Quality and Characteristics of his work
Sergio Aragonés pointed out to me one day that everything in a Jean Giraud drawing has a function. If you built it, it would work. That’s just one small indication of how Giraud so thoroughly realized his worlds.
Technique: Pen & ink, Brush, Paint
Although Giraud became a master of every medium he touched, Jean primarily became known for his extraordinary skills with pen and ink as well as watercolor and gouache. Not surprisingly, considering his tendency to constantly challenge himself, he eventually became proficient with digital color as well. Jean’s line of serigraphs were especially striking.
Jean’s pen work could be breathtakingly simple or astonishingly complex. His line weight was always perfect for the subjects and styles he was depicting. The styles he selected to use were determined by whatever would most effectively tell the story at hand.
One of the most interesting gigs Jean ever landed was when he was approached to design an entire floor of the Metreon, a Sony-owned building in San Francisco, intended as the first of a proposed chain of urban entertainment centers. Each of the Metreon’s four floors was assigned to a different artist (one of the floors, for example, was devoted to Maurice Sendak).
Jean went the distance with this one. He was extremely hands-on with every detail. He chose all the paint colors for the various rooms and designed exquisitely sculpted bas-relief decorations for all the walls and doorways — he essentially designed every cubic inch of his floor. Giraud even designed his arcade’s video games. Visiting the Airtight Garage (Jean’s floor was named after a popular Moebius graphic novel) was like taking a trip inside Moebius’ head.
Sony was blown away by the detail of his designs for the Airtight Garage. They understood that Jean went far and above the call of duty on this one, way beyond what he was obligated to do in the job description. Knowing Jean’s love of the Old West, Sony purchased an unexpected bonus for him in appreciation of his extra efforts: they presented him with an original Frederic Remington painting.
Sadly, the Airtight Garage floor of the Metreon no longer exists. I thought it would be there forever. I wish I had done a thorough photo documentation of Jean’s amazing space.