• 05.25.12

Sci-Fi Illustrations That Hark Back To The 1980s Heydey Of Moebius

In Kilian Eng’s drawings, alien space ships mingle with crumbling pyramids.

“The process of drawing,” says Swedish illustrator Kilian Eng, “makes it impossible for me to not create a story along the way.”


Eng illustrates scenes that seem vaguely familiar–a movie whose title you can’t recall, or a story you read as a child, maybe. Space shuttles land in day-glo jungles. Billowing neon ghosts chase children across Aztec ruins. Robots mingle outside an apartment where a human sits reading a comic book. But while Eng does pay tribute to sci-fi tropes like Dune, or the work of comic artist Jean Giraud (aka Moebius), he usually draws scenes pulled entirely from his imagination.

“Alternative worlds [can] become visible just by opening a kitchen drawer or listening to the sound of cars on the street,” he explains. The 29-year old, who lives in Stockholm, works mainly on the computer, moving between illustration and animation (he’s also a musician). He says that video was a natural outlet for his narrative style, and a new monograph called Object 5 collects his still works, which have appropriately mysterious titles like At The Edge Of The Jungle, Mystery Prayer, and The Statue.

“If you draw a character, an alien, a human, or a robot (I like to think robots have feelings too),” Eng writes over email, “it’s always nice to think about that character’s background, values and dreams. In that sense, I guess there is a story in every image, even if it doesn’t have a discernible beginning or end.”

Check out more of Kilian’s work here, or order his monograph on Tumblr.

About the author

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan is Co.Design's deputy editor.