The greatest comic book artist (nearly) no American ever heard about

Moebius “The World of Edena”

Möbius strip \ ˈmœ-bē-ə 
: a one-sided surface that is constructed from a rectangle by holding one end fixed, rotating the opposite end through 180 degrees, and joining it to the first end

Jean Giraud, alias Moebius, was a french comic illustrator and professional artistic genius. Known both for his breath taking fantasy creations, as well as imaginative science fiction, he is treated as a national treasure in his home country France and is appreciated amongst some comic enthusiasts in Europe. However the great majority of comic book readers in America seem to be sleeping on the most influential comic book artist of the last century. In this story in Medium favourites format, a list, I give you 3 reasons why you should start closing your knowledge gap on Moebius and start bragging and praising him on social media (like I do).

1.Möbius has a unique art style

Moebius knows how to use a brush and pen and is also well versed in art history. He especially likes to combine his take on “art nouveau”, an artistic movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century that focusses intensively on the aesthetics of curved lines, with the precise contours and a flat, monochrome coloring known in “ligne claire” figureheaded by Hergé. As such the common motifs from “Art Nouvaeu” like rythms, colors, and ornaments inspired by nature are created without hatching, shading and color gradients. Mostly without any room for mistake, because most of Moebius’s work was done with a pen. This creates a fantastic world that reminds us of Alphonse Mucha, a Czech painter and graphic designer from mid 20th century. In both works we can observe a “total art” in the sense that it occupies all the available space to put in place a personal universe, unique in the time of Mucha, but perfected and brought to the realm of highest imagination by Moebius.

Alphonse Mucha 4 Seasons Moebius use of “Art nouveau” Moebius “City of Fire”: Who else would draw a wimmelbild as an exposition scene in a comic?

2.Jean Giraud and Moebius are actually two different persons

Not really, but I kind of lied at the beginning of this story. Jean Giraud and Moebius are not the same comic book artist. Jean Giraud is the notorious French BD artist, well known for “Lieutnant Blueberry”, a western comic, following anti-hero Blueberry. He is, and to my knowing, the only protagonist of a comic that aged along the many years it was in publication. Malicious gossipers may claim that Jean Giraud used “Blueberry” as a cash cow for the art of his alter ego Moebius. Nevertheless, his work published under “Gir” is one of the leading BD art in French comic book history.

Jean Giraud “Lieutnant Blueberry”

Moebius on the other hand, is ground breaking. In “the world of Edena” for instance he demonstrates how fantasy and sience fiction can go hand in hand and analyzes the sheer unimaginable greatness of the universe, as well as the deepness of our psyche, undermining gender and nature.

Moebius “The World of Edena”

Like his namesake, the famous “Möbius Strip”, a geometric surface, that appears to have two surfaces, but in fact has only one, Jean Giraud and Moebius, even if their works seem completely unrelated, complement each other. His both works are like a woven carpet, interlacing two different kind of wool, but creating a magnificent “oeuvre” (to keep it up with the french words), that should be open to everyone on this planet.

3.Finally, Jean Giraud has left his footprint everywhere

Many great artist have been inspired by the work of Giraud/Moebius. Miyazaki has been greatly influenced by Moebius, especially in his movie “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.” Both had great respect for each other and were lifelong friends. Due to their respect for their work, Jean Giraud named one of his daughters Nausicaä. And I didn’t mentioned all the movies, where he was directly involved. He contributed to “Tron”, “Alien” and “The Fifth Element” to name a few.

Moebius is one of the last true artists. Consuming his art inspires us to think beyond the imaginable and helps us understand, what art is really about. Reading his comics gives us a new vision on reality and enforces in us the way of the artist. In his own words:

When an artist, a real working artist, goes out on the street, he does not see things the same way as “normal” people.

Enlarge your vision. Read Moebius

Original author: Fabio Floyesa
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Sunday, 21 April 2019