Les Yeux Du Chat

Les Yeux Du Chat (1978) / The Eyes of the Cat (2011)
Les Humanoïdes Associés

16 x 22.5cm, 54 pages

In the aftermath of visionary Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unrealised cinematic interpretation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction masterpiece Dune (1965), a fruitful collaboration kindled in the ashes of Dune between Jodorowsky and Moebius, who contributed art, costumes and storyboards for the demised project (see Frank Pavich’s enlightening 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune for more). A few years later in 1978, Jodorowsky and Moebius would collaborate again but this time in a short bandes dessinées called Les Yeux Du Chat (The Eyes of the Cat).

Métal Hurlant N°107

Jodorowsky’s Dune US & FR

Les Yeux Du Chat tells the allegorical story of a blind orphan boy shut-in a tall tower above a desolate wasteland and one of only a few lifeforms save for the titular black cat and also later an eagle. Employing a similar page format to Le Bandard Fou but this time the left and right pages correspond to internal and external views of the ongoing story. The left side shows a shadowy silhouette of the orphan boy standing by a open window and the right side shows a bird’s-eye view (literally) from the eagle’s perspective. This format was not accidental but an ingenious way to fill more pages and extend a shorter story, as Alejandro Jodorowsky writes in the foreword of the reprinted edition:

“I suggested to Jean a short story, in five pages divided into five scenes, about a blind boy, Mœbius was fascinated with the story but he objected, saying, “It’s too short, only five pages. We need to fill 25 pages.” I answered, “We will be free from the traditional format of each page cut into panels. We will tell the story in a series of beautiful and solitary illustrations, each taking up an entire page…”

Les Yeux Du Chat was released by Les Humanoïdes Associés as part of it’s promotional Mistral Editions of works which were petite, not for sale, limited edition of 5000 print run intended as a gift for loyal fans but soon fell out of circulation, quickly becoming rare, sought after collector’s items. Thankfully Les Yeux Du Chat was rereleased 3+ decades later by Humanoids in 2011 in a more accessible edition in it’s original French but also a welcome surprise in English too, with other languages to follow.

Les Yeux Du Chat & The Eyes of the Cat


Arzach (1974)
Les Humanoïdes Associés

21 x 27cm, 8 pages

If ever there was a defining moment in both French bandes dessinées and the landscape of comic books as a whole, it would be when in December 1974, Moebius, Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Philippe Druillet and Bernard Farkas put their minds together to form Les Humanoïdes Associés (or Humanoids) and launched Métal hurlant (meaning “Howling Metal”) out into an unsuspecting world.

One of the first sights a reader picking up Métal hurlant would have noticed would be of a curious, caped, pointed hat wanderer mounted on the back of a pale white bird/pterodactyl, soaring silently above a barren, dreamlike landscape. Introduced for the first time in Métal hurlant N°1, Arzach is a wordless, colour comic and one of Moebius’ most recognisable and enduring stories. With each part of the saga, Moebius would vary the spelling as a sort of tongue-in-cheek joke, for instance Arzach would became Harzak, then Arzak, then changed to Harzakc and finally Harzach.

Métal hurlant would go on to attract some of the most talented artists in the field such as Philippe Druillet, Enki Bilal, Milo Manara and many more in the pages of each issue. Métal hurlant reached a new international platform when it was republished in America by National Lampoon and debuted in April 1977 as Heavy Metal.

Arzach was a breath of fresh air for a medium traditionally aimed at children and would have a huge inspiration on other artists’ and their work. One notable example, Japanese auteur filmmaker and founder of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki, who’s masterpiece Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind shows a great appreciation of Moebius’ creation. The two great artists had such mutual respect for one another’s work that they even held a joint exhibition titled ‘Miyazaki-Moebius’ at the Monnaie de Paris from 2004 to 2005.

Métal Hurlant N°1 & Arzach