100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #74
Jean “Moebius” Giraud (1938-2012)
Famous for: Heavy Metal, Metal Hurlant, Arzach, L’Incal, Blueberry, The Airtight Garage, Alien, The Fifth Element, Dune, City of Fire, Edena, Silver Surfer, Tron, Les Maitres du Temps, Willow, The Abyss
Influenced: Geof Darrow, Phillippe Druillet, Phillippe Caza, Hayao Miyazaki, Katsuhiro Otomo, Enki Bilal, Tanino Liberatore, Milo Manara, Georges Bess, William Stout, Arno, José Ladronn, Juan Gimenez, Sylvain Despretz, Ridley Scott, Richard Corben, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mike Mignola, Mark Bode, Katsuya Terada, Frank Cho, Vittorio Giardano, Frank Miller, Brandon Graham, Brendan McCarthy, Francois Schuiten, Marc Bati, Francois Boucq, Frank Quitely, Neil Gaiman, Paul Pope, Mike Allred, Phil Noto, Killian Eng, George Lucas, Blade Runner, William Gibson, Federico Fellini, Sci-Fi and Fantasy culture, concept art, animation and comics as a whole
Influenced by: Gustave Doré, Jijé, Jean-Claude Mezieres, Possibly Virgil Finlay, Will Eisner, Frederic Remington, Western Comics, Herge, Art Nouveau,
Jean Giraud, widely known by his pen-names Moebius and Gir, was a French comic illustrator and author, considered to be one of the most influential artists in the industry across the entire globe. Growing up in German-occupied France, Giraud found solace and escape in a small local theater that would play an abundance of American B-Westerns, which is where he’d develop a love for the genre. In 1954, Giraud received his only technical training at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré, where he’d produce western comics, much to the disappointment of his teachers. It is here where he’d meet close friend and fellow artist, Jean-Claude Méziéres (co-creator of Valerian). Giraud would not graduate and left the school in 1956. In the late 1950s, Giraud was drawing his own western strip for the magazine, Far West, very much influenced by the works of his later mentor, Joseph “Jijé” Gillain. In the 1960s, he developed the Lieutenant Blueberry character with Jean-Michel Charlier, a title he’d work on under the pseudonym, Gir until 1974. This is partly due to Giraud wanting to explore and develop the work of his Moebius alter-ego, as he had a growing interest in science-fiction and fantasy. That same year, Moebius, along with artist Phillipe Druillet and writer, Jean-Pierre Dionnet created the comic anthology magazine, Métal Hurlant (”Screaming Metal”) under the collective Les Humanoides Associes. Such stories published in the publication were The Long Tomorrow, ArzachandThe Airtight Garage. Metal Hurlant would later become known as Heavy Metal Magazine in the U.S. becoming a bastion for adult-oriented illustrated stories, with a focus on genre imagery. In 1980, Moebius worked with frequent collaborator, Alejandro Jodorowsky on the acclaimed L’Incal series. A couple of years later, Moebius would start collaborating on an ambitious portfolio with pupil, Geof Darrow, entitled City of Fire. Aside from working with Marvel Comics and other publishers, Moebius worked on a slew of films from the 70s-90s as a concept artist. These films include Alien, Tron, The Abyss, Willow, The Fifth Element and Jodorowsky’s unrealized adaption of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Moebius’ work is categorized by a range of qualities, producing incredibly simple work and exceptionally detailed work alike, both in the tradition of ligne claire, and hatch-heavy linework.
Sadly, Moebius passed away in 2012 after a long battle with cancer, though his legacy has only gotten more celebrated since. Ridley Scott is known for having said that Moebius’ sci-fi imagery is so influential that everything made in the genre now either directly or indirectly shares his DNA, with concepts inspired by or even stolen in such properties as Star Wars, Halo and Nausicaa and everything in-between. Celebrated artists, authors, directors, animators and illustrators such as Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) , Federico Fellini (8 ½, Amarcord), William Gibson (Neuromancer) and Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA) have cited him as a primary or strong influence on their work(s).
Here we go: IDW’s Mistress of Flame! @cavalierconvoy suggested the subject matter, I suggested the two week deadline, and @erikaskerzz suggested showing off our progress steps. There’s certainly a contrast of styles among the three of us!
I’ll start with with Cav first because she’s been live streaming this. She went with watercolors, and the end result is a very bold and vibrant masterpiece that’s getting framed very soon. The best part is the metallic gold accents she put on last. The hi-res scan actually doesn’t do it justice, but her photo of the finished piece caught the sheen very well. Below are the sketch, inks, ambient color, and final.
Up next is Erika’s work. I have no idea how she’s able to achieve such clean lines; I need to learn more about this myself! Her final coloring shows great depth, dynamics, and mood as she contrasts the cool glow of the moth to the warmth of the mistress, and the composition with the cape and the cropping is very powerful, too! Below are inks, base color, and final.
And finally my take on the Mistress. No, it’s not one of my Inktober doodles. I went with my Heavy Metal style for this. The triple circle composition with the swords, portal, and cape frame her in, and the crisscross of the hammer, cape, and far right sword draw you toward the flame. Trust me, holding a flame in her hand and circles in the background weren’t criteria for this piece; it just so happens that my wife and I think a lot alike. I used to do all my coloring in Photoshop with airbrushes, masks, and way too many layers, but now I do it by hand with colored pencils for one-step blending. Below are the rough, graphite, colored pencil overlay, and final.
I can honestly say this challenge worked for me. I’ve been in a rut and needed to get something done. I was a bit nervous about giving myself a tight deadline, but I actually finished with five days to spare. Never considered drawing Mistress of Flame, but I really like how we all did. Like Ironhide and Trailbreaker in an Indy 500, with a run-in by Skywarp, the winners are us!
• He was basically a child prodigy -wasnt considered as prodigious as Sasuke Uchiha who was both very smart but also was considered a prodigy bc of his namesake (but got his shit kicked out of him by Rock Lee in no time) - even so that he was almost recruited to become a ROOT member. He was like what, 8? But Danzo was like “wow shibi your son is so smart and talented, he should come join my top secret organization. No im serious. It’s an order.”
• Blew a mother fuckers arms off in a fight at age 12, like tell me thats not the realest shit.
• Tracked down Sasuke AND sassed Sasuke (“i hate repeating myself” godbless), fought Kankuro and turns out he did this for himself but also to give Sasuke, who he didnt even talk to, time to go fight Gaara without any hindrance. Like fucking he almost died of poison and just laying there hoping he gave Sasuke enough time
• The Shino laughing episode and him just being like god i just wanna fuckin die like me too buddy
• Looking for the beetle to track Sasuke down and him just kinda like “the fuck ever” when 3 grown ass petty adults were like “fuck your clan you 12 yr old fuck.” Like uhh he dont care who tf are you
• Trolled the others hardcore when they tried figuring out what his eyes looked like and was like “oh you wanna see my eyes? No problem heres what my eyes look liBEETLES!”
• Actually has rly rly rly bad abandonment issues that causes him to be wary of trusting ppl (thought Kurenai was abandoning him and his team)
• SALTY SHINO MAD BC HE COULDNT GO ON THE SASUKE RETRIEVAL ARC
• The episode he secretly trained some pre genin and in his flashback kiba was like “arent you mad hinata has the upper hand” and shino was like “no i am not, why? Because I do not discriminate between opponents”
• Him training rly hard to be good at hand to hand combat bc he didnt want to be weak and not be able to help his friends so he kicked a Jonins ass and was like “ you insult my insects? You hurt my friends? take this!” And fucking just tackles the fucker
• Shino telling his students he has faith he will survive bc his friendships
• The ep he basically almost killed himself trying to save Kiba, Neji, and fucking Akamaru, using his own chakra to keep theirs flowing despite him damn knowing if he runs out hed fuckin die but he dont care
• Uhhh the episode with Torune??? And Shino basically calling him brother??? And young Shino almost being put into the ROOTs as a human tool?? And wanting to be like Torune and CREATING his own fuckin mutated beetles
• GOT PAST his fears of abandonment bc of Torune’s encouragement and bc of everyone else showing him it’s ok to be vulnerable
• HIS ATTACK THAT CAUSES GIANT BEETLES TO GROW AND BLOW UP
• HIS DREAM IS TO FIND A WEIRD GIANT NEW INSECT SPECIES. HE EVEN DREAMT HE RODE ON A GIANT BEETLE
• Him being asexual as all hell and being all awkward and needing reassurance it’s ok that he didnt want a romantic partner, he just wanted to study bugs and support his pals
• TAKING DOWN AN ENTIRE FLEET OF WAR SHIPS SINGLE HANDEDLY TO A HEAVY METAL RENDITION OF FLIGHT OF THE BUMBLEBEE BC YA KNOW WHY NOT
Reasons to not like shino:
• Not enough episodes
• Hoodie covers his pretty face
An illustration I’ve been chipping away at based on Blue Oyster Cult’s Veteran of the Psychic Wars. I love that song and I keep trying to get a design for the character. This isn’t right but I like it anyways. There was also a VERY blacklight version of this but I thought this looked more on point with flatter more muted comic book-y colours.