Moebius – Epic Graphic Novels (1987)

The Moebius pseudonym, which Jean Giraud came to use for his science fiction and fantasy work, was born in 1963. In a satire magazine called Hara-Kiri, Giraud used the name for 21 strips in 1963–64. Subsequently, the pseudonym went unused for a decade.

In 1975 he revived the Moebius pseudonym, and with Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Philippe Druillet, and Bernard Farkas, he became one of the founding members of the comics art group “Les Humanoides Associes”. Together they started the magazine Métal Hurlant, the magazine known in the English speaking world as Heavy Metal . Moebius’ famous serial The Airtight Garage and his groundbreaking Arzach both began in Métal Hurlant.] In 1976 Metal Hurlant published “The Long Tomorrow” written by Dan O’Bannon.

Arzach is a wordless comic, created in a conscious attempt to breathe new life into the comic genre which at the time was dominated by American superhero comics. It tracks the journey of the title character flying on the back of his pterodactyl through a fantastic world mixing medieval fantasy with futurism. Unlike most science fiction comics it has no captions, no speech balloons and no written sound effects. It has been argued that the wordlessness provides the strip with a sense of timelessness, setting up Arzach’s journey as a quest for eternal, universal truths.

His series The Airtight Garage is particularly notable for its non-linear plot, where movement and temporality can be traced in multiple directions depending on the readers own interpretation even within a single planche (page or picture). The series tells of Major Grubert, who is constructing his own universe on an Asteroid named fleur, where he encounters a wealth of fantastic characters including Michael Moorcock‘s creation Jerry Cornelius.

In 1980 he started his famous L’Incal series in collaboration with Alejandro Jodorowsky. From 1985 to 2001 he also created his six-volume fantasy series Le Monde d’Edena, portions of which appeared in English as The Aedena Cycle.

In his later life, Giraud decided to revive the Arzak character in an elaborate new adventure series; the first volume of a planned trilogy, Arzak l’arpenteur, appeared in 2010. He also added to the Airtight Garage series with a new volume entitled Le chasseur déprime.

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