Jean Henri Gaston Giraud was a French artist, cartoonist and writer who worked in the Franco-Belgian bandes dessinées tradition. Giraud garnered worldwide acclaim under the pseudonym Moebius, as well as Gir outside the English-speaking world, used for the Blueberry series—his most successful creation in the non-English speaking parts of the world—and his Western themed paintings. Esteemed by Federico Fellini, Stan Lee and Hayao Miyazaki among others, he has been described as the most influential bandes dessinées artist after Hergé.
His most famous works include the series Blueberry, created with writer Jean-Michel Charlier, featuring one of the first anti-heroes in Western comics. As Mœbius he created a wide range of science fiction and fantasy comics in a highly imaginative, surreal, almost abstract style. These works include Arzach and the Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius. He also collaborated with avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky for an unproduced adaptation of Dune and the comic book series The Incal.
Mœbius also contributed storyboards and concept designs to numerous science fiction and fantasy films, such as Alien, Tron, The Fifth Element and The Abyss. Blueberry was adapted for the screen in 2004 by French director Jan Kounen.
Early lifeJean Giraud was born in Nogent-sur-Marne, Val-de-Marne, in the suburbs of Paris, on 8 May 1938, as the only child to Raymond Giraud, an insurance agent, and Pauline Vinchon, who had worked at the agency. When he was three years old, his parents divorced and he was raised mainly by his grandparents, who were living in the neighboring municipality of Fontenay-sous-Bois. The rupture between mother and father created a lasting trauma that he explained lay at the heart of his choice of separate pen names. An introverted child at first, young Giraud found solace after World War II in a small theater, located on a corner in the street where his mother lived, which concurrently provided an escape from the dreary atmosphere in post-war reconstruction era France. Playing an abundance of American B-Westerns, it was there that Giraud, frequenting the theater as often as he was able to, developed a passion for the genre, as had so many other European boys his age in those times.
At age 9-10 Giraud started to draw Western comics while enrolled by his single mother as a stop-gap measure in the Saint-Nicolas boarding school in Issy-les-Moulineaux for two years, much to the amusement of his school mates. In 1954, at age 16, he began his only technical training at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré, where he, unsurprisingly, started producing Western comics, which however did not sit well with his teachers. At the college, he befriended other future comic artists, Jean-Claude Mézières and :fr:Pat Mallet. With Mézières in particular, in no small part due to their shared passion for science fiction, Westerns and the Far West, Giraud developed a close lifelong friendship, calling him a "continuing life's adventure" in later life. In 1956 he left art school without graduating to visit his mother, who had married a Mexican in Mexico, and stayed there for nine months.
It was the experience of the Mexican desert, in particular its endless blue skies and unending flat plains, now seeing and experiencing for himself the vistas that had enthralled him so much when watching westerns on the silver screen only a few years earlier, which left an everlasting, "quelque chose qui m'a littéralement craqué l'âme", enduring impression on him, easily recognizable in almost all of his later seminal works. After his return to France, he started to work as a full-time tenured artist for Catholic publisher :fr:Fleurus presse|Fleurus, to whom he was introduced by Mézières, who had shortly before found employment at the publisher. In 1959–1960 he was slated for military service in, firstly the French occupation zone of Germany, and subsequently Algeria, in the throes of the vicious Algerian War at the time. Fortunately for him, however, he somehow managed to escape frontline duty as he - being the only service man available at the time with a graphics background - served out his military obligations being set to work as illustrator on the army magazine 5/5 Forces Françaises, besides being assigned to logistic duties. Algeria was Giraud's second acquaintance with other, more exotic cultures and like he did in Mexico, he soaked in the experience, which made another indelible impression on the young man born as a suburban city boy, leaving its traces in his later comics, these ones especially in the ones created as "Mœbius".
Western comicsAt 18, Giraud was drawing his own humorous, Morris-inspired, Western comic two-page shorts, Frank et Jeremie, for the magazine Far West, his very first freelance commercial sales. Magazine editor Marijac thought young Giraud gifted with a knack for humorous comics, but none whatsoever for realistically drawn comics, and advised him to continue in the vein of Frank et Jeremie.
Fleurus (1956–1958)Tenured at publisher Fleurus from 1956 to 1958 after his first sales, Giraud did so, but concurrently continued to steadfastly create realistically drawn Western comics and illustrations for magazine editorials in their magazines Fripounet et Marisette, Cœurs Vaillants and :fr:Âmes vaillantes - all of them of a strong edifying nature aimed at France's adolescent youth - up to a point that his realistically drawn comics had become his mainstay. Among his realistic Westerns was a comic called "Le roi des bisons", and another called "Un géant chez lez Hurons". Actually, several of his Western comics, including "King of the Buffalo", featured the [|same] protagonist Art Howell, and these can be considered as Giraud's de facto first realistic Western series, as he himself did in effect, since he, save the first one, endowed these stories with the subtitle "Un aventure d'Art Howell". It was for Fleurus that Giraud also illustrated his first three books. Already in this period his style was heavily influenced by his later mentor, Belgian comic artist Joseph "Jijé" Gillain, who at that time was the major source of inspiration for an entire generation of young aspiring French comic artists, including Giraud's friend Mézières, interested in doing realistically drawn comics. How major Jijé's influence was on these young artists, was amply demonstrated by the Fleurus publications these youngsters submitted their work to, as their work strongly resembled each other. For example, two of the books Giraud illustrated for Fleurus, were co-illustrated with Guy Mouminoux, another name of some future renown in the Franco-Belgian comic world, and Giraud's work can only be identified, because he signed his work, whereas Mouminoux did not sign his. While not ample, Giraud's earning at Fleurus were just enough to allow him - disenchanted as he was with the courses, prevalent atmosphere and academic discipline - to quit his art academy education after only two years, though he came to somewhat regret the decision in later life.
Jijé apprenticeship (1961–1962)Shortly before he entered military service, Giraud visited his idol at his home for the first time with Mézières and Mallet, followed by a few visits on his own to see the master at work for himself. In 1961, returning from military service and his stint on 5/5 Forces Françaises, Giraud, not wanting to return to Fleurus as he felt that he "had to do something else, if he ever wanted to evolve", became an apprentice of Jijé on his invitation, after he saw that Giraud had made artistic progress during his stay at 5/5 Forces Françaises. Jijé was then one of the leading comic artists in Europe and known for his gracious tendency to voluntarily act as a mentor for young, aspiring comic artists, of which Giraud was only one, going even as far as opening up his family home in Champrosay for days on end for these youngsters, which, again, included Giraud. In this Jijé resembled Belgian comic grand-master Hergé but, unlike Jijé, Hergé only did so on a purely commercial basis, never on a voluntarily one. For Jijé, Giraud created several other shorts and illustrations for the short-lived magazine Bonux-Boy, his first comic work after military service, and his penultimate one before embarking on Blueberry. In this period, Jijé used his apprentice for the inks on an outing of his Western series Jerry Spring - after whom Giraud had, unsurprisingly, modeled his Art Howell character previously - "The Road to Coronado", which Giraud inked. Actually, Jijé had intended his promising pupil for the entirety of the story art but the still inexperienced Giraud, who was used to working under the relaxed conditions at Fleurus, found himself overwhelmed by the strict time schedules that production for a periodical demanded. Conceding that he had been a bit too cocky and ambitious Giraud stated, "I started the story all by myself. But after a week I had only finished half a plate, and, aside from being soaked with my sweat, it was a complete disaster. So Joseph went on to do the penciling, whereas I did the inks." Even though Giraud did lose touch with his mentor eventually he never forgot what "his master" had provided him with, both "aesthetically and professionally", the fatherless Giraud gratefully stating in later life, "It was as if he had asked me «Do you want me to be your father?», and if by a miracle, I was provided with one, a artist no less!".
Hachette (1962–1963)After his stint at Jijé's, Giraud was again approached by friend Mézières to see if he was interested to work alongside him as an illustrator on Hachette's ambitious multi-volume L'histoire des civilisations history reference work. Spurred on by Jijé, who considered the opportunity a wonderful one for his pupil, Giraud accepted. Though he considered the assignment a daunting one, having to create in oil paints from historical objects and imagery, it was, besides being the best paying job he had ever had, a seminal appointment. At Hachette, Giraud discovered that he had a knack for creating art in gouaches, something that served him well not that much later when creating Blueberry magazine/album cover art, as well as for his 1968 side-project Buffalo Bill: le roi des éclaireurs history book written by, for whom Giraud provided two-thirds of the illustrations in gouache, including the cover. The assignment at Hachette being cut short because of his invitation to embark on Fort Navajo, meant he only participated on the first three to four volumes of the book series, leaving the completion to Mézières. In the Pilote era, Giraud additionally provided art in gouache for two Western themed vinyl record music productions as sleeve art, as well as the covers for the first seven outings in the French language edition of the Morgan Kane Western novel series written by Louis Masterson. Much of his Western-themed gouache artwork of this era, including that of Blueberry, has been collected in the 1983 artbook "Le tireur solitaire".
Aside from its professional importance, Giraud's stint at Hachette was also of personal importance, as he met Claudine Conin, an editorial researcher at Hachette, and who described her future husband as being at the time "funny, uncomplicated, friendly, a nice boy next-door", but on the other hand, "mysterious, dark, intellectual", already recognizing that he had all the makings of a "visionary", long before others did. Married in 1967, after Giraud had become the recognized Blueberry artist, the couple had two children, :fr:Hélène Giraud|Hélène and Julien. Daughter Hélène in particular has inherited her father's graphics talents and has carved out a career as a graphics artist in the animation industry, earning her a 2014 French civilian knighthood, the same her father had already received in 1985. Besides raising their children, wife Claudine not only took care of the business aspects of her husband's art work, but has on occasion also contributed to it as colorist. The 1976 feminist fantasy short story, "La tarte aux pommes", was written by her under her maiden name. Additionally, the appearance of a later, major character in Giraud's Blueberry series, Chihuahua Pearl, was in part based on Claudine's looks. The Mœbiusienne 1973 fantasy road trip short story "La déviation", created as "Gir" before the artist fully embarked on his Mœbius career, featured the Giraud family as the protagonists, save Julien.
''Pilote'' (1963–1974)In October 1963, Giraud and writer Jean-Michel Charlier started the comic strip Fort Navajo for the by Charlier co-founded Pilote magazine, issue 210. At this time the affinity between the styles of Giraud and Jijé was so close that Jijé penciled several pages for the series when Giraud went AWOL. In effect, when "Fort Navajo" started its run, Pilote received angry letters, accusing Giraud of plagiarism, which was however foreseen by Jijé and Giraud. Shirking off the accusations, Jijé encouraged his former pupil to stay the course instead, thereby propping up his self-confidence. The first time Jijé had to fill in for Giraud, was during the production of the second story, "Thunder in the West", when the still inexperienced Giraud, buckling under the stress of having to produce a strictly scheduled magazine serial, suffered from a nervous breakdown, with Jijé taking on plates 28–36. The second time occurred one year later, during the production of "Mission to Mexico ", when Giraud unexpectedly packed up and left to travel the United States, and, again, Mexico; yet again former mentor Jijé came to the rescue by penciling plates 17–38. While the art style of both artists had been nearly indistinguishable from each other in "Thunder in the West", after Giraud resumed work on plate 39 of "Mission to Mexico", a clearly noticeable style breach was now observable, indicating that Giraud was now well on his way to develop his own signature style, eventually surpassing that of his former teacher Jijé, who, impressed by his former pupil's achievements, has later coined him the "Rimbaud de la BD".
The Lieutenant Blueberry character, whose facial features were based on those of the actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, was created in 1963 by Charlier and Giraud for Pilote. While the Fort Navajo series had originally been intended as an ensemble narrative, it quickly gravitated towards having Blueberry as its central figure. His featured adventures, in what was later called the Blueberry series, may be Giraud's best known work in native France and the rest of Europe, before later collaborations with Alejandro Jodorowsky. The early Blueberry comics used a simple line drawing style similar to that of Jijé, and standard Western themes and imagery, but gradually Giraud developed a darker and grittier style inspired by, firstly the 1970 Westerns Soldier Blue and Little Big Man, and subsequently by the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone and the dark realism of Sam Peckinpah in particular. With the fifth album, "The Trail of the Navajos", Giraud established his own style, and after both editorial control and censorship laws were loosened in the wake of the May 1968 social upheaval in France - the former in no small part due to the revolt key comic artists, Giraud chief among them, staged a short time thereafter in the editorial offices of Dargaud, the publisher of Pilote, demanding and ultimately receiving more creative freedom from editor-in-chief René Goscinny - the strip became more explicitly adult, and also adopted a wider range of thematics. The first Blueberry album penciled by Giraud after he had begun publishing science fiction as Mœbius, "Nez Cassé", was much more experimental than his previous Western work. While the editorial revolt at Dargaud had effectively become the starting point of the emancipation of the French comic world, Giraud admitted that it also had caused a severe breach in his hitherto warm relationship with the conservative Goscinny, which never fully mended.
Giraud left the series and publisher in 1974, partly because he was tired of the publication pressure he was under in order to produce the series, partly because of an emerging royalties conflict, but mostly because he wanted further explore and develop his "Mœbius" alter ego, in particular because Jodorowsky, who was impressed by the graphic qualities of Blueberry, had already invited him to come over to Los Angeles previously, to start production design on his Dune movie project, and which constituted the first Jodorowsky/Mœbius collaboration. Giraud was so eager to return to the project during a stopover from the United States while the project was in hiatus, that he greatly accelerated the work on the "Angel Face" outing of Blueberry he was working on at the time, shearing off weeks from its originally intended completion. The project fell through though, and after he had returned definitely to France later that year, he started to produce comic work under this pseudonym that was published in the magazine he co-founded, Métal Hurlant, which started its run in December 1974 and revolutionized the Franco-Belgian comic world in the process.
It was Jodorowsky who introduced Giraud to the writings of Carlos Castaneda, who had written a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, particularly with a group whose lineage descended from the Toltecs. The books, narrated in the first person, related his experiences under the tutelage of a Yaqui "Man of Knowledge" named Don Juan Matus. Castaneda's writings made a deep and everlasting impression on Giraud, already open to Native-Mexican folk culture due to his three previous extended trips to the country, and it did influence his art as "Mœbius", particularly in regard to dream sequences, though he was not quite able to work in such influences in his mainstream Blueberry comic. Yet, unbeknownst to writer Charlier, he did already sneak in some Castaneda elements in "Nez Cassé". Castaneda's influence reasserted itself in full in Giraud's later life, having worked in elements more openly after Charlier's death in his 1999 Blueberry outing "Geronimo l'Apache", and was to become a major element for his -project, which however, had refused to come to fruition for extraneous reasons.
Even though Giraud had vainly tried to introduce his Blueberry co-worker to the writings of Castaneda, Charlier, being of a previous generation, conservative in nature and wary of science fiction in general, never understood what his younger colleague tried to achieve as "Mœbius". Nonetheless, he never tried to hinder Giraud in the least, as he understood that an artist of Giraud's caliber needed a "mental shower" from time to time. Furthermore, Charlier was very appreciative of the graphic innovations Giraud ported over from his work as "Mœbius" into the mainstream Blueberry series, most specifically "Nez Cassé", making him "one of the all-time greatest artists in the comic medium," as Charlier himself put it in 1982. Artist :fr:Michel Rouge, who was taken on by Giraud in 1980 for the inks of "La longue marche" painted a slightly different picture though. Already recognizing that the two men were living in different worlds, he noted that Charlier was not pleased with Giraud taking on an assistant, afraid that it might have been a prelude to his leaving the series in order to pursue his "experimentations" as Mœbius further. While Charlier was willing to overlook Giraud's "philandering" in his case only, he was otherwise of the firm conviction that artists, especially his own, should totally and wholeheartedly devote themselves to their craft, as Charlier had always considered the medium. Even Giraud was in later life led to believe that Charlier apparently "detested" his other work, looking upon it as something akin to "treason", though his personal experiences with the author was that he had kept an "open mind" in this regard, at least in his case. According to Giraud, Charlier's purported stance negatively influenced his son Philippe, causing their relationship to rapidly deteriorate into open animosity, after the death of his father.
Post-''Pilote'' (1979-2007)Giraud returned to the Blueberry series in 1979 with "Nez Cassé" as a free-lancer. Later that year however, the long-running disagreement Charlier and Giraud had with their publishing house Dargaud, the publisher of Pilote, over the residuals from Blueberry came to a head. They began the Western comic ' as a means to put the pressure on Dargaud. It did not work, and Charlier and Giraud turned their back on the parent publisher definitively, leaving for greener pastures elsewhere, and in the process taking all of Charlier's co-creations with them. It would be nearly fifteen years before the Blueberry series returned to Dargaud after Charlier died. After the first album, "Mississippi River", first serialized in Métal hurlant and for two decades remaining a one-shot, Giraud took on scripting the revitalized series after Charlier had died, while leaving the artwork to.
When Charlier, Giraud's collaborator on Blueberry, died in 1989, Giraud assumed responsibility for the scripting of the main series, the last outing of which, "Apaches", released in 2007, became the last title Giraud created for the parent publisher. Blueberry has been translated into 19 languages, the first English book translations being published in 1977/78 by UK publisher Egmont/Methuen, though its publication was cut short after only four volumes. The original Blueberry series has spun off a prequel series called ' in the Pilote-era, but the artwork was in 1984, when that series was resurrected, left to Colin Wilson and later after the first three original volumes in that series, as well as the Giraud-written, but William Vance-penciled, 1991-2000 intermezzo series called . All these series, except Jim Cutlass, had returned to the parent publisher Dargaud in late 1993, though Giraud himself - having already left the employ of the publisher in 1974 - had not, instead plying his trade as a free-lancer, explaining the Jim Cutlass exception.
While Giraud has garnered universal praise and acclaim for his work as "Mœbius", as "Gir", Blueberry has always remained his most successful and most recognized work in native France itself and in mainland Europe, despite its artist developing somewhat of a love/hate relationship with his co-creation in later life, which was exemplified by his regularly taking an extended leave of absence from his co-creation. That Blueberry has always remained his primary source of income, allowing him to fully indulge in his artistic endeavors as Mœbius, was admitted as such by Giraud as early as 1979: "If an album of Moebius is released, about 10.000 people are interested. A Blueberry album sells at least 100.000 copies ," and as late as 2005, "Blueberry is in some ways the 'sponsor' of Moebius, for years now."
Science fiction and fantasy comicsThe "Mœbius" pseudonym, which Giraud came to use for his science fiction and fantasy work, was born in 1963, while he was working on the Hachette project, as he did not like "to work on paintings alone all day", and "like an alcoholic needing his alcohol" had to create comics. In a satire magazine called Hara-Kiri, Giraud used the name for 21 strips in 1963–64. Though Giraud enjoyed the artistic freedom and atmosphere at the magazine greatly, he eventually gave up his work there as Blueberry, on which he had embarked in the meantime, demanded too much of his energy, aside from being a better paid job. Magazine editor-in-chief Cavanna was loath to let Giraud go, not understanding why Giraud would want to waste his talents on a "kiddy comic". Subsequently, the pseudonym went unused for a decade, that is for comics at least, as Giraud continued its use for side-projects as illustrator. In the late 1960s-early 1970s, Giraud provided interior front, and back flyleaf illustrations as Mœbius for several outings in the science fiction book club series ', a limited edition hardcover series, collecting work from seminal science fiction writers, from French publisher, continuing to do so throughout the 1970s with several additional covers for the publisher's :fr:Fiction |Fiction and ' science fiction magazine and pocket book series. Additionally, this period in time also saw four vinyl record music productions endowed with Mœbius sleeve art. Much of this illustration art has been reproduced in Giraud's first art book as Mœbius, aptly entitled "Mœbius", released in 1980. There actually had also been a personal reason as well for Giraud to suspend his career as Mœbius comic artist; after he had returned from his second trip from Mexico, he found himself confronted with the artist's version of a writer's block as far as Mœbius comics were concerned, partly because Blueberry consumed all his energy. "For eight months I tried, but I could not do it, so I quit", stated Giraud additionally. Giraud's statement notwithstanding though, he did a couple of Hara-Kiriesque satirical comic shorts for Pilote in the early 1970s, but under the pseudonym "Gir", most of which reprinted in the comic book Gir œuvres: "Tome 1, Le lac des émeraudes", also collecting shorts he had created for the Fleurus magazines, Bonux-Boy, and the late-1960s TOTAL Journal magazine.
''L'Écho des savanes'' (1974)In 1974 he truly revived the Mœbius pseudonym for comics, and the very first, 12-page, story he created as such - while on one of his stopovers from America when the Dune production was in a lull - was "Cauchemar Blanc", published in the magazine L'Écho des savanes, issue 8, 1974. The black & white story dealt with the racist murder of an immigrant of North-African descent, and stands out as one of the very few emphatic socially engaged works of Giraud. Bearing in mind Giraud's fascination with the Western genre in general and the cultural aspects of Native-Americans in particular - and whose plight Giraud had always been sympathetic to - it is hardly a surprise that two later examples of such rare works were Native-American themed. These concerned the 2-page short story "Wounded Knee", inspired by the eponymous 1973 incident staged by Oglala Lakota, and the 3-page short story "Discours du Chef Seattle", first published in the artbook "Made in L.A.". Giraud suddenly bursting out onto the comic scene as "Mœbius", caught European readership by surprise, and it took many of them, especially outside France, a couple of years before the realization had sunk in that "Jean Gir" and "Mœbius" were, physically at least, one and the same artist.
It was when he was brainstorming with the founding editors of the magazine, that Giraud came up with his first major Mœbius work, "Le bandard fou". Released directly as album in black & white by the magazine's publisher, the humorous and satirical story dealt with a law-abiding citizen of the planet Souldaï, who awakens one day, only to find himself with a permanent erection. Pursued through space and time by his own puritanical authorities, who frown upon the condition, and other parties, who have their own intentions with the hapless bandard, he eventually finds a safe haven on the asteroid Fleur of Madame Kowalsky, after several hilarious adventures. When discounting the as "Gir" signed "La déviation", it is in this story that Giraud's signature, minute "Mœbius" art style, for which he became famed not that much later, truly comes into its own. Another novelty introduced in the book, is that the narrative is only related on the right-hand pages; the left-hand pages are taken up by one-page panels depicting an entirely unrelated cinematographic sequence of a man transforming after he has snapped his fingers. The story did raise some eyebrows with critics accusing Giraud of pornography at the time, but one reviewer put it in perspective when stating, "Peut-être Porno, mais Graphique!", which loosely translates as "Porn maybe, but Graphic Art for sure!". In the editorial of the [|1990 American edition], Giraud has conceded that he was envious of what his former Pilote colleagues had achieved with L'Écho des savanes in regard to creating a free, creative environment for their artists, he had already enjoyed so much back at Hara-Kiri, and that it was an inspiration for the endeavor, Giraud embarked upon next.
''Métal hurlant'' (1974–1982)Later that year, after Dune was permanently canceled with him definitively returning to France, Giraud became one of the founding members of the comics art group and publishing house "Les Humanoïdes Associés", together with fellow comic artists Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Philippe Druillet and financial director Bernard Farkas. In imitation of the example set by the L'Écho des savanes founding editors, it was therefore as such also an indirect result of the revolt these artists had previously staged at Pilote, and whose employ they had left for the undertaking. Together they started the monthly magazine Métal hurlant in December 1974, and for which he had temporarily abandoned his Blueberry series. The translated version was known in the English-speaking world as Heavy Metal, and started its release in April 1977, actually introducing Giraud's work to North-American readership. Mœbius' famous serial "The Airtight Garage" and his groundbreaking "Arzach" both began in Métal hurlant. Unlike Hara-Kiri and L'Écho des savanes though, whose appeal has always remained somewhat limited to the socially engaged satire and underground comic scenes, it was Métal hurlant in particular that revolutionized the world of Franco-Belgian bandes dessinées, whereas its American cousin left an indelible impression on a generation of not only American comic artists, but on film makers as well, as evidenced [|below].
Starting its publication in the first issue of Métal hurlant, "Arzach" is a wordless 1974–1975 comic, executed directly in color and created as a conscious attempt to breathe new life into the comic genre which at the time was dominated by American superhero comics in the United States, and by the traditional, adolescent oriented bandes dessinée in Europe. It tracks the journey of the title character flying on the back of his pterodactyl through a fantastic world mixing medieval fantasy with futurism. Unlike most science fiction comics, it is, save for the artfully executed story titles, entirely devoid of captions, speech balloons and written sound effects. It has been argued that the wordlessness provides the strip with a sense of timelessness, setting up Arzach's journey as a quest for eternal, universal truths. The short stories "L'Homme est-il bon?", "Ballade", "Ktulu" and "Citadelle aveugle" were examples of additional stories Giraud created directly in color, shortly after "Arzach". 1976 saw the Métal hurlant, issues 7-8, publication of "The Long Tomorrow", written by Dan O'Bannon in 1974 during lulls in the pre-production of Jodorowsky's Dune.
His series The Airtight Garage, starting its magazine run in issue 6, 1976, is particularly notable for its non-linear plot, where movement and temporality can be traced in multiple directions depending on the readers' own interpretation even within a single planche. The series tells of Major Grubert, who is constructing his own multi-level universe on an asteroid named Fleur, where he encounters a wealth of fantastic characters including Michael Moorcock's creation Jerry Cornelius.
1978 marked the publication of the 54-page "Les yeux du chat". The dark, disturbing and surreal tale dealt with a blind boy in a non-descript empty cityscape, who has his pet eagle scout for eyes, which it finds by taking these from a street cat and offering them to his awaiting companion who, while grateful, expresses his preference for the eyes of a child. The story premise originated from a brainstorming session Alejandro Jodorowsky had with his fellows of the Académie Panique, a group concentrated on chaotic and surreal performance art, as a response to surrealism becoming mainstream. Jodorowsky worked out the story premise as a therapy to alleviate the depression he was in after the failure of his Dune project and presented the script to Giraud in 1977 during a visit to Paris. Deeming the story too short for a regular, traditional comic, it was Giraud who suggested the story to be told on the format he had already introduced in "Le bandard fou", to wit, as single panel pages. On recommendation of Jodorowsky, he refined the format by relating the eagle's quest on the right-hand pages, while depicting the awaiting boy in smaller single panel left-hand pages from a contra point-of-view. Giraud furthermore greatly increased his already high level of detail by making extensive use of zipatone for the first time. Considered a key and seminal work, both for its art and storytelling, setting Jodorowsky off on his career as comic writer, the art evoked memories of the wood engravings from the 19th century, including those of Gustave Doré, that Giraud discovered and admired in the books of his grandparents when he was living there in his childhood. However, it—like "La déviation"—has remained somewhat of a one-shot in Giraud's body of work in its utilization of such a high level of detail. The story, printed on yellow paper to accentuate the black & white art, was originally published directly as a, to 5000 copies limited book edition, gift item for relations of the publisher. It was only after expensive pirate editions started to appear that the publisher decided to make the work available commercially on a wider scale, starting in 1981. Jodorowsky had intended the work to be the first of a trilogy, but that never came to fruition.
In a certain way "Les yeux du chat" concluded a phase that had started with "La Déviation", and this viewpoint was adhered to by the publisher who had coined the era "Les années Métal Hurlant" on one of its latter-day anthologies. The very first "Mœbius" anthology collection the publisher released as such, was the 1980–1985 Moebius œuvres complètes six-volume collection of which two, volumes 4, "La Complainte de l'Homme Programme" and 5, "Le Désintégré Réintégré", were Mœbius art books. It also concluded a phase in which Giraud was preoccupied in a "characteristic period in his life" in which he was "very somber and pessimistic about my life", resulting in several of his "Mœbius" stories of that period ending in death and destruction. These included the poetic "Ballade", in which Giraud killed off the two protagonists, something he came to regret a decade later in this particular case.
In the magazine's issue 58 of 1980 Giraud started his famous L'Incal series in his third collaboration with Jodorowsky. However, by this time Giraud felt that his break-out success as "Mœbius" had come at a cost. He had left Pilote to escape the pressure and stifling conditions he was forced to work under, seeking complete creative freedom, but now it was increasingly becoming "as stifling as it had been before with Blueberry", as he conceded in 1982, adding philosophically, "The more you free yourself, the more powerless you become!". How deeply ingrained this sentiment was, was evidenced in a short interview in Métal Hurlant, issue 82, later that year, where an overworked Giraud stated, "I will finish the Blueberry series, I will finish the John Difool series and then I'm done. Then I will quit comics!" At the time he had just finished working as storyboard, and production design artist on the Movie Tron, something he had enjoyed immensely. Fortunately for his fans, Giraud did not act upon his impulse as history has shown, though he did take action to escape the hectic Parisian comic scene in 1980 by moving himself and his family as far away from Paris as possible in France, by relocating to the small city of Pau at the foothills of the Pyrenees. It was while he was residing in Pau that Giraud started to take an interest in the teachings of Jean-Paul Appel-Guéry, becoming an active member of his group and partaking in their gatherings.
Tahiti (1983–1984)From 1985 to 2001 he also created his six-volume fantasy series Le Monde d'Edena, which has appeared in English as The Aedena Cycle. The stories were strongly influenced by the teachings of Jean-Paul Appel-Guéry, and Guy-Claude Burger's instinctotherapy. In effect, Giraud and his family did join Appel-Guéry's commune on Tahiti in 1983, until late 1984, when the family moved to the United States, where Giraud set up shop first in Santa Monica, and subsequently in Venice and Woodland Hills, California. Giraud's one-shot comic book "La nuit de l'étoile" was co-written by Appel-Guéry, and has been the most visible manifestation of Giraud's stay on Tahiti, aside from the artbooks "La memoire du futur" and "Venise celeste". Concurrently collaborating on "La nuit de l'étoile" was young artist Marc Bati, also residing at the commune at the time, and for whom Giraud afterwards wrote the comic series Altor, while in the US. It was under the influence of Appel-Guéry's teachings that Giraud conceived a third pseudonym, Jean Gir - formally introduced to the public as "Jean Gir, Le Nouveau Mœbius" in "Venise celeste", though Giraud had by the time of publication already dispensed with the pseudonym himself - which appeared on the art he created while on Tahiti, though not using it for his Aedena Cycle. Another member of the commune was Paula Salomon, for whom Giraud had already illustrated her 1980 book "La parapsychologie et vous". Having to move statesite for work, served Giraud well, as he became increasingly disenchanted at a later stage with the way Appel-Guéry ran his commune on Tahiti, in the process dispensing with his short-lived third pseudonym. His stay at the commune though, had practical implications on his personal life; Giraud gave up eating meat, smoking, coffee, alcohol and, for the time being, the use of mind-expanding substances, adhering to his newfound abstinence for the most part for the remainder of his life.
During his stay on Tahiti, Giraud had co-founded his second publishing house under two concurrent imprints, Éditions Gentiane and , together with friend and former editor at Les Humanoïdes Associés,, for the express purpose to release his work in a more artful manner, such as limited edition art prints, art books and art portfolios. Both men had already released the very first such art book in the Humanoïdes days, and the format then conceived - to wit, a large 30x30cm book format at first, with art organized around themes, introduced by philosophical poetry by Mœbius - was adhered to for later such releases, including "La memoire du futur".
Marvel Comics (1984–1989)After having arrived in California, Giraud's wife Claudine set up Giraud's third publishing house Starwatcher Graphics in 1985, essentially the US branch of Gentiane/Aedena with the same goals, resulting in the release of, among others, the extremely limited art portfolio La Cité de Feu, a collaborative art project of Giraud with Geoff Darrow. However, due to their unfamiliarity with the American publishing world, the company did not do well, and in an effort to remedy the situation Claudine hired the French/American editor couple Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, whom she had met at the summer 1985 San Diego ComicCon, as editors-in-chief for Starwatcher, also becoming shareholders in the company. Already veterans of the US publishing world, it was the Lofficier couple that managed to convince editor-in-chief Archie Goodwin of Marvel Comics to publish most of Moebius' hitherto produced work on a wider scale in the US—in contrast with the Heavy Metal niche market releases by HM Communications in the late 1970s—in graphic novel format trade editions, under its Epic imprint from 1987–1994. These incidentally, included three of Mœbius' latter-day art books, as well as the majority of his Blueberry Western comic.
It was for the Marvel/Epic publication effort that it was decided to dispense with the "Jean aud"/"Mœbius" dichotomy—until then strictly adhered-to by the artist—as both the artist's given name and his Blueberry creation were all but unknown in the English speaking world. This was contrary to his reputation as "Mœbius", already acquired in the Heavy Metal days, and from then on used for all his work in the English speaking world, though the dichotomy remained elsewhere, including native France.
A two-issue Silver Surfer miniseries, written by Stan Lee and drawn by Giraud, was published through Marvel's Epic Comics imprint in 1988 and 1989. According to Giraud, this was his first time working under the Marvel method instead of from a full script, and he has admitted to being baffled by the fact that he already had a complete story synopsis on his desk only two days after he had met Stan Lee for the first time, having discussed what Giraud had assumed was a mere proposition over lunch. This miniseries won the Eisner Award for best finite/limited series in 1989. Mœbius' version was discussed in the 1995 submarine thriller Crimson Tide by two sailors pitting his version against those of Jack Kirby, with the main character played by Denzel Washington, emphasizing the Kirby one being the better of the two. Becoming aware of the reference around 1997, Giraud was later told around 2005 by the movie's director Tony Scott, that it was he who had written in the dialog as an homage to the artist on behalf of his brother Ridley, a Mœbius admirer, and not script doctor Quentin Tarentino as he was previously led to believe. An amused Giraud quipped, "It's better than a big stature, because in a way, I can not dream of anything better to be immortal being in a movie about submarines!"
As a result, from his cooperation with Marvel, Giraud delved deeper into the American superhero mythology and created superhero art stemming from both Marvel and DC Comics, which were sold as art prints, posters or included in calendars. Even as late as 1997, Giraud had created cover art for two DC comic book outings, Hardware and Static, after an earlier cover for Marvel Tales. Another project Giraud embarked upon in his "American period", was for a venture into that other staple of American pop culture, trading cards. Trading card company Comic Images released a "Mœbius Collector Cards" set in 1993, featuring characters and imagery from all over his Mœbius universe, though his Western work was excluded. None of the images were lifted from already existing work, but were especially created by Giraud the year previously.
Although Giraud had taken up residence in California for five years - holding a temporary residence visa - he maintained a transient lifestyle, as his work had him frequently travel to Belgium and native France, as well as to Japan, for extended periods of time. His stay in the United States was an inspiration for his aptly called Made in L.A. art book, and much of his art he had produced in this period of time, including his super hero art, was reproduced in this, and the follow-up art book Fusions, the latter of which having seen a translation in English by Epic.
Giraud's extended stay in the US, garnered him a 1986 Inkpot Award, an additional [|1991 Eisner Award], as well as three Harvey Awards in the period 1988–1991 for the various graphic novel releases by Marvel. It was in this period that Giraud, who had already picked up Spanish as a second language as a result from his various trips to Mexico and his dealings with Jodorowsky and his retinue, also picked up sufficient language skills to communicate in English.
Later work (1990–2012)In late summer 1989, Giraud returned to France, definitively as it turned out, though that was initially not his intent. His family had already returned to France earlier, as his children wanted to start their college education in their native county and wife Claudine had accompanied them to set up home in Paris. However, it also turned out that his transient lifestyle had taken its toll on the marriage, causing the couple to drift apart, and it was decided upon his return to enter into a "living apart together" relationship, which allowed for an "enormous freedom and sincerity" without "demands and frustrations" for both spouses, according to the artist. Additionally, Giraud had met Isabelle Champeval during a book signing in Venice, Italy in February 1984, and entered into a relationship with her in 1987, with resulted in the birth of second son Raphaël in 1989. Giraud's marriage with Claudine was legally ended in December 1994, without much drama according to Giraud, as both spouses had realized that "each wanted something different out of life". Exemplary of the marriage ending without any ill will was, that Claudine was still emphatically acknowledged for her contributions in the 1997 artbook "Blueberry's", and [|the documentary] made fore the occasion of its release. Giraud and Isabelle were married on 13 May 1995, and the union resulted in their second child, daughter Nausicaa, the same year. For Giraud his second marriage was of such great personal importance, that he henceforth considered his life divided in a pre-Isabelle part and a post-Isabelle part, having coined his second wife "the key to the whole grand design". Isabelle's sister and Giraud's sister-in-law, Claire, became a regular contributor as colorist on Giraud's latter-day work.
The changes in his personal life were also accompanied with changes in his business holdings during 1988–1990. His co-founded publishing house Gentiane/Aedena went into receivership in 1988, going bankrupt a short time thereafter. The American subsidiary Starwatcher Graphics followed in its wake, partly because it was a shared marital possession of the original Giraud couple and partly because the publication efforts of his work in the United States had run its course. In 1989 Giraud sold his shares in Les Humanoïdes Associés to Fabrice Giger, thereby formally severing his ownership ties with the publisher, which however remained the regular publisher of his Mœbius work from the Métal hurlant era, including L'Incal. Together with Claudine he founded Stardom in 1990, his first true family operated business without any outside participation, according to Giraud, with the to 1525 copies limited mini art portfolio "Mockba - carnet de bord" becoming the company's first recorded publication in September the same year. Apart from being a publishing house, it was concurrently an art gallery, located on 27 Rue Falguière, 75015 Paris, organizing themed [|exhibitions] on a regular basis. In 1997, the company was renamed Moebius Production - singular, despite the occasional and erroneous use of the plural, even by the company itself. The company, in both publishing and art gallery iterations, is as of 2017 still being run by Isabelle Giraud who had taken over the function of publishing editor and co-ownership from Claudine, after the latter's marriage with Giraud was dissolved in 1994, and her sister Claire.
While Giraud was in the midst of Blueberrys "OK Corral" cycle, he also embarked on a new sequel cycle of his acclaimed Incal main series, called Après l'Incal. Yet, after he had penciled the first outing in the series, "Le nouveau rêve", he found himself confronted with "too many things that attract me, too many desires in all the senses", causing him to be no longer able to "devote myself to the bande dessinée as befitting a professional in the traditional sense". Despite repeated pleas to convince Giraud otherwise, it left writer Jodorowsky with no other recourse than to start anew with a new artist. This insight had repercussions though, as Giraud, after he had finished the "OK Corral" cycle in 2005, no longer continued to produce comics and/or art on a commercial base, but rather on a project and/or personal base, usually under the aegis of his own publishing house Mœbius Production.
As Mœbius Production, Giraud published from 2000 to 2010 Inside Mœbius, an illustrated autobiographical fantasy in six hardcover volumes totaling 700 pages. Pirandello-like, 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, Major Grubert and others.
Jean Giraud drew the first of the two-part volume of the XIII series titled La Version Irlandaise from a script by Jean Van Hamme, to accompany the second part by the regular team Jean Van Hamme–William Vance, Le dernier round. Both parts were published on the same date and were the last ones written by Van Hamme before Yves Sentes took over the series. The contribution was also a professional courtesy to the series' artist, Vance, who had previously provided the artwork for the first two titles in the by Giraud written Marshall Blueberry spin-off series.
Late in life, Giraud also decided to revive his seminal Arzak character in an elaborate new adventure series; the first volume of a planned trilogy, Arzak l'arpenteur, appeared in 2010. He also added to the Airtight Garage series with two volumes entitled "Le chasseur déprime" and "Major", as well as the art book "La faune de Mars", the latter two initially released in a limited, 1000 copy French only, print run by Mœbius Production. By this time, Giraud created his comic art on a specialized graphic computer tablet, as its enlargement features had become an indispensable aid, because of his failing eyesight.
Creating comics became increasingly difficult for Giraud, as his eyesight started to fail him in his last years, having undergone severe surgery in 2010 to stave off blindness in his left eye, and it was mainly for this reason that Giraud increasingly concentrated on creating single-piece art, both as "Gir" and as "Mœbius", on larger canvases on either commission basis or under the aegis of Mœbius Production. Much of the latter artwork was from 2005 onward, alongside older original art Giraud still had in his possession, sold by the company for considerable prices in specialized comic auctions at such auction houses like Artcurial, Hôtel Drouot and Millon & Associés.
Illustrator and authorAs already indicated above, Giraud had throughout his entire career made illustrations for books, magazines, music productions, but also promotional art for commercial institutions such as banks and corporations. A notable early example of the latter, concerned the Blueberry art he created in 1978 for the Spanish jeans manufacturer Lois Jeans & Jackets; Aside from being traditionally run as an advertisement in numerous magazines, it was also blown up to gigantic, mural-like dimensions and as posters plastered on walls and billboards in several places all around Paris. As book illustrator, Giraud illustrated for example the 1987 first edition of the science fiction novel Project Pendulum by Robert Silverberg, and the 1994 French edition of the novel The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The subsequent year Giraud followed up in the same vein as the Coelho novel, with his cover and interior illustrations for a French 1995 reprint of "Ballades" from the French medieval poet François Villon. Much of this non-comic art, including the one for Lois has been reproduced in the artbooks that were released over the years.
An out-of-the-ordinary latter-day contribution as such, constituted his illustrations as "Mœbius" for the Thursday 6 March 2008 issue of the Belgian newspaper Le Soir. His illustrations accompanied news articles throughout the newspaper, providing a Mœbiusienne look on events. In return, the newspaper, for the occasion entitled "Le Soir par Mœbius", featured two half-page editorials on the artist.
Under the names Giraud, Gir and Mœbius, he also wrote several comics for other comic artists as listed below, and the early ones including Jacques Tardi. and Claude Auclair Aside from writing for other comic artists, he also wrote story outlines for the movies Les Maîtres du temps, Internal Transfer, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland and Thru the Moebius Strip as outlined further down the line.
As author on personal title, Giraud has - apart from his own bande dessinée scripts - written philosophical poetry that accompanied his art in his Mœbius artbooks of the 1980s and 1990s. He also wrote the "Story Notes" editorials for the American Epic publications, providing background information on his work contained therein. In 1998, he took time off to write his autobiography, Moebius-Giraud: Histoire de mon double.
FilmsGiraud's friend Jean-Claude Mézières has divulged in the 1970s that their very first outing into the world of cinema concerned a 1957 animated Western, unsurprisingly considering their shared passion for the genre, "Giraud, with his newfound prestige because of his trip to Mexico , started a pro career at Cœurs Valiants, but together with two other friends we tackled a very ambitious project first: a cartoon western for which Giraud drew the sets and the main characters. Alas, rather disappointingly, we had to stop after only 45 seconds!" Any further movie aspirations Giraud, who himself had considered the effort "too laborious", might have had entertained had to wait until he received the 1974 invitation of Alejandro Jodorowsky to work on his planned adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune, which was however abandoned in pre-production. Jodorowsky's Dune, a 2013 American-French documentary directed by Frank Pavich, explores Jodorowsky's unsuccessful attempt. Giraud, a non-English speaker at the time, later admitted that the prospect of moving over to Los Angeles filled him with trepidation, initially causing him to procrastinate. It was friend Philippe Druillet who pushed him to up and go, which he did by going AWOL again from his job at Pilote. Giraud was grateful for Druillet pushing him as he found that he reveled in his first Hollywood experience. In the end the project took nine months before it fell apart, but Giraud's presence was not always required, giving him ample time to return to France on several occasions, to pursue his other work, such as his work for L'Écho des savanes and, most importantly, to firstly finish up on Blueberrys "Angel Face", which he ultimately did in record time, this time formally quitting Pilote afterwards.
Despite Jodowowsky's project falling through, it had attracted the attention of other movie makers. One of them was Ridley Scott who managed to reassemble a large part of Jodorowsky's original creative team, including Giraud, for his 1979 science fiction thriller Alien. Hired as a concept artist, Giraud's stay on the movie lasted only a few days, as he had obligations elsewhere. Nonetheless, his designs for the Nostromo crew attire, and their spacesuits in particular, were almost one-on-one adopted by Scott and appearing onscreen as designed, resulting in what Giraud had coined "two weeks of work and ten years of fallout in media and advertising". Scott did explicitly acknowledge "Mœbius" for his contributions in the special features for the movie in the Alien Quadrilogy home media collection. Scott was taken with Giraud's art, having cited "The Long Tomorrow" as an influence on his second major movie Blade Runner of 1982, and invited him again for both this, and his subsequent third major movie Legend of 1985, which Giraud had to decline in both cases for, again, obligations elsewhere. He especially regretted not having been able to work on the latter movie, having deemed it "very good", and it was still on his mind as late as 2010, as he directly referred to the movie when he made his "unicorn" statement regarding his legacy, quoted below.
1981 saw the release of the animated film Heavy Metal, produced by Ivan Reitman. The heavily "Arzach"-inspired last, "Taarna", section of the movie, has led to the persistent misconception, especially held in the United States, that Giraud had provided characters and situations for the segment, albeit uncredited. Giraud however, had already emphatically squashed that particular misconception himself on an early occasion, "I had absolutely nothing to do with it," stated the artist in 1982, "Sure, the people who made the movie were inspired by quite a few things from "Arzach"," further explaining that, while the American producers had indeed intended to use the artist's material from the eponymous magazine, there were legalities involved between the American and French mother magazines, because the latter had financial interests in Laloux's below mentioned Les Maîtres du temps that was concurrently in development, and in which Giraud was very much involved with. The American producers went ahead regardless of the agreements made between them and Métal hurlant. While not particularly pleased with the fact, Giraud was amused when third parties wanted to sue the Americans on his behalf. Giraud however, managed to convince his editor-in-chief Jean-Pierre Dionnet to let the issue slide, as he found "all that fuss with lawyers" not worth his while, aside from the incongruous circumstance that the French magazine was running advertisements for the American movie.
Still, Alien led to two other movie assignments in 1982, this time as both concept and storyboard artist. The first one concerned the Disney science fiction movie Tron, whose director Steven Lisberger specifically requested Giraud, after he had discovered his work in Heavy Metal magazine. The second assignment concerned Giraud's collaboration with director René Laloux to create the science fiction feature-length animated movie Les Maîtres du temps based on a novel by Stefan Wul. He and director Rene Laloux shared the award for Best Children's Film at the Fantafestival that year. For the latter, Giraud was also responsible for the poster art and the comic adaption of the same title, with some of his concept and storyboard art featured in a "making-of" book to boot. Excepting Les Maîtres du temps, Giraud's movie work had him travel to Los Angeles for longer periods of time.
Outside his actual involvement with motion pictures, Giraud was in this period of time also occasionally commissioned to create poster art for, predominantly European, movies. Movies for which Giraud, also as "Mœbius", created poster art included, Touche pas à la femme blanche !, S*P*Y*S, ', Les Chiens, Tusk, and '.
As his two 1982 movies coincided with the end of his Métal hurlant days and his departure for Tahiti shortly thereafter, this era can be seen as Giraud's "first Hollywood period", especially since the next project he embarked on entailed a movie in which he was very much invested as initiator, writer and producer as well, contrary to the movies he hitherto had worked upon as a gun-for-hire.
While Giraud was residing in Appel-Guéry's commune, he, together with Appel-Guéry and another member of the commune, Paula Salomon, came up with a story premise for a major animated science fiction movie called Internal Transfer, which was endowed with the English title Starwatcher - after which Giraud's American publishing house was named. Slated for the production was Arnie Wong, whom Giraud had met during the production of Tron, and it was actually Disney whom Giraud offered the production first. Disney, at the time not believing in the viability of such a production in animation, declined. Another member of the commune fronted some of the money for the project to proceed, and the production was moved to Wong's animation studio in Los Angeles. It was this circumstance that provided Giraud with his alibi to leave Appel-Guéry's commune and settle in California - and the reason why he had to decline Ridley Scott for his Legend movie. Much to Giraud's disappointment and frustration though, the project eventually fell apart for several extraneous reasons, most notably for lack of funding, as related above by the artist. Still, the concept art he provided for the project served as the basis for his first collaboration with Geof Darrow, whom he had met previously on the production of Tron, on their 1985 City of Fire art portfolio. Some of the concept art was reprinted in the art book "Made in L.A.".
Yet, despite this failure to launch, it did lead to his, what can be considered, "second Hollywood period" in his "American period". Concurrent with his career as a comic artist in the United States, invitations followed to participate as concept artist on Masters of the Universe, Willow, The Abyss, and finally Yutaka Fujioka's Japanese animated feature film , for which he was not only the conceptual designer, but also the story writer. It was for this movie that Giraud resided in Japan for an extended period of time. Giraud followed up on his involvement with Little Nemo by writing the first two outings of the 1994-2000 French graphic novel series of the same name, drawn by.
His definitive return to France in 1989 marked the beginning of Giraud's third and last movie period. Giraud made original character designs and did visual development for Warner Bros. partly animated 1996 movie Space Jam. 1997 saw his participation as concept artist on Luc Besson's science fiction epic The Fifth Element, which was of great personal importance for Giraud as it meant working together with his lifelong friend Jean-Claude Mézières, coming full circle after their very first 1957 attempt at creating a motion picture. The [|2005 documentary] made for this occasion was testament to the great friendship both men had for each other. Concurrently, Giraud's oldest child, daughter Hélène, was employed on the movie in a similar function, albeit uncredited, though Giraud had stated with fatherly pride, "Yes, she had cooperated in a truly engaged manner. She started at the crack of dawn, and only went home in the evening, after the whole team had stopped working." Giraud's experience on the movie was however somewhat marred by the 2004 lawsuit publisher Les Humanoïdes Associés and Alejandro Jodorowsky leveled against Besson for alleged plagiarism of L'Incal, a lawsuit they lost.
2005 saw the release of the Chinese movie Thru the Moebius Strip, based on a story by Giraud who also served as the production designer and the co-producer, and which reunited him with Arnie Wong, whereas his stint as concept designer on the 2012 animated science fiction movie Strange Frame, has become Giraud's final recorded motion picture contribution.
Movie adaptationsIn 1991 his graphic novel short, "Cauchemar Blanc", was cinematized by Mathieu Kassovitz, winning Kassovitz two film awards. With , Giraud saw his ambitions as a full-fledged animation movie maker at least in part fulfilled. A 2002 series for French television broadcaster France 2, it consisted of fourteen four minute long animated vignettes, based on Giraud's seminal character, for which he did the writing, drawings and co-production. Young daughter Nausicaa had voice-over appearances in three of the episodes together with her father.
The Blueberry series was adapted for the screen in 2004, by Jan Kounen, as Blueberry: L'expérience secrète. Two previous attempts to bring Blueberry to the silver screen in the 1980s had fallen through; American actor Martin Kove had actually already been signed to play the titular role for one of the attempts, and who, as it turned out decades later, had even traveled to Europe to shoot some test-footage scenes from the comic series in this role in order to entice potential investors. Convinced that the project was a viable one, Kove has revealed that he, together with the two Blueberry creators, put up his own money when the project was falling apart due to arguments about funding among the would-be producers.
2010 saw the adaptation of "La planète encore", a short story from the Le Monde d'Edena universe - and which had won him his 1991 Eisner Award - into an animated short. Moebius Production served as a production company, with Isabelle Giraud serving as one of its producers. Giraud himself was one of the two directors of the short and it premiered at the «Mœbius transe forme» exposition at the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris.
ExhibitionsPart of the "many desires" that increasingly attracted Giraud in his later days, steering him away from creating traditional bandes dessinées, was his personal fascination and involvement with the many exhibitions dedicated to his work, that started to proliferate from the mid-1990s onward not only in native France, but internationally as well, causing him to frequently travel abroad, among others to Japan, for extended periods of time, with the 2010 «Mœbius transe forme» exposition in Paris becoming the apotheosis.
- Summer 1991: Exposition at the :fr:Maison de la culture Frontenac, Montréal, Canada
- 26 April-16 August 1995:«Mœbius: a retrospective» exposition at the Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco, USA; came with limited edition catalog
- December 1995: «Wanted: Blueberry» exposition at the Arthaud Grenette mega-bookstore, Grenoble, France; also featuring original Blueberry art by Colin Wilson. Both he and Jean Giraud attended the opening on 1 December, making themselves also available for book signings. Prior to the opening a promotional brochure was disseminated by the bookstore, featuring a three-page interview with Giraud.
- 19 September-9 October 1996: «Jean Giraud Blueberry» exposition at the Stardom Gallery, Paris, France, for the occasion of the upcoming release of the "Blueberry's" artbook by Stardom - Giraud's own publishing house/art gallery. The below-mentioned [|1997 documentary] was the registration of events surrounding the release, including the exhibition.
- August 1997: «Giraud/Mœbius» themed :fr:Festival de Solliès-Ville|Festival BD de Solliès-Ville, France; co-produced with Stardom. A special festival guide, illustrated by Giraud - having received the festival's [|most prestigious comic award] the previous year - and featuring a large interview with the artist, was published for the occasion by the festival organization.
- October–November 1997: Grande exposition, Palermo, Italy
- November 1997-January 1998: Grande exposition, Milan, Italy; The softcover artbook Moebius: Visoni de fine mellennio published for the occasion
- February–March 1998: Grande exposition, Venice, Italy
- December 1998-January 1990: Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon, France
- 1999: Exposition at Fondation Cartier, Paris, France
- 26 January-3 September 2000: «Trait de Génie Giraud» exposition,, Angoulême, France
- October 2001: Grande exposition, Montrouge, France
- May–June 2000: Große Austellung, Erlangen, Germany
- May 2000: Collective exposition on contemporary comics at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France
- January–February 2003: Große Austellung in the :de:Museum für Neue Kunst |Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe, Germany
- June 2003: Great exposition, Kemi, Finland
- 16 November-31 December 2003: «Giraud-Moebius» exposition, :fr:Caserne Fonck|Grand Manège Caserne Fonck, Liège, Belgium
- December 2004-April 2005: «Giraud/Mœbius & Hayao Miyazaki» exposition at the Musée de la Monnaie de Paris, France
- June 2005: Exposition «Mythes Grecs» at the Stardom/Mœbius Production Art Gallery, Paris, France
- December 2005: «Jardins d'Eros» exposition at the Stardom/Mœbius Production Art Gallery, Paris, France
- February 2006: Exposition "sur le thème du Rêve" at the Centre d'arts plastiques contemporains de Bordeaux, France
- October 2006: «Boudha line» exposition at the Stardom/Mœbius Production Art Gallery, Paris, France
- May 2007: Exposition, Seoul, South-Korea
- May 2007: «Hommage au Major» exposition at the Stardom/Mœbius Production Art Gallery, Paris, France
- February 2008: «La citadelle du vertige» attraction from Futuroscope,, France; inspired by the Garage hermétique universe.
- June 2008: «Fou et Cavalier» exposition at l'Espace Cortambert/Mœbius Production, Paris, France
- 15 January-14 June 2009: «Blueberry» exposition at the Maison de la bande dessinée, Bruxelles, Belgium
- May 2009: Exposition at the Kyoto International Manga Museum, Japan
- November 2009: «Arzak, destination Tassili» exposition at the SFL building located at 103 rue de Grenelle, Paris, France
- 12 October 2010 – 13 March 2011: «Mœbius transe forme» exposition at the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, France, which the museum had called "the first major exhibition in Paris devoted to the work of Jean Giraud, known by his pseudonyms Gir and Mœbius." A major and prestigious event, it reflected the status Giraud had by then attained in French culture. A massive, limited edition deluxe art book was released by the museum for the occasion.
- June–December 2011: «Mœbius multiple» exposition at the Musée Thomas-Henry, Cherbourg-Octeville, France
- 15 September 2019 – 29 March 2020: «Mœbius: Surreale Comicwelten» exposition at the, Brühl, Germany. A massive, 272 page hardcover art book, similar to the one released by the Parisian museum in 2010, was released as a deluxe, limited edition exposition catalog by the museum for the occasion. The exposition though, was prematurely closed on 14 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
StyleGiraud's working methods were various and adaptable ranging from etchings, white and black illustrations, to work in colour of the ligne claire genre and water colours. Giraud's solo Blueberry works were sometimes criticized by fans of the series because the artist dramatically changed the tone of the series as well as the graphic style. However, Blueberry early success was also due to Giraud's innovations, as he did not content himself with following earlier styles, an important aspect of his development as an artist.
To distinguish between work by Giraud and Moebius, Giraud used a brush for his own work and a pen when he signed his work as Moebius. Giraud was known for being an astonishingly fast draftsman.
His style has been compared to the Nouveaux réalistes, exemplified in his turn from the bowdlerized realism of Hergé's Tintin towards a grittier style depicting sex, violence and moral bankruptcy.
Aided with the use of mind-expanding substances in the first part of his career, Giraud had cultivated various New Age type philosophies throughout his career, such as Guy-Claude Burger's instinctotherapy, which influenced his creation of the comic book series Le Monde d'Edena. However, he dispensed with the use of drugs for the time being himself - though not condemning them, quite the contrary, as Giraud considered them a gateway to a hidden dreamworld ever since he was introduced in 1974 to the writings of Carlos Castaneda, and having started again with the use of marijuana in the last decade of his life, after a long abstinence - and outside teachers, or "gurus" as he himself had coined them, after his stay on Tahiti, instead continuing to seek deeper truths within himself on his own accord. However, it also negatively influenced his relationship with Philippe Charlier, heir and steward of his father's Blueberry co-creation and legacy, who had no patience whatsoever with Giraud's New Age predilections, particularly for his admitted fondness for mind-expanding substances. As 50% brand co-owner, Charlier jr. has vetoed several later Blueberry project proposals by Giraud, the aforementioned Blueberry 1900 project in particular, precisely for these reasons, as they were to prominently feature, Castaneda inspired, substance-induced scenes, going even as far as to threaten Giraud with a lawsuit to thwart his intentions.
Vision and style: In the documentary MetaMoebius he claims his different styles may stem from his short-sightedness. When drawing without glasses he is more attuned to fine details but disconnected from the external world, but when drawing with glasses on he does not get into details but is more aware of the big picture. He often starts with glasses on to have a global perspective then later continues without glasses.
DeathGiraud died in Paris, on 10 March 2012, aged 73, after a long battle with cancer. The immediate cause of death was pulmonary embolism caused by a lymphoma. Fellow comic artist François Boucq stated that Mœbius was a "master of realist drawing with a real talent for humour, which he was still demonstrating with the nurses when I saw him in his hospital bed a fortnight ago". Giraud was buried on 15 March, in the Montparnasse Cemetery, after the funeral services, held in the Saint Clotilde Basilica. Many friends and representatives from the Franco-Belgian comic world and beyond attended the services, mirroring Giraud's entire career in the industry. The French government was represented by its Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand, nephew of the former President of France François Mitterrand, who had personally awarded Giraud with his [|first civilian knighthood] twenty-seven years earlier. Giraud left his estate to his second wife Isabelle and his four children.
BiographyThroughout his entire career, Jean Giraud gave numerous interviews both in Europe as well as in the United States, but it is the series of interview sessions conducted by comics journalist Numa Sadoul that warrants special attention. Sadoul took a particular interest in the artist and followed the career of Giraud closely from the mid-1970s onward until the latter's death in 2012, conducting extensive in-depth interviews with the artist throughout this period of time with approximate two-decade intervals, which resulted in three consecutive, chronologically organized interview books, Mister Mœbius et Docteur Gir, Mœbius: Entretiens avec Numa Sadoul, and Docteur Mœbius et Mister Gir: Entertiens avec Jean Giraud, the latter two being each an edited, updated and expanded version of the previous one - and each title incidentally, featuring an entirely different selection of art. Excepting parts of the first book in SCHTROUMPF: Les cahiers de la BD, none of the later interviews had seen prior magazine publication, be it in part or in whole. The SCHTROUMPF interview excerpt, was by Giraud poured into a humorous eight-page autobiographical black & white comic. The comic, entitled "Entretien avec Jean Giraud", or "Mœbius Circa '74" as it is known in English, was however only reprinted in the 2015 edition of Sadoul's book as a preface, and in hindsight a precursor to Giraud's autobiographical Inside Mœbius comic books. The similarity had not been lost on the artist himself, after he had embarked on the Inside Mœbius series and realized, "Merde, that is exactly like the comic I have done with Numa!"
Noteworthy were the testimonials Sadoul collected from seminal persons in Giraud's life and career which included among others his mother, first wife Claudine, his mentor Jijé and many others, as well as the fact that Giraud spoke more freely about the aspects of his life and career than was commonplace in his more generic interviews, or even in his own, hereafter mentioned, autobiography. For editorial reasons, Sadoul omitted some of the outside testimonials from the second edition for his third.
Posthumously published, the 2015 title was fully sanctioned and endorsed by Giraud's widow Isabelle and has therefore become the closest approximation of an "official biography" of the artist when discounting his own Inside Moebius autobiographical comic and his precursory text autobiography Histoire de mon double. The latter, published as an unillustrated paperback in 1999 was the "biography written by Giraud on Mœbius & vice versa", but constituted what Sadoul in his 2015 edition has coined a "snapshot in time", aside from the obvious fact that the last phase of the artist's career was not covered. Giraud himself considered his "enhanced" autobiography on which he had worked for a year, a "funny" piece of work, conceding that accuracy was left to be desired as he could not be bothered to correct mistakes made therein, finding "flavor" in the small inaccuracies, and also admitting that he gave his work only a cursory glance afterwards.
Author Sadoul accounted for his work in the introduction of the 2015 edition where he summarized that the interviews for the first edition took three days in March 1974 and in August and September 1975 - and thus shortly before Giraud achieved fame in his second "Mœbius" career - at the artist's home in Fontenay-sous-Bois. Having kept more detailed records, the second edition took in total 19 hours and 45 minutes of interviews conducted between 18 and 21 October 1988 at the Sadoul's home in Cagnes-sur-Mer, augmented with an additional two hours at Giraud's home in Paris on 17 August 1989. The third edition accounted for a further 10 hours and 48 minutes worth of interviews, conducted between 15 September 2000 and 28 December 2011, either at Giraud's home in Paris or over the telephone. Sadoul acknowledged that the three series of interview sessions were snapshots in time of Giraud's life and career, causing the artist to occasionally contradict himself in later life - something Giraud himself actually addressed in a humorous fashion in his Inside Moebius comics by regularly confronting his older self with his younger versions -, but chose not to redact or edit such earlier made statements, instead transcribing these exactly as made at the time. Sadoul's reasoning was that by doing so, it reflected truthfully the spiritual development the artist had undergone throughout his career.
Influence and legacyMany artists from around the world have cited Giraud as an influence on their work. Testament to this was the publication of two special homage issues of the French comic journals :fr:Casemate |Casemate and :fr:dBD |dBD a month after Giraud's death. The original "Chihuaha Pearl" album-cover-endowed 84-page Casemate issue featured, aside from an elaborate in-memoriam overview of Giraud's life and career and testimonials from 89 predominantly European comic artists, who often had their testimonials accompanied with their own Giraud/Mœbius-themed art made for the occasion. For the 96-page dBD issue, which came in two cover variants, "Giraud, mort d'un géant" and "Mœbius, Adieu à l'immortel", over 100 comic artists, this time added with international overseas artists, contributed art as tribute to the deceased artist. The testimonials quoted below, gathered from other sources, are but a far from complete random selection of all the accolades given to the artist.
- Giraud was longtime friends with manga author and anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. Giraud even named his daughter Nausicaa after the character in Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Asked by Giraud in an interview how he first discovered his work, Miyazaki replied:
Through Arzach, which dates from 1975, I believe. I only read it in 1980, and it was a big shock. Not only for me. All manga authors were shaken by this work. Unfortunately, when I discovered it, I already had a consolidated style so I couldn't use its influence to enrich my drawing. Even today, I think it has an awesome sense of space. I directed Nausicaä under Mœbius's influence.
- Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy, has stated upon seeing Arzach,
I fell out of love with American comics, lost interest in the super-hero subject matter, was more interested in the fantasy I saw in the European art.
- Pioneering cyberpunk author William Gibson said of Giraud's work "The Long Tomorrow":
So it's entirely fair to say, and I've said it before, that the way Neuromancer-the-novel "looks" was influenced in large part by some of the artwork I saw in Heavy Metal. I assume that this must also be true of John Carpenter's Escape from New York, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, and all other artefacts of the style sometimes dubbed 'cyberpunk'. Those French guys, they got their end in early.
- "The Long Tomorrow" also came to the attention of Ridley Scott and was a key visual reference for Blade Runner. Having previously cooperated with the artist on his 1979 sci-fi thriller Alien, Scott stated as late as 2010 on Mœbius' influence on contemporary science fiction movies:
You see it everywhere, it runs through so much you can't get away from it.
- Comic artist, publisher and editor Stephen R. Bissette, responsible for the first-time publication of "Les yeux du chat" in English, had it recorded that,
When I first saw the work of 'Mœbius' - a.k.a. 'Gir', both noms de plume of Jean Giraud - his fresh science-fiction and fantasy comic art forever altered my perception of the comic medium.
- George Lucas, who had invited Giraud to work with him on his 1988 fantasy movie Willow, wrote in the foreword of the 1989 "The Art of Mœbius" art book,
In all his drawings, Mœbius demonstrates a command of many disciplines in art. He is a master draftsman, a superb artist, and more: his vision is original and strong. Since first seeing the Mœbius illustrations in Heavy Metal years ago, I have been impressed and affected by his keen and unusual sense of design, and the distinctive way in which he depicts the fantastic. perhaps what strikes me most of all his work is its sheer beauty-a beauty that has always given me great pleasure.
- British author and comic artist Neil Gaiman, with whom Giraud collaborated on Gaiman's The Sandman series, stated,
I read over and over and envied the French because they had everything I dreamed of in comics – beautifully drawn, visionary and literate comics, for adults. I wanted to make comics like that when I grew up.
- "I consider him more important than Doré", said Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini:
He's a unique talent endowed with an extraordinary visionary imagination that's constantly renewed and never vulgar. Moebius disturbs and consoles. He has the ability to transport us into unknown worlds where we encounter unsettling characters. My admiration for him is total. I consider him a great artist, as great as Picasso and Matisse.
- Following Giraud's death, Brazilian author Paulo Coelho paid tribute on Twitter stating:
The great Moebius died today, but the great Mœbius is still alive. Your body died today, your work is more alive than ever.
- Benoît Mouchart, artistic director at France's Angoulême International Comics Festival, made an assessment of his importance to the field of comics:
France has lost one of its best known artists in the world. In Japan, Italy, in the United States he is an incredible star who influenced world comics. Mœbius will remain part of the history of drawing, in the same right as Dürer or Ingres. He was an incredible producer, he said he wanted to show what eyes do not always see.
- French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand, speaking at his funeral services at Saint Clotilde Basilica on 15 March 2012, said that by the simultaneous death of Giraud and Mœbius, France had lost "two great artists".
Awards and honors
- 1969 & 1970: Prix Phénix Paris, for Lieutenant Blueberry in the category "La Meilleure Serie d'Aventures".
- 1972: "Best Realistic Artist" Special Award from the National Cartoonists Society for Lieutenant Blueberry.
- 1973: Shazam Award, for Lieutenant Blueberry in the category "Best Foreign Comic Series", shared with Jean-Michel Charlier.
- 1975:, Lucca Comics & Games, in the category "Best Foreign Artist".
- 1977: Angoulême International Comics Festival Best French Artist
- 1978: Goldene Sprechblase Award, Vereinigung für Comic-Literatur for Leutnant Blueberry in the category "Besondere Verdienste um die Comic-Literatur".
- 1979: Adamson Award, for Lieutenant Blueberry in the category "Best International Comic-Strip Cartoonist".
- 1980:, Lucca Comics & Games, in the category "Best Foreign Author".
- 1980: Grand Prix de la Science Fiction Française, Special Prize, for Major Fatal.
- 1981: Grand Prix de la ville d'Angoulême, Angoulême International Comics Festival.
- 1982: Fantafestival Award for Les Maîtres du temps in the category "Best Children's Film", shared with Director René Laloux.
- 1985: Grand Prix for the graphic arts, Angoulême International Comics Festival.
- 1985: Dubbed Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, French civilian knighthood, in 2014 posthumously elevated to the rank of ":fr:Liste des commandeurs des Arts et des Lettres|Commandeur", the highest rank of the order.
- 1986: Inkpot Award
- 1988: Harvey Award, for Moebius album series by Marvel/Epic in the category "Best American Edition of Foreign Material".
- 1989: Eisner Award, for Silver Surfer in the category "Best Finite Series".
- 1989: Harvey Award, for Incal by Marvel/Epic in the category "Best American Edition of Foreign Material".
- 1989: Haxtur Award, Salón Internacional del Cómic del Principado de Asturias, Spain, for The Incal in the category "Best Drawings"
- 1990: Soleil d'Or of the :fr:Festival de Solliès-Ville|Festival BD de Solliès-Ville for Altor: "Le secret d'Aurelys", in the category "Best Children's Comic Album", shared with Marc Bati
- 1991: Eisner Award, for Concrete in the category "Best Single Issue".
- 1991: Harvey Award, for Lieutenant Blueberry by Marvel/Epic in the category "Best American Edition of Foreign Material".
- 1991: Haxtur Award, Salón Internacional del Cómic del Principado de Asturias, for La Diosa in the category "Best Drawings".
- 1996: Soleil d'Or of the Festival BD de Solliès-Ville for Blueberry: "Mister Blueberry", in the category "Best Comic Album"
- 1997: Designated finalist for induction into the Harvey Award Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1989, inducted in 1997.
- 1997: World Fantasy Award in the category "Best Artist".
- 1998: Induction into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.
- 2000: Max & Moritz Prizes, Special Prize for outstanding life's work.
- 2000: Sproing Award for Blueberry: "Geronimo" in the category "Best Translated Strips".
- 2001: Spectrum Grandmaster
- 2001: Haxtur Award, Salón Internacional del Cómic del Principado de Asturias, for The Crowned Heart, in the category "Best Long Comic Strip".
- 2003: Haxtur Award, Salón Internacional del Cómic del Principado de Asturias, in the category "Author That We Love".
- 2004: :fr:Prix Albert-Uderzo|Albert-Uderzo Award as "Mœbius" in the category "Life-time Achievement".
- 2009: Lauriers Verts de La Forêt des Livres - Prix BD for Le Chasseur Déprime.
- 2011: Induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.
- 2011: Dubbed Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite for his contributions to French culture, French civilian knighthood.
- 2012: The Castro site on the grounds of the :fr:Cité internationale de la bande dessinée et de l'image, France's national comics museum, is rechristened "Le Vaisseau Mœbius" on 11 December in honor of the deceased artist.
- 2018: Asteroid 109435 Giraud was named in his memory. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 25 September 2018.
As Jean Giraud
- Comic albums & series
- *Blueberry, artist, writer vol 24–29
- *', artist
- *"Gir.", writer and artist
- *"Jason Muller: Récits des temps post-atomiques!", writer second part & stand-alone short
- *Jim Cutlass, artist vol. 1, writer vol. 2–7
- *Gir œuvres: "Tome 1, Le lac des émeraudes", writer and artist
- *"La ferme de animaux", writer
- *Altor, writer
- *', writer
- *XIII 18: "La Version irlandaise", artist
- *Gir œuvres, "Tome 2: Le tireur solitaire", artist
- *"Blueberry's", artist
- Illustrated books
- *"Hommes et cavernes: nos ancetres il y a 20,000 ans", co-artist
- *"Sept filles dans la brousse", artist
- *"Amérique an mille", cover and co-artist
- *L'histoire des civilisations, unsigned co-artist
- *"Buffalo Bill: le roi des éclaireurs", cover and interior co-artist
- *"Olivier chez Les Cow-Boys", artist
- *"La Fleur du désert", cover artist
- *Morgan Kane, cover artist
- *L'univers de 1: "Gir.", cover and interior co-artist
- Comic albums & series
- *"Cauchemar blanc", writer and artist
- *Le Bandard fou, writer and artist
- *Arzach, writer and artist
- *"The Long Tomorrow", artist
- *John Watercolor et sa redingote qui tue!!, writer and artist
- *L'Homme est-il bon?, writer and artist
- *Le Garage Hermétique, writer and artist
- *Les Yeux du Chat, artist
- *Tueur de monde, writer and artist
- *l'Incal, artist
- *Les Maîtres du temps, artist and writer
- *Le Monde d'Edena, writer and artist
- *La nuit de l'étoile, writer and artist
- *Silver Surfer: Parable, artist
- *Escale sur Pharagonescia, writer and artist
- *The Elsewhere Prince, writer
- *Silence, on rêve, writer and co-artist
- **which includes: Marie Dakar, writer and artist
- *Onyx Overlord, writer
- *Les Vacances du Major, writer and artist
- *Le Cœur couronné, artist
- *, writer
- *L'Homme du Ciguri, writer and artist
- *40 Days dans le Désert B, writer and artist
- *Après l'Incal, artist
- *Inside Mœbius, writer and artist
- *Icare, writer
- *The Halo Graphic Novel, artist
- *Le Chasseur Déprime, writer and artist
- *Arzak L'Arpenteur, writer and artist
- *Le Major, writer and artist
- *"Mœbius", writer and artist
- *Moebius œuvres complètes, "Tome 4: La Complainte de l'Homme Programme", writer and artist
- *"La memoire du futur/Starwatcher", writer and artist
- *Moebius œuvres complètes, "Tome 5: Le Désintégré Réintégré", writer and artist
- *"Venise céleste", writer and artist
- *"Made in L.A.", writer and artist
- *"The Art of Mœbius", writer and artist
- *"Quatre-vingt huit", writer and artist
- *"Chaos", writer and artist
- *"Chroniques métalliques", writer and artist
- *"Visions of Arzach", cover artist
- *"Griffes d'Ange", artist
- *"Fusions", writer and artist
- *"Moebius transe forme", artist
- *"La Faune de Mars", writer and artist
- Illustrated books
- *"La parapsychologie et vous", artist
- *"Project Pendulum", artist
- *"Les Mystères de l'Incal", artist
- *Legends of Arzach, artist
- *"Les Histoires de Monsieur Mouche",
- *"L'Alchemiste", artist
- *"Ballades", artist
- *"Moebius Arzach", artist
- *"2001 Après Jésus Christ", artist
English (collected) editions
HM CommunicationsThe English-language versions of many of Mœbius's comics have been collected into various editions, beginning with a small series of US graphic novel sized trade paperbacks from HM Communications, Inc., collecting work originally published in its Heavy Metal magazine, and in which Moebius' work was introduced to American readership in the 1970s. It has been noted that the quality of the translations of HM Communications has been poor.
Heavy Metal presents
- Is Man Good?
- Moebius, art/comic book hybrid with an introduction by Federico Fellini, featuring a selection of art lifted from the French 1980 "Mœbius" source art book, and the entirety of the first volume of the Incal series, "The Black Incal", therefore constituting the first English-language book release of the series.
Though some purist fans have frowned upon the coloring of the originally black & white stories, the Marvel/Epic Fantasies collection has nevertheless served as the template for similar collections subsequently released in not only native France, but in other countries as well.
The Collected Fantasies of Jean Giraud :
- Mœbius 0 – The Horny Goof & Other Underground Stories
- Mœbius ½ – The Early Mœbius & Other Humorous Stories ; black & white, expanded English-language version of "John Watercolor et sa redingote qui tue!!"
- Mœbius 1 – Upon A Star
- Mœbius 2 – Arzach & Other Fantasy Stories
- Mœbius 3 – The Airtight Garage
- Mœbius 4 – The Long Tomorrow & Other Science Fiction Stories
- Mœbius 5 – The Gardens of Aedena
- Mœbius 6 – Pharagonesia & Other Strange Stories
- Mœbius 7 – The Goddess
- Mœbius 8 – Mississippi River
- Mœbius 9 – Stel ; executed in the European standard A4 comic album format as opposed to the smaller American graphic novel format hitherto employed.
Mœbius' magnum opus as such, The Incal, was separately released both in the US and Great Britain in its own mini series, each title collecting two of the original French source publications:
- The Incal 1
- The Incal 2
- The Incal 3
The Silver Surfer
This miniseries won Giraud his Eisner Award for best finite/limited series in 1989, each comic book issue enjoying a print run of 200,000 copies.
- The Silver Surfer, Part 1 ; US standard comic book.
- The Silver Surfer, Part 2 ; US standard comic book.
- The Silver Surfer ; with new cover and editorial enhanced, limited deluxe hardcover anthology edition in dust jacket, though print run is unknown.
- The Silver Surfer: Parable ; softcover trade paperback reissue.
- The Silver Surfer: Parable ; hardcover trade edition, augmented with work from Keith Pollard, concurrently released as a numbered, limited to 640 copies, hardcover edition in dust jacket.
In between, Epic Comics did release four stand-alone art book titles, with Chaos and Metallic Memories reproducing most of the 1980 original:
- The Art of Mœbius ; softcover US graphic novel format, collecting a selection of art previously published in the French source publications, including "La memoire du futur", but - being otherwise an American initiative - it does not adhere to either the content or size format of the source publications, rather featuring artist's annotations on each piece of artwork. Foreword by George Lucas.
- Chaos ; hardcover book in deviant 30x30cm format issued without dust jacket, faithful reproduction of the French source publication.
- Metallic Memories ; hardcover book in deviant 30x30cm format issued without dust jacket, faithful reproduction of the French source publication.
- Fusion ; oversized European graphic novel format hardcover book issued without dust jacket, faithful reproduction of the French source publication.
While Giraud was only the co-writer of this US standard comic book mini series, which took place in "The Airtight Garage" universe, there was additional art from him featured in short accompanying editorials, as well as one to two page short stories.
- Sonnet 1: The Jouk
- Sonnet 2: The Princess
- Sonnet 3: Abagoo
- Sonnet 4: The Prince
- Sonnet 5: The Bouch' Tarhai
- Sonnet 6: The Artist
By Giraud co-written sequel to The Elsewhere Prince, and like that series, also featuring additional art from his hand. While Giraud was very pleased with Shanower's art for The Elsewhere Prince for its "naive qualities" he found very fitting for the story-arc, he was deeply disappointed with Bingham's art for Onyx Overlord, considering the work of the "old comics veteran" uninspired and "truly undignified", suspecting Bingham did not like the work. Because of this, Giraud decided not to dispatch the already completed scenarios for Logs 5 and 6. Disappointing sales of the European editions left the cycle uncompleted indefinitely.
- Log 1: Armjourth
- Log 2: Randomearth Yby
- Log 3: Onyx
- Log 4: Return to Armjourth
Standard US comic book reissue of the 1987 graphic novel, with some additional art in the editorials.
- Volume 1
- Volume 2
- Volume 3
- Volume 4
Comprising four chapters, Giraud provided the 16-page art for chapter 4, "Second Sunrise over New Mombasa". In the editorial of the novel, Giraud explained that son Raphaël's enjoyment of the game series ultimately compelled him to accept an invitation to contribute his art; before penciling the story, he had never played the video games.
- The Halo Graphic Novel ; hardcover in dust jacket, US graphic novel format
- Halo Graphic Novel ; softcover trade paperback, US graphic novel format
Mœbius anthology collection
- Limited Hardcover Edition 12 - Mœbius 1 ; collects Moebius 1 - 3
- Limited Hardcover Edition 13 - Mœbius 2 ; collects Moebius 4 - 6
- Limited Hardcover Edition 14 - Mœbius 3; The Incal ; collects the Marvel/Epic Incal series
- Limited Hardcover Edition 22 - Mœbius 4; Blueberry ; collects the Marvel/Epic Blueberry series
- Limited Hardcover Edition 23 - Mœbius 5; Blueberry ; collects the Marvel/Epic Blueberry series
- Limited Hardcover Edition 24 - Mœbius 6; Young Blueberry ; collects the ComCat Young Blueberry series
- Limited Hardcover Edition 35 - Mœbius 7 ; collects Moebius 0,½ and 7
- Limited Hardcover Edition 36 - Mœbius 8; Blueberry ; collects the Marvel/Epic Blueberry series
- Limited Hardcover Edition 37 - Mœbius 9; Blueberry ; collects the Marvel/Epic Blueberry series & Moebius 8; erroneous use of the same ISBN as the previous volume
- Limited Hardcover Edition 44 - Virtual Meltdown: Images of Mœbius ; collects Chaos and Metallic Memories; issued without dust jacket in deviant 30x30cm format
This mini comic book series, is the comic adaptation of the eponymous movie. The eight-page editorials in each are dedicated to the production design art Giraud had provided for the movie.
- The Abyss, issue 1
- The Abyss, issue 2
This special in the Concrete comic book series, featured the first time, full color publication of the 23-page short story "The Still Planet", set in the Edena universe. Accounting for half the contents of the comic book, the story was instrumental in making Mœbius co-winner of the 1991 Eisner Award in the category "Best Single Issue".
- Concrete Celebrates Earth Day 1990
- Issue 63
- * "Marie Dakar"; eight-page text-less short story and cover artist.
- Issues 70-76
- * "Madwoman of the Sacred Heart" ; black & white, art and cover artist issues 70 and 73
The fourth Mœbius outing of Dark Horse concerned a reissue of the art portfolio La Cité Feu - a collaborative art project of Giraud with Geoff Darrow - Starwatcher Graphics had released as an English language "Limited American lux edition" version of 100 signed and numbered copies in January 1985 under its original title, alongside the French 950 copy original by Aedena. Some of the art is reproduced in the aforementioned Fusion art book by Epic.
- City of Fire ; Unsigned and limited, though print run is unknown, 14.5"x19" sized lithograph prints with cover folio in envelope, as opposed to the hardboard box of the 1985 release. Also lacking the by Mœbius written introduction folio for that release, original cover, description and two black and white art folios, which are however replaced by two color additions.
Having added the 0-volume to the Collected Fantasies series in 1990, Dark Horse Comics too decided to release a Mœbius specific - meaning without his Western work - collection themselves, this time executed in the standard US comic book-sized format and soliciting the editorial input from Jean-Marc Lofficier who had already done so for the previous efforts. Though much of the contents was essentially a recapitulation of the Marvel/Epic publications, Lofficier made use of the opportunity to add work Mœbius had created after the Marvel/Epic publications had run its course, such as the story The Man from the Ciguri and the first two outings of the Madwomen of the sacred Heart series.
- The Man from the Ciguri, collecting the episodes as originally serialized in black & white in the publisher's Cheval Noir magazine.
- H.P.'s Rock City
- Madwomen of the sacred Heart ; black & white, collecting the first volume as serialized in their 1993 Dark Horse Presents magazine, augmented with volume 2.
Twenty years later, in April 2016, Dark Horse announced an ambitious project called the "Mœbius Library" to be released by its book division in American graphic novel hardcover format. The stated intent was to predominantly publish latter day work by Mœbius in conjunction with, and originally published under the auspices of, his own publishing house "Mœbius Production", headed after his death in 2012 by second wife Isabelle. The first title was released in October 2016.
- Mœbius Library 1 - The World of Edena ; featuring the first time English language version of the last installment Sra, thereby completing The World of Edena series in English
- Mœbius Library 2 - Inside Moebius, Part 1 ; collects the first two volumes of the French source publication
- Mœbius Library 3 - The Art of Edena ; art/comic book hybrid, collects the Edena short stories as well as Edena associated art.
- Mœbius Library 4 - Inside Moebius, Part 2 ; collects the middle two volumes of the French source publication
- Mœbius Library 5 - Inside Moebius, Part 3 ; collects the last two volumes of the French source publication
Kitchen Sink Press
A short-lived comic book series, collecting work from French underground comic artists, including Giraud. Giraud's contributions concerned some of his early "Mœbius" work he had produced for Hara-Kiri in 1963-1964. Graphitti Designs subsequently collected all early Mœbius work in their 1992 Collected Fantasies contribution as "Mœbius ½". All three black & white issues featured a cover by Mœbius.
- Issue 1
- Issue 2
- Issue 3
This original American publication consists of six, 9.2"x12.2" sized, art portfolios, each of them containing an introduction plate, a by Giraud illustrated booklet featuring a short story by R.J.M. Lofficier, set in the Arzach universe, and eight art prints by American comic artists, paying homage to Mœbius' seminal character, 48 in total. Lofficier later expanded upon his short stories in his 2000 book title by iBOOKS, mentioned below.
- Gallery 1 - Charcoal burner of Ravenwood
- Gallery 2 - White Pteron
- Gallery 3 - Keep of two moons
- Gallery 4 - The Rock of Everlasting Despair
- Gallery 5 - The Keeper of the Earth's Treasures
- Gallery 6 - The Fountains of Summer
Original American art book publication with a new cover by Mœbius, collecting the art prints by American artists from Legends of Arzach with a few additions.
- Visions of Arzach ; European graphic novel format sized hardcover trade edition.
- Mœbius Arzach ; Illustrated trade paperback softcover novel, taking place in the Arzach universe.
- Book 1 ; Softcover trade paperback
- Book 2 ; Softcover trade paperback
Giraud had created one 8-page short story "Au coeur de l'inviolable meta bunker" in 1989, focusing on one of the major secondary characters from the Incal saga, The Metabaron, whose ancestry later received its own The Metabarons spin-off series. Though that story was redrawn by the series' artist Juan Giménez for later book publications, Giraud's original was published in black & white in the below-mentioned 1990 British publication, and subsequently included in an outing of Humanoids' "Prestige Format Comic Book" collection as "Metabaron 1: The Lost Pages", which introduced Valérie Beltran's new coloring for Giraud's Incal series.
- The Metabarons: "Alpa/Omega" ; Softcover trade edition
Excepting the early 2005 co-productions with DC Comics, all subsequent editions feature the original coloring. The two co-editions with DC featured an entirely new coloring by Valérie Beltran as well as some censorship in regard to nudity, neither of which sitting well with writer Jodorowsky, who interpreted the changes as a cheap ploy to entice a younger readership. Customer reviews for both titles on Amazon.com, showed that fans were largely in concordance with Jodorowsky's assessment. Considered a commercial failure, Beltran's coloring has never been used again after the initial releases, be it in the United States or elsewhere in the world.
- The Incal
- * Volume 1:The Epic Conspiracy ; Softcover trade edition, collecting volumes 1–3 from the French original source publications, including "Metabaron 1: The Lost Pages" as "Solune's Origin".
- * Volume 2:The Epic Journey ; Softcover trade edition, collecting volumes 4–6 from the French original source publications.
- The Incal anthology collections
- * The Incal Classic Collection ; To 750 copies limited oversized hardcover edition in hardboard slipcase.
- * The Incal Classic Collection ; Hardcover trade edition, reprinted in May 2012, and April 2013.
- * The Incal ; Hardcover trade edition, essentially a reprint, but featuring new introductions.
- * The Incal ; To 1550 copies limited oversized two-volume hardcover collector's edition in deluxe hardboard slipcase.
- The Incal anthology collections
- * The Incal Classic Collection ; Hardcover trade edition.
- * The Incal ; Hardcover trade edition.
- The Incal individual volumes ; The six, 2013-2014, single title volumes, are each executed as a, to 999 copies limited, hardcover coffee table edition.
- * Volume 1: The Black Incal
- * Volume 2: The Luminous Incal
- * Volume 3: What Lies Beneath
- * Volume 4: What Is Above
- * Volume 5: The Fifth Essence Part One: The Dreaming Galaxy
- * Volume 6: The Fifth Essence Part Two: Planet Difool
- * Volume 1: The Incal - FCBD 2017 ; truncated standard US comic book version of volume 1 as Humanoids' first "Free Comic Book Day" offering.
With the translation of volume 3 of the series, "The Sorbonne's Madman", these anthology collections complete the series.
- Madwoman of the Sacred Heart ; Hardcover trade edition in dust jacket.
- Madwoman of the Sacred Heart ; Softcover trade edition.
- Madwoman of the Sacred Heart ; Hardcover trade edition with deviant cover.
- The Eyes of the Cat ; To 750 copies limited hardcover coffee table format edition with black & white art featured on white paper.
- The Eyes of the Cat ; Hardcover trade edition with black & white art featured on white paper.
- The Eyes of the Cat ; "Yellow edition" with deviant cover, hardcover trade edition with black & white art featured on yellow paper as originally published in French.
Essentially a reissue of the 1997 Eurotica title, but on this occasion issued without a dust jacket, using the plural for the title, and featuring a deviant cover.
- Angel Claws ; To 800 copies limited black & white hardcover coffee table format edition.
- Angel Claws ; Hardcover trade edition.
Though this three-volume series was ultimately realized with art from José Ladrönn, Giraud had actually already penciled the first outing in the series, "Le nouveau rêve", but which was replaced by a re-scripted and by Ladronn redrawn variant for reprint runs. The anthology editions below however, feature the Moebius 56-page original as well as a bonus. Actually, the series was from the start intended to be a purely Jodorowsky/Moebius follow-up to their acclaimed main series, but as [|stated above], it was Giraud who declined to continue afterwards.
- Final Incal ; To 200 copies limited coffee table format edition in hardboard slipcase, issued with three art prints and a by Jodorowsky and Ladrönn signed and numbered bookplate.
- Final Incal ; To 1500 copies limited oversized format edition in hardboard slipcase.
An illustrated reference book dealing with the Incal universe. Faithful reproduction of the 2016 second, updated and expanded edition of the 1989 French "Les Mystères de l'Incal" original, but without the "Au coeur de l'inviolable meta bunker" short story in its original coloring.
- "Deconstructing The Incal" ; Oversized hardcover trade edition.
Earliest known English book publication with art by Giraud, faithful reproduction of the French original.
- Buffalo Bill, Scout and Frontiersman ; illustrated hardcover textbook in European graphic novel format.
Executed as softcovers in the European graphic novel format.
- #1 - The Magic Crystal
- #2 - Island of the Unicorn
- #3 - Aurelys's Secret
For unknown reasons, this 54-page work had been left out of the Marvel/Epic collection of the 1980s–1990s, despite the fact that the work was hailed by comic critics as a graphic masterpiece. Still, the story did see a contemporary English-language publication, with elaborate annotations from its authors, in this graphic novel anthology. The black & white Mœbius story was as only one printed on yellow paper, like it was in the original French source publication. The anthology featured the rejected Les Chiens 1979 movie poster by Mœbius as cover.
- Taboo 4 ; black & white softcover trade paperback
By Lofficier coined section name for the three Moebius contributions to this British graphic novel anthology, which consisted of "In the heart of the impregnable meta-bunker", "Carnet 3: The Mœbius Sketchbook", and "Mœbius Circa '74". Giraud provided the promotional poster art for this outing, but not the cover.
- A1: Book Four ; black & white softcover trade paperback
- Mœbius Collector Cards trading card set ; basic set of 90 cards plus 6 chase "Chromium Cards", original US release without any other editions.
A to 2500 copies limited exposition catalog for the similarly named exhibition at the Cartoon Art Museum, listed above.
- Mœbius: a retrospective ; standard American softcover comic book format
Interior art executed in black & white, the series features a reprint of The Man from the Ciguri, but also new, and previously unseen Mœbius comics and art. Noteworthy are his storyboards for the abandoned Internal Transfer movie. Also featured in the series is a black & white version of the short story "The Still Planet", previously published in Concrete Celebrates Earth Day 1990, but this version sporting a different last page. J.M. Lofficier reprised his role as series editor for these comic book outings.
- Issue 1
- Issue 2
- Issue 3
- Issue 4
- Issue 5
- Issue 6 ; in wraparound cover.
Due to the graphic, erotic nature of the book, this work of Moebius has not been published in the US in the 1990s by the "usual suspects", but rather by outlier NBM Publishing under its "Eurotica" imprint, as a European A4 format hardcover in dust jacket book.
- Angel Claw ; black & white.
A ten-page promotional brochure, featuring an eight-page comic by Giraud as Mœbius, detailing the history and aims of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Especially created for the organization, the full color, standard European comic album sized, brochure was widely disseminated by the organization in French, English, Mandarin, Arabic and Spanish. The English language edition enjoyed a first print run of 48,000 copies, augmented with a 40,000 copy reprint run in May 2009.
- The story of an idea
- #18 - The Irish Version
- The Time Masters
- Masters of the Universe
- The Abyss
- The Fifth Element – The production design for the film was developed by Giraud, his daughter Hélène, Jean-Claude Mézières, et al.
- Blueberry – On the DVD extras Giraud talks about the comic, the film etc., dressed in period costume.
- Thru the Moebius Strip
- Strange Frame
- Fade to Black cover art
- Panzer Dragoon
- concept art
- An arcade and bar based on Giraud's work, called The Airtight Garage, was one of the original main attractions at the Metreon in San Francisco when the complex opened in 1999. It included three original games: Quaternia, a first-person shooter networked between terminals and based on the concept of "junctors" from Major Fatal and The Airtight Garage; a virtual reality bumper cars game about mining asteroids; and Hyperbowl, an obstacle course bowling game incorporating very little overtly Moebius imagery. The arcade was closed and reopened as "Portal One", retaining much of the Moebius-based decor and Hyperbowl but eliminating the other originals in favor of more common arcade games.
- Jet Set Radio Future inspired the artwork and graphics of the game
- Seven Samurai 20XX character design
- Gravity Rush inspired the artwork and graphics of the game
- 1987: The Masters of Comic Book Art – Documentary by Ken Viola
- 1994: La Constellation Jodorowsky – Documentary by Louis Mouchet. Giraud and Alejandro Jodorowsky on The Incal and their abandoned film adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune. During the psycho-genealogical session that concludes the film, Giraud impersonates Mouchet's father
- * French SECAM tape release in 1997
- * British, French, Italian and Spanish 1-disc DVD releases in 2007
- 1994: Blueberry – Documentary by Christophe Heili
- 1997: Jean aud's - Documentary by Hervé Eparvier. Documentary produced on the occasion of the September 1996 Blueberry exposition at Stardom Gallery. The documentary title is a play on the title of the "Blueberry's" artbook, slated for release at the time.
- * French SECAM tape release in 1997, included as bonus for the boxed, limited edition of the artbook "Blueberry's"
- 2000: Mister Gir & Mike S. Blueberry – Documentary by Damian Pettigrew. Giraud executes numerous sketches and watercolors for the Blueberry album, "Géronimo l'Apache", travels to Saint Malo for the celebrated comic-book festival, visits his Paris editor Dargaud, and in the film's last sequence, does a spontaneous life-size portrait in real time of Geronimo on a large sheet of glass
- * French SECAM tape release in 2000
- 2002: – Documentary by Damian Pettigrew. Giraud conceived the poster for the documentary's 2003 North American release, reused as the cover for the American, Italian and French DVD releases, and appears in the DVD bonus extras of the French version.
- 2005: The Visual Element - Special feature with Giraud and his friend and co-worker Jean-Claude Mézières discussing their production design work on the movie The Fifth Element
- 2007: Moebius Redux: A Life in Pictures – Biographical documentary by Hasko Baumann
- * Non-commercial, but licensed, Australian 1-disc DVD release in 2008
- * German 2-disc DVD release in 2010, extended to 190 min.
- 2007: Jean Van Hamme, William Vance et Jean Giraud à l'Abbaye de l'Épau – Institutional documentary
- 2010: Métamoebius – Autobiographical portrait co-written by Jean Giraud and directed by Damian Pettigrew for the 2010 retrospective held at the Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art in Paris
- * French 1-disc DVD release in 2011, augmented with Pettigrew's 2000 Mister Gir & Mike S. Blueberry documentary.