22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Nicolas Wouters

Portrait Nicolas Wouters
© Hartwig Klappert

Nicolas Wouters was born in 1984 in Brussels. He was involved in a number of cultural projects – from theater plays to poetry slams – before dedicating himself entirely to the world of comic design.

He graduated in 2012 with a degree in comic design and illustration from the prestigious Atélier Bande Dessinée of the École Supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc Bruxelles (ESA), where he met the German illustrator Mikael Ross. In 2013 they co-created the comic »Les pieds dans le béton« (tr. Cement shoes), published in 2013 as a graphic novel by the Paris publishing house Sarbacane, and in German under the title »Lauter Leben!« (2014; tr. Live louder). It’s the story of two very different friends – one cocky and pushy, the other shy and sensible. Their youth is spent hanging around the punk and house-squatting scene in Berlin and Brussels during the 1980s and 90s; eventually they lose track of each other. Years later they bump into each other again in Berlin – one still heavily entrenched in the city’s subculture, the other having failed to establish the comfortable, bourgeois life he expected for himself. In a time-shifting act of self-reflection they relive/ resurrect their symbiotic friendship. The visual and written narrative of »Les pieds dans le béton« reflects the painful gult that can open up between the outlandishness of adolescent rebellion and the quiet forlornness of an over-integrated life. Nicolas Wouters’ third graphic novel »Totem« (2916) – again illustrated by Mikael Ross – is about growing up: Louis, an odd-ball, has a hard time getting to grips with all the customs and peculiarities expected of all the participants at the Boy Scout summer camp he’s staying at. Moreover, it never stops raining, his group has to slosh through a swampy, foreboding forest, all the while feeling threatened by a mysterious beast. A merciless initiation ceremony forces Louis to stand up against the others, and to explore his innermost being.

Nicolas Wouters traveled around Japan for two months in 2014, creating a series of illustrations of which a selection are online on his homepage (http://nicowouters.blogspot.de). The writer, scriptwriter and illustrator lives in Zurich.