Moebius, remembered: Zack Snyder, Jim Lee and ‘Tron’ director

March 14, 2012 | 9:08 a.m.
moebius Moebius, remembered: Zack Snyder, Jim Lee and Tron director

Moebius visited the Marvel Universe in the late 1980s. (Marvel)

Jean Giraud, the artist best known as Moebius, died last weekend in France but leaves behind a rich, singular legacy with his comics, his paintings and his work in film on projects such as “Alien” and “Tron.” To learn more about the contours of his legacy, we talked to filmmakers Zack Snyder and Steven Lisberger as well as Jim Lee, the most celebrated comic book artist of the last 20 years.

Zack Snyder, director of “Man of Steel” and “300”

I was first exposed to Moebius when I was a freshman in high school and in the pages of Heavy Metal magazine; for me it was all the things I needed to see at that point in my evolution. It was sexy and wholly original and intense and the images were about storytelling. It was super-influential on me. There was cinematic quality in the way he drew and it was uncensored in the content. I wasn’t really used to that. It was beautiful and sexy and violent and imaginative and I wasn’t seeing all of those things in one place anywhere else at the time. The images sent me on a road and I’m still on it today. His sci-fi design was so beautiful but  if you go to the westerns, none of it ever felt like it had been recycled. A lot of artists, when they take on existing properties or go into a familiar genre it feels like what’s been done by others. Everything Moebius  did, it felt like you were seeing it for the first time. When he did the Silver Surfer for Marvel, for instance, it felt like an entirely new thing. That’s exciting as a fan to see. When Frank Miller did “Dark Knight Returns,” it had that same thing but Moebius was able to do it with every single thing he touched. He reinvented any canon and he did it without breaking stuff.”

moebius Moebius, remembered: Zack Snyder, Jim Lee and Tron director

Jean Giraud, a.k.a Moebius,in 2008 (Alain Jocard/Getty Images)

 Jim Lee, “Justice League ” artist and co-publisher of DC Entertainment 

“One of the most difficult things for any artist to do is create a world that looks both completely alien yet real and possible. Whether it be in comics, games or film, you can trace the art direction and influences back to some earlier, real-life historic period or artistic movement. With Moebius, his work literally teleported you to other realms, full of fantastical architecture, impossible beauty and a lushness that seemed to channel a reality unlike any that we had ever seen or experienced before. Only a handful of other artists come to mind with this same kind of gift — Frazetta being one. Frazetta was a similar visionary with extraordinary talent in that he was able to capture the dramatic scenes of distant other worlds with the same majesty as Moebius. And he did it with so many different styles and approaches, reinventing so many genres from westerns to superheroes to fantasy to science fiction. No one else could create single illustrations so mind-blowing in their poetry and artistry, fueled by an imagination that proved to be endless.”

moebius portait Moebius, remembered: Zack Snyder, Jim Lee and Tron director

Jean Giraud at 2010-2011 Paris exhibit of his works.(Fondation Cartier Pour L’Art Contemporain)

Steven Lisberger, writer-director of “Tron” and producer of “Tron: Legacy”

“It’s one thing to be talented and work hard enough to put your spirit and soul in your work and it’s a totally other thing to have a spirit and soul that is so beautiful and wise that it deserves to put into art.   Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud was a very rare man, a true master and his life’s work is a masterpiece. It was a privilege to be his friend, it was heaven to work with him.   When I saw him last year he told me that working on ‘Tron’ I made him feel like family and he would never forget that.  I won’t either.”

— Geoff Boucher


mars1 Moebius, remembered: Zack Snyder, Jim Lee and Tron director

Mars as muse: A bright red sci-fi history

Moebius: His last major interview

Ralph McQuarrie, the force of imagination

Ralph McQuarrie’s long-lost ‘Star Wars’ art

‘Spiderwick’ illustrator draws on the Force

Frazetta left us with new pantheon

Frank Frazetta painted with fire

Ron Howard’s epic plan for ‘Dark Tower’

‘Flash Gordon,’ reconsidered

Dave Stevens’ ‘Rocketeer’ flies again

‘The Hunter’: Darwyn Cooke’s perfect crime


2 Responses to Moebius, remembered: Zack Snyder, Jim Lee and ‘Tron’ director

  1. Doot says:

    Oh the insult … Zack Snyder is everything Giraud wasn't.

  2. Dyan says:

    Who cares about Alien or Tron…The Airtight Garage will always be my favourite.

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