French comic book legend Jean Giraud, also known as Moebius, died today in Paris at 73.
Although Giraud’s work is more famous in Europe, and particularly France and Belgium, where comics tend to get more of the artistic esteem they deserve, his influence on contemporary American comics and sci-fi film design should not be underestimated.
His take on Wild West culture is exemplified in what is likely his largest body of work Blueberry, but folks new to Giraud might wish to start with The Airtight Garage (or just check out this cool gallery).
Giraud/Moebius was never simply a genre artist; instead, his work taps into the mythological, exploring themes that seem at once both strangely familiar but also wildly divergent from our expectations. His imaginative disruptions made him a key partner for film directors like Alejandro Jodorowsky; he also worked on the art team behind Alien, among other films, like The Abyss, Willow, and Tron. Giraud was also close friends with Hayao Miyazaki.
Giraud leaves a rich, vibrant legacy. The imaginative spaces of his worlds will undoubtedly captivate generations to come.
The AV Club’s Noel Murray interviews Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, he of Holy Mountain and apocalypse-Western El Topo fame. Jodorowsky famously almost adapted Frank Herbert’s Dune before David Lynch picked up that gauntlet. Here’s Jodorowsky on Lynch’s adaptation–
AVC: For a long time, you were involved with developing Dune into a feature film, before the project fell through. Did you ever see David Lynch’s Dune?
AJ: Yes, I’ve seen it. I was very scared when I saw it, because Dune was for me very important in my life. I was very sad I could not do it. When I saw that David Lynch would do it, I was very scared, because I admire him as a moviemaker, and I thought he would do well. But when I see the picture, I realize he never understood this picture. It’s not a David Lynch picture. It’s the producer who made that picture, no? Who made this horror. For David Lynch, it was a job. A commercial job. It never was that for me.
Jodorowsky’s version of Dune had entered pre-production, including early art from Jean Giraud (French comics artist Moebius). You can see some of Giraud’s character designs and storyboards here.
Jodorowsky famously wanted Salvador Dali to play the Emperor and Mick Jagger to play Feyd Rautha (a role that went to Sting in Lynch’s version).
Got an hour to kill? Lose yourself in the surreal world of French artist Moebius (Jean Giraud) at this cool little gallery. Moebius’s art taps into the mythological, exploring themes that seem at once both strangely familiar but also wildly divergent from our expectations. We love his pictures best when there are no cartoon speech bubbles imposing language on the scene; far better to engage him in his projects of imagination. Great stuff.