Today I’d like to share my love for the work of Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius! Moebius was and is one of my favourite comic book artists of all time, and big influence on me growing up.
Jean Giraud (under the pen name ‘Gir’) first made his mark in comics in the 1960’s with a long-standing series called Blueberry. Blueberry was a classic Western based around the adventures of a Southern defector in Civil War era America, initially published in Pilote magazine. It was hugely successful in Europe and Giraud could probably have rested on his laurels after that, producing the same type of work for the rest of his life.
But doing the same thing was never enough for Giraud. A restless experimenter, he reinvented himself artistically and philosophically in the 1970’s, publishing work in Heavy Metal magazine under the name Moebius that broke with everything he’d done before. He pared his style down to bare essentials and dropped the structured approach he had taken to storytelling in previous work. Instead, he let his imagination wander, as wide and as far as it would go, producing work that was fresh and shocking to many people.
Thereafter, there seemed to be two Jean Girauds. One was the classic illustrator who had produced the Blueberry series. The other was the mad innovator Moebius, who worked on everything from whimsical personal comics to posters and concept art for some of the most well-known films of the 1980’s and 1990’s: Tron (1982), Willow (1988) The Abyss (1989) and The Fifth Element (1997), to name a few. It was also as Moebius in the 1980’s that he collaborated with writer Jodorowsky on the famous Incal series, and created the character John Difool. He later also created the well known Edena series.
Sad to say, Moebius passed away at the age of only seventy-three, in 2012, after a long fight with cancer. I can’t help hoping some part of him is still out there, maybe flying over a desert landscape on the back of a white bird…
His line work reached a level of simplicity which was masterful. It’s a deceptive simplicity because actually this is very difficult to achieve.
He was never afraid of following through with the craziest of ideas. Also, he had a wicked sense of humour.
Moebius (2016) Moebius Library: The World of Edena. Dark Horse Books, Milwaukie, Or. USA. Originally published in several volumes in French: Sur l’Étoile (1983), Les Jardins d’Edena (1988), La Déesse (1990), Stel (1994) and Les Réparateurs (2001).
Dos Santos, Dan (2012) I ♥ Moebius. Available at: http://muddycolors.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/i-moebius.html [Accessed 29th November 2017]
Moebius biography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Giraud [Accessed 29th November 2017]