Moebius 2

Moebius 2 (1988)
Graphitti Designs

22 x 28.5cm, 219 pages

Moebius 2 is the second 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 2 features an illustration of private eye Pete Club (the protagonist of Dan O’Bannon and Moebius’ short story The Long Tomorrow) looking from high over a vertical futuristic cityscape below, centred and framed on a warm pastel tangerine (originally this cover illustration featured on the pastel blue cover of Marvel/Epic Comics’ Moebius 6: Pharagonesia & Other Strange Stories paperback). Once the book jacket is taken off, it reveals underneath an earthy teal faux leather hardcover with embossed gold foil stamped “Moebius 2” signature styled title and in the bottom-right hand a unique embossed Starwatcher hand drawn styled circular icon (but unlike Moebius 1 without gold foil).

Moebius 2, jacket
Moebius 2, book
Moebius 2, signed & numbered page

This volume collects Moebius 4: The Long Tomorrow & Other Science Fiction Stories, Moebius 5: The Gardens of Aedena and Moebius 6: Pharagonesia & Other Strange Stories which contains the following Moebius works:

The Long Tomorrow,
It’s A Small Universe,
There is a Prince Charming on Phenixon,
Variation N°4070 on “The” Theme,
Approaching Centauri,
Blackbeard and the Pirate Brain,
Christmas on Lipponia,
The Artifact,
Split, the Little Space Pioneer,
Is Man Good?,
The Gardens of Aedena,
Journey to the Center of an Unfaithful Body,
Hit Man,
Shore Leave on Pharagonesia,
Absoluten Calfeutrail,
The Hunt for the Vacationing Frenchman,
White Nightmare,
The Apple Pie,
Double Escape,
Rock City.

Moebius 2, The Long Tomorrow
Moebius 2, It’s A Small Universe
Moebius 2, There is a Prince Charming on Phenixon
Moebius 2, Variation N°4070 on “The” Theme
Moebius 2, Approaching Centauri
Moebius 2, Blackbeard and the Pirate Brain
Moebius 2, Christmas on Lipponia
Moebius 2, The Artifact
Moebius 2, Split, the Little Space Pioneer
Moebius 2, Is Man Good?
Moebius 2, The Gardens of Aedena
Moebius 2, Journey to the Center of an Unfaithful Body
Moebius 2, Hit Man
Moebius 2, Shore Leave on Pharagonesia
Moebius 2, Absoluten Calfeutrail
Moebius 2, The Hunt for the Vacationing Frenchman
Moebius 2, White Nightmare
Moebius 2, The Apple Pie
Moebius 2, Double Escape
Moebius 2, Rock City

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.

The Long Tomorrow

The Long Tomorrow (1976)
Les Humanoïdes Associés
21 x 27cm, 16 pages

Forged from the ashes of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unrealised dream of Dune (see Les Yeux Du Chat), was a meeting of creative minds between Jodorowsky, Moebius, Dan O’Bannon, Chris Foss and H.R. Giger that would have a far-reaching influence on the cinematic landscape of the future.

A notable example of this was a futuristic noir short story by Dune’s special effects artist Dan O’Bannon called The Long Tomorrow, who wrote and sketched it in a moment of ennui during downtime on pre-production of Dune and was then adapted into comic book form by Moebius for publication in Métal hurlant (Heavy Metal).

Set in a dystopian future The Long Tomorrow follows a day in the life of private detective Pete Club who receives a call from a dame called Dolly Vook Von Katterbar to retrieve a box containing “some personal effects” for her from a subway locker located on the disreputable 199th level. Whilst out collecting the box for Katterbar, Club soon attracts some unwanted attention and almost finds out the hard way to what lengths some would go to get the box and it’s mysterious contents but Club soon spies the perpetrator and goes on hot pursuit of his assailant. The Long Tomorrow feels like a film noir set in the future, written in the vein of a hardboiled crime fiction and would prove to be so ahead of it’s time that it is now recognised as being one of the earliest proponents of a new branch of science fiction storytelling known as cyberpunk.

Moebius 2
The Long Tomorrow

After Dune failed to materialise, Dan O’Bannon suffered a nervous breakdown and returned back to Los Angeles with no money left, leaving most of his belongings back in Paris except for a book of H.R.Giger’s work ARh+ that he had borrowed from the artist himself. After going through therapy for many years, Dan O’Bannon wanted to get his old life back and one of the ways he aimed to achieve this was by feverishly churning out script after script from atop friend Ronald Shusett’s couch (which O’Bannon was living on at this point) and one of the screenplays he wrote was for Starbeast later to become Alien (1979). When Alien got green-lit, Dan O’Bannon recommended it’s director Ridley Scott to bring onboard the creative team that he worked with on Dune.

The Long Tomorrow like Jodorowsky’s Dune would be a huge inspiration for many science fiction films to come such as George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy and most noticeably Ridley Scott’s next film Blade Runner (1982) which would not be possible without it. Ridley Scott even makes reference to The Long Tomorrow in the closing scenes of his later film and Alien prequel Prometheus (2012).

Dan O’Bannon reflecting upon on the enduring appeal of The Long Tomorrow:

“…Mainly that vertical design for the city, Ridley (Scott) chose to do an ‘unauthorised borrowing’ of that city for Blade Runner and he’s right, it does make a good image!”

Dan O’Bannon holding his & Moebius’ finished story The Long Tomorrow
Moebius discussing The Long Tomorrow’s influence on Blade Runner

O’Bannon also praised Moebius’ inventiveness on one particular panel from The Long Tomorrow:

Métal Hurlant N°50
Métal Hurlant N°50, p75
Dan O’Bannon’s original sketch for The Long Tomorrow
Dan O’Bannon looking at Moebius’ finished page

“This drawing here where I had the private detective discover that the beautiful woman that he’s in bed with, is really a shape-changing monster like something out of The Thing From Another World. My original sketch was roughly like this but it was Giraud (Moebius) who curled all of his toes inwards right there, I thought that was utterly perfect! Normally you might put a thought balloon showing what the guy is thinking but I think having his toes curled inwards like that does it even better.”

Goodbye to these great masters…

Daniel Thomas “Dan” O’Bannon
30th September 1946 – 17th December 2009

Hans Ruedi “H.R.” Giger
5th February 1940 – 12th May 2014