Moebius 1 (1988) Graphitti Designs 22 x 28.5cm, 267 pages
Moebius 1 is the first volume of a limited edition of 1500, signed & numbered hardback collection of beautiful, bound, books published by Graphitti Designs that collects and reprints the acclaimed trade paperbacks that were originally published by Marvel/Epic Comics.
The book jacket of Moebius 1 features an heroic portrait of Major Grubert of the Major Fatal series (with a likeness based on American actor Clint Eastwood), centred and framed on a tasteful pastel pink (originally this cover illustration featured on the pastel cyan cover of Marvel/Epic Comics’ Moebius 3: The Airtight Garage paperback). Once the book jacket is taken off, it reveals underneath an attractive burgundy faux leather hardcover with embossed gold foil stamped “Moebius 1” signature styled title and in the bottom-right hand a unique Starwatcher hand drawn styled circular icon. The impressive attention to detail on the presentation of these books alone is remarkable and feels high quality when held. The deluxe gold foil stamped illustration on the cover is reminiscent of the silver foil stamped illustration gracing the cover of the Silver Surfer: Parable hardback.
This volume collects Moebius 1: Upon A Star, Moebius 2: Arzach & Other Fantasy Stories and Moebius 3: The Airtight Garage which contains the following Moebius works:
Both the Marvel/Epic Comics paperbacks and the Graphitti Designs hardback books are sadly now long out of print, rare editions that are much sought after today. Amazingly, Graphitti Designs still has copies in stock of Moebius 4-9 (at the time of writing) and is available online through their website here.
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.