Obituary: French comic book artist Jean Giraud aka Moebius, 73

Article published on March 13, 2012
Article published on March 13, 2012

Sixties France. Our parents grew up adoring Jean Henri Gaston Giraud’s graphic novels, notably Lieutenant Blueberry. In the right-hand columns of marginal publications such as Hara-Kiri and Métal Hurlant (Heavy Metal in translation), they devoured the strips signed off as ‘Moebius’, an alias inspired by a 19th century German mathematician and astronomer. Our generation got to know Moebius from the family libraries, or through the cult films based on Giraud’s work; the storyboards and designs for Alien (1979), Tron (1982) and Blade Runner (1982) were inspired by his masterpieces. The Parisian’s passion for all things science fiction led to a collaboration with the Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (Dune), who loved ‘psychomagic and psychoshamanism’, in their comic book series The Incal (1981-1989). The pair accused Luc Besson of replicating it in The Fifth Element (1997). ‘I symbolise he who is already in the future,’ Jean Giraud stated in an interview with the French newspaper Liberation in 1999, referring no doubt to The Incal’s hero, John DiFool. For two generations Girard, who died of cancer on 12 March and is survived by his wife and two children, led us all into the future (Image: (cc) andresmust/ Flickr)