Jean-Michel Nicollet was born in Lyon in 1944. He studied at the Lyon School of Fine Arts, where he met Jacques Tardi. He published illustrations in Lui, Playboy, Cosmopolitan and 20 Ans and created a number of covers for Gallimard, Denoël and Balland, etc. However, it was in the magazine Métal hurlant, launched in 1975, that Nicollet would have the opportunity to develop his taste for fantasy and in 1977 he joined the Métal hurlant team and began work on a series of short stories entitled Ténébreuses affaires.
Nicollet drew a great many covers (for publishers such as Neo and Lattès, among others), including for the Harry Dickson series, with texts by Marie-Paule Vandunthurn and Gérard Dole, and made the illustrations for Le Diable, Howard Phillip Lovecraft’s Fungi de Yuggoth et autres poèmes and the poems of Robert E. Howard, among other works. He also collaborated with Keleck on Le Rejeton de l'univers and Ersatz.