We got some very sad news over the weekend, with the passing of sci-fi art legend Jean Giraud, better known as simply Moebius.
Coming so soon after the death of another 20th century genre legend, Ralph McQuarrie, makes it even sadder, given both men’s contributions to creative works so many of us, and you, hold dear.
While Moebius is popularly-known for his iconic “cartoon” style and work on comics and film, his impact on video games was still significant, both directly and indirectly.
Indirectly, his work, like that of men like McQuarrie, has its fingerprints over a lot of what you’re seen and played over the years because he’s been a giant inspiration to artists all over the world. And not just the likes of Ridley Scott, Hayao Miyazaki (whose Nausicaa looks like Moebius himself made it) and William Gibson, either; his style has been a big inspiration to entire swathes of video game concept artists.
Directly, he did a little bit of work in the games business over the decades. My favourite was his cover illustration for 1995 action game Fade to Black, though he played a much bigger role in the look of the Panzer Dragoon series.
In addition to drawing the first game’s wonderful Japanese cover art, Moebius was an enormous inspiration to the visual identity of the entire series, something you can see illustrated here to great effect.
Giraud’s final gaming project was a strange one: 1998 PC adventure game Pilgrim: Faith as a Weapon, for which he contributed character designs.
While he’s long been revered amongst comics, design and art circles, Giraud received an unexpected tribute in 1999 when an arcade in San Francisco’s Metreon opened dedicated to his work. Called The Airtight Garage, it even had a few games inspired by Moebius’ work, which the man himself worked with Sony to design. The same concept was expanded a year later to include Mediage in Tokyo.