Les Cités Obscures - La Route d'Armilia , by François Schuiten
Les Cités Obscures - 'La Route d'Armilia' (1987).

François Schuiten was born in 1956 in Brussels, 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 comic magazine Pilote.

Le Rail by François Schuiten
'Le Rail' (1981).

Schuiten studied at the Institut Saint-Luc in Brussels where he met Claude Renard, head of the comics department. Together, they created the comic series '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 by François Schuiten
Les Cités Obscures - 'La Frontière Invisible', Vol. 2 (2004).

Between 1977 and 1980, Schuiten 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 by François Schuiten
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, 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'. 

12 La Douce by François Schuiten
'12 La Douce'.

Schuiten's 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. One of his panels for the story 'Le Débandade' from his album 'Carapaces' was used as the cover of Herman van Veen's succesful single 'Hilversum III' (1984).

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. In 2002, François Schuiten was invested with the title of Baron by the Belgian King Albert II.

In 1983, Schuiten was one of many comic artists paying homage to the recently deceased Hergé in a special issue of (À Suivre), titled 'Adieu Hergé'. 

In 2013, a exhibition of comics and cartoons was organized in the Flemish parliament. One of the members of the Flemish-nationalist party N-VA felt the need to change a French-language speech balloon in a drawing by François Schuiten into Dutch. This sparked protest from several cartoonists who participated, among them Canary Pete, Jeroom, Kamagurka, Marec, Nix, Quirit, Zaza, Vincent Baudoux, Cécile Bertrand, Emiel de Bolle, Clou, Cost, Vincent Dubois, Frédéric Dubus, Josse Goffin, Paul de Groeve, Jacpé, Kanar, Karl, Kroll, Jean-Louis Lejeune, Philippe Moins, Johan de Moor, Olivier Saive, Samuel, Herr Seele, Jacques Sondron, Nicholas Vadot, Vejo en Xavier Zeegers. Kamagurka even went so far to ask for the removal of his own cartoons.

In August 1995, Schuiten and Alexandre Obolensky designed 'Le Passage/De Doorgang', a mural in the Porte de Hal/ Hallepoort in Brussels, as part of the Brussels' Comic Book Route. Contrary to the other Comic Book murals a different technique was used, namely sgraffito, also a common technique in Art Nouveau. A layer of synthetic cement tinted with black smoke was covered with a layer of 3mm thick white cement, engraved to make the drawing line reappear again. In 2010, the two artists also created 'La Tour Infinie', a huge mural (13 to 17 metres high) in Louvain-la-Neuve. They collaborated again in 2013 to create the mural 'L'Arche / De Ark' in the Rue Maes / Maesstraat in Ixelles, Bruxelles. 

François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters
François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters (photo by Freddy Rikken).


Series and books by François Schuiten you can order today:


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