“He died this morning following a long illness,” a friend and colleague said Saturday.
Such was the appeal of Moebius ― or Jean Henri Gaston Giraud ― that he won a devoted following as far afield as Japan and the United States, countries working in radically different comic-book traditions.
“The whole profession is in shock, totally devastated, even if we knew that he was seriously ill,” Gilles Ratier, head of France’s Association of Comic-Book Critics, said.
Colleagues paid tribute to the artist and writer generally acknowledged as having been one of the most daring and innovative in his field.
Giraud, who grew up drawing cowboys and indians, published his first drawings in 1957 and found fame with the western character Lieutenant Blueberry in 1963.
The lean, mean gunslinger was to become one of the most iconic figures in French comic-book history.
He adopted the pseudonym Moebius for his illustrations in science fiction books and magazines.
But he also worked under other pseudonyms, including Gir, Giraud and Moeb.
But as Moebius, he said, he operated on a whole different level. (AFP)