Among comics reprints there are few holy grails left. We’ve finally got Miracleman (and no one cares) we’re getting Master of Kung Fu, and now, perhaps the last great library. Via Dark Horse media partner Bleeding Cool comes word that DH has gained the rights to put out a “lavish series of hardcover volumes” reprinting “the library of Mœbius.” Terse but cherce. One imagines it will be similar to the Milo Manara library being reprinted currently.
Mœbius, the pen name of Jean Giraud, is one of the all time top 20 cartoonists, at least in terms of influence. His dreamy fantasy worlds, all rendered in a meticulous fine line, display an imagination that ws never surpassed. While his writing wasn’t perhaps as insightful as some other comics greats, visually he’s sublime, and his work has had a mighty influence on all the modern SF comics you see coming out. Among his key works: Lieutenant Blueberry, a French cultural appropriation of American Westerns, Arzach, The Airtight Garage, and the Stan Lee penned Silver Surfer graphic novel that a crewman in Crimson Tide thought superior to Jack Kirby’s Silver Surfer. And dozens and dozens more. The announcement leaves the actual contents of the reprint series to our imagination…but we can imagine quite a bit.
The Mœbius library has been out of print for many years. Like, 20 years, although the Incal spinoff The Metabarons by Giminez has been in and out of print several times. The reason for this? Business affairs were run by Giraud’s second wife and she drives a very hard bargain. Many, many publishers have attempted and failed to negotiate a deal to bring his work back into print over the years, but Dark Horse seems to have struck gold, if this report is true. I’ll be very interested to hear what finally broke the dam.
ALSO, a plea. If you’re looking at the samples of Mœbius art in this post you have surely noted how amazing the coloring is. I am not an expert on who colored Mœbius (Frank Santoro! Brandon Graham! I summon thee!), but whoever it was, the coloring was utterly on fleek. The simple values, subtle gradations and basic but powerful use of complimentary colors are a master course. In fact William Stout, himself a great artist, has a fine post on the colors of Moebius right here. Dark Horse is too good a publisher to mess up these reprints with horrible “modern” coloring, which would be utterly antithetical to Giraud’s intent, but just in case anyone has any funny ideas, check out this post (if you dare) from 7 years ago where I reveal just how bad recolored Moebius can be.
Anyway, exciting news, and we look forward to more details!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.