At the beginning of the week, we lost the man who was responsible for making Star Wars look so foreign and yet so familiar: Ralph McQuarrie.
Now it looks like we’ve lost another titan of science fiction art–the french comic book artist Jean “Moebius” Giraud. Though I’d venture that Moebius is the less well-known of the two artists, in my book he’s been vastly more influential. In addition to influencing the tone and scope of some of Neil Gaiman’s work on Sandman, he’s been a direct influence on a new generation of comic book artists such as Geof Darrow (who was the production designer on “The Matrix”) and Frank Quitely (who drew seminal work on both X-Men and Superman).
There’s the maxim from Understanding Comics where Scott McCloud states that artists frequently find, “that [their] favorite artist was actually just a watered-down version of an older, less-polished artist whom he had always taken for granted.” Moebius was that kind of artist. He’s the Velvet Underground of comic book artists. If you’re a fan of comic art that includes hyper-detailed, fantastical backgrounds with characters who appear human and yet alien at the same time, you’re living in a world that Moebius helped create.
Now the thing that’s got me terrified is if indeed celebrity deaths come in threes, who might we lose next?