Artist, cartoonist, and illustrator Jean Giraud (1938-2012) is widely recognized as a revolutionary figure in comics, and one of the most influential French contributors to the emergence of comics for an adult audience. Giraud became most well-known under the pseudonym Mobius, which he adopted at the age of 20. His famous sci-fi comics include “Arzach” and “The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius,” and his signature colorful, psychedelic, oft surreal style won over collaborators in other media as well. Moebius was collaborating with filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky on his adaptation of sci-fi film “Dune,” although that visionary project was never produced. Other artists who cite Moebius as a major influence include manga author and anime filmmaker Hiyao Miyazaki, cyberpunk author William Gibson, Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, and Brazilian author Paulo Coelho.
“Blueberry” was one of Moebius’s earlier comics, a Western series created with a Belgian scriptwriter. Although this work showcases a more traditional comic style, not yet evolved into Moebius’s own unique and influential aesthetic, we can see the beginnings of the artist’s attention to composition, perspective, and linework. “Blueberry” was wildly popular in France in the 1960s.
But this is the kind of drawing that most people think of when they think Moebius: this incredible landscape made up of tiny- line and dot texture, detail in every centimeter of the drawing, soft but psychedelic colors, and a sense of wild imagination which permeates every panel.
On the need to keep finding creative inspiration in his work, Moebius said, “It’s a great pleasure, pleasure and suffering at the same time.”
Whether coming from a place of creative pleasure or suffering, Moebius’s signature imaginative details are most definitely a gift to the viewer. They especially pop in these black and white drawings; devoid of color, one is able to focus on the lines themselves. We get lost in the infinite shapes between the objects in each drawing, finding new figures, faces, and creatures upon each viewing, and the process is endlessly enjoyable.
Each of Moebius’s drawings stand alone as strong pieces in their own right; their compositions, linework, colors, and strikingly imaginative subjects allow them to thrive as unique pieces rather than as panels in a comic.
There is a pure joy in Moebius’s work which is especially prominent in these even wilder pieces: psychedelia, surrealism, and pop culture mix with sci-fi in these scenes, and they seem to come from a place of effortless and endless creativity.
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