Just a week after the awful news that we've lost Ralph McQuarrie, we're sad to report Jean Giraud, AKA Moebius, has passed away at the age of 73 after a long battle with cancer. (F--k you, cancer.) Giraud took the name Moebius in the 1960s to separate his sci-fi, fantasy, surreal, and erotic illustrations from his other comic work. And what incredible work it all was. He created the Harvey and Eisner Award-winning Western comic Blueberry with Jean-Michel Charlier, The Incal with Alejandro Jodorowsky, Arzach, and The Airtight Garage. Much of his work was serialized in Métal Hurlant, which he founded with Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Philippe Druillet, and Bernard Farkas. You may be more familiar with Métal Hurlant in its English language form: Heavy Metal. Yeah, that Heavy Metal.
His most famous comic book in the U.S. is undoubtedly Silver Surfer: Parable, scripted by Stan Lee, but Moebius' hand reached far beyond sequential art. Without Moebius conceptual artwork and designs, there would be nothing we'd recognize as Alien or The Fifth Element or Tron, and there would be none of the things that those works inspired. Perhaps most crucially, director Ridley Scott credited The Long Tomorrow, the futuristic noir comic book Moebius created with Alien co-creator Dan O'Bannon, as the aesthetic touchstone for the mighty Blade Runner. [ComicsAlliance]
He also influenced Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli, and The Empire Strikes Back included Giraud's design for the Imperial Probe Droid. He was cooler than you.
There's a fantastic obituary of Giraud at ComicsAlliance, and Robot6 has a round-up of the outpouring of kind words and tribute art from fans and fellow artists. After the break, we've put together a slideshow of some of his great work.