Country of origin: Brazil Europe Comics Publisher: Dargaud (France)
Luis Eduardo de Oliveira, or simply Leo to comics fans, was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1944. A drawing enthusiast, he first went to university to study engineering, and in 1971, a few years after earning his diploma, and becoming involved in the political left, he was forced to leave Brazil to escape the repression of the dictatorship. He moved to Chili and Argentina before finally returning secretly to Brazil in 1974, at which point he left politics behind to concentrate on his art. Leo began his drawing career with an American company before turning to press illustrations and then comics. His first full-length comic book was published in the mid-‘70s, and after discovering the richness of the comics scene in Europe with publications like Pilote and Métal hurlant, he decided to try his chance in France, moving to Paris in 1981. After a hesitant beginning with a few comics publications, Leo turned to advertising for work before finally breaking through in the late ‘80s. It was then that he met the writer Rodolphe, who invited him to collaborate on his new series Trent. The first album appeared in 1991 with Dargaud (later published in English by Europe Comics and Cinebook), launching Leo’s comics career for good. And since then, Leo hasn’t looked back, offering readers over the years a seemingly endless string of remarkable comics series, including the long-running Aldebaran series, Trent, Kenya, Terres lointaines (Distant Worlds), and The Mermaid Project and Mutations, all with Dargaud, and the majority have been translated into English by Cinebook and Europe Comics. And the list goes on, as the artist’s passion for comics only continues to grow.