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Bilal, Enki (Artist/Author) & Cauvin, Patrick (Co-Author). ENKI BILAL: HORS JEU. Paris, France: Les Editions Autrement, 1987. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. Unpaginated. Fine.

The artist/writer's fully-illustrated story. One of the greatest comics art books of the 20th century. The true First Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. A brilliant production by Enki Bilal: Oversize-volume format in wide oblong shape. Pictorial hard boards with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Art and text by Enki Bilal. Co-written with Patrick Cauvin. Printed on thick uncoated stock paper in Paris, France to the very highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Presents Enki Bilal's "Hors Jeu", one of his single most beautiful works ever. In Europe, "graphic novel" is a meaningless term whereas in the English-speaking world, it is now widely used to describe illustrated fiction for adults. The sex and nudity as well as erudition and aestheticism of Bilal's work is radically different, inhabiting another imaginary universe in the distant future; he has more in common with dystopian/visionary writers like J. G. Ballard and William S. Burroughs than with Art Spiegelman or Chris Ware. His technique is mixed-media, watercolor combined with ink, pencil, and chalk, willfully deployed to the point that the paper used is effaced and transformed: "The most remarkable thing about Bilal's art is its texture. He revels in the textures of decaying buildings, chipped paint, tortured wood, cracked ceramics, rough stone, broken concrete, grime, soot-covered surfaces, and wrinkled skin. He indulges this love of texture to such a degree that the ugly becomes the beautiful" (Charley Parker). Whereas one of Spiegelman's principles is that the graphic artist's line should be as simple and even crude as possible (we are always aware the work is done on paper), the lapidary exquisiteness and minute precision of Bilal's hand recall such Masters as Goya, Otto Dix, and R. B. Kitaj in their subversive beauty. Bilal's mastery of color is unsurpassed; there is nothing quite like the colors of the illustrations in "Hors Jeu", which are magnificently presented as full-page plates. A masterpiece of the Master Draftsman's art, this is a "must-have" title for Enki Bilal collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in pencil on the title page by Enki Bilal. This title is now very highly collectible. Signed Bilal prints are readily available; signed copies of his books are not. This is the only signed copy available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A very rare signed copy thus. 12 color plates. One of the greatest living artists. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ENKI BILAL TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 2862602078. $400.00

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