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