French artist Jean Giraud, who went by the name Moebius, died 10 March 2012. He was 73 years old.
He had “national treasure” status in France, but most of his work is hard to find in English and not available in the United States. Comics fans know his work, and all the obituaries point out how influential he was, but Jean Giraud was not exactly a household name.
He drew the Lt. Blueberry western series for four decades and was a founder of the adult comic book Métal Hurlant, which made it to the U.S. in 1977 as Heavy Metal. The work of Moebius was the high point of just about every issue of that magazine. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who waded through or zipped past other stories just to get to the Moebius stuff.
I haven’t bought anything by Moebius in years — as I say, his work is hard to find in the U.S. — but I managed to score a couple of issues of The Incal, a series he did in the 1980s with crazy filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. I wish I had saved all those old Heavy Metal issues. Oh well.
For a fine summary of his career, read this obituary by Kim Thompson of The Comics Journal.
There’s also this 2011 profile and interview from the L.A. Times.
CNN has the news, and would-be collaborator and novelist Neil Gaiman has some words to say about Moebius on his Tumblr.