La Déviation (1973) / The Detour (1987)
Pilote N° 688
23.5 x 30.5cm, 7 pages
The year is 1973 and French bandes dessinées artist Jean Giraud, also known as “Gir”, has for the last 10 years tirelessly hand-drawn each panel and page on acclaimed Western comics series Blueberry with writer Jean-Michel Charlier for Pilote magazine in France. Inside however Jean Giraud is yearning for a change in artistic direction that the “Gir” pseudonym that which Blueberry is drawn under does not allow room for.
Between 1963-1964 Jean Giraud had dabbled in more fantastical elements under a separate nom de plume “Moebius” first used in French satirical magazine Hara-Kiri (itself a response to American humor magazine Mad) but afterwards disappeared for years.
When a friend and fellow artist at Pilote, Philippe Druillet, pushed Jean Giraud to do a whole comic story in his “Moebius” style, who at first could not find the will to. Then one day between drawing Blueberry stories, Jean Giraud had an epiphany to draw an experimental, new story. The resulting comic was part autobiography (an artist showing themselves in their work was unheard of in comics) and part flight of fancy that follows Jean Giraud & family on a road trip to Île de Ré (Island of Ré) situated on the French west coast, where they suddenly find themselves taking a La Déviation (The Detour)…