Le Bandard Fou (1974) / The Horny Goof (1990)
Les Éditions du Fromage/Les Humanoïdes Associés
24 x 31.8cm, 48 pages
Emboldened by the creative direction of La Déviation drawn a year earlier, Jean Giraud then embarked on making a longer story in that style that would also be the first official “Moebius” full length comic book.
Le Bandard Fou begins with the titular horny character waking up with a sizeable morning erection only to soon discover of his male member’s refusal to subside and thus hilarity ensues as we follow the protagonist’s various misadventures to avoid being captured by the ruthless Syldanian authorities who have outlawed any erections out of the breeding season.
The format of Le Bandard Fou is split into 2 separate sections:
On the pages on the left side of the book there is a series of surreal full page drawings and on the right is the main story of Le Bandard Fou. The drawings on the left show a seated figure looking out at the audience who suddenly and without reason becomes engulfed by some unknown liquid that grows and quickly overwhelms the figure completely but with a surprise twist at the end. The drawings serve as a sort of flip book animation but in an unusual portrait format for the reader to explore.
Moebius lays down line after copious line across each page that flow freely and coupled with generously detailed hatching/crosshatching & stippling, create a vast, expansive world for the reader to get lost in. This Moebius story has a clearly more adult tone to it reminiscent of the underground comix of American artist R. Crumb, mixed with science fiction elements and unique witty humour. Le Bandard Fou would also go on to establish the comic book universe that would be visited again in Moebius’ later work Le Garage hermétique (The Airtight Garage).
First published by Les Éditions du Fromage in September 1974 (a French comic book publisher set up by former Pilote artists Claire Bretécher, Marcel Gotlib and Nikita Mandryka) and as the exodus of artists from Pilote continued, published again a few months later in December 1974 under Les Humanoïdes Associés (newly founded by Moebius, Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Philippe Druillet and Bernard Farkas) and the future home of Métal hurlant.