Belgian comic book artist Benoît Sokal, the creator of the adventure game series Syberia, died on May 28 after battling a long-term illness. He was 66 years old. The news of his passing was confirmed via a statement from game publisher Microids.
Sokal began creating comics in the 1970s. One of his first characters was Inspector Canardo, a depressed anthropomorphic duck detective with a penchant for cigarettes, alcohol, and femmes fatales. In 1996 he began work on Amerzone and in the process became one of the first comic book artists to design and supervise the entire production of a video game. Shortly after this he then went on to become Microids’ Art Director.
In 2002 he published his second video game, the beloved adventure game Syberia. Two years later, he helped work on the sequel and would be heavily involved with the third game in the series too. He even used old-school drawing and watercolor techniques for the art, instead of digital tools.
More recently, Sokal was still passionately creating art and working on multiple projects. In 2010 he released the graphic novel Kraa and in 2017 he helped develop the universe for another graphic novel, Aquarica. Sokal was also working on Syberia: The World Before, the next game in the acclaimed adventure game series.