moebius-rip moebius-rip

Jean “Moebius” Giraud, RIP (1938-2012)


RIP, French comic artist and illustrator Jean “Moebius” Giraud, who has passed away from cancer at the age of 73. This is a good place to begin learning about his work. His best known film design work is in live-action, like The Abyss, Alien, TRON and The Fifth Element, but he also contributed to a number of animation projects including Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, Space Jam and Time Masters (below). He was revered in France where they exhibited his comic art with respect and appreciation.

Moebius influenced many people in our industry. I’ve collected some of the animation community’s reactions on Twitter:

  • A sad day indeed. Moebius was a giant without peer. The word genius is often tossed around, but in this case, it’s an accurate assessment: A master visualist and storyteller.

  • The Gee

    The work is still around and you are cheating yourself for not reading what he wrote with his drawings and paintings. Granted, I don’t say that often about anyone’s work. He is one of the most solid, imaginative, inventive cartoon art makers who probably transcends being a cartoonist’s cartoonist, an conceptual artist’s artist.

    His work is just great to look at.

    What more can you ask for? The man was good.

  • DonaldC

    He will be dearly, dearly missed.

  • I’m waiting for the Miyazaki homage to Moebius, as everybody knows they were great friends, and have inspired each other.
    Did you know Moebius named one of his daughters Nausicaä?

  • James Madison

    Very sad to hear this. Amazing, amazing artist.


  • Oliver

    Moebius, one of the great French comicbook artists?

    No — one of the all-time greatest comicbook creators, of any country and of any age, period.

  • John Musker

    I just heard this news. Incredibly sad. Tina Price had told me Jean had cancer. I was going to write him and I didn’t get to it. Like so many in the comics and animation community I loved his work. I got to met him in the early 80s when he worked in house at Disney on Tron. When Tina asked me to host an evening with Jean at CTN Expo a year ago I was thrilled. Meeting up with Jean again and preparing the talk was an absolute joy. Jean was so full of life, wit, humor, and imagination. He is one of the finest draftsmen I have ever known and leaves behind a brilliant mosaic of other worlds, creatures that never were and should have been, spaces and silences, and a loving and vivid portrait of the American West. God bless you, Jean, and mercy beau coup for all of it.

  • I come from a somewhat snobbish ‘fine art’ background, but Moebius open the door for me and showed me a way into the world of comics I had always been taught to despise. Now I’m a comic artist, I love what I do, and I owe it all to him. Farewell and adieu, mon ami

  • You can see a flipbook by Moebius over at a French site devoted to flipbooks:

    It’s on the right: “John Watercolor and his frock coat that kills.”

  • Michel Van

    there was only one men, who change the world of Comic and Animation: Jean Giraud

    He start as apprentice of master Jijé, works on Wester comic “Jerry Spring”
    2 year later he and Jean-Michel Charlier gave us Western serial “Blueberry”.
    but on this highpoint of his career, Giraud start to doubted his work and his life
    after some trips to Mexico, he signed his new work with “Moebius”

    Gave us Vision like: “Le bandard fou”, “Arzach”, “The Airtight Garage”
    founded with Philippe Druillet, Jean-Pierre Dionnet und Bernard Farkas,
    The publishing house Les Humanoïdes Associés
    and his ground braking magazine “Metal Hurlant” aka “Heavy Metal”
    Moebius help with birth of New Line Claire stile
    with director René Laloux he create Animation masterpiece “Time Masters”
    He work with Alejandro Jodorowsky for his Version of DUNE
    then On Movie like ALIEN, TRON
    He join again with Alejandro Jodorowsky to create a new Myth: INCAL
    but Moebius would not be Moebius, he change his stile, his narrative technic
    Work with Stan Lee on “Silver Surfer: Parable”
    gave more vision like “Le Monde d’Edena”, “Les Vacances du Major”, “Griffes d’Ange”

    He gave work and chance to publish for new generation of Comic artist
    Colin Wilson, Geof Darrow, Yves Chaland, Ted Benoit, Jean-Louis Floch
    Moebius work Influence deeply the world of Comic and Animation

    There will never be a Men like him again…

  • Old Man Father Time

    “Space Jam.”

    Really, Moebius? Really?

    • Michel Van

      yes, also for movies like:
      Masters of the Universe
      Blade Runner (but only a little bit)

  • Moebius didn’t really like Time Masters. The film was made on a shoestring budget. He was pleasantly surprised however by the longevity it has.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Yeah the film has it’s weak points certainly (pretty much the story alone). I certainly enjoyed the designs none the less.

    • Old Man Father Time

      ………. Time BANDITS?

      • Chris Sobieniak

        No, we’re talking about “Les Maîtres du temps” (though a more preferable English translation would be “The Masters of Time”). I just don’t want to spoil the end alone that could get on everyone’s nerve the way it climaxes.

  • So sad. Jean Moebius Giraud was such an amazing talent and such a kind man, he will be missed greatly. I had the pleasure of working with him in the 80’s on his proposed animated feature “Internal Transfer” with Arnie Wong at the Tigerfly studio.

    25 Years later it was realized as “Thru the Moebius Strip”.

    Yet another Moebius project was The Incal.

    Moebius was indeed a visual genius, and probably one the fastest, most fluid and fantastic artists I have ever worked with. Rest in Peace.

  • Brad Constantine

    When I was 16 years old, he saw me drawing at the Comic Con with an old school crow quill pen my Dad had given me. I didn’t know who he was at the time. He said ” I didn’t think people still used those!”
    He checked out my pen, and gave me some advice on my drawings,and asked if I would like one of his prints. I said “sure!”. He pulled out a print and signed it for me, and told me to keep drawing no matter what. After he walked away, someone came right up and said. “do you know who that was?..That was Mobius!”
    Really Nice Man!!

    • Michel Van

      Moebius talked ones in French TV about this anecdote:
      in 1970s wen he was on french Comic Convention or gave autograph in Comic shops
      Children came to him and ask: “Can you drawn Goldorak for me ?” so he drawn it for them.
      (Goldorak: the french version of Go Nagai “UFO Robo Gurendaizā”, extreme popular in the time)

  • He was also a very close collaborator of Alejandro Jodorowsky, and even made a lot of incredible character designs for a movie project of Frank Herbert’s Dune that never came to be –it would have been fun to watch Salvador Dali as the emperor of the Universe, taking a dump from a toilet/throne shaped as a dolphin ;)