Wong told me this afternoon that the great Moebius (Jean Giraud) passed away yesterday after losing his battle with Cancer… he was only 73.
Ever since Wong introduced me to his work over twenty years ago now, I’ve been captivated by his beautiful drawings, and I wrote recently about his wonderful work and specifically Arzach, the silent pterodactyl rider. I am very saddened to hear that he will draw no more..
His most recent publication in the UK was The Incal, which collected a series of works from the late 1980′s early 1990′s, and is in my opinion, a very fitting high on which to bow out..
Moebius is possibly the most influential and almost certainly the most well known of all the many French comic and graphic novel artists from the last 50 years or so. Born in 1938, his career began in earnest with the serialisation of the Western anti-hero Blueberry throughout the 1960′s and 70′s, but it was with the publication of the four stories of his most famous work, Arzach (or variously Harzak, Arzak, and finally Harzack in the final installment) that his reputation for highly individual and creative work was sealed.
First published in a 1975 edition of Moebius’s own quarterly magazine Métal Hurlant (rebranded as Heavy Metal when it was later published in America), Arzach featured a lone warrior riding on the back of a huge pterodactyl through increasingly bizarre and hallucinogenic landscapes, full of monsters, tentacles and naked people.
It had a huge effect on the comics industry of the time with its wordless stories, brilliant use of colour and the sheer amount and quality of work on each page. Indeed I have read that it’s effect was comparable to that of Frank Millar’s Dark Knight reboot of Batman and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, some 11 years later in 1986.
So sit back and enjoy the work (in a deliberately random order) of one of the greatest comic artists of all time…