Schuiten and Peeters, La Frontière Invisible
On the occasion of the Angoulême International Comics Festival, where they just won the Grand Prize, a conversation with François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters. The two partners had started the Cities of the Fantastic series more than twenty years ago, political fables in a fantasised universe, a mirror of our world.
The artist from Brussels, François Schuiten (1956) is the son of an architect, which certainly predisposed him to create his cult series Les Cités Obscures.
Having published his first pages at 16 years old, he was still a student at the Institute of Comics in Saint-Luc when he met Claude Renard, with whom he would publish his first two albums: Aux Médianes de Cymbiola (1980) and Le Rail (1982). He then collaborated with his brother for the magazine Pilote, before associating himself with the script writer Benoit Peeters to publish in 1983 Les Murailles de Samaris, the first opus in the Les Cités Obscures series, which won him several prizes: prize for best album of the year at the Angoulême Festival for La Fièvre de d'Urbicande (1985), the Plantin-Morétus prize for L'Archiviste (1987), the Charleroi Festival prize for Brüsel (1992). Having collaborated on the graphic conception of two films (Gwendoline by Just Jaeckin and Taxandriaby Raoul Servais), he also designed the metro stations Porte de Hal in Brussels and Arts et Métiers in Paris.
In 2002, he received the grand prize at the Angoulême Festival for his life's work, and is currently working on the film adaptation of Les Cités Obscurs.