17 April 1970, Ukraine
Igor Baranko is a Ukrainian comic artist, best-known for his sardonic and sometimes scary stories. He was born in Kiev, where he also studied Fine Arts. After a military service of two years in the Red Army and following the fall of the USSR, Baranko went to the Buddhist regions of Siberia in search of the meaning of life. Back in the Ukraine, the euphoria of independence was replaced by economic slump. Baranko decided to try his luck with Western European publishers, and submitted his pages to European fanzines. In the years 1993-1998, he also published several graphic novels in his home country, such as 'Povernennya Mamaya' ('The Return of Mamaia'), 'Svyatoslav ta vikinh' ('Svyatoslav and Viking') and 'Mamay-zmiyeborets' ('Mamaya-victorious'). He won the US Immigration Lottery in 1999, allowing him to move to the United States, where he created his first professional comic work.
He illustrated a couple of 'Bart Simpson' stories for Bongo Comics in 2000, and released 'Pifitos: A Newly Found Unknown Poem of Homer' (2001) and 'Skaggy the Lost' (2002-2004) through Slave Labor Graphics. His comic 'The Horde' was published simultaneously in the US and in France (as 'L'Empereur-Océan') in 2003. It was a futuristic tale about a new Russian dictator with the vision to invoke the spirit of Ghengis Khan and his Golden Horde to create an empire reaching from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic.
Skaggy the Lost #3
In that same year, he began his collaboration with French scriptwriter Jean-Pierre Dionnet on the science fiction saga 'Exterminateur 17 - La trilogie d'Ellis', a follow-up to the 'Exterminator 17' series by Dionnet and Enki Bilal, published by Les Humanoïdes Associés between 2003 and 2008. In 2005 and 2006, Baranko also released his alternative history solo series 'La Danse du Temps' ('The Danse of Time') through this publishing house. It was followed by the historical diptych 'Les Princesses Égyptiennes' in 2010 and 2011.