Mockba

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.

Mockba book, front
Mockba book, inside

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.

Mockba book, introduction
Mockba book, signed & numbered page

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.

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[NSFW] Les Jardins d’Eros

[NSFW] Les Jardins d’Eros/The Gardens of Eros (2005)
Stardom
24 x 32cm, 14 black & white plates portfolio

Following in the spirit of the Eros X Libris erotic portfolio, Moebius would release another portfolio exploring sexuality under the Stardom imprint called Les Jardins d’Eros (The Gardens of Eros) of a signed and numbered limited edition of 400.

Les Jardins d’Eros explores erotica through the surreal dreamscapes of Désert “B” (of 40 Days Dans Le Désert “B”), drawing on the visual language of mythology, symbolism and the supernatural. Each black & white plate is elegantly and meticulously drawn by Moebius with exotic characters and scenarios in an imagined sensual pleasure garden.

Les Jardins d’Eros, portfolio front
Les Jardins d’Eros, portfolio back
Les Jardins d’Eros, portfolio inside
Les Jardins d’Eros, portfolio inside
Les Jardins d’Eros
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Les Jardins d’Eros
Les Jardins d’Eros

Released a year later within the pages of Senso Magazine N°24 on the theme of Cinéma, Moebius drew a unique short 8 page colour comic centred around a cartoon avatar version of the artist himself (a concept first introduced in La Déviation and expanded further in his autobiographical stream of consciousness tomes Inside Moebius) who plays an erotic film director shooting film scenes that parody his own plates from Les Jardins d’Eros.

Senso Magazine N°24, magazine
Senso Magazine N°24, inside
Senso Magazine N°24, Les Jardins d’Éros, p.1
Senso Magazine N°24, Les Jardins d’Éros, p.2-3
Senso Magazine N°24, Les Jardins d’Éros, p.4-5
Senso Magazine N°24, Les Jardins d’Éros, p.6-7
Senso Magazine N°24, Les Jardins d’Éros, p.8

[NSFW] Eros X Libris

[NSFW] Eros X Libris (1997)
Stardom
15 x 21cm, 8 colour plates portfolio

Moebius as well releasing exclusive art portfolios under Éditions Aedena/Starwatcher Graphics for his canon of work and also that of other artists, would later on release more risqué work under the Stardom banner.

One such case is Eros X Libris which is a signed and numbered limited edition of 500 erotic portfolio consisting of 8 colour plates that is presented in an manila coloured card envelope with unique ‘undressing’ back flap.

Eros X Libris, portfolio front
Eros X Libris, back flap
Eros X Libris, back flap
Eros X Libris, portfolio back
Eros X Libris, portfolio inside
Eros X Libris, portfolio inside

Each plate of this portfolio shows intimate scenes of solo stimulation, couple foreplay and S&M to name a few, usually portrayed through the male gaze.

Eros X Libris, X Queen
Eros X Libris, Kdo
Eros X Libris, Licorne
Eros X Libris, Loin Loin
Eros X Libris, Xaviera
Eros X Libris, Mandrax
Eros X Libris, Folle Diagonale
Eros X Libris, Priapus Rex

Mystere Montrouge

Mystere Montrouge / Montrouge Mystery (2001)
Stardom
23 x 31cm, 1 black & white, 12 colour plates portfolio

To coincide with an exhibition held at the Salons de l’Hôtel de Ville between the 3rd and 24th October 2001, Moebius released a special limited edition portfolio for the occasion called Mystere Montrouge (The Montrouge Mystery). Mystere Montrouge follows the journey of Stel (from The World of Edena) who is searching for Montrouge and after being guided by a fairy enters through a painting of it and arrives into the dreamscape of Désert “B” (of 40 Days Dans Le Désert “B”).

Mystere Montrouge, portfolio
Mystere Montrouge, portfolio
Mystere Montrouge, portfolio
Mystere Montrouge, plate 1
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Mystere Montrouge, plate 3
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Mystere Montrouge, plate 7 (2nd Edition only, released in 2002)
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Mystere Montrouge, plate 11
Mystere Montrouge, plate 12

Montrouge (a commune in southern Paris, France) was also where Moebius once had an artists studio and located in the newly restored Cultural Centre of Montrouge is a gigantic 5m high x 35m long wall covering fresco named Le Saut De L’Ange (The Angel’s Leap) that was originally drawn by Moebius but completed by a team of artists posthumously in 2012. In celebration of the life of this great artist, the Montrouge main hall is named after Moebius.

2001 Après Jésus Christ

2001 Après Jésus Christ / 2001 After Jesus Christ (2000)
Stardom
24 x 16.5cm, 40 pages

On the hardcover of 2001 Après Jésus Christ (2001 After Jesus Christ) the central protagonist Jesus (or Isa) stands alone within an empty desert landscape, facing towards the east. This cover would later be paralleled for the French 2nd Edition of 40 Days Dans Le Désert “B” (40 Days In The Desert “B”) but instead with the Techno-Boudha seated on the ground, holding a bow and arrow, also facing (and taking aim) towards the east.

2001 Après Jésus Christ & 40 Days Dans Le Désert “B” French 2nd Edition (2001) front covers
2001 Après Jésus Christ & 40 Days Dans Le Désert “B” French 2nd Edition (2001) back covers

2001 Après Jésus Christ opens with a preface written in French by Max Armanet titled Nouvelle apocryphe (New Apocryphal) giving an insight on the project’s creation and the premise of the narrative. On the pages on the left of 2001 Après Jésus Christ is an accompanying story also written in French by Jean-Luc Coudray and opposite on the pages on the right is Moebius’ illuminating artwork.

2001 Après Jésus Christ, préface
2001 Après Jésus Christ

Where the title of 40 Days Dans Le Désert “B” contained an allusion to the titular Abrahamic prophet, 2001 Après Jésus Christ makes direct reference to the historical figure but reimagined 2 millennia later by Moebius. Through artistic interpretation, Moebius’ Jésus is athletic, bohemian and Middle Eastern. Moebius’ art inside feels vaguely Ligne Claire (clear line) in style but with subtle line details, filled with natural, earthy colours that are occasionally juxtaposed with splashes of luminescent tones.

2001 Après Jésus Christ
2001 Après Jésus Christ
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2001 Après Jésus Christ
2001 Après Jésus Christ

2001 Après Jésus Christ uses a thicker print stock than 40 Days Dans Le Désert “B” but instead with a fine horizontal grain and as with with 40 Days Dans Le Désert “B” also printed in Italy at Artegrafica Silva.

2001 Après Jésus Christ