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The comics industry remembers Moebius, ‘a true master of everything comics’

Spider-Man by Moebius

We woke up to the sad news that French comics legend Moebius, a.k.a. Jean Giraud, passed away in Paris this morning.

“When anyone challenges the worth of comics as an art, you can always bash them with Moebius,” wrote writer Jeff Parker on his blog this morning.

The artist worked under both names, serving as artist of the popular Western Blueberry under his real name, while working on The Airtight Garage, Azrach and The Incal, just to name a few, under his pseudonym.

“I was just looking through my Moebius Oeuvres Complètes from Les Humanoïdes Associés yesterday, marveling at his drawings. The Hermetic Garage, Arzach, Le Bandard Fou… And Blueberry that he did with Charlier. It’s an amazing body of work,” wrote creator Jason this morning.

Fans on this side of the pond will remember his Silver Surfer miniseries with Stan Lee, as well as the series of posters he did of various Marvel characters, including Spider-Man (right), Iron Man, Wolverine and The Thing.

“I met Jean Giraud on a couple of occasions. He was sweet and gentle and really… I don’t know. Spiritual is not a word I use much, mostly because it feels so very misused these days, but I’d go with it for him,” wrote writer Neil Gaimna on his tumblr. “We wanted to work together. I wrote the Sandman: Endless Nights story DEATH IN VENICE for him to draw, but his health got bad, so P. Craig Russell drew it. Moebius’s health improved a little, and he asked if I could write him a very short story, perhaps 8 pages, and make them all posters, so I wrote the DESTINY story in Endless Nights for him. His health took a turn for the worse, and Frank Quitely drew it. And both Craig and Frank made magic with their stories, but somewhere inside I was sad, because I’d hoped to work with Moebius.”

“What I take most of all from Moebius’ work isn’t necessarily the craft or the talent or even the artistic vision — though all of those things, of course, are evident in every single line,” wrote writer Will Pfeifer. “What I see, whether it’s Lt. Blueberry squinting into the dust or Arzach flying that big bird or that legendary panel of the guy falling into the science fiction cityscape is the sense that no matter what he was drawing, Moebius was having a blast. I’m sure it was hard work, but everything flows so beautiful and feels so natural that the enjoyment he had putting it on the page is matched by our enjoyment reading it off the page.”

You can read more about his life here, and I’ve posted a BBC documentary on him at the end of this post. Also check out this piece by Francesco Francavilla, paying tribute to Moebius and his creations. And Brian Michael Bendis has posted the introduction he wrote to Humanoid’s Incal collection. “To the authors of this material: thank you. Thank you for literally decades of inspiration and showing all my peers and me what the graphic novel is capable of,” he said in the intro.

Many creators have taken to Twitter to remember the artist, and I’ve rounded up some of their tweets:

Becky Cloonan: “Moebius made art that inspired other artists, pushed the boundaries of the medium and imagination, and changed comics forever! RIP Moebius.”

Larry Marder: “Moebius RIP. He died during the solar storms so it’s as if even the universe wept.”

C.B. Cebulski‏: “You may have put down your pencil for the last time, but your lines and your legacy can never be erased. Rest in peace, Moebius.”

Major Fatal

Jamie McKelvie: “Hope I keep trying to learn and improve like Moebius did right into old age.”

Tom Spurgeon: “until his passing, Moebius was one of the tiny handful of artists that could be argued was our greatest living comics-maker”

Tonci Zonjic: “No Moebius? The world has gotten much smaller today.”

Mike Norton: “Honor Moebius by being creative. Celebrate him by being inspired. How many of us are able to leave that kind of gift behind? RIP”

Scott Dunbier: “Stunned to hear of Moebius dying. One of the finest, most creative and spectacularly diverse talents to ever grace comics. Rest in peace.”

Jonathan Ross: “Sad news. Jean Giraud aka Moebius has left the planet. One of the true masters of bande desinee.”

Joe Quesada: “R.I.P Moebius, perhaps one of the greatest artist to ever walk this earth.”

Joe Keatinge: “Very broken by the news of Jean ‘Moebius Giraud’s passing. My all-time favorite artist and massive inspiration. Thank you for everything.”

Stephen Mayer: “Outside comics, if you enjoyed Fifth Element, Space Jam, the Abyss, Little Nemo, Willow, Tron or Alien, you enjoyed the work of Moebius.”

Tony Moore: “I can’t believe Moebius is dead. I was certain he was a force of nature. I don’t have words for the depth of this loss for our art form.”

Via comics retailer James Sime, who called him “a true master of everything comics,” here’s a BBC documentary on Moebius:

And here is the master at work, in 2005, drawing Blueberry:

And Fred Van Lente posts a piece by Alex Cox that appeared in Comic Book Comics #2. To see more of his art, check out this tumblr.

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Comments

28 Comments

A true great artist and a huge inspiration to me growing up. RIP, you will be incredibly missed worldwide.

I wept for a little while after I heard of this a few hours ago. Clocked right in on Comics Reporter, and BOOM! the first thing I saw was his “Moebius RIP”. I haven’t felt this way since Harvey Pekar died. Very, extremely sad.

But not to divert from the topic at hand, but Moebius had nothing to do with the Fith Element. That was Jean-Claude Mézières. He did the art on the Valérian and Laureline series of BDs (and tried to sue George Lucas because of the “old future” aesthetics between it and Star Wars). Moebius tried to sue the production company, claiming that they stole the idea from the Incal, but lost. (Jodorowsky on the other hand was thrilled to inspire anyone.)

He had one of the most distinctive styles ever. His static shots have more movement going on than anything I’ve ever seen.

Most other deaths I read here, I feel sad for the family and friends of that person.
But with Giraud’s death, while I feel sad for his family and friends, I also feel sad for fans of art and comics.

RIP to the legend and I really mean it. Just an amazing talent.

his art had a quiet power about it

the world has indeed lost a giant

Mr. Pants, according to IMDb:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119116/trivia?tab=tr&item=tr0586224
“Luc Besson, an admitted comic book fan, had two famous French comic book artists in mind for the film’s visual style when he started writing the movie in high school. Jean Giraud (Moebius) and Jean-Claude Mézières … Moebius and Mezieres, who attended art school together but had never collaborated on a project until The Fifth Element, started renderings for the film in the early ’90s and are responsible for the majority of the over all look of the film, including the vehicles, spacecrafts, buildings, human characters and aliens. However, only Giraud is credited, and even then he wasn’t even granted a premium when the movie was eventually produced.”

How is it possible, to feel the sadness of loss so deep in my heart for a man I’ve never met? Moebius stood as an icon to myself, and a group of my friends that were hardcore fans of his work when we were kids back in the nineteen eighties and beyond. He will be missed, and never to be replaced, nor forgotten.

Jeffrey Porter

March 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

From the June 1976 issue of Heavy Metal, the cover, and in doing, the introduction to his work, and from the experience of his style and imagination,…from that point on,…my art, and my ”appreciation” of art exploded… Thank You, Sir, Moebius, ….You, my Friend, are extremely ”’missed”’…..the artworld has lost a truly great Master.. I hope I see you in Heaven.

Francis Dawson

March 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Jeff Parker is right. Comics culture is in every sense better for having had a Moebius.

Jean Giraud — Gir — Moebius.

From BLUEBERRY to ARZACH/AIRTIGHT GARAGE/INCAL to his works on films and animation: RIP to **three** of the greatest talents in Comics…

Condolences to his family and friends.

His work was, and always will be… magic.

As Ed mentioned, the BEST western series bar none, BLUEBERRY, ARZACH, AIRTIGHT GARAGE, THE INCAL SAGA, and the soul of METAL HURLANT and HEAVY METAL…

I just hope he’ll not be solely remembered for 2 issues of the Silver Surfer and a few Marvel pin-ups.

Sadly, there’s a 20 year long legal feud with Giraud’s ex-wife that prevents his most legendary and idiosincratic works from being reprinted in English:

http://marvelmasterworksfansite.yuku.com/sreply/484632/HUMANOIDS-SUPER-DELUXE-BOOKS

Blueberry, on the other hand, is probably just a victim of the paradoxically lackluster popularity of the Western genre in the US.

Joey A Akina: I know exactly how you feel. I never met the man, never knew him beyond an interview or two I’d read and his wonderful artwork, but I’m absolutely crushed to see my hero gone.

I’m NOT shocked he is dead, he was 73 and with cancer after all. Let’s celebrate all his awesome art he left for us all! Happy travels in the offplanes, Arzak! Sad you won’t be able to bring us sketches of what your newest adventures look like!

Jeffrey Porter

March 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I stated that Heavy Metal 3rd issue was in the year 1976. Actually – 1977. For the record, at this time, such an issue as this, trivial, yet for accuracy, essential. Apologies….

The colorful, detailed and spacious style but with a few lines of Moebius… is singular and unique.

Their influence to draw fantasy scenarios narrated with the amplitude graph, impact all the great comic artists of Comic EURO, USA and Japanese. (Manara, Giardino, Dave Gibons, Romita JR, Otomo and more).

He said that in Blueberry began drawing as Jean Giraud, but in the end he eventually started drawing as Moebius … The drawing of Jean Giraud in Blueberry is an anatomist, ambient and landscape of incredible scenarios and then he to go for the way to make a synthesis of lines of your drawing, until to arrive at style amazing and colorful of Moebius.

The Incal by Jodorowsky & Moebius is a display of incredible fantasy, Not to mention his Silver Surffer Parable by Stan Lee & Moebius. Works to this way, at that level, only given when are written and drawn by the best artists of 9th Art.

Rest in peace Jean Geraud, the legend of Moebius art will live for centuries.

Very sad to hear this. The way he could create vast vistas with very little ink was inspiring.

God speed to you Jean Giraud — Gir — Moebius
Your works will live forever !!!

I have goosebumps as I type this.

Certain creators have such an impact and power, they almost seem to transcend mortality.

Moebius is one of those greats.

I’d never known about the ex-wife and the feud. I’ve always wondered why more of his work wasn’t in English. What a crime.

I can’t get the vision of him, not unlike Arzach, on a pterodactyl, softly yet powerfully, heading into the horizon for The Next Plane.

Farewell and peace

He’ll live on forever. Alas, we must live on without him.

I don’t know any of these ‘industry people’ except for Quesada. I must be getting old.

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 12, 2012 at 4:37 am

Whenever I look at artists such as Geof Darrow, Scott Kolins, I can’t help but think of Moebius.

R.I.P. Moebius. You will be missed.

In 1000 years, Moebius will still easily ring as “One of the best!”

R.I.P!

Christopher Wilson

March 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I was saddened to hear the news of Jean’s passing…

“Moebius”, though ill for a very long time, but that never stayed his hand or his visionary mind.

On a personal note, I am so happy that I got the chance to sit with him a number of years ago when he was visiting the states. We sat together and talk about art and life. He was never without pen in hand during our entire discussion. He was laughing and smiling as he drew fantastic drawings and a portrait of myself in a few books of his that I had brought along. I will remember that time always… You will be missed by me and the myriad of fans you captured over the years.
The solar winds came that day to carry you away on another great adventure…
rest in peace Jean Moebius Gir Giraud My condolences to his family.

Johannis Likos

March 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I like everything about the inspiring and visionary artwork of GIR and MOEBIUS. It is an honor for me to have collected since the early 70-ies a plethora of his comic books, which have been published in several languages. I wonder, if it is legally possible to set up a networked and non-profitable foundation in order to continue his majestic legacy and to promote his varying mystical, shamanic and futuristic styles of comic art? Jean Giraud over decades invented and applied various amazing drawing and coloring techniques, which are worth to be continued by younger artist generations. In this way the global community would respectfully pay a tribute to the phenomenal achievement of his life time.

R.I.P. great hero

Steven Lee Canales

October 14, 2012 at 7:04 am

I started drawing at about the age of ten, I would copy the Sunday comics strips and Disney characters, I continued to draw up until high school when graffiti exploded in the 1980′s, I began searching for my own artistic style. My influences were Vaughn Bode, Jack Kirby, John Romita and a few more of Marvels greats, By the time I finished I had collected comics with the styles that appealed to me the most. I would always stop at the news stand on payday after work and pick up my favorite comics. In my favorite news stand I was looking through the magazines and saw what looked liked a magazine sized comic book called Heavy Metal, I was hooked instantly. The artwork that stood out the most was the work of Moebius . His use of color, his masterful style of drawing and the beautiful alien landscapes that he would create amazed me. Moebius inspired me to continue drawing. In a way he was one of my teachers. When someone asks who was my greatest artistic influence?I will tell them that Moebius influenced me the most. Anyone with artistic skill can copy his work, but to have his artwork inspire you to become an artist is something that a person can carry with them throughout their lives. I am sad that the master has left us and will truly miss his work. I imagine him creating new and beautiful alien worlds in distant galaxies. His artwork lives on in all of his fans and I will show young artists his work to inspire them to reach for the greatness that Moebius achieved. Moebius will live on in me and I will continue to mention him as one of my greatest influences in my life. Farewell Jean Henri Gaston Giraud Moebius. In my opinion the greatest modern artist to hit the sci-fi world.

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