As an artist, writer and creative genius–I love MOEBIUS = Jean Henri Gaston Giraud. Moebius is a huge inspiration to me and my work and I am so honored to be part of a tradition that he started back in the seventies. If not for Moebius, it is safe to say that Heavy Metal Magazine would not exist.
I found out about Moebius in the late eighties. I was at my favorite comic book shop in Utica, NY called the Ravenswood. It was there that I picked up an old, beat up version of Metal Hurlant for like ten cents or something crazy. Arzack was in the book and I was immediately blown away and captivated by the art. As a thirteen year kid I was clearly on a heavy dose of Marvel and DC and this was new and the art was kind of strange but I liked it. Plus there were naked girls, monsters and more. From then on I was a huge fan of Moebius and tried to follow him when I could. It is safe to say that Moebius has had a profound affect on my work.
Europe is always ahead of us…and in the early seventies in France the rise of fanzines took the country by storm, just as it did in the U.S.in the late seventies. These magazines, assembled and published by the people who collected the comics were often showcases for new artists. It is here that Moebius rose to stardom. He had been a very successful “western” comic strip artist under his real name but it was under the name MOEBIUS, that he became so inspirational to me.
In early 1975, as one of the founding members of Les Humanoides Associes (the others were Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Philippe Druillet, and Farkas). Their first publication, Metal Hurlant, would change comics forever. In the United States Metal Hurlant became Heavy Metal.
The first issue of Metal Hurlant featured a cover by Moebius and Philippe Druillet, as well as the first installment of Arzach and of Major Grubert. Throughout the Seventies, Moebius appeared in every issue of Metal Hurlant and was the face of comics in France.
America was paying attention as Moebius created costume designs for Ridley Scott’s film, Alien and storyboards and design for Jodorowsky’s version of Dune that was never published as well as Disney’s Tron. Moebius also saw the launch of a new western strip with Charlier, Jim Cutlass, and collaborations with both Jodorowsky and Dan O’Bannon.
Here is a video, version of the Long Tomorrow, a short story by Dan O’Bannanon and Moebius. Pay close attention to Moebius unique line work and skill. Any artist looking to become better, should look no further than Moebius.
The 1981 Heavy Metal film bares the mark of Moebius all over it. Taarna the last segment in the film is heavily influenced by Moebius’ Arzack. Originally there were supposed to be 12 short stories in the Heavy Metal screenplay, and Arzak was to be the narrative linkup between the segments. Due to legal and financial complications in Europe, the negotiations to the rights to Arzak fell through and Heavy Metal was unable to utlize the story. “The Legend of Taarna” sequence in the film began as a story drafted by Leonard Blum and Daniel Goldberg, writers retained by Ivan Reitman to develop a strong, conceptual screenplay for the movie. Without Moebius story they were bummed but decided to use his artistic influence regardless–because he was “Heavy Metal”.
I actually met Moebius in 2002 at a personal screaning of his animated film with Rene Laloux, the Time Masters. He was amazing, extremely positive and full of life. I asked him about the Hevay Metal movie and he said to this day he wishes things would have worked out differently.
Arzak is an amazing work of pure comic genius, originally adapted from the 1970’s comic created by Moebius for sci-fi/fantasy comics magazine Metal Hurlant
Arzak is a fantastic tale of surreal weirdness with a sci-fi meets spaghetti western kind of feel to it that captivates you from the first scene. The art is stunning and you can clearly see the influence on Taarna.
Below you will find the entire collection of Rhapsody videos that were posted on YouTube. They are in Spanish, which actually gives it a very cool feel adding to the allure of this timeless classic. If you are an artist, writer, animation fan or just bored–watch this. It’s trippy, cool and very French! Enjoy!