I Heart Comics | The Moebius Meme

Last updated on July 23rd, 2014 at 06:05 pm

Moebius or Jean Giraud is one of those world famous comic book artists that no one in North America (except, of course, true lovers of the medium). He’s known for his far out sci-fi comic strips from Heavy Metal or his wonderful western series Blueberry. Moebius’ is sort of like the Velvet Underground of comic art – everyone who has come upon his art automatically wants to be a artist.

I recently joined an amazing Tumblr called the Airtight Garage (and/or quenched consciousness) which turned me onto this image by Monsieur Giraud

Inspired by one of his more controversial images, artists like Paul Pope, Brandon Graham, Corey Lewis and D-pi are giving their unique take. I’ll present them in that order.

Pope’s take is very straight-forward and very much in keeping with the original erotic tone of Moebius’ original. He even presents this quote “A drawing can never be pornography. A drawing is an visual description of an idea and not a documented depiction of an actual event.

Meanwhile the mad man of comic Brandon Graham inflects some of his offbeat influences – namely Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama (and some Eastman & Laird). He doesn’t age the girl either, but does cover her up. Graham has done some pretty awesome erotic comics – namely the hilariously smutty Pillowfight. (Shout out to Marc Sims of Big B Comics for the recommendation!)

Corey Lewis meanwhile ups the ante by aging the girl and making her.. Lady Gaga?  Lewis’ style is well suited for this sort of pop art homage, and thus far his ‘version’ is my favourite, mostly because it’s so brash and Warholian that you can’t help but kind of adore it. He adds: “Ya I went a bit OUT on mine. Whatevvvz. Yeah, I drew Lady Gaga (or for DONJINSHI purposes– my interpretations of her are known as “LADY XAXA”). I variated my version of the nipple tweak, too. Mine’s more of a PINCH! OO

Finally we come to D-pi – an artist I’ll confess to not be as familiar with. Which is something I’m going to immediately correct by checking out all the entries of his webcomic Gratuitous Ninja. He himself says of his piece: “I’ve replaced the pubescent girl with the sexually frustrated Hachimaru from GratNin. Her posture is a little different than the original… and it’s not the only unintentional glaring difference…  Next time, I’ll do a straight study. Moebius is a BEASTTT!

Peter DeCourcy Written by:

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13 Comments

  1. December 6, 2010

    Pathetic. Not that so many artist are ripping off this image, but that this site ran an article like this.

  2. December 6, 2010

    Hey Greg.
    Thanks for the feedback. The only thing I take issue with is that you’re accusing the artists of ‘ripping off’ this image. They’re doing an exercise in which they inflect their own personal style on the inspiring image. (Think the George Perez’ cover to Crisis on Infinite Earths or Death of Captain Marvel being inspired by The Pietà.)

  3. Avalon
    December 7, 2010

    Hey Greg, hey, hey: **** you.

    1. These are some of the greatest artists of our generation.

    2. It’s called “homage”.

    3. Why don’t you go lap up whatever **** crossover event DC or Marvel is **** out right now and leave those of us who really love comics to appreciate this.

  4. December 7, 2010

    Avalon,
    Wow. Zing, you got me. You are completely right. I am an idiot who knows nothing about comics and I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about and don’t appreciate them. I will just shut up and go back to reading Deadpool, while you appreciate hight-end European kiddie porn.
    -Greg

  5. December 7, 2010

    Avalon, as much as I appreciate you sticking up for this post, I don’t think we need it to devolve to that level. Greg is entitled to his opinion – we just don’t have to agree with it.

    The great thing about art is that it spurs on discussions; let’s just try to keep it on a mature level.

  6. December 8, 2010

    Of course it’s art. My gf, Amanda, & I were talking about this, & we agree that Moebius’ original image is a beautiful rendition of the purest innocence at a moment of discovery & exploration.

    That the homaging artists aged the figure speaks to their discomfort with either the original image/subject or depictions of this kind of innocence… or both. Even Pope developed the breasts slightly & the lips a great deal.

    At least D-pi tiptoes to the other end of the spectrum with hints of depravity in the multi-nubbed phallus on the bed, the pubic hair, the cougaresque fat distro on her buttocks with suggested cellulite & the slight sneer on her face.

    I plan to do D-pi several levels better (worse?) 😉

    I must ask Greg Hyland what is it about this article that makes it ‘pathetic’? Not the talent, certainly…

  7. December 8, 2010

    Moebius is a great artist.

    That said, I question an artists need to draw pre-pubescent girl fondling themselves, question other artists need to reference this image in their own work, question this site for posting such an article, and question the need for people to defend it in the name of “art.”

    Images like this in comics are incredibly tiresome. We wonder why a lot of females aren’t interested in comics… could it be the plethora of such images that are clearly aimed at a heterosexual male audience?

    I also want to ask, if this image was of a similarly aged and similarly attractive young BOY fondling himself, would as many artists feel the need to “pay homage” to it and would so many feel the need to defend it?

    Moebius’ work in the story “Upon a Star” impressed me years ago, and stuck with me, because of this drawings of cars. As an illustrator I find cars hard to draw, and I know a lot of artist do too. Attractive girls are not hard to draw. I can draw attractive girls. Most comic artists can… look at how many examples in the average comic there are out there. Visit the life drawing classes of any art college or of any animation studio and you will find images done by artist who are as good as, if not better, than Moebius… and will never be known or never have a legion of fans fawn over them.

  8. December 8, 2010

    I’ll jump in this.

    Greg,

    I think it’s reasonable to question the age of the girl, I can see that.
    but also it’s just lines on paper so I can’t care too much.

    I think a lot of women do read comics, maybe mostly manga where you have more female creators working. I think the way to appeal to women is not to reign in a bunch of heterosexual male cartoonists. It’s to get more variety of female creators working on things that arent just power girl.

    I could see an image of a yong boy being drawn like this if you werent dealing with a group of heterosexual male artists. It’s important to regard this as what it is, just a group of dudes doing quick drawings riffing off each other. It’s fun to do and fun to see.
    Why not do up your own snarkey Lethargic lad version than all this typing about it?

    The appeal of Moebius for me is that he’s an artist who didn’t just do amazing work for a couple years but for his entire life, Now he’s pushing 80 and still doing amazing work. I don’t think you’ll find that in any art college or of any animation studio. He’s earned the fawning.

    and now I’m going back to my hight-end European kiddie porn.

  9. December 8, 2010

    I agree with Greg. Artists should not draw pictures of cars fondling themselves.

  10. December 9, 2010

    Anthony – But I was planning an homage to Cronenberg’s Crash. I am sad… I am lost…

  11. Nillyville
    January 8, 2013

    Brandon,
    Moebius passed last year. Dude, if you’re gonna argue a point make sure you are knowledgable about the artist you are defending. I agree with Greg, Moebius is a visionnary artist, but this particular piece is not something that should be used as a study IMO. Frank Frazetta has similar sketches ‘outside the realm’ of his masterpieces he did for pure fun with very questionable subject matter such as here. In both cases, this type of art is not for study…don’t try justify it as such…let’s face it, its a bunch of horny artists getting off on drawing naked women…let’s keep it real here.

  12. NomDePenn
    March 13, 2013

    Just for anyone who may be wandering by. This article was published in Dec 2010, Moebius died in March of 2012. Nillyville posted his response to Brandon Graham’s comment in January of 2013. He is a troll and should be flogged accordingly.

  13. Elwood
    March 13, 2013

    Nillyville,

    Kind of late to say this, but you have no idea what you’re talking about. This post was made in December of 2010, whereas Moebius died in March of 2012, almost two years after this was posted. Graham has written about Moebius plenty of times before, so claiming that he’s “not knowledgeable” about an artist because he didn’t know he would die two years in the future is comically stupid.

    Second, who’re you to say whether or not a piece should be used for study? And how presumptuous are you to assume that the only reason the artists would draw these pieces was to “get off on drawing naked women?”

    Basically you’re a troll or a tool, possibly both.

Make It Good.