~THE DEATH of MOEBIUS
. . . talking about mortal (!!) portals !!
sadly, the great French comic book artist MOEBIUS, born JEAN GIRAUD, died this past Saturday March 10, 2012 at his home outside Paris, he was 73.
an inspiration, source of wonder, and influence on many, reaching way way beyond the comic book and graphic novel fields – into the realms of modern movie making, story-telling, animation, fine art, graphic design, you name it . . . all done with a wry sense of humor, and a far-flying imagination – he was, and remains a hero to many, myself included.
MOEBIUS / JEAN GIRAUD in 2008.
PHOTO: ALAIN JOCARD/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES – c/o NEW YORK TIMES, MARCH 15, 2012
THE NEW YORK TIMES carried an extensive obituary for him, written by PAUL VITELLO, which was published on Monday March 19, 2012. Apparently he died of cancer, with no other details made public – on that final portal.
Mr. Vitello writes that: “Mr. Giraud, who used the pen name Moebius in much of his work, was seen in the comic-book world as a kind of artist-avatar of the unbounded interior human landscape.” this is so (!!) true – it’s worth repeating.
although of course, long a huge national icon in his native France, ironically Moebius first made his name in 1963 – with ‘Les Adventures de Blueberry’ – a comic book series based on our US of A – specifically the wild wild west that was still in play and going on strong – at the time of our (savage) Civil War. A war that not incidentily – was won by the gun. Mr. Vitello makes an interesting note:
“His densely packed panels (which followed a fugitive Union Army lieutenant running from the law) depicted an American West he knew mainly from the movies.” (and they didn’t have spaghetti westerns, yet. in fact that’s probably one genre he greatly influenced.)
the obit continues: “but the drawings conveyed both the the minutest details and an outsider’s (!!) sense of the meancne lurking in the vast badlands – a combination that later came to define his science fiction work as well.”
also of note: “. . . his reputation for translating dystopian visions into artistic imagery led the director RODLEY SCOTT to hire him to draw the preliminary designs for his 1979 film, “ALIEN”. In interviews at the time, Mr. Giraud said he was not really sure how he came to be involved in the making of what came to be a science-fiction horror classic. ‘I do everything with no premeditation,’ he said. ‘The things just happen to me.'”
“He adopted the pen name Moebius in 1963, when he began drawing the Lieutenant Blueberry stories.”
“In ‘The Masters of Comic Book Art’ a 1987 documentary . . . Mr. Giraud said he had turned to comic strips as a young man too escape what he considered the shackles imposed on graphic artists by the conventions of commercial art.”
“Comics gives to the artist a very interesting field of exploration and research,” he said. “Everything is possible. You can be very small or very big or very modest or very ambitious. You can stay in a regular style like everybody else, or you can escape and be completely unusual and incredible. You can give more to the world, more to drawing. Everything.”
the COVER – MOEBIUS 3 – THe COLLECTED FANTASIES OF JEAN GIRAUD – ‘THE AIRTIGHT GARAGE’
EPIC GRAPHIC NOVEL – $12.95 (in 1987) (now it’s a couple of $100 at least)
PUBLISHED BY THE MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, NYC, NY.
images from this American edition, published 1987, courtesy: NANCY SMITH