Noted French comic book artist Jean Giraud — who was also known by his pseudonym, Mœbius — passed away today at the age of 73. Giraud was not only revered by comic book creators and fans alike for his work on projects like "Blueberry" and "The Incal," but basically designed the "look" of several generations of iconic sci-fi and fantasy movies including "Tron," "Blade Runner," and "Alien."
Giraud was born in 1938 in Nogent-sur-Marne, a suburb of Paris. He received his only official art training at the Arts Appliqués when he was 16, and two years later was drawing his own comic strip for the magazine Far West. 1962 saw the artist beginning what was to be a very successful and long-term collaboration with writer Jean-Michel Charlier on the Western strip "Fort Navajo." The stand-out character from "Fort Navajo," Lieutenant Blueberry, became so popular that he had his own spin-off strip and really put Giraud's work on the map in France.
Giraud co-founded the comics art group "Les Humanoides Associes" in 1975, which went on to create the magazine Métal Hurlant — known in the United States as Heavy Metal. It was at Métal Hurlant that he serialized "Arzach" and "The Airtight Garage," brilliant, cutting-edge works that solidified his fame worldwide. It was during this time that he took on the name Mœbius as his alias of choice, having invented the name in 1963 but only used it briefly since then.
The 1980s saw an explosion in work from Mœbius, both in terms of his collaboration with filmmaker and writer Alejandro Jodorowsky (producing the acclaimed "L'Incal" series) and his design-work for feature films. The seismic impact of the latter upon the landscape of cinema and our pop-culture cannot be understated; his art (directly or indirectly) shaped the look of such movies as "Alien," "Blade Runner," "Tron," "Willow," "The Abyss," "The Fifth Element.," and even aspects of George Lucas's later "Star Wars movies. Mœbius also teamed with Jodorowsky on a film version of "Dune" that was never finished.
From "Star Wars: Visions"
His most notable mainstream American comic book work was 1998's "Silver Surfer: Parable" with Stan Lee. In recent years Mœbius created and published the 700-page "Inside Mœbius" series, as well as revivals of his Arzach character and "The Airtight Garage."
Enjoy some more of the art of Jean Giraud/Mœbius below, and celebrate the life of one of the most influential artists on almost a half-century of pop-culture: