1979) and 'Le Rail' (1981) for Métal Hurlant, and they also published their work in their own magazine Le 9ème Rêve.
Les Cités Obscures - La Frontière Invisible, Vol. 2 (2004)
Between 1977 and 1980, he worked with his brother Luc on several stories for Métal Hurlant. These were collected in the book 'Carapaces' (Casterman, 1982). Schuiten and his brother made several more stories under the label 'Les Terres Creuses' for both Métal Hurlant and À Suivre, including the experimental palindrome comic 'NogenoN' (1990).
Les Cités Obscures - La Théorie du Grain de Sable, vol. 2 (2008)
Schuiten teamed up again with his childhood friend Benoît Peeters in 1980 to create a series of stories that resulted in the series 'Les Cités Obscures'. In this surreal series, that was published in À Suivre and in albums by Casterman, Schuiten's love of architecture is magnificently visible. Schuiten claims to be influenced by such authors as Jules Verne and Franz Kafka and artists like René Magritte and Winsor McCay. Throughout the years, has continued to rework and update his stories for the several reprints. It wasn't until April 2012 that Schuiten made his debut as an allround author with his solo comic '12 la Douce'.
His graphic virtuosity resulted in a request to work on films like 'Gwendoline' (by Just Jaeckin), 'Taxandria' (by Raoul Servais) and 'Mr. Nobody' (by Jaco van Dormael). He also collaborated with Maurice Benayoun on the computer graphics series 'Quarxs' in the early 1990s. His work has been exhibited on several occasions, also in Lambiek, and has been awarded many times, especially with the prestigious Prix d'Angoulême. A master in several disciplines, François Schuiten still aims to develop himself in new directions, like designing the "Pavillion de l'Utopie" at the Universal Exposition in Hannover in 2002 and two subway stations in Brussels and Paris. François Schuiten was invested with the title of Baron by the Belgian King Albert II in 2002.
François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters
(photo by Freddy Rikken)