Thought I would write a post about the late and great Jean Henri Gaston Giraud who passed away just a month ago. R.I.P Mr Giraud…
For those of you who don’t know, he was a French comic artist mostly known as a bandes dessinées artist (Comics that are created for a Belgian and French audience. These countries have a long tradition in comics and comic books Flemish Belgian comic books (originally written in Dutch) are influenced by francophone comics, yet have a distinctly different style. Many other European comics, especially Italian comics, are strongly influenced by Franco-Belgian comics.)
Jean Giraud has had a vast career, working with Marvel Comics on a Silver Surfer miniseries which won the Eisner Award for best limited series in 1989 and his awe inspiring later work on “Inside Moebius” an illustrated autobiographical fantasy in six hardcover volumes totalling 700 pages.
“Giraud’s working methods were various and adaptable ranging from etchings, white and black illustrations, to work in colour of the ligne claire genre and water colours. Giraud’s solo Blueberry works were sometimes criticized by fans of the series because the artist dramatically changed the tone of the series as well as the graphic style. However, Blueberry’s early success was also due to Giraud’s innovations, as he did not content himself with following earlier styles, an important aspect of his development as an artist.”
View his official website here: moebius.fr
Glad to find something like this. I’ve known about Moebius since Heavy Metal in the ’70’s. His working method seems elusive. Anybody who’s done pen and in knows you can’t mix watercolor and ink. The black lines go dull and can’t go into the color mass areas. Though watercolor is a pure pigment, and inks are basically a dye,, inks are vibrant. Higgins claims fadeproof inks. I hope so. Comics or any work of this type was usually done in two steps. A non repro blue board colored in and a black line shot on acetate. Then the two shot together. This is a while back, don’t know how they do it now but that’s how I recall. There is enough online media material showing Giraud at work direct. Onto either heavy stock and even a digital tablet. None too shabby either! In an illustration that appeared in RSVP there’s a use of an opaque white at the ground that may be an ink … or a thinned watercolor. Nobody knows but the artist and the publisher. In any case, agreed. This man had really mastered his art and materials. Not simply the technical skill but the way in which the images conveyed that engaging … well … je ne se qois. I’m just wondering if I should chuck my watercolors and look up Higgins ins. ( In Europe, though, I think they used Pelikan. As you say – he was adaptable. ) Never be at a disadvantage because of materials. Thank you for that input.
Hi Adrian Montalvo Jr, thanks for the comment.
Yes indeed it is never a bad thing to experiment with mixed media rather than sticking strictly to the more traditional methods. Especially when it comes down to comic books, sequential art and the like.
I think every great artist goes through a phase of experimentation with mix media at least once in their careers and its fantastic when you can see this exploration emerge in their work on a particular series.
All the best!