Moebius,…”Possessed by a Master of Reallity”
“A legend – now I am like a unicorn”. Jean Giraud
“He’s a unique talent endowed with an extraordinary visionary imagination that’s constantly renewed and never vulgar. Moebius disturbs and consoles. He has the ability to transport us into unknown worlds where we encounter unsettling characters. My admiration for him is total. I consider him a great artist, as great as Picasso and Matisse”. Federico Fellini
Jean Henri Gaston Giraud (8 May 1938 – 10 March 2012) was a French artist, cartoonist, and writer, who worked in the Franco-Belgian bandes dessinées tradition. Giraud earned worldwide fame, predominantly under the pseudonym Mœbius, and to a lesser extent Gir, which he used for the Blueberry series and his paintings. Esteemed by Federico Fellini, Stan Lee and Hayao Miyazaki among others, he received international acclaim.
“Comics were not only stories to enjoy; for me they were drawings that possessed me”. Jean Giraud
His most famous works include the series Blueberry, created with writer Jean-Michel Charlier, featuring one of the first anti-heroes in Western comics. Under the pseudonym Moebius he created a wide range of science fiction and fantasy comics in a highly imaginative and surreal almost abstract style, the most famous of which are Arzach, the Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius, and The Incal.
The Moebius pseudonym, which Giraud came to use for his science fiction and fantasy work, was born in 1963. In a satire magazine called Hara-Kiri, Moebius did 21 strips in 1963–64 and then disappeared for almost a decade.
Arzach is a wordless comic, created in a conscious attempt to breathe new life into the comic genre which at the time was dominated by American superhero comics. It tracks the journey of the title character flying on the back of his pterodactyl through a fantastic world mixing medieval fantasy with futurism. Unlike most science fiction comics it has no captions, no speech balloons and no written sound effects. It has been argued that the wordlessness provides the strip with a sense of timelessness, setting up Arzach’s journey as a quest for eternal, universal truths
Asked by Giraud in an interview how he first discovered his work, Miyazaki replied:
“Through Arzach, which dates from 1975, I believe. I only read it in 1980, and it was a big shock. Not only for me. All manga authors were shaken by this work. Unfortunately, when I discovered it, I already had a consolidated style so I couldn’t use its influence to enrich my drawing. Even today, I think it has an awesome sense of space. I directed Nausicaä under Moebius’s influence”.
In 1980 he started his famous L’Incal series in collaboration with Alejandro Jodorowsky. From 1985 to 2001 he also created his six-volume fantasy series Le Monde d’Edena, portions of which appeared in English as The Aedena Cycle.
“I live making comics. Comics is an industrial art but less suffering, because comics are for young people who are more adventurous. I do that. I live off comics, and then I write books, but when you want movies, you cannot make movies without money”. Alejandro Jodorowsky
In his later life, Moebius decided to revive the Arzak character in an elaborate new adventure series; the first volume of a planned trilogy, Arzak l’arpenteur, appeared in 2010. He also added to the Airtight Garage series with a new volume entitled Le chasseur déprime.
“Moebius was a “master of realistic drawing” with a real talent for humour, which he was still demonstrating with the nurses when I saw him in his hospital bed a fortnight ago” – François Boucq – Fellow comic artist