Jean Henri Gaston Giraud was one of the greatest French comics artists - best known under the pseudonym Moebius. He sadly died of cancer March 10th this year at the age of 73 in Paris.
At 18, Giraud was drawing his own comic strip, "Frank et Jeremie" for the magazine Far West. In 1961, Giraud became an apprentice of Jijé, one of the leading comic artists in Europe of the time, and collaborated on an album of Jerry Spring. In 1962 Giraud and writer Jean-Michel Charlier started the comic strip Fort Navajo for Pilote. It was a great hit and continued uninterrupted until 1974.
The Lieutenant Blueberry character, created by Giraud and Charlier for Fort Navajo, quickly became its most popular character, and his adventures as told in the spin-off Western serial Blueberry, are possibly Giraud's best known work in his native France before his later collaborations with Alejandro Jodorowsky. Giraud's prestige in France – where comics are held in high artistic regard – is enormous; In 1988 Moebius was chosen, among 11 other winners of the prestigious Grand Prix of the Angoulême Festival, to illustrate a postage stamp set issued on the theme of communication. Under the names Giraud and Gir, he also wrote numerous comics for other comic artists like Auclair and Tardi.
The Moebius pseudonym, which Giraud came to use for his science fiction and fantasy work, was born in 1963. In a satire magazine called Hara-Kiri, Moebius did 21 strips in 1963–64 and then disappeared for almost a decade. In 1975 Métal Hurlant (a magazine which he co-created) revived the pseudonym. Moebius' famous serial The Airtight Garage and his groundbreaking Arzach both began in Métal Hurlant. In 1981 he started his famous L'Incal series in collaboration with Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Moebius has contributed storyboards and concept designs to numerous science fiction films. In 1982 he collaborated with director René Laloux to create the science fiction feature-length animated movie Les Maîtres du temps (released in English as Time Masters) based on a novel by Stefan Wul. In 1988 Moebius worked on the American comic character The Silver Surfer with Stan Lee for a special two-part limited series. Giraud also happens to be a friend of manga author and anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. From December 2004 to March 2005, the two of them shared an exhibition at La Monnaie in Paris which showcased work by both artists. He even named his daughter after Nausicaä from Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
Jean Giraud drew the first of the two-part last volume of the XIII series titled La Version Irlandaise (The Irish Version) from a script by Jean Van Hamme, to accompany the second part by the regular team Jean Van Hamme–William Vance, Le dernier round (The Last Round). Both parts were published on the same date (13 November 2007).
From 2000 to 2010, Moebius created and published his series Inside Moebius (its title is in English though the books are in French), six hardcover volumes totaling 700 pages. In these books he appears in cartoon form as both creator and protagonist, trapped within the story alongside his younger self and several longtime characters such as Blueberry, Arzak (the latest re-spelling of the Arzach character's name), Major Grubert (from The Airtight Garage), and others. Moebius subsequently decided to revive the Arzak character in an elaborate new adventure series, the first volume of which, Arzak L'Arpenteur, appeared in 2010. He also began new works in the Airtight Garage series with a volume entitled Le Chasseur Deprime.
Check his lovely scifi work out at http://www.moebius.fr