Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius to comic book and cinema fans, has died.
Sad news on the heels of Ralph McQuarrie just last week. The two of them had an incalcuable impact on the look of genre filmmaking and the minds of impressionable young artists over the last generation or two. I knew of him mainly through Heavy Metal and the magazine-size Epic comics in the early 80's. I remember seeing reprints of The Airtight Garage and being a little unsure of what to make of the grandiosity of it all - at that point I was very much still planted in the grungy feel of Star Wars.
Actually it wasn't too long ago that Giraud did a piece based on Episode I that recalls Airtight Garage so much that you tend to look at the prequels as closer to him than McQuarrie:
That's actually Jerry Cornelious (sorry, Lewis Carnellian) up there in the corner. Giraud's influence is most heavy in Tron and Alien, as well as The Fifth Element, which came later.
As I've gotten older, I appreciate the grandiosity more. I got into Miyazaki in college, and I find the two have similar sensibilities. The scale at which Moebius presents things, as in the first piece above, really intrigues me. Everything in my dreams always is much much bigger than in real life. So too in my fiction. Moebius was the type of person who could transport you to a world larger and more wonderful than the one you lived in. He will be missed.