OBITUARIES

'Tron' and 'Alien' Concept Artist Jean 'Moebius' Giraud Passes Away

by
March 10, 2012

Tron / Jean 'Moebius' Giraud

Just last weekend, the world lost the fine creative mind of Ralph McQuarrie, the concept artist behind films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and now here we are losing another fine artist in the world of film and more. Reuters reports that French comic book and concept artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud has died at the age of 73 after fighting with cancer for some time. Though overseas Moebius might best be know for creating the Wild West character Blueberry, a comic creation that gained cult status and became almost as beloved as Tintin, he also contributed to seminal sci-films like Tron and Alien. More below.

Moebius is responsible for the worlds from Tron and Alien, two sci-fi films which have shaped the genre in style for decades, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. In addition, Moebius also contributed his visionary mind to films like Willow, The Abyss, Star Wars, Space Jam and The Fifth Element. He's been quiet in film recently, but did work for Alejandro Jodorowsky's now defunct adaptation of Dune.

There's a decent chance that we might see Moebius show up in the gestating documentary about the making of Jodorowsky's dead Dune film which we heard about last May, but it's a shame we'll never see his work come to life in theaters again. If you want to dive into the mind and work of Moebius, his last and most recent interview was with Hero Complex (posted last April), and it's a fascinating look at an phenomenal, beloved artist who has and will influence pop culture forever. Rest in peace.

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  • http://www.quanahblogs.com/ Quanah
    I loved Willow. Alien, Tron have concepts that propelled sci-fi in a way not quite previously imagined. Sad to see Giraud and McQuarrie pass as of late. Sci-fi visionaries don't grow on trees.
    • Scopedog
       "Sci-fi visionaries don't grow on trees." Sadly true. Two great, influential artists gone within the space of a week.  Christ.
      • http://www.quanahblogs.com/ Quanah
        Amen.
  • lewinston
    I just learned about this at a sketching duel panel between Yanick Paquette and Sprouse.  It's so wierd that I didn't know about him till now since I know all the titles you've just listed.
    • Scopedog
      He had a huge impact, not just in Europe and America, but also Japan.  It's just damned terrible to see many of the artists that influenced me are passing on.  I don't even know who could step in their shoes.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ5hK-D8kRQ Crapola
    I am properly gutted about this, the man had a massive impact on me as an artist and as a human being. He quite literally changed the way I think about drawing. His line is king. His colourschemes unbelievable and beautiful, like the worlds he created, he is on a level way above most artists alive or dead, inventing not only environments, but machinery, clothing and personality. Very sad news indeed. From seeing his work in Heavy Metal at an early age and constantly looking out all the other work he made. I'm glad he was so prolific that even now after following his work for some 23 years I am still finding rare gems. Even with blindness creeping in he kept making work, still interesting, still challenging. Nearly all the comic artists I know site him as a major influence. Most of the painters I know say the same, even graphic designers too. Someone once said to Jean Giraud 'You are a Legend', he replied, 'What so now I am like a unicorn?'. A master. Rest in Peace.
    • Scopedog
       Crapola, damned fine writeup. Moebius wasn't a huge influence on my own art, but being a fan of conceptual artwork and comics, one could not miss his work and his contributions to the field.  Seriously, he was on a whole 'nother plane.  I'm barely scraping by in the weeds. Also, he did have a hand in the creation of one of my favorite video games, the PANZER DRAGOON series. He's going to be sorely missed.  He was a true master, and a lot of color has gone out or the world with his passing.
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ5hK-D8kRQ Crapola
        I never saw that Panzer Dragoon game before Scopedog, haven't played games for a long while, but I think a the good thing about Moebius, unlinke many artists of his generation he kept creating, he was accepted as an artist, unlike say in Britain or America where people still regard comics as a childish affair. He also never went mad or broke, also a bit of a curse in his era, so he made so much work that too that probably, sadly so, now with him passing on will be released in the English language. I was in a comic book store in France last year with my wife and found a whole bunch of his books but was marched out before I could buy anything as we were on holiday, he he. There's something about the world he created that seemed to make sense and even though it was surreal and weird it seemed real. I never knew also that Miyazaki based Nausicaä on his drawings which is pretty bugged out, they worked pretty closely on that.
        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ5hK-D8kRQ Crapola
          I just read they didn't actually work on Nausicaa together, but he was influenced by the Moeb. There's a funny interview between the two of them here: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/interviews/miyazaki_moebious.html I promise I won't post anymore about Moebius after this!
          • Scopedog
            Hah!  Don't worry about it. Sorry about what happened to you in the French comic book store though...8-) But Moebius also worked with other Japanese manga artists, such as Jiro Taniguchi.  He was a definite influence on Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA, STEAMBOY) and Yu Kinutani.  There was talk years ago about an anime version of THE AIRTIGHT GARAGE with Otomo directing, but it never went anywhere.
          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ5hK-D8kRQ Crapola
            Yep there was a work him and Otomo produced together called Icaro. It's funny I found Otomo before Moebius, but there are some Otomo drawings that are almost like copies of Moebius. Even great folk get inspired by other people, he he. The Fifth Element story is interesting too that supposedly it's almost a copy of the Incal universe, even down to Gaultiers costumes. Maybe why I liked that film so much. Here's the video of the interview I posted earlier, the discussion about Miyazaki's films near the end is good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L0YgdIpXas
  • Big Boss
    First Ralph, now Jean. My heart is heavy. RIP
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ5hK-D8kRQ Crapola
    I've posted a couple of links, the first has the documentary Redux: http://www.gavinrothery.com/my-blog/ The second a recent documentary celebrating the giant exhibition he had in Paris and his life: http://www.paleofuture.com/nofuture/2012/3/10/moebius-1938-2012.html Both are good, but maybe Redux relates more to his work in the film industry, it has some quality lines from Jodorowsky. A giant collection of his art: http://theairtightgarage.tumblr.com/ Moebius is infinite.
    • Scopedog
      Thanks for these, Crapola.  Will check them out.
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ5hK-D8kRQ Crapola
        Cheers mister, here's a little drawing I made. A version of Arzach.
        • Scopedog
          Nice!!
  • http://twitter.com/A5J4DX A5J4DX
    RIP
  • GregDinskisk
    Rest in peace. The world of cinema, as long as it's around, will always remember you in the best way possible.
  • http://www.vcminteractive.com/ Paul N
    Not another renowned visual artist gone! Ralph McQuarrie just passed away...RIP Jean, your work will go onto to inspire generations to come.
  • Dvdoff
    James Cameron and George Lucas used his design in Abyss and Star Wars, too. The Time Masters (Les Maîtres du temps) was and still IS my favorite animated sci-fi film RIP
  • Loser
    anyone know where one can get ahold of those Blueberry albums in English seems easier said than done.
  • Max Renn
    Another amazing visual stylist lost to age and time. It's so sad to mourn these great modern artists. Yet their works and influence will live on and on.
    • Scopedog
      It's one of the worst things about getting older--that so many of the people who inspired you, even in a peripheral way, are passing on, shuffling off this mortal coil.  
  • darrellayers
    He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.
  • tsode
    A sad day. His work was amazing. I think he left us too soon, but will be forever grateful for his work on so many films I love. This article is worded strangely though. "Moebius is responsible for the worlds from Tron and Alien". Well he contributed to the world of Alien, but wasn't "responsible" for it. Ron Cobb and HR Giger had far more input. Moebius did some art, and the space suits in particular ended up being very close to his drawings. I'm not sure what he did for Tron, perhaps someone else will know. "He's been quiet in film recently, but did work for Alejandro Jodorowski's now defunct adaptation of Dune." Well unless I'm mistaken, that was in the 1970s before even his work on Alien and Tron. But you sort of worded it like its a recent thing.
    • Scopedog
      "I'm not sure what he did for Tron, perhaps someone else will know." I believe it was the costume designs--Sark's for instance--with Syd Mead handling the vehicles and the landscapes. Moebius also contributed to the designs of the PANZER DRAGOON games (or at the very least his work was a major influence on those games).
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ5hK-D8kRQ Crapola
      Here's some info on the Tron movie: http://theairtightgarage.tumblr.com/tagged/tron If you scroll to the bottom of the page, it explains that quite a great deal was done by Giraud.
  • turbo84
    I took up building computers in the similar design of moebius. It hurts me to learn of the death of the artist who actually made a difference in my life. Long live moebius!!!!!! Long live Corbin Dallas.

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