1. Philippe Druillet

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    Philippe Druillet is a ground-breaking French comics artist and creator. He is best known for his large-scale science fiction tales of gothic worlds, aliens and adventurers.

    Born 1944, in Toulouse, France. Druillet spent the first eight years of his life in Figueiras, Spain. Returning to France in 1952 after the death of his father. A fan of science fiction and comics, his favourite writers were H. P. Lovecraft and A.E. van Vogt. He would draw for fun. At 16 years old, after graduating from high school, Druillet worked as a photographer for a couple of years. His photographs were published in many international books on cinema and fantasy.

    In 1966, Losfeld published Druillet’s first comic book, Le Mystère des abîmes (The Mystery of the Abyss). It introduced Lone Sloane, a space rogue, and a recurring character in Druillet’s work. In 1970 Druillet joined Pilote magazine where he resumed the adventures of Lone Sloane. Expanding the saga and innovating the comic medium. He used saturated colours and original page layouts. He designed gigantic structures, inspired by Art Nouveau, Indian temples, and Gothic cathedrals. He was given the nickname “space architect”. George Lucas said that Druillet’s drawings were an influence for Star Wars.

    In 1972, six Sloane tales were collected in Les six voyages de Lone Sloane. Which has been hailed by many as Druillet’s masterpiece. He followed this, in 1973, with the graphic novel Délirius, written by Jacques Lob. In 1974, Druillet and Michel Demuth created Yragaël inspired by the fictional character Elric of Melniboné.

    Up until 1975, much of Druillet’s work was published by Dargaud. After feeling disappointed his relationship with the comic publisher he partnered with Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Bernard Farkas and Moebius to form the publishing house Les Humanoïdes Associés. Their first publication was the magazine Métal Hurlant. Which would later be published in the United States by National Lampoon under the title Heavy Metal.

    Humanoïdes was to be a platform for the artist to showcase their finest work. Druillet continued his series Lone Sloane and Vuzz, alongside other stories including La Nuit (The Night), and Nosferatu. From 1980 until 1986 Druillet worked on Salammbô. A three-part comic based upon Gustave Flaubert’s fantasy novel of the same name.

    Starting from the end of the 1970s, Druillet began focusing on multimedia projects. Experimenting with film, animation, architecture, sculpture, and painting. Between 1978 to 1983, he collaborated on Rolf Liebermann’s Wagner Space Opera. He was involved in the renovation of the Porte de la Villette subway station in Paris. He also designed large parts of the background for the 2005 TV miniseries Les Rois maudits.

    Druillet, now focused on fine arts, still remains just as innovative as when he began 50 years ago. You can find out more about Philippe Druillet on his website.