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moebius futurism
December 3, 2006 10:05 PM   Subscribe

The Long Tomorrow is a short, twelve page, comic by Moebius produced in 1956-76 which tells the noir story of a private detective hired to pick up a parcel for a sultry dame. The art and the world it depicted was visionary; a world that is one giant, teeming, vertical metropolis. [via]
posted by dhruva (37 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bitchin', thanks!
posted by interrobang at 10:11 PM on December 3, 2006


Oh, and it's written by Dan O'Bannon, who wrote and acted in "Dark Star" and later wrote "Alien".
posted by interrobang at 10:12 PM on December 3, 2006


By which I mean to say, double bitchin'!
posted by interrobang at 10:13 PM on December 3, 2006


20 years to make a 12 page comic?
posted by blue_beetle at 10:17 PM on December 3, 2006


Cool.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 10:20 PM on December 3, 2006


very cool. thanks for the post.
posted by nola at 10:24 PM on December 3, 2006


Nice one! Always nice to see Moebius's work.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:28 PM on December 3, 2006


I like the joke in panel 2.

Anyway, very cool Hard to believe it was started in 1956. The art is pretty cool, although it doesn't seem that much better then the stuff you'd find in Heavy Metal, which I often 'boob-skimmed' at the store as a kid.
posted by delmoi at 10:29 PM on December 3, 2006


The art is pretty cool, although it doesn't seem that much better then the stuff you'd find in Heavy Metal

Pfff!

*laughs at delmoi*
posted by interrobang at 10:32 PM on December 3, 2006


You'd take that back if you read Heavy Meatal since Kevin Eastman took over. It's gone seriously downhill.
posted by lekvar at 10:33 PM on December 3, 2006


The above being directed at delmoi, not interrobang.
posted by lekvar at 10:34 PM on December 3, 2006


I remember reading that one when I was a kid. Funny the translation is not complete: Le pied, or vas-y.

Thanks!
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:48 PM on December 3, 2006


those babies cut through steel like wet flan

Awesome. Nice post.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:50 PM on December 3, 2006


I, too, read that as a teenager. Great stuff.

Then Blade Runner came along and ... well ... ahems ... one could see certain "similarities" between the two.
posted by magullo at 10:58 PM on December 3, 2006


Man, I hate it when the hot chick I'm banging turns into a glob of assassin space goo. Totally kills the mood.

This was good stuff and it did remind me when I used to read Heavy Metal too.
posted by fenriq at 11:02 PM on December 3, 2006


wow! thanks.
posted by carmina at 11:03 PM on December 3, 2006


sweet. thanks.
posted by trichomaniac at 11:06 PM on December 3, 2006


Interesting to me, as an outsider to comics. The Blue woman from X-men also shapeshifted into the object of people's sexual fantasies. The Acturian Spy in its natural form is much uglier than a half naked facsimile of Rebecca Romijn Stamos, however.
posted by JamesJD at 11:34 PM on December 3, 2006


Awesome, this has been long out of print in America. Excellent find.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the dates are a typo. Wikipedia says 1975 or 76. Moebius' first published work was in 1961, and his art style, as Jean Giraud, was much different back then.
posted by samh23 at 11:39 PM on December 3, 2006


magullo: Yeah, it really is similar. ... of course, there's the rumor of Scott ripping Dan O'B for all he was worth during the production of Alien.

Makes sense, given the history of the two at the time. If my Dan O'Bannon history serves me, he and John Carpenter graduated USC in '73. Carpenter left to do Assault on Precinct 13, O'Bannon went to shop his Philip K. Dick-inspired scripts around.

Around '77, O'Bannon comes back with a pile of sketches for Ubik, A Scanner Darkly, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and so forth (Dick was huge in France -- and wow there's a lot of PKD references in this comic.) Among the artists that drew the material was Moebius, who also did sketches for Dune (the Jodorowski version.) A young HR Giger gets mixed up in this crowd too.

Somewhere in the Alien DVD interviews, O'Bannon mentions that he was connected with Heavy Metal / Moebius. I never really understood exactly how deep until tonight. And that's how I joined mefi after 5 years of silence.
posted by electronslave at 11:57 PM on December 3, 2006


Fantastic . . . was this the inspiration for that Bruce Willis flick, what was it . . . the 5th element? Shots of the city, colors, etc., looked so similar.

I must say that I found the artwork on a completely different (higher) level than the story & writing -- to me, the writing merely provided a convenient framework for the breathtaking visuals.
posted by treepour at 12:14 AM on December 4, 2006


Jean Giraud was the designer for The Fifth Element.
posted by the Real Dan at 12:28 AM on December 4, 2006


to me, the writing merely provided a convenient framework for the breathtaking visuals.

Agree - do you think he could have found any more noir cliches, or did he manage to collect them all?
posted by QuietDesperation at 12:30 AM on December 4, 2006


There are so many classic noir elements in it, too. Kiss Me Deadly, Laura/Vertigo, Chinatown, even. Great stuff!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 12:33 AM on December 4, 2006


electronslave: Nice catch - the O'Bannon-Scott collaboration in Alien had slipped my mind.

treepour:I must say that I found the artwork on a completely different (higher) level than the story & writing -- to me, the writing merely provided a convenient framework for the breathtaking visuals.

That's Moebius in a nutshell. And I say it in a good sense. I love the guy's work.

re: 5th element - obviously, but as pointed out Moebius was the credited designer. BTW, another movie he worked on and where his influence is fairly clear is Tron.
posted by magullo at 12:46 AM on December 4, 2006


Moebius shared design credits on the 5th Element with Jean-Claude Mézières, co-creator of Valérian, while Jean-Paul Gaultier designed the costumes. I'm still waiting for a movie entirely designed by Jean Giraud.
The Long Tomorrow reminded me of the prologue of The Incal (written five years later by Jodorowsky, following their ill-fated collaboration on Dune as mentioned by electronslave) where a P.I. is sent on a mission by a stunning beauty from the upper levels of a gigantic well city.
posted by surrendering monkey at 1:15 AM on December 4, 2006


"Hey, I sure wouldn't mind getting me some more of that Arcturian poontang."

"Yeah Frost, except the one you had was male."

"It doesn't matter when it's Arcturian, baby!"

posted by Tenuki at 1:41 AM on December 4, 2006


Man, do they ever need to put this stuff into print again. Some Moebius comics go for so much on Amazon...
posted by ScotchLynx at 1:42 AM on December 4, 2006


Moebius is the only comic artist that I ever went to a signing of (I think I was like 12 or something). I just love his range of style going from lots of squiggles to very minimalist. Personally my favorite stuff of his is the stuff in the "Upon a Star" Marvel/Epic volume, where he uses the minimalist approach and the stuff resembles animation cells.

Another thing I love about Moebius is his emphasis on architecture and backgrounds, he reminds me a lot of Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) in that respect.
posted by bobo123 at 2:31 AM on December 4, 2006


I saw this in a collection of Moebius' short work somewhere. I think I still own it. In there, he notes that, among other things, you can see the direct inspiration for Hoth probe droid in the background where the guy is sprinting across the launch pad.

This is one of my favorite Moebius stories. He's great when a) someone else is doing the writing and b) it's short. In his longer works, he tends to have a bad case of "kitchen sinkitis" -- he seems completely unable to edit out any cool idea, regardless of how little sense it makes or how difficult it makes the plot to resolve.

Anyway, cool stuff. Thanks, dhruva.
posted by jiawen at 2:59 AM on December 4, 2006


So thanks for the flashbacks, dhruva. I've been easing off Moebius for years but still dive into my collection for "nostalgic" purposes. If anyone wants to immerse in the genius that is Giraud, check out "Le Garage de Jerry Cornelius" for some very weird stuff.

And if you want to see how he does "horny", try "Le Bandard Fou".

My handle is actually from one of his characters, Arzach, but that spelling was taken.
posted by arzakh at 5:14 AM on December 4, 2006


This was very cool. It, um, could use a NSFW tag though.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:46 AM on December 4, 2006


Second "Le Garage." It's serialization in the old (= "good") Heavy Metal was my intro to Moebius. It's amazing to see how far he's worked on and influenced so many things
posted by lhauser at 6:46 AM on December 4, 2006


IIRC Moebius designed the space suits for Alien.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:38 PM on December 4, 2006


Are you sure you're not thinking of Giger?
posted by blasdelf at 8:26 PM on December 4, 2006


He is credited as one of the concept artists in the IMDB page for Alien
posted by dhruva at 9:38 PM on December 4, 2006


Le Garage is also a nod to Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius, as the name of the priest in the Fifth Element may well be.

I am certain have seen design treatments for the space suits in Alien that are by Moebius. I am fortunate to have the complete US editions of both Blueberry and Moebius as issued by (of all companies) Marvel in the late 80s.

One thing I have often wondered is what was the feedback loop between Giraud/Charlier and Leone? Some of the Blueberry stuff clearly seems to predate certain things in Leone's Westerns; other stuff in the Giraud/Charlier is clearly derivative of Leone's stuff.
posted by mwhybark at 9:47 PM on December 4, 2006


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