Thursday, August 27, 2009

Illuminating Illustrators: Jean Giraud (Moebius)

Illuminating Illustrators is a section about artists who may receive some recognition for their work but need to receive a little more attention from developing artists to see how much of an impact these artist have on the style and possibly the techniques they wish to use in their own careers.

This first article is about one of the most influential artists of 20th century filmmaking but outside of certain films his name barely gets registered. His designs have had influence on some of the most popular science fiction and fantasy films of recent history, and the way the world has viewed the future for over four decades.

French artist Jean Giraud, under the illustrating alias Moebius, has created some of the most complex and futuristic landscapes and technology for his graphic novels, such as the "Long Tomorrow" (pictured left), which have been the inspiration for such popular films such as Blade Runner, Escape from New York, Tron, and even Star Wars; but none of his comic works or illustrations have been published into English in over twenty-five years.

Jean Giraud began work as a comics illustrator on French western comic strips in the the early sixties; his most famous set of stories about a former soldier/gunman named Lt. Blueberry. In 1963 Giraud created the alias Moebius for his science fiction/fantasy stories, and built a reputation outside of France for fantastic detailed cityscapes and inventions of the future.

By 1975 he had co-created Metal Hurlant (Heavy Metal) Magazine as a way to show more mature comics to a widespread international audience, and would go on to collaborate visual designs for directors such as Ridley Scott (Aliens, Blade Runner), Luc Besson (The Fifth Element), George Lucas (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back), James Cameron (The Abyss), Steven Lisberger(Tron), Ron Howard (Willow), Hayou Miyazaki (Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind) and others to help them create some of the most iconic costumes and robot designs seen on the silver screen in over half a century.

Despite his contribiutions, however, neither has his long running Blueberry series (which had been running on and off for nearly three decades) nor his science fiction works except for a series call "Incal" has seen any type of American publication since 1991. His last American collaborations in comics was a 1989 short series called "Silver Surfer: Parable" with marvel visionary Stan Lee, a short story for Dark Horse series "Concrete," and artwork in a graphic novel adaptation of the Halo video game series from 2006. He also did artwork for the video game series "Panzer Dragoon".

Jean Giraud. Age 71.

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