Jean Giraud, also known as Moebius, died in Paris today after a long battle with cancer. The comic book artist was a founder of Métal Hurlant (Heavy Metal), which published some of his most famous serials, including The Airtight Garage and Arzach. He contributed to the aesthetic and vision of many films, including Alien, The Fifth Element, and Tron, and collaborated with Alejandro Jodorowsky on a film adaptation of Dune that was eventually cancelled in favor of David Lynch's version. His work often veered into the surreal, and his art offered a unique take on everything from westerns, to sci-fi, to Marvel superheroes.
Neil Gaiman has written a tribute to Moebius on his blog, and describes the first issue of Heavy Metal he ever saw:
"I was — what — 14, and on a French Exchange to Paris with my class, and this beautiful magazine filled with comics opened my mind to what comics could be, and particularly to the art of Jean Giraud, AKA Moebius, who drew about half of the magazine in a way that seemed both familiar and completely alien, made it so powerful and perfect. He drew different stories in different styles, and the only thing they seemed to have in common was that they were beautiful. I bought a copy. I could only afford the one issue of the magazine, but one was enough."
Be sure to browse one of the many collections of Moebius's work, like our favorite Tumblr: quenched consciousness. It was a whole different world inside his head, and lucky for us he knew how to draw.