Jean Henri Gaston Giraud (born 8 May 1938; died 10 March 2012) was a French comics artist. Giraud has earned worldwide fame, not only under his own name but also under the pseudonym Moebius, and to a lesser extent Gir, the latter appearing mostly in the form of a boxed signature at the bottom of the artist’s paintings. He died on March 10th 2012 at age 73 in Paris victim of cancer.
Life and career
Jean Giraud was born in Nogent-sur-Marne, in the suburbs of Paris, in 1938. At age 16, he began his only technical training at the Arts Appliqués. At 18, Giraud was drawing his own comic strip, “Frank et Jeremie” for the magazine Far West. In 1961, Giraud became an apprentice of Jijé, one of the leading comic artists in Europe of the time, and collaborated on an album of “Jerry Spring”.
In 1962 Giraud and writer Jean-Michel Charlier started the comic strip “Fort Navajo” for “Pilote”. It was a great hit and continued uninterrupted until 1974. The Lieutenant Blueberry character, created by Giraud and Charlier for Fort Navajo, quickly became its most popular character, and his adventures as told in the spin-off Western serial “Blueberry”, are possibly Giraud’s best known work in his native France before his later collaborations with Alejandro Jodorowsky. Giraud’s prestige in France – where comics are held in high artistic regard – is enormous; In 1988 Moebius was chosen, among 11 other winners of the prestigious Grand Prix of the Angoulême Festival, to illustrate a postage stamp set issued on the theme of communication.
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. In 1975 “Métal Hurlant” (a magazine which he co-created) revived the pseudonym. Moebius’ famous serial “The Airtight Garage” and his groundbreaking “Arzach” both began in “Métal Hurlant”.
Moebius has contributed storyboards and concept designs to numerous science fiction films, include “Alien” (1979), “The Time Masters” (1982), “Tron” (1982), “Masters of the Universe” (1987), “Willow” (1988) and “The Abyss” (1989). In 1988 Moebius worked on the American comic character The Silver Surfer with Stan Lee for a special two-part limited series. Giraud also happens to be a friend of manga author and anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. From December 2004 to March 2005, the two of them shared an exhibition at La Monnaie in Paris which showcased work by both artists.
From 2000 to 2010, Moebius created and published his series “Inside Moebius” (its title is in English though the books are in French), six hardcover volumes totaling 700 pages. In these books he appears in cartoon form as both creator and protagonist, trapped within the story alongside his younger self and several longtime characters such as Blueberry, Arzak (the latest re-spelling of the “Arzach” character’s name), Major Grubert (from “The Airtight Garage”), and others. Moebius subsequently decided to revive the Arzak character in an elaborate new adventure series, the first volume of which, “Arzak L’Arpenteur”, appeared in 2010. He also began new works in the “Airtight Garage” series with a volume entitled “Le Chasseur Deprime”.
SEE THE ART OF MOEBIUS, THE LONG TOMORROW, WHICH INFLUENCED THE VISUAL OF THE MOTION PICTURE BLADE RUNNER, DIRECTED BY RIDLEY SCOTT IN 1982: Clicking Here.