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Schuiten, François 1956-

SCHUITEN, François 1956-

(Robert Louis Marie de la Barque)

PERSONAL: Born 1956.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Casterman Editions, Rue Royal 132, bte 2, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

CAREER: Illustrator, animation artist, and artistic director. Film work includes: set design and costumes for Gwendoline, 1984; graphic conceptualization for Taxandria, 1988–89; graphic conceptualization of 3-D comics for animated film Les quarxs, 1989–91; animation (with Benoît Peeters) for La découverte inattendue, 1992; scenario (with Peeters and W. Leguebe) for documentary Le dossier B, 1995; scenario (with Peeters, P. Drouot, and Leguebe) for Le dernier plan, 1999; and scenario and animation (with Peeters) for L'affaire desombres, 2001. Exhibitions: Artwork exhibited in installations, including "La ville imaginaire," Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1989; "La musée des ombres," Angoulême, France, 1990; "Architectures rêvées, de Eugen Robick à Victor Horta," 1996; "Pavillon des utopies," Universal Exposition, Hanover, Germany, 2000; and in subway stations in Brussels, Belgium, 1993, and Paris, France, 1994.

AWARDS, HONORS: Prize from Festival d'Angoulême, 1985, for La fièvre d'Urbicande; Prix Plantin-Morétus, 1987, for L'archiviste; grand prize from City of Sierre, 1987, for La tour; Festival de Durbury prize, and Festival de Charleroi prize, both 1992, both for Brüsel; Prix Olivier Strelli, Festival de Bruxelles, 1992, for La découverte inattendue; grand prize of the Town of Angoulême, 2002, for La frontière invisible; Eisner award nomination for Best Penciller/Inker, 2002, for Brüsel.



Les murailles de Samaris, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1983.

La fièvre d'Urbicande, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1985.

(As Robert Louis Marie de la Barque; with Régis de Brok) Le mystère d'Urbicande, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1985.

L'archiviste, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1987.

La tour, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1987.

La route d'Armilia, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1988.

Encyclopédie des transports présents et à venir by Axel Wappendorf, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1988.

(With F. Young, T. Génicot, and M.-F. Plissart) Le musée A. Desombres, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1990.

Brüsel, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1992.

L'echo des cités, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1993.

Mary la penchée, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1995.

L'enfant penchée, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1996.

Le guide des cités, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1996.

L'ombre d'un homme, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1999.

Voyages en utopie, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 2000.

La frontière invisible, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 2002, translated by Joe Johnson as The Invisible Frontier, 2 volumes, Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine (New York, NY), 2002–04.


Carapaces, Humanoïdes (Paris, France), 1981, translated by Julia Solis, Humanoids Publications (Hollywood, CA), 2001.

Zara, Humanoïdes (Paris, France), 1985, Humanoids Publications (Hollywood, CA), 2001.

Nogegon, Humanoïdes (Paris, France), 1990, translated by Julia Solis, Humanoids Publications (Hollywood, CA), 2000.


(With Claude Renard) Aux médianes de Cymbiola, Humanoïdes (Paris, France), 1980.

(With Claude Renard) Le Rail, Humanoïdes (Paris, France), 1982.

(With Benoît Peeters and Alain Goffin) Plagiat!, Humanoïdes (Paris, France), 1989.

(With Benoît Peeters and Anne Baltus) Dolorès, Casterman (Brussels, Belgium), 1991.

(With Benoît Peeters) Souvenirs de l'éternel présent (adaptation of the film Taxandria), Arboris, 1993.

(With Benoît Peeters) L'aventure des images, de la bande dessinée au multimédia (essay), Autrement, 1996.

The Book of Schuiten (non-comic works), translated by Catherine McMillan, Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor to anthologies, including View from the Bridge of Europe and Planet of Visions, Wasmuth (Germany), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS: Belgian comic-book artist François Schuiten is the creator of the best-selling "Cités obscures"—"Obscure Cities"—comic-book series, written with longtime friend and collaborator Benoît Peeters. In Belgium, as in other European countries, comics have long had widespread appeal and are respected as an artistic form. In this highly complex series, Schuiten portrays an alternative universe full of Jules Vernesque buildings and fantastic machines. As the series grew in popularity, it seemed to take on a life of its own. Fans created an authorized club and Web site. Many enthusiasts submitted ideas for Schuiten's consideration, and he used some of these ideas in subsequent works. Schuiten, who has also done work in graphic art for posters, advertising, and animation films, teamed up with Peeters to create museum-size exhibitions portraying portions of the "Obscure Cities" series and the supposed relics found in them.

Although several of Schuiten's books have been translated into English in book-length collections, they have suffered a loss of nuances, according to critics. Because the works require a painstaking rearrangement of lettering in translated texts, they have been slow to appear on the American market. American reviewers have commented favorably on The Invisible Frontier, a two-volume collection of one of the series' story cycles. Booklist contributor Ray Olson called the illustrations for this work "immaculate, surrealist-precisionist artwork," and a Publishers Weekly contributor lauded Schuiten's graphics as "exquisite."



Booklist, December 15, 2002, Ray Olson, review of The Invisible Frontier, p. 719; October 1, 2004, Ray Olson, review of The Invisible Frontier, Volume 2, p. 320; October 15, 2004, Ray Olson, reviews of The Book of Schuiten and The Hollow Grounds, pp. 374, 396.

Publishers Weekly, August 17, 1990, Penny Kaganoff, review of Fever in Urbicande, p. 64; October 25, 2004, review of The Invisible Frontier, Volume 2, p. 30.


Light on the Cities Club Web site, (March 9, 2005), "François Schuiten."

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