I’ve been aware of Moebius, and have looked at many of his drawings. There is much to admire– his sense of line and form rivals Gustave Dore’s and his visionary architecture and landscape invented huge chunks of what we hold in our minds as the future. Like Syd Mead or John Van Hammersveld, his influence is so pervasive that it is hard to even perceive him anymore. Last night I watched Alien again, and while the Alien is definitely Giger, the environment is all Moebius.
Despite being aware of him for years, I never read any of his narrative works. When I saw a copy on my weekly art book hunt I had to have it.
The conceit is sort of a science fiction dream inside a science fiction dream, trebled and folded in on itself. But the themes are interesting: the conflict in humanity between our physical selves and the systems around us– the two main characters start out the book as sexless, controlled and fed by technology, and do not express thier genders until they end up on a garden planet (Edenna, i.e. Eden). The theme continues, with ever ratcheting degrees of surreality.
The book is dense– dense as any novel I’ve read. It took me three nights to get through– normally I will finish a graphic novel in an hour or two (why they aren’t, at their price point, a particularly good deal for me, tbh).
Like his work for Alien, the key is the world building around the characters– science fiction cities like no other, baroque spaceships and alien rituals. My biggest critique of Syd Mead is his work always seems tethered to American Industrial culture– basically drawing cars. Moebius has no such tether, or much of a tether at all.