Statix Press has been filling store shelves with noteworthy European comics, many translated into English for the first time, since 2017. Some of their most interesting releases in that time have been from Franco-Belgian comic luminaries Enki Bilal and Phillip Druillet. To further highlight the work of these creators, Statix has exclusively told The Beat that they’ve decided to codify their Bilal and Druillet offerings into libraries of books bearing their name.
In 2019 they’ll be releasing the The Druillet Library and The Bilal Library , which Statix refers to as “a dedicated publishing slate that expands on the seminal works from two of the greatest comic book creators with lavishly produced graphic novels – collecting rare and out-of-print classics.”
The first of these will be Bilal’s Monster in May, and Druillet’s The Night in August of this year. Bilal’s Legends of Today will see release later in 2019. The existing releases of Bilal’s Exterminator 17 and Druillet’s Yragaël and Urm The Madman, Lone Sloane: Gail, and Salammbo will be wrapped into this line, forming separate libraries collecting the work of these seminal comic figures for the English-language markets.
Statix editor Jonathan Stevenson told us:
“Philippe Druillet and Enki Bilal have gained legendary status in Europe. They are two of the most original and creative storytellers to have worked in comics. Titan’s back catalogue and forthcoming translated editions of their work under the new “Library” banners mean that the English speaking world can now discover these incredible books as well.”
Druillet’s dizzying science fiction art made a splash when it first graced the pages of Heavy Metal in the mid-seventies, and has lost none of its impact with time. Bilal’s comic work has translated into films, video games, and even inspired the development of a sport: Chess boxing, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Writing for The Comics Journal, Daniel Kalder had this to say about Druillet’s SLOANE series:
“As a youthful reader of 2000AD in its early ’80s heyday I grew up with compressed narratives, but this is something else: Druillet achieves almost Book of Genesis levels of symbolic density. Lone Sloane is a tripped-out attempt at creating cosmic myths, psychedelic visions, an assault on the fabric of reality on paper.”
When described as a futurist, Bilal saw the purpose of his work, which often draws from real-life war and conflict, this way:
“Where journalists have to stop because they must report and verify the facts, the writer and artist can go further into imagining what may lie ahead. This is how I function.”
To see some of the interiors of the works already released by Statix that will soon be a part of these libraries, check out our previews for Bilal’s Exterminator 17 and Druillet’s Yragaël and Urm The Madman and Salammbo.
The Druillet Library
Yragael and Urm the Madman: ISBN 9781785864216
Lone Sloane: Gail: ISBN: 9781785864209
Salammbo: ISBN: 9781785866647
The Night: ISBN: 9781785866661
The Bilal Library
Exterminator 17: ISBN: 9781785867330
Monster: ISBN: 9781785868733
Legends of Today: ISBN: 9781785868740