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Biographies of the Stars

Jean Giraud

In 1977 a translation of a French comics magazine appeared in the U.S., bringing to a new audience the work of the remarkable science fiction artist known as 'Moebius'. His appearance in the magazine called "Heavy Metal" would help to change American comics forever....

Jean Giraud was born May 8, 1938. His parents divorced 3 years later and Giraud went to live with his maternal grandparents, where he was exposed to the works of the great turn-of-the-century illustrators like GustaveDore. He was also exposed to newspaper comics, particularly Alex Raymond's adventure strip "Flash Gordon".

At age 16 Giraud began his only technical training at the Arts Appliques, a technical school for professional artists in Paris. He created his first comic strip, the western "Les Aventures de Franck et Jeremie", in 1956. The strip was successfully published and 5 years later was to lead Giraud to a position as assistant to artist Joseph "Jije" Gillian's popular western strip "Jerry Spring". After a year, however, Giraud left to become a commercial artist with the famous French graphics studio Studio Hachette. In 1962 Giraud and the renowned French comics writer Jean-Michel Charlier launched the comic strip "Fort Navajo" for "Pilote". The strip was to make Giraud's FIRST reputation! It was a great hit and was to continue uninterrupted until 1974. In 1963 Giraud began contributing satirical strips to the anti-establishment French magazine, "Hara-Kiri", where he began using the pen name 'Moebius'. At the same time, under the pen-name 'Gir', Giraud created other comics in an experimental style. In January of 1973 Giraud's alter egos intersected when Pilote published "La Deviation", a surreal b&w strip by 'Gir' depicting the vacation of artist Jean Giraud!

In 1975 'Moebius' collaborated with fellow artist Phillipe Druillet, writer Jean-Pierre Dionnet and others to produce the dark-edged comic magazine "Metal Hurlant", soon to appear in the U.S. as "Heavy Metal" magazine. This magazine was to be the vehicle for Giraud's major works, "Arzach", "The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius", and the "Incal" series. Also in 1975 Giraud was hired as a designer for the movie adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction classic, "Dune". There Giraud met his future collaborator Alejandro Jodorowsky, an independant filmmaker famous for the film "El Topo". After the Dune project (temporarily) folded Giraud worked on the design for the film "Alien" together with Swiss artist H.R. Geiger.

It was at this time that Giraud met Jean-Paul Appel-Guery, the leader of a New-Age French commune called Iso-Zen, and began a period of re-evaluating his life and work. The first result was a spiritual space opera called "The World Killer". The story was not a success, however, as fans continued to demand the dark-edged material they were accustomed to seeing from the artist. Giraud continued to pursue spiritual issues in graphic form, however, eventually producing a body of work titled the Aedena cycle.

Giraud produced several works in collaboration with Jodorowsky, including "The Incal" series and the erotic graphic novel "Angel Claw". Through the '80's he continued to work on film projects including Disney Studios "Tron", the George Lucas film "Willow", "Masters of the Universe", and others. In the '90's he collaborated with Jean-Claude Mezieres, artist of the popular French comic "Valerian, on the movie "The Fifth Element". Giraud continued to produce sequels to "Lieutenant Blueberry" series and contributed work to Marvel and Penthouse Comics, "Frank Frazetta's Fantasy Illustrated", and others. He continues to produce book and poster illustrations.

written by Andy Etris 2000

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