Comics · Here, Read · Look Here · Mirko Ilic

Look Here, Read: “Survival” by Mirko Ilić and Les Lilley

Hey, kids! I think it’s time for more comics, so here, straight outta Heavy Metal, volume III, number 10 (February 1980), is Mirko Ilić and Les Lilley’s “Survival”:


To read the five single-page fantasies by Mirko Ilić that were published in Epic Illustrated back in the day, click here.

I wonder… is the Corben influence on Ilić’s comics as obvious to you as it is to me?

Another visible influence: Rene Laloux’s 1973 movie, Fantastic Planet.


Success Secrets of the Graphic Design Superstars: Mirko Ilić

24 thoughts on “Look Here, Read: “Survival” by Mirko Ilić and Les Lilley

  1. I was very interested by the other stories from the same author. I don’t think they were published in Métal Hurlant in France.


  2. According to Wikipedia, the same year “Survival” was published in Heavy Metal, the informal organization of Yugoslavian comic book creators that Ilic had organized in the mid-1970s — Novi kvadrat (The New Square) — “ceased to exist and Ilic entirely stopped working on the comics, and focused upon illustration and graphic design.” Click here to visit Mirko Ilic Corp.’s Web site. He’s certainly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in his chosen field. And yet, all that really interests me in his vast body of work is his comics. If a complete collection were published tomorrow, I’d line up to buy it.


  3. RC, I agree with you. There is Corben’s influence in this comics, most obviously in the last few frames.
    Li-An: my only comics published in Metal Hurlant is “On the Same Side.”


  4. Terrific to hear from you, Mr Ilic! Hope you don’t mind that I’ve posted some of your work in comics here on RCN. One of the things I really enjoy doing on RCN — which, by the way, is a strictly not-for-profit blog — is to highlight worthwhile work in comics that has fallen through the cracks in some way and is currently out of print. My hope is always that some publisher or other will see the work and decide to reprint it in an English-language collection so I can add it to my personal library! Because as much as I love looking at digital images, I love books more.

    With best wishes,


  5. Thanks for the answer, Mr Ilic. Do you know in wich Metal Hurlant the story was published so I can have a look in my collection 🙂 I plan to make a little post on my blog about these comics.


  6. I’ve done a little searching with Google for you, Li-An, and it appears that Mirko Ilic’s “Du même côté” appeared in Métal Hurlant 57 (01/11/1980). Click here and scroll down for details, including a cover image. Since I’m not familiar with the history of Métal Hurlant, I have no idea why there is a Métal Hurlant 57 (Couverture: Naufragés du temp) and a Métal Hurlant “57bis” — 57a? — (Couverture: Anthologie de l’âge d’or). Was one of the two a special issue?


  7. Keep in mind, if the information at BDoubliées is correct, “Du même côté” is only in 57. It’s not in 57a. I don’t know if either of those is the “Anthologie” you speak of, but I thought I’d mention, just in case…


  8. RC, of course I don’t mind that you’ve posted my work. I would like to thank everybody for looking for my “Du meme cote” comics in Metal Hurlant. I actually did not know in which issue it got printed. After I sent the comics to Jean Giraud I never got a printed copy. Only, I found out later that one of the editors of Metal Hurlant wrote that that is the most bizarre comic of the year which Metal Hurlant published. I hope that was a compliment. I don’t know if you are interested but the only book where they published a kind of book of my comics works was by Toutain Editor in Spain. They published my comics and Igor Kordej’s comics for which I wrote stories. The name of the book is Del Mismo Lado. I have only one single copy and am still looking for a few more. All the best to you all.


  9. I’m interested… now let’s see what I can find…

    Hm… there are currently two copies of Del Mismo Lado available for purchase at Unfortunatley, one of them appears to be an “ex libris” copy, and the other is for sale by someone who wants over twice the asking price of the book to send it to Canada, i.e., book price = US$ 24.20 (C$ 24.99) and shipping = US$ 54.83 (C$ 56.61), for a grand total of US$ 79.03 (C$ 81.6), which is a bit steep for me. However, if anyone else is interested, click here to view the bookseller information.


  10. RC, that is very sweet of you-I didn’t expect you to try to get the book. I already tried to buy from them but the books never arrived, and I never got charged…Don’t worry about it. Thank you.


  11. No, thank you! It’s been quite amazing to have you here. You’ve been terrifically gracious. Stop by any time!


  12. Cool. More wordless comics! I said before that I was interested in the book, and now I’m even more interested. (I only speak and read English.) Too bad the sellers were unable to deliver. Believe it or not, I was actually in the process of ordering the “ex libris” copy when Mr Ilic posted to say that he’d already tried to buy from them but the books never arrived. So then, I didn’t bother. Ah well… maybe one will turn up on ebay… in the fullness of time…


  13. Hey, Ilic fans! I just bought an inexpensive reading copy of Métal Hurlant #57 on ebay, so expect to see a scan of Ilic’s “Du même côté” on RCN in a few weeks!


  14. BTW, it occurs to me that the situation in “Survival,” which features artificial men who work side-by-side to clean up after a battle between mechanical knights only to suddenly turn on one another over the issue of precedence based on rank, is reminiscent of certain fables by the excellent Polish SF writer, Stanislaw Lem. (See, for instance, the stories in the English-language collections, The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age and Mortal Engines.) I wonder if, at the time he was working in comics, Mr Ilic was a Lem fan…


  15. The more, the merrier! It’s all good publicity for Mr Ilic’s comics. I hope you’ll come back and share the link when you’re ready.


  16. RC, of course I was aware of Stanislaw Lem’s works. Except, this is one of the cases where I didn’t write my own scenarios. The writer was Les Lilley, and probably that would be a good question for him. I met Les Lilley at the Lucca Festival where we were hanging with Sergio Toppi, Dino Battagua, Hugo Pratt, and Bobby London. At that time I was thinking I would not succeed as a comics artist, because I didn’t have two of the same letters in my name next to each other.

    I think you are going to have a bit of a problem posting “Du Meme Cote” (“On The Same Side”) on your web, because I don’t think the visitors would understand exactly what is going on. At that time, I was into playing with comics as a media, and the idea of the comics was to be printed on both sides of the page. Because characters are two dimensional, they don’t have a sense of third dimension. When they are standing against a white wall / magazine sheet, and hearing voices on the other side, they don’t know that they’re actually hearing themselves on the reverse side of the page. When they are shooting / stabbing into the wall, they don’t understand that they are actually killing themselves as the knife comes through to them on the other side of the paper. Only when you hold the page up to the light, do you understand the full picture.


  17. Truly, the story sounds like it would be of great interest to the current generation of “alternative” comics makers, if only they knew of its existence. If I post a nice enough scan, I could easily instruct readers to print the story out, double sided (“duplex”), on light-weight paper, on their home printers to get the full effect. Registration might be a problem, but I’ll try to work out the kinks before I post. Perhaps a PDF would work best. Thanks for the info!


  18. This morning, while wandering absentmindedly on the Web, I suddenly came up with what I think will be the perfect way to display “Du Meme Cote,” but full disclosure will have to wait until I post… I think I’ve cracked the problem!


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