Farewell to the Airtight Garage
So France has lost the brilliant Moebius, AKA Jean Giraud, one of the world’s finest graphic artists. He drew for more than 50 years under various names, but was most widely known as Moebius. His graphic work was a game-changer, and highly influential around the world. He also worked on design concepts and storyboards for a number of top science fiction films including Alien, Tron, The Abyss and The Fifth Element.
I have about ten volumes of his extraordinary work, and had the great pleasure of having dinner with him at the Screenwriting International Festival in Monte Carlo a few years ago, where he was kind enough to put up with my fan-waffle. The cleanliness and decisiveness of the Moebius line delineated dreams, especially when the stories didn’t make sense. In style I always think of him as somewhere between Manara (without the Italian sexism) and Herge’s Tintin, with a hefty amount of JG Ballard thrown into the mix – but his style was uniquely his own, of course.
Best of all, he managed to draw entire civilisations without resorting to the absurd clutter of latter-day artists – his drawings have a wonderfully airy spatial awareness. I wish he had been better served by his often pretentious writers.
A number of his best works have recently been reissued in beautiful editions.