Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Jean Giraud and Moebius
With the death last week of the artist Jean Giraud, also known as Moebius, France lost one of its best finest comic artists.
His work was hugely regarded, not just in the circles of comic book enthusiasts, and France takes its comic books seriously, but far beyond as well.
While BD like Blueberry are huge in France and elsewhere in Europe, his work with the Silver Surfer established him as one of the greats in comic art in the USA.
Personally this was where I first encountered his work, the Silver Surfer under his hands becoming a figure quite unlike any other super heroes of that era. With the silver Surfer, Moebius quite literally took an established character into another dimension.
The Silver Surfer was one of the few super heores that held my interest long after my interest waned in other Marvel or DC characters.
My interest in science fiction cinema was where I next came across his work. With films like Alien, Tron and the Fifth Element, his style can be seen in every strand of their DNA, the influence in turn of these films continuing to inspire more recent work, whether the Tron remake or the new Alien prequel Prometheus.
Star Wars and Bladerunner are two films that although his involvement was minor, his style can be seen as a major influence, and again the cultural reach of these films goes far beyond their expected audiences.
French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said that the simultaneous death of Giraud and Moebius meant France had lost "two great artists."
This clip was from a documentary about Moebius from 2007, the music was by Karl Bartos, former member of Kraftwerk. It's great to see his work as an animation, and the Karl Bartos music is a perfect match.