Moebius: Venice Celeste (Celestial Venice) collects work by Moebius made during his auspicious trip to Italy in the early 1980s that was to be an inspirational voyage that paved the way for a 9 page comic (that this art book takes it’s name from) and also one of the first works penned under Jean Giraud’s other nom de plume “Jean Gir” (see Moebius: Starwatcher).
Moebius: Venice Celeste is separated into the following sections:
Préface de Milo Manara (Preface by Milo Manara),
Les Fantasmes du vieux Mœb (The Fantasies of the old Mœb),
Les Merveilles de L’Univers (The Wonders of the Universe),
Jean Gir, le nouveau Mœbius (Jean Gir, the new Mœbius),
Carnaval Vénitien (Venetian Carnaval).
At the time of writing there is an ongoing free exhibition of Moebius called “Les Beaux Voyages de Moebius” (The Beautiful Journeys of Moebius) taking place from 11th May – 24th November 2019 in Venice, Italy at the CA’ASI Architecture Studio as part of the Venice Biennale 58th International Art Exhibition that celebrates Moebius’ first visit to Italy and showcases part of Moebius’ oeuvre of the period.
The Art of Tron (1982) Little Simon/Simon & Schuster 22.8 x 30.2cm, 64 pages
Released to coincide with the major motion picture Tron (1982) directed by Steven Lisberger, the enlightening book The Art of Tron written by Michael Bonnifer (a publicist who worked on Tron), offers a rare glimpse of the creative process behind this innovative and audacious film, featuring concept art by Moebius who worked on the storyboards, designed costumes and vessel design alongside a team of many other artists.
Champagne Paul Hérard – Cuvée 2000 Paul Hérard 13 x 18 x 3cm (approx.) wooden box 1 black & white certificate, 6 colour plates 10.5 x 15.5cm
A French family-run Champagne house Paul Hérard (first established in 1925) decided to come up with a unique way to celebrate the upcoming 2nd millennium with their Cuvée 2000 champagne vintage. Paul Hérard commissioned 6 artists to each create a unique decorative champagne label around the theme of the year 2000 as part of a limited edition numbered & signed boxset of only 200.
The artists chosen for this unique commission were:
Jean-Christophe Chauzy, Fabrice Lebeault, Emmanuel Lepage, Mezzo, Sylvain Savoia and of course Moebius.
Presented in a handsome wooden box, the Cuvée 2000 boxset is opened by sliding it’s lid outwards to reveal the certificate of authenticity bearing the head of Dionysus (Greek)/Bacchus (Roman) the deity of wine and ecstasy and below that the boxset’s edition number handwritten in pencil. Underneath the certificate is the 6 beautifully designed champagne labels, each mounted onto a card and numbered & signed by the artist in pencil underneath.
A toast to Jean Giraud on what would have been his 81st birthday today…
À VOTRE SANTÉ & CHEERS TO MOEBIUS!
If you are new to Moebius’ prolific artistic output and wish to own a unique signed piece from the master himself but at an accessible price then you can’t go wrong with acquiring a bookplate or Ex-Libris. An Ex-Libris is a small decorative print that is often found on the front endpaper of books and usually accompanied collectors edition art books by Moebius. These Ex-Libris were often hand signed by Moebius and numbered in pencil to a small circulation such as a couple of hundred (sometimes even less) and always printed on premium card stock.
If you are interested in getting an Ex-Libris by Moebius then they can be found through secondary markets such as online auction sites and collector’s forums. Before committing to make a purchase however buyer’s must be cautious (as with finding anything online) and are recommended to first thoroughly research any prospective listings for accuracy and also communicate with the seller before placing your interest (and money) to avoid disappointment.
Mockba (1990) Stardom 11.5 x 15cm, 85 black & white and colour pages
Mockba (pronounced Moskvá and how the Russians write the name of their capital city Moscow in Cyrillic), is a small signed and numbered limited edition of 1500 and the first publication under Moebius’ Stardom imprint released in 1990. Mockba’s little red book presentation is a clear nod to Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book” of the People’s Republic of China. The author and title text on the front cover are in large, gold lettering and set to the likeness of Moebius’ own handwriting whereas underneath the subtitle “Carnet de bords” (which means “record book” or “log-book” in English) is in smaller, uppercase lettering.
As you open this tome you discover a short 2 page introduction in French by Moebius that in English roughly translates:
“Carnet de bords
There is a tradition of the travel diary, which seems to be threatened by all the modern processes of film-making, all of them more and more practical, more and more efficient.
However, a simple notebook and some pencils can alone open all the doors of imagination and dreams.
Thus, over the years, I have filled many notebooks, some dragging in the back of my pockets for many months, filling up slowly, random waiting, dirty airport seats or even subway platforms … Others, more rarely, closing in one go, like this one, by example, realised in a short week and almost exclusively in the sinister and disproportionate hall of a big hotel in Moscow.
Sometimes, drawings and texts correspond well to the idea that one is commonly made of a travel note, but most of the time, one will search in vain for any relation with a place or a precise event. We can even estimate that the artist will have done as well, if not better, staying at home in the comfort of his studio.
However, these devotional drawings, even and especially the abstract ones, are transcriptions of states that could only be provoked by the journey and its tribulations, sketches on the spot, not of what happens in front of the eyes of the traveler, but from what is happening behind, where the magic mirror of the secret reality of the world unfolds to infinity.”
Beneath Moebius’ introduction is a drawing of a figure seated on a bench, writing into a small book (not unlike the one the reader is currently holding in their hands) and beside them a suitcase covered in stamps likely of places that they have visited.
Once you explore more inside Mockba, the more the pages resemble a sort of personal sketchbook and flows like a visual diary kept by Moebius in 1989 which for historical context was the same year that the Berlin Wall fell in Germany that once separated East and West Berlin and that would lead to the Reunification of Germany, followed years later by the collapse of the Soviet Union in Russia.