François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters started to explore these cities in the early 1980s. In this fictional world, humans live in independent city-states, each of which has developed a distinct civilisation, each characterised by a distinctive architectural style.
François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters didn't only explore this universe by graphic novels, but also by the means of books, movies, exhibitions, scenographics & radio documentaries.
The word Obscure is somewhat misleading for English-speaking readers. In English we tend to think of the word to mean “little known” or “odd.” The French use the word for multiple meanings, including “mysterious”, “hidden” or even “secluded.” ALL of these adjectives could apply to the world imagined in the minds of Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten.
And although not all their work is officially related to the Obscure Cities, they all seem to fit somehow in the concept of their Les Cités Obscures.
On the Obscure Continent Altaplana is the city that is dedicated to hold all the archives of the Obscure Cities. Altaplana was founded in November 747 AT, after the Convention Von Amelunxen decided that all archives had to be centralized in one special place. Altaplana is located west of Urbicande and Alaxis, mid-way between the two in longitude.
The founding of Altaplana was not an immediately success. It took a long time to sort out if the documents have to be archived in alphabetical, chronological or logical order. Even after personal intervention of Governor Arkhalsky the chaos remained.
It was after a long time that Joseph Le Perdriel brought structure in the chaos by implementing a system that allowed documents to be archived in alphabetical, chronological and logical order, all at the same time. This system made it possible in 2011 to lift the embargo on information and open the Altaplana archives for everyone.
The archives at Altaplana contain about 3700 pages and are growing day by day. Enjoy the world of Les Cités Obscures!
1996 - 2021
for 25 years the internet resource about Les Cités Obscures,
trying to build the impossible & infinite encyclopedia of the world created by Schuiten & Peeters
Dans l’antre de la Red Team avec François Schuiten, dessinateur
* Mise en place à l’initiative d’Emmanuel Chiva, directeur de l’agence de l’innovation de défense (AID), la Red Team réunit une dizaine d’auteurs, scénaristes et dessinateurs de…
« La BD est un langage à part entière »
L'écrivain est le démiurge des « Cités obscures » avec son ami et dessinateur François Schuiten. Ancien élève de Roland Barthes, il est aussi le spécialiste d'Hergé et garant de sa magie.
Homme de lettres…
la Fabrique de Notre-Dame
In the second edition of “la Fabrique de Notre-Dame - Journal des donateurs” François Schuiten is interviewed in the section Carte Blanche.
Original article by Lucie Agache, published at September 2021.
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