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The Sunset Perspective
April 27, 2011 5:20 PM   Subscribe

The Airtight Garage (some images may be NSFW) is a blog that explores the artwork of Moebius (Jean Giraud), France's most acclaimed comic book artist. It is named after The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius, a comic loosely based on Micheal Moorcock's protean hero. Moebius was recently the subject of an appreciation in Comics Alliance.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn (49 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love Moebius' style. I don't know much of him, but I know he also worked with René Laloux (self-linking prev.) on Les Maîtres du temps (Time Masters) in 1982, Laloux's follow-up to Fantastic Planet.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:58 PM on April 27, 2011


Ooh, one to bookmark. Thanks!
posted by El Brendano at 6:15 PM on April 27, 2011


Thanks for this, I'm with filthy light thief on my feelings and knowledge of Moebius.

I was going to try and make an front page post around these links, but I'll toss them in here. Here's two videos from 1972 of Joe Kubert, Neal Adams and Jean Giraud drawing a mural together.
posted by marxchivist at 6:15 PM on April 27, 2011


I was surprised to learn that Guiraud worked on the original Tron movie. I learned alot just from studying his stuff in Heavy Metal magazines.
posted by ServSci at 6:21 PM on April 27, 2011


I've heard about him my entire life, but according to this blog the only things in print the USA are Incal, Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, and a short story in the Halo graphic novel. That's just wrong.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:23 PM on April 27, 2011


Thanks for this LiB. It is so rare that I like a comics post on mefi, but this is excellent.

The 1988 match up of Stan Lee and Moebius for the Silver Surfer is really interesting.
posted by puny human at 6:27 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


that amazes me. I have the entire runs of the 80s Marvel-ish (l'Officier) translations of Blueberry, Moebius, and the new-agey Jodorowsky collab The Incal, in addition to miscellaneous but lots of seventies issues of Heavy Metal, with a smattering of Metal Hurlant and Young Blueberry in English and French.

Out of print? There is no justice.
posted by mwhybark at 6:29 PM on April 27, 2011


Moebius is one of those artists that I have loved since I was a kid, reading my cousin's Heavy Metal magazines back in the 70's. His shadow looms large over the SF/Fantasy landscape even today--Nate Simpson's Nonplayer comic book is essentially a big ol' shout out to Moebius.
posted by KingEdRa at 6:37 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


This stuff is so great! I have two "issues" or whatever of his stuff, containing some of these images . . . love the wordless stories of characters falling through different worlds, he reminds me of J.G. Ballard or P.K. Dick in his choice of stories. Plus the art is so amazing, super-clean but at the same time weird and intricate.
posted by chaff at 6:41 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


These editions, pardon me, *Epic*, not Marvel per se:

Moebius 1
Moebius 2
Moebius 3
Moebius 4 (includes the Dan O'Bannon "Long Tomorrow")
Moebius 5
Moebius 6
Moebius 7
Moebius 8 (1990, I think I may actually have missed this one)
Moebius 9 ('94, $175, I know I missed this one, dammit)
Moebius 0 (1990, Dark Hose, probably because of adult content, not sure if L'Officier is involved but I suspect so, I think I missed this too)

It is *insane* that this material is out of print.
posted by mwhybark at 6:42 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


er, Horse
posted by mwhybark at 6:42 PM on April 27, 2011


Moebius conept art for The Fifth Element. I should have known.
posted by mwhybark at 6:48 PM on April 27, 2011


The Fifth Element? Yep. Also: Tron. Index of all Tron posts from the linked blog.

God, I love this guy. Too bad his a href="http://www.moebius.fr/">official site is such a patchy pain in the ass.
posted by maudlin at 7:27 PM on April 27, 2011


Beautiful work.

Reminds me of Philippe Druillet and his days at Metal Hurlant or in Pilote.

He did a series on Conan if I remember correctly - beautiful, detailed, intricate, surreal.
posted by seawallrunner at 7:41 PM on April 27, 2011


The rumors I've heard is that it's Moorcock who keeps it out of print.

For any of you that can make it, the Michigan State Library has all of them. I spent an awesome afternoon thumbing through them.
posted by klangklangston at 8:05 PM on April 27, 2011


Nate Simpson's Nonplayer comic book

wow, this is good, too.
posted by ServSci at 8:13 PM on April 27, 2011


Someone pointed me to this animated clip of The Incal, which I never knew existed. That would have been an awesome animated movie as it looks to have been rendered faithfully.
posted by 2N2222 at 8:13 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Moebius is the greatest. When I was lucky enough to be in Paris a few years ago, I made sure to get to a comics shop and buy as many of his beautifully produced French hardbacks as I could afford. A lot of them are still available at amazon.fr.

Apparently there was at one time a bar in this place in San Francisco, designed by Moebius and based on The Airtight Garage. Did any Mefites ever visit the place?
posted by newmoistness at 8:19 PM on April 27, 2011


I've been wanting to go on a Moebius binge for like half a year now, but finding the American editions of his stuff is fucking impossible. I tried torrents and got no joy, either - stuff's woefully incomplete and glitched-up. Plus, man, this is the kind of art you don't want to be looking at as a low-res scan on your monitor.

I've had the shop on his site open in a browser tab for a month now. I keep on aaaalmost ordering some books despite my knowledge of French being nil. The low-res "ADD TO PANIER! ...ACHETER!" animgif is wonderful in its 1990sness.
posted by egypturnash at 8:30 PM on April 27, 2011


Moebius just seems to get sci-fi so right in ways the few others can. It's really aggravating that his surreal style isn't more prolific in sci-fi movies and tv shows etc.
posted by TheCoyote23 at 8:39 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: "The rumors I've heard is that it's Moorcock who keeps it out of print."

I doubt that rumor very much. Here's a thread at MM's official site noting how the use of 'Jerry Cornelius' was dropped prior to the Epic editions, and of course, one may well note the name of the Ian Holm character in the 5th Element.

In addition, that would only have affected one of the Epic books. I would venture it's out of print in the US because the American public won't buy it, as there are no superheroes in the material.
posted by mwhybark at 9:21 PM on April 27, 2011


O/T, that MM site link also includes a link to a non-Moebius JC comic. Wow!
posted by mwhybark at 9:24 PM on April 27, 2011


and, oops, last page of that MM thread above includes this:

"I loved The Airtight Garage of JC but someone told Moebius, absolutely wrongly, that I wasn't happy with his use of the name.I learned all this much later... "

The poster? Michael Moorcock.
posted by mwhybark at 9:28 PM on April 27, 2011


O/T, that MM site link also includes a link to a non-Moebius JC comic. Wow!

Wow indeed! I have Jerry Cornelius collection that includes some of the comics, but not all.
May need to work on a massive Moorcock/JC collection. I'm such a fanboy that part of the reason I was excited about seeing Hawkwind and Motorhead this year was because he wrote about them.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:36 PM on April 27, 2011


The Incal happens to be written by none other than Alejandro Jodorowsky. Highly recommended.
posted by muckster at 9:37 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have all those Epic editions, and various reprints of a lot of his other work, too. There's something graceful and ethereal about his work that has enchanted me since my first exposure to it in the Heavy Metal days.

Over my bed I have a signed Moebius print of a very fat white cat. [self-link to a crappy photo of it] I picked it up when I ran a comic store in the '80s, but even then no one seemed to know where it came from. It lacks either title or date, just his signature in the corner. Since there are experts in this thread, does anyone know who published it?
posted by mkhall at 9:40 PM on April 27, 2011


When the Sony Metreon opened in San Francisco, there was an arcade on the second floor called the Airtight Garage (later, I think it was renamed Portal One). I think it was designed by Möbius. Over the years, as the mall has become lower concept and rent, elements of the original have been replaced, but you can still see many of them.
posted by zippy at 10:05 PM on April 27, 2011


As a teen in the late 70's I was given some of the earliest issues of Heavy Metal which opened my mind up quite a lot to what was possible with the comic form. Moebius' art, along with to a somewhat lesser extent Druillet, became a huge influence on the way I draw. That influence has never quite left, a thing for which I am perfectly grateful. Thank you, much perusing of one of my favourites ahead.

And, as an added bonus, he also draws cowboys really, really well
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:48 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mwhybark: Thanks for setting me straight. I've been trying to get ahold of the rest of the Airtight Garage series for a while now, and it's a recurrent theme I've heard from comic shop owners, including the folks at Secret Headquarters (who also said they'd been looking for years).

I handily got mine through Amazon thanks to a gift certificate some MeFite sent me for taking a survey about video games.
posted by klangklangston at 10:54 PM on April 27, 2011


Jean Giraud on jahsonic
abebooks has plenty
posted by adamvasco at 12:05 AM on April 28, 2011


He's the only person I've ever stood in line to get a signature from, back in the 80s when Marvel was republishing his works. I was a shy child and he drew a nice little portrait of a character for me.

What I like most about his work is the prominence of buildings and architecture in his work. I can see a lot of influence of his work in things such as Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira.
posted by bobo123 at 12:35 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, i see so much Akira in the artwork. It also looks like it influenced Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:05 AM on April 28, 2011


There was a very cool Moebius exhibit in Paris that went until last March. They were showing a 3d animated short inspired by le Monde d'Edena.
I found one clip on the vfx studio's website.
I love the Airtight Garage, Moebius pretty much admitted that he was making it as he went along while taking a lot of drugs. It really condensed a lot of the things that made 70's scifi comics so great.
He did a sequel much later and sober, and it's just not the same.
posted by SageLeVoid at 1:11 AM on April 28, 2011


Moebius' work was, apparently, what inspired the setting of Panzer Dragoon, so he's ALL RIGHT with me. He also drew the cover art for the Japanese version of the game.
posted by Redfield at 1:17 AM on April 28, 2011


Some years ago, at a book signing on the sidewalk down by my workplace, I met Jean-Claude Mézières, the co-author of the Valérian and Laureline series, and who is with Giraud one of the main inspiration (and designer) for the Fifth Element (which is really a fan tribute to both Giraud and Mézières). When they were 15, Mézières and Giraud were studying art in the same class at the Institut des Arts Appliqués in Paris. At the signing, he was asked (for the umpth time probably) how it was to study art with Giraud. Imagine being enrolled in a music school with Mozart, he said.
posted by elgilito at 1:17 AM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


It seems like he has begun a new series, based on his Arzach character. Btw, it looks cheaper to order from France.
posted by nicolin at 3:27 AM on April 28, 2011


Love this. Thanks!
posted by Splunge at 3:55 AM on April 28, 2011


Here are some of his Dune concept ideas for the version that Jodorowsy never made.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:03 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


OH TASTY.

I love Moebius. I think I like what he doesn't draw as much as what he does. His spare drawings with just enough information, perfectly composed. So beautiful.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:32 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a tumblr blog, but it mostly consists of re-blogs of the airtight garage and this isn't happiness. I don't know why I still bother.

Everytime I see one of his pictures I want to have it as a print... Does anyone perhaps know where or how one could purchase a Moebius poster?
posted by ts;dr at 10:23 AM on April 28, 2011


(wouldn't these look great in big on a wall...?)
posted by ts;dr at 10:41 AM on April 28, 2011


@ts;dr there are always some on ebay. In addition to the smiling cat above (which is one of the more common ones that surfaces), he did a series of other people's work-(mostly Marvel I guess) Thing, Daredevil, Death, IronMan (the best invisioning of Ironman ever, imho), Tetsuo (hanging in my comic-book + rabbit room) etc that are all excellent. His MajorGrubert poster has been over my studio desk for 10 years, and I just replaced it and had the new version dry mounted. (can't find an image on google at all, shocking!)

There are always numerous smaller prints floating around ebay at prices from the trivial to the absurd.
posted by blackfly at 12:57 PM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I had never heard of Moebius until I went to the Moebius Transe-forme exposition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris this spring.

In addition to works from his whole career, they also had a short computer-animated 3-D movie (maybe around seven minutes long) that Moebius created and produced.

Needless to say, I'm a huge fan now.
posted by Comic Sans-Culotte at 1:51 PM on April 28, 2011


I have a nearly-complete set of the trading cards somewhere.
posted by Evilspork at 3:09 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would kill for a set of tarot cards designed by Moebius, and I don't even believe in tarot reading. (And I just Googled: there's this exquisite rendering of The Fool on enamel.)
posted by maudlin at 4:55 PM on April 28, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: "I'm such a fanboy that part of the reason I was excited about seeing Hawkwind and Motorhead this year was because he wrote about them"

Dude, he was effectively in Hawkwind, for a bit at least.

Here's Mike opening for them via YT and here's Mike and Lemmy talking about them old daze.

Sorry for the derail. I'm with you on the MM tip, though. I'll memail a bit more.
posted by mwhybark at 5:14 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


elgilito: "At the signing, he was asked (for the umpth time probably) how it was to study art with Giraud. Imagine being enrolled in a music school with Mozart, he said."

I have a few Valerians too. This quote has the ring of absolute truth. We haven;t talked about it much here, but Moebius' pre-"Moebius" work, under his given name of Charlier, is an epic anti-hero Western series known collectively after the main character as "Blueberry."

It's very different in look and overall tone from the later SF stuff. The Epic American publications of this material are excellent, beautifully recoloreed and printed with careful, nuanced translation. It's a genuine masterwork of the Western genre, and pretty much totally forgotten outside of the Francophone world, which is a god damn shame.

There is a bizarro-to-terrible film adaptation called Renegade in English-speaking markets which adapts portions of the Blueberry plot from the last few albums, in which Blueberry is attempting to save his adoptive Native American tribe, shown as Navajo in the books but transmogrified into an amalgamation of North American and South American first peoples in the film.

Why do I mention this? The film's centerpiece is a 30 to 40 minute psycheledic effects spectacular, an attempt to render mescaline and peyote trips into visual facts serving an action-oriented narrative. It's a terrible idea, but it is unbeleivable to watch. An IMDB commenter points out that Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's early collaborator, was the FX supervisor.

Anyway, the Blueberry stuff is easier to find out there on the tubes in places of dubious legitimacy than the Moebius stuff is.
posted by mwhybark at 5:37 PM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


mwhybark: "but Moebius' pre-"Moebius" work, under his given name of Charlier, is an epic anti-hero Western series known collectively after the main character as "Blueberry.""

Brain fart. Charlier is his collaborator on the series, the writer. Moebius' given name is Jean Giraud, of course.

Also, the drug referenced in the movie version of Blueberry is ayhahusaca, not peyote or mescaline. The 'astral battle'sequence is on YT.
posted by mwhybark at 9:50 AM on April 29, 2011


Here are some of his Dune concept ideas for the version that Jodorowsy never made.

Are you shitting me, Moebius was on that as WELL as Giger and Dali? That was like the perfect syzygy of brain-warping superwildness that never could have happened in a rational world. Alas...
posted by FatherDagon at 11:13 AM on April 29, 2011


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