Cover art for The 6 Voyages of Lone Sloan
Philippe Druillet [english link] spent his childhood in Catalonia on the Iberian peninsula of Spain, moving back to France when he was eight. Beginning his artistic career as a photographer, he didn’t start selling his drawings until he was 22 and soon took his most famous character Lone Sloan to the French comic magazine Pilote.
Pilote also introduced us to Uderzo and Goscinny‘s Asterix and several artists that I came to know from the pages of Heavy Metal magazine including Moebius and Bilal.
Like Moebius, Druillet is another of the founders of Les Humanoïdes Associés that subsequently published Métal Hurlant and it’s American sister mag, Heavy Metal. Also like Moebius, Druillet’s work showed up a lot in the early issues.
Cover Art for Heavy Metal’s May 1978 Issue
His stories can be somewhat inscrutable; many of his panels might have no text or dialogue and then one will have a large text box full of tightly-packed words.
Story aside, what I’ve always loved about his stuff has been the mingling of eastern, art deco, and art noveau complexities all with a savage, martial demeanor. Rather than small-scene windows into the story, Mr Druillet’s art is wide-angle and complex often given to huge vistas and grand architecture. It’s also not uncommon for his characters to be biomechanoid in some fashion, and his architecture to be rather organic – something akin to HR Giger’s work.
Here are just a few of my more favorite illustrations of his:
From Druillet’s illustration of Michael Moorcock’s Saga of Elric the Necromancer