7 October 1951
Belgrade, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia
|Area(s)||Comics artist, writer, director|
|Nikopol Trilogy, Légendes d'Aujourd'hui, Partie de chasse|
Bilal was born in Belgrade, PR Serbia, Yugoslavia, to a Czech mother, Ana, who came to Belgrade as child from Karlovy Vary, and a Bosniak father, Muhamed Bilalović, from Ljubuški, who had been Josip Broz Tito's tailor. When he was five years old, his father managed to take a trip and stay in Paris as a political émigré. Enki and the rest of the family, his mother Ana and sister Enisa, stayed in Yugoslavia, and four years later they followed.
At age 14, he met René Goscinny and with his encouragement applied his talent to comics. He produced work for Goscinny's Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote in the 1970s, publishing his first story, Le Bol Maudit, in 1972.
In 1975, Bilal began working with script writer Pierre Christin on a series of dark and surreal tales, resulting in the body of work titled Légendes d'Aujourd'hui.
In 1983, Bilal was asked by film director Alain Resnais to collaborate on his film La vie est un roman, for which Bilal provided painted images that were incorporated in the "medieval" episodes of the film.
He is best known for the Nikopol trilogy (La Foire aux immortels, La Femme piège and Froid Équateur), which took more than a decade to complete. Bilal wrote the script and did the artwork. The final chapter, Froid Équateur, was chosen book of the year by the magazine Lire and is acknowledged by the inventor of chess boxing, Iepe Rubingh as the inspiration for the sport.
Quatre? (2007), the last book in the Hatzfeld tetralogy, deals with the breakup of Yugoslavia from a future viewpoint. The first installment came in 1998 in the shape of Le Sommeil du Monstre opening with the main character, Nike, remembering the war in a series of traumatic flashbacks. The third chapter of the tetralogy is Rendez-vous à Paris (2006), which was the fifth best selling new comic of 2006, with 280,000 copies sold.
His cinematic career was revived with the expensive Immortel, his first attempt to adapt his books to the screen. The film divided critics, some panning the use of CGI characters but others seeing it as a faithful reinterpretation of the books.
On 13 May 2008 a video game based on the Nikopol trilogy was announced titled Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals. Published in North America by Got Game Entertainment in August 2008, the game is a "point and click" adventure for the PC; however, the Lead Designer was Benoit Sokal and not Bilal himself, who was the art designer, along with Yoshitaka Amano, for the video game Beyond Good and Evil 2.
In 2012, Bilal was featured in a solo exhibition at The Louvre. The exhibition, titled "The Ghosts of the Louvre", ran from 20 December 2012 to 18 March 2013. The exhibition was organized by Fabrice Douar, and featured a series of paintings of "Ghosts", done atop photographs that Bilal took of the Louvre's collection.
From its start through the 1980s Bilal was a frequent guest in American Heavy Metal magazine. Many famous Bilal comics made their English debut in this period of the magazine. Although shorter stories appeared later in the '90s, Heavy Metal readers had to wait until 2012 for another graphic novel feature from Bilal.
|English title||Date (start)||Issue (start)||Date (end)||Issue (end)||Writer||Number |
|Exterminator 17||1978/10||Vol. 2 No. 6||1979/03||Vol. 2 No. 11||Jean-Pierre Dionnet||60|
|Progress!||1980/07||Vol. 4 No. 4||1980/11||Vol. 4 No. 8||Pierre Christin||54|
|The Nikopol Trilogy: The Immortals' Fete||1981/05||Vol. 5 No. 2||1981/12||Vol. 5 No. 9||Enki Bilal||62|
|The Voyage of Those Forgotten||1982/04||Vol. 6 No. 1||1982/11||Vol. 6 No. 8||Pierre Christin||52|
|The City That Didn't Exist||1983/03||Vol. 6 No. 12||1983/09||Vol. 7 No. 6||Pierre Christin||54|
|The Hunting Party||1984/06||Vol. 8 No. 3||1985/03||Vol. 8 No. 12||Pierre Christin||82|
|The Nikopol Trilogy: The Trapped Woman||1986/Fall||Vol. 10 No. 3||same as start||Enki Bilal||54|
|Animal'z||2012/03||March 2012||2014/04||270||Enki Bilal||87|
|English title||Date||Issue||Note||Number of pages|
|Crossroads of the Universe||1977/07||Vol. 1 No. 4||reprinted in Greatest Hits 1994||7|
|The Death of Orlaon, or: Legendary Immortality||1978/07||Vol. 2 No. 3||reprinted in The Best of 1982||4|
|Ultimate Negotiations||1979/01||Vol. 2 No. 9||4|
|True Tales of Outer Space: The Planet Of No Return||1979/02||Vol. 2 No. 10||7|
|Going Native||1979/04||Vol. 2 No. 12||7|
|The Road to Ruin||1980/02||Vol. 3 No. 10||written by Pierre De La Varech||2|
|Of Needle and Thread||1980/04||Vol. 4 No. 1||reprinted in hardcover version of Greatest Hits 1994||4|
|Only the Plitch||1980/05||Vol. 4 No. 2||reprinted in The Best of No. 2 1986||10|
|Amusing Stories Section: A Day in the Log of the City of Alger||1982/08||Vol. 6 No. 5||written by Jean-Pierre Dionnet||4|
|Enki Bilal Enters the World of Hardcore Science Fiction||1983/10||Vol. 7 No. 7||Art gallery||7|
|The Gray Man||1984/09||Vol. 9 No. 6||reprinted in Greatest Hits 1994||1|
|Over the Wall||1984||Son of Heavy Metal||4|
|The Leader's Surprise||1997/07||Vol. 21 No. 3||4|
|Mondovision||1997/11||Vol. 21 No. 5||4|
|Close the Shutters and Open Your Eyes||1997||Horror Special – Vol. 11 No 1||10|
|On The Wing||1997/Fall||20 Years of Heavy Metal – Vol. 11 No. 2||7|
|New York, 2000 AD.||1998/01||Vol. 21 No. 6||4|
|The Slow Boat to Vega||1998/03||Vol. 22 No. 1||4|
A collection of short stories.
Hardcover, large format books
The Bilal Library: (small format – 190 × 260 cm – paperbacks)
Hardcover, large format books
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