For the past three weeks, the Danish comics site has been remembering comics legend Jean Giraud/Moebius’ passing with articles, essays, reminiscences from a number of Danish creators, and — most interesting to a non-Danish reading audience: drawn homages. Go here for a panoply of drawings on “The Theme” by Denmark’s finest.
Above is Jan Solheim, below Christian Højgaard reinterprets the last page of The Hermetic Garage.
The week in review
The passing of Jean Giraud is the passing of one of the great cartoonists and visual artists of his generation. It had become easy to take the enormously productive artist for granted, even to bore of him, what with him performing well below his own best a lot of the time in the last couple of decades, but it should not be forgotten that this was somebody who generously gave of his vision of the world, making it his through his drawing and storytelling, and ever-so-subtly affecting our common visual imaginary. His was a quiet ubiquity of a kind that only few artists could ever hope to reach. He shall be missed.
The snap above was taken at the Angoulême train station on the Sunday of the festival in 2006, reading the already seminal Kramers Ergot 4. F-R-E-S-H.
Here are some Giraud/Moebius links:
Kim Thompson’s 1987 interview with the artist for The Comics Journal. One of the best interviews I’ve read with the man.
Moebius Redux. Somewhat tacky, but still very good documentary on the artist, with some choice appearances by especially Alejandro Jodorowsky and Philippe Druillet. The former is hilarious, the latter touchingly pathetic. Giraud himself is remarkably candid too, even if certain parts of his life — such as his cultism in Tahiti — are only hinted at.
Images from Giraud’s funeral. A veritable who’s who of French cartoonist gathered. The image of his long-time friend and partner Jean-Pierre Dionnet in itself speaks volumes.
My own writing on Giraud/Moebius include this week’s examination at Hooded Utilitarian of his last, great book Chasseur déprime, which connected to my 2009 essay for The Comics Journal on his greatest single creation, The Hermetic Garage. For the same magazine, I also reviewed the grand career retrospective at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in 2010. For Danish readers, I wrote at some length about his last, extraordinary Blueberry cycle back in 2005, plus I wrote this obit in Friday’s book section at Information.
Earlier today I posted an appreciation of the late Moebius’ last great work, Le Chasseur déprime, over at Hooded Utilitarian. Reading that book in the light of his illness and death suddenly seemed to make a lot of sense. It is among his most profound, questioning works — a fitting artistic testament from somebody who changed our way of seeing. Go check it out.
From the Frémok/Cinquième couche show
As usual Saturday brought the crowds to Angoulême. It is difficult to get around, but it brings to the festival a heady atmosphere of art and commerce. Even the Association staff decided today partly to suspend their ongoing strike in order to support their artists who had turned up to sign their books. Killoffer, Gerner, Baudoin, Sury, Ruppert & Mulot, and several more were drawing up a storm for the throngs passing through the doors to the Nouveau monde. There is talk of upcoming negotiations between direction and staff, but for the moment the situation remains strained.
The programming has also been popular. This morning, I tried in vain to get into the CIBDI lecture hall to hear the talk by Ikeda Ryoki, the creator of the still-to-be-translated-into-English classic Rose of Versailles. I did manage to get a seat for the similarly mobbed on-stage interview with Moebius last night, even if it turned out I needn’t have bothered. Arriving late to a sweaty, overheated lecture theater, the aging maestro was given very little to work with by the interviewer, who simply let him go on and on about the trivialities of how his current retrospective at the Fondation Cartier in Paris came to be, and how he has recently returned to his classic creation Arzak. Very little effort was made to discuss the intricacies and themes of this or other works, or his thoughts on why this was a good moment to return to a character who had his day in the late 70s, or the fact that the book in question is amongst the sloppiest-looking he has turned out in a long time. Continue reading ‘Angoulême 2011: Saturday’