Like nearly every other human on the planet, Jean Giraud was subject to the occasional dark spell, despite being heaped with honors all over the world. He had one such depression just a few years ago. He was going through a very dark period of feeling old and forgotten. His way of dealing with his depressed state was to draw. He began by creating an unusually loose semi-autobiographical exercise in self-diagnosis and surrealism entitled Inside Moebius. His feelings poured out on to the pages of the first volume, then the second volume and then volume three. The art in each successive volume grew tighter and tighter. Jean drew six volumes in all, the last looking like classic Moebius in style.
My clever friend had used these six volumes to work out his personal problems and their solutions in public. Moebius being Moebius, he happily ended up resolving everything that was bothering him in those 700 (!) pages.
Last Time Together
Jean was at the peak of his powers as an artist just before our final time together last year at the Creative Talent Network show in Burbank, California. His new Arzakk book had just been published and it was every bit as good as his very best work.
Jean was the CTN event’s special guest. He was the subject of a long, well-researched interview and career overview that evening. This Los Angeles area celebration of Giraud was simultaneously mirrored in Paris by the largest exhibition ever assembled of Jean’s work (Moebius-Trans-Forme; October 12, 2010 – March 13, 2011).
I had heard he had leukemia (it had been reported in The Wall Street Journal) but he looked terrific that night. It was the look of fear and sadness in the eyes of his wife that betrayed the true extent of Jean’s condition. Jean and I had a great, extremely loving conversation away from the CTN crowds. We expressed our deep affection for each other and each other’s work. I gave his wife contact info for an expert I knew regarding Jean’s particular type of leukemia and alternative treatments. She seemed quite relieved. Sadly, the leukemia proved to be too far along. I never saw Jean again after our final hug that evening.
I miss you already, Jean. Your incredible body of work lives on in the shelves of my library, ready at any moment to reacquaint me with your genius. You, my friend, still live in my heart.
Au Revoir et Bon Voyage, Mon Ami!
See you on the Other Side.