Jean GIRAUD MOEBIUS
Jean Henri Gaston Giraud (1938 – 2012) was a French artist, cartoonist, and writer, who worked in the Franco-Belgian bandes dessinées tradition. Giraud earned worldwide fame, predominantly under the pseudonym Mœbius, and to a lesser extent Gir, which he used for the Blueberry series and his paintings. Esteemed by Federico Fellini, Stan Lee and Hayao Miyazaki among others, he received international acclaim. He has been described as the most influential bandes dessinées artist after Hergé.
His most famous works include the series Blueberry, created with writer Jean-Michel Charlier, featuring one of the first anti-heroes in Western comics. Under the pseudonym Moebius he created a wide range of science fiction and fantasy comics in a highly imaginative and surreal, almost abstract style. His famous work in sci-fi include Arzach and the Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius. As Moebius, Giraud is also famous for collaborating with avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky for an unproduced adaptation of Dune and later created The Incal series together.
Moebius contributed storyboards and concept designs to numerous science fiction and fantasy films, including Alien, The Abyss, and The Fifth Element. Ironically in 1997, Moebius and Jodorowsky sued Luc Besson for using The Incal as inspiration for Fifth Element, a lawsuit which they lost. Blueberry was adapted for the screen in 2004 by French director Jan Kounen.
Western Comics At 18, Giraud was drawing his own comic strip, "Frank et Jeremie" for the magazine Far West. From 1956 to 1958 he published Western comics in the magazine "Coeurs Valiants", among them a strip called "King of the Buffalo", and another called "a Giant with the Hurons". Already in this period his style was heavily influenced by his later mentor, Joseph "Jijé" Gillain. In 1961, returning from military service in Algiers, Giraud became an apprentice of Jijé, who was one of the leading comic artists in Europe of the time. Jijé used Giraud as his assistant on an album of his Western series Jerry Spring, "The Road to Coronado" which Giraud inked. In 1962 Giraud and writer Jean-Michel Charlier started the comic strip Fort Navajo for Pilote magazine no. 210. At this time affinity between the styles of Giraud and Jijé was so close that Jijé penciled pages 17–38 of the fourth Blueberry album, "The Lost Story", when Giraud was traveling in the United States. The Lieutenant Blueberry character, whose facial features were based on those of the actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, was created in 1963 by Charlier (scenario) and Giraud (drawings) for Pilote and quickly became its most popular figure. His adventures featured in the spin-off Western serial Blueberry may be Giraud's work best known in his native France, before later collaborations with Alejandro Jodorowsky. The early Blueberry comics used a simple line drawing style similar to that of Jijé, and standard Western themes and imagery, but gradually Giraud developed a darker and grittier style inspired by the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone and the dark realism of Sam Peckinpah. With the fifth album, "The Trail of the Navajos", Giraud established his own style, and after censorship laws were loosened in 1968 the strip became more explicitly adult, and also adopted a wider range of thematics. "Angel Face", the first Blueberry album penciled by Giraud after he had begun publishing science fiction as Moebius, was much more experimental than his previous Western work. Giraud left the series in 1973 leaving the artwork to Colin Wilson, Michel Rouge and later Michel Blanc-Dumont for a few books. He returned to it in the following decade. In 1979 Charlier and Giraud had a disagreement with their publishing house Dargaud over the publishing of Blueberry. Instead they began the western comic Jim Cutlass. After the first album "Mississippi River", first serialized in Metal Hurlant, Giraud took on scripting the series, and left the artwork to Christian Rossi. When Charlier, Giraud's collaborator on Blueberry died in 1989, Giraud assumed responsibility for the scripting of the series. Blueberry has been translated into 15 languages, the first English translations by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier being published in 1990. The original Blueberry series has spun off a prequel series called "Young Blueberry", and a sequel called "Marshall Blueberry".