Emmanuel Guibert
© Divergence Alain Tendero
Graphic novel

Emmanuel Guibert

First of all, I meet people, we have a good time, we learn things, and the book becomes a kind of natural child of these relationships.

Born in 1964 in Paris, Emmanuel Guibert produces illustrated works, which at their most emblematic find a place for intimate memories to nestle in the hollows of contemporary history. In early 2020, he was awarded the Grand Prix of the City of Angoulême, a crowning moment in his exceptional career. 

Published on 28/04/2020

2 min

After a brief stint at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Emmanuel Guibert made a name for himself with his first comic book, Brune (1992), which traces the rise of Nazism. The work, which took seven years to complete and reflected his interest in contemporary history, connected him up with the talents at the publishing house L’Association, which in the 1990s gave a new face to alternative comics.  

Alongside this personal work, Emmanuel Guibert initiated a collaborative effort with Joann Sfar with La Fille du professeur (René Goscinny Prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 1998), then with the La Sardine de l’espace series (2000-2014) and Les Olives Noires (2001-2003). He also wrote the script for the hit series Ariol (2002-2006), illustrated by Marc Boutavant. 

The originality of Emmanuel Guibert's work rests in part on an encounter: specifically with Alan Ingram Cope, a former G.I. who fought in World War II and whom he decided to interview. The interviews revealed to him that his work as an author could have a different meaning, and he moved towards a documentary, psychological style that has become his trademark. 

In a sense, Emmanuel Guibert repeated this original writing process with Le Photographe (2003-2006), a comic strip made from memories recounted by Didier Lefèvre, a photographer who left for Afghanistan in the 1980s with Médecins Sans Frontières, and in his album Japonais (2008), a travel diary of his three stays in Japan and his residence in Villa Kujoyama, where paintings, drawings and collages intersect.

Promoted Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2013, Guibert has reached audiences all over the world with his subjects (La Guerre d’Alan, Le Photographe, etc.) of international ambit. In 2017, he was awarded the René Goscinny Prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival for the entirety of his screen-writing work. The Festival featured him the following year in an exhibition, and in 2020 awarded him its Grand Prix, praising his « technical virtuosity » and « the profound humanity » of his work. 

  • 1994


    Emmanuel Guibert meets former G.I. Alan Cope on Ile de Ré. He takes down his memories, which will later give rise to the work Alan’s War.

  • 2007


    Emmanuel Guibert in residency at the Kujoyama Villa, in Kyoto. His album Japonais would come out the following year.

  • 2010


    He is awarded the Eisner Prize for best American edition of an international work and, in Italy, the Micheluzzi Prize for best foreign series for Le Photographe.

  • 2020


    Emmanuel Guibert is awarded the Angoulême Grand Prix for the totality of his work.

The Institut français and the artist

In the context of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Institut Français wishes to continue offering you portraits, meetings with creators fromall walks of life, works and portfolios. We hope these few pages will bring some breathing space back into an everyday shaped by lockdown.


In 2007, Emmanuel Guibert was selected for a residency at the Villa Kujoyama (Japan).


His album Japonais (2008), a travel diary in which paintings, drawings and collages intersect, was largely impregnated with it.

L'institut français, LAB