Wow, not even a week after losing Ralph McQuarrie and another sci-fi artist is gone. Jean Henri Gaston Giraud "Moebius" was an icon in the comics industry. By all accounts, he was likely one of--if not the most celebrated comic illustrator(s) in a commercial sense as well as artistic influence.
If you've seen (and loved) Blade Runner, Tron, Alien, The Fifth Element, not to mention the animated films of Rene Laloux (Les Maîtres du temps and Gandahar), then you've been witness to the collaborations with filmmakers. Perhaps the partnership for which he'll always be associated is the one with filmmaker, comic book writer Alejandro Jodoworsky. Their most famous comic book collaboration was The Incal, oft-cited as a science fiction masterpiece, it's set in a massively overpopulated future and touches on themes of high-technology, religion, and commentary (satire mostly).
Last fall on a trip to Madison, WI, my wife and I stopped in a tiny comic shop on Monroe Street and I picked up a hardbound collected edition--their last copy of a sold out print run. I splurged and it quickly became one of my most prized tomes. (Feel free to mention your favorite Moebius work in the comments.)
The other project, which has become somewhat of a legendary "what if it had been made?" status is Jodoworsky's Dune film. Moebius, along with other great artists like H.R Giger, rendered some of the most unique and breathtaking concept illustrations. Had it been realized on film in the scale and scope Jodoworsky intended the film might have changed the course of modern science fiction, as it was to release before Star Wars. When the film fell apart, Moebius went on to do concept work for handful of other films (The Empire Stikes Back and Alien included).
Though his vision was in a state of irreversible decline the last few years, he was still working. I'm still trying to figure out a way to process it, because--and I say this without irony or hyperbole--there are two periods in the world arena of comics: with Moebius, and without.
And sadly, we're now living in the Post-Moebius Era.