Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jean "Moebius" Giraud Passes Away


I just found out that my favorite artist of all time passed away today. 73 years old. Cancer. I never even knew he was sick.

He was the core to everything I wanted to be as an artist. A Jack Of All Trades and Master Of All.

I first saw his work in the pages of Heavy Metal Magazine, a euro/sci-fi/fantasy publication(not to be confused with the genre of music Heavy Metal), way back in the mid to late 80's, when I was just a teenager feeding on an exclusive diet of American comics, super heroes, GI Joe, Transformers etc.

But that all changed when I read The Airtight Garage by Moebius.

His work shook me to the core. It seemed impossible that someone could be that good. And he didn't have to copy from photos(Hi Norman Rockwell), or use reference to draw at a high level, he drew from scratch, from his imagination, anything he damn well pleased.

And it looked fucking brilliant.

From the personality in his characters' faces to his ability to draw stunning environments and machines in perspective, to his skills at composition and color, to his ingenious imagination as a creator, he was a Jack of All Trades and MASTER OF ALL.

A Renaissance Man.

And thankfully he was insanely prolific, producing a gigantic body of work over the course of 50 years.

I used to believe that everyone loses their mojo eventually, everyone has a peak, a glory year, a time of brilliance that eventually gives way to stagnation and mediocrity(Hi Stephen King, George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg).

But not Moebius. His work stayed fresh, never stopped growing, never stopped developing throughout his career, his love of the craft apparent in every drawing. Imagine if Spielberg were still directing blockbuster "JAWS" caliber hits to this day, that's what Moebius has achieved in the comic art world. I've never seen that happen before. When this man walks into a convention filled with superstar artists, it's like Elvis Presley walking into a sea of screaming fan girls. He was a superstar to superstar artists because he could brilliantly execute all of the hardest artistic draftsmanship challenges with ease, and free of any skill related shortcomings, he had absolute freedom to create, knocking out winners on a regular basis.

I had always hoped for an instructional book or video series by him of some kind sharing his process, his techniques, things that nobody else knows.

But now he's gone. And with it all of his irreplaceable experience and knowledge.

That's why I share as much information as I can. I don't want what I've learned to disappear when I'm gone. Why waste time rediscovering old tricks, when we could be using that knowledge to make new discoveries.

Hard to accept. It's like I've lost a piece of my childhood. Now my dream to meet him in person will never come true. That's why I've been drawing so much lately. I've finally realized on a fundamental level that time is limited, that one day I'm going to die, that I have to act now or lose it forever. I'm not getting any younger. I can't afford to wait for "someday" anymore. Draw, draw, draw.

I was probably drawing today's sketch when he died, or studying art techniques:

And if so, then there was no better way that I could've honored what his work meant to me.

Rest in peace Moebius.

You were the best of the best.

Click below to see more of his work:

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