Oh man, this is hard. It’s not often that someone comes across a person as singularly amazing as Jean Giraud — someone who exposed their own limitless imagination so vividly, with detail, passion, and — dare I say it — soul. True, his art was often about alien worlds and far-flung places and beings, but there was always a realism about everything, or a sort of surreal-realism, or even as Federico Fellini said of his work:
“What is most astonishing about your work is the lighting technique you use — especially in your black-and-white drawings. These is a wonderful phosphoric, limelight, lux perpetua, solar-rimmed light effect to your art.”
There was always that certain something that seemed to transcend the mere makeup of ink and paint, of line and function, of color and tone. Some emotional depth, some Jungian power was at work, creating a rich tapestry of symbols and stories.
I can vividly remember the first time I saw his work. I was all of thirteen years old, hunkered down in front of the local stop-and-shop’s magazine rack, and desperately in love with a magazine, HEAVY METAL presents MOEBIUS. I might have sat there for a while, oblivious to all around me, under some sort of spell while digging through page after page of Moebius and Jodorowsky’s The Incal Light. I never was a big fan of comics growing up — I ended up gravitating towards magazines like MAD and CRACKED instead (see previous entries) — so this really started my appreciation for what comics would soon become, the graphic novel.
But nothing I’d seen before had anything on Moebius. The depth of his vision, the effortless style, and the substance that seemed to hold it all together were beyond inspiring — and have been for me ever since.
But don’t take my word for it, look to the likes of George Lucas, Ridley Scott or James Cameron — his art has influenced most of their work in some way or another. Some of the greatest films in the past 30 years — Star Wars, Alien, Blade Runner — wouldn’t be quite what they were without Giraud’s influence. It is amazing to consider one artist having such an impact, but as a fan of Moebius, it only makes too much sense to me.
I’m sitting here right now, truly sad. The world has lost one of the most beautiful talents it ever had, a true genius if there ever was one. The world will miss you, Jean Giraud, whether they will realize it or not. And I will miss you more than most.