My first impression was that he was born French. Love the high contrasts and dirty yet controlled lines. He also seems to have a thing for environments in general - those are crazy good. Again, very controlled forms on those.
Oh, French? Why? Cause Iam french and I don't see ^^ Whatever, I do agree with you about his great style: "high contrasts and dirty yet controlled lines". Before being a manga artist he did some architecture studies, and yes, it's quite sensitive in his works, and this is not the less of it's quality. Thinking about his charters design, now you might see what I meant when I talked about resemblance with yours, don't you? (and it's a compliment, belive me
Dunno about the French feel. Maybe because the stuff that I was exposed to was always a little dirty and rough around the edges. It had that vague feeling of being constant work in progress, just like reality is. I feel it's a common trait in European comic art, as opposed to most US and Japanese styles which, despite the surface differences, are often very "precise" and "closed in" in execution. Surgical almost.
Now I understand what you meant. That's right that Jap and US main grafik stream are silk like, soft and close to perfection(or the idea of it) where only the best lines remains. You did a great definition with your " vague feeling of being constant work in progress, just like reality is" for the 'European'comic art common evolution. But only one thing to conclude, beware, the main don't define the whole (As tsutomu Nihei proved and when many europeans atempt to copy Jap or US style)^^