You may well have known comics artist and concept art creator Jean Giraud by another, more famous name: Moebius. His work has inspired other writers, artists and filmmakers for years, but he tragically lost his battle with cancer on Saturday at the age of 73.
Born in Parisian suburb Nogent-sur-Marne, in 1938, Giraud got his only technical artistic training at Arts Appliques in 1955 at the age of 16 and was immediately drawn to the style of Western comics. During his military service, he also collaborated on the army magazine known as 5/5 Forces Françaises.
Among his greatest influences was one of the leading comics artists of the time in Europe, Jije, who took the young Giraud under his wing and collaborated with him on several projects, including long-running strip Fort Navajo for Pilote magazine.
Giraud first used the Moebius pseudonym in 1963 for his science fiction and fantasy work. He was one of the leading lights of Metal Hurlant – better known these days as Heavy Metal magazine – which challenged the dominance of US superhero titles. But he also worked for Marvel, crafting a two-issue Silver Surfer miniseries with Stan Lee.
Film fans will most likely known his work from the storyboards and concept designs he contributed to movies such as Alien, Tron, Willow, The Fifth Element and long-time friend Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s Dune.
He also worked more directly on animated features, co-creating Les Maîtres du temps (Time Masters), based on Stefan Wu’s novel, and co-writing the story for Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland. A true original, he will be missed.