Philippe Druillet[english link] spent his childhood in Catalonia on the Iberian peninsula of Spain, moving back to France when he was eight. Beginning his artistic career as a photographer, he didn’t start selling his drawings until he was 22 and soon took his most famous character Lone Sloan to the French comic magazine Pilote.
Like Moebius, Druillet is another of the founders of Les Humanoïdes Associés that subsequently published Métal Hurlant and it’s American sister mag, Heavy Metal. Also like Moebius, Druillet’s work showed up a lot in the early issues.
Cover Art for Heavy Metal’s May 1978 Issue
His stories can be somewhat inscrutable; many of his panels might have no text or dialogue and then one will have a large text box full of tightly-packed words.
Story aside, what I’ve always loved about his stuff has been the mingling of eastern, art deco, and art noveau complexities all with a savage, martial demeanor. Rather than small-scene windows into the story, Mr Druillet’s art is wide-angle and complex often given to huge vistas and grand architecture. It’s also not uncommon for his characters to be biomechanoid in some fashion, and his architecture to be rather organic – something akin to HR Giger’s work.
Here are just a few of my more favorite illustrations of his:
From Druillet’s illustration of Michael Moorcock’s Saga of Elric the Necromancer
Today’s extra post is to mark the sad occasion of Jean Giraud’s passing.
From Inside Moebius – a self-portrait surrounded by some of his characters
Born in Paris in 1938 his artwork really began impacting the comic market in the 1960’s and has been compared to the Nouveau Réalisme (new realism) style becoming popular at the time. In 1963 he adopted the pseudonym Moebius (english link) for his sci-fi work and just over a decade later, along with Dionnet, Farkas, and Druillet, (a couple other artists i’m a huge fan of) founded the French magazine Metal Hurlant which we know and love here in the US as Heavy Metal. (here’s a link to my post about HM mag)
Metal Hurlant issue 1 cover
It was his art and stories that hooked me and started my 30-plus year love affair with Heavy Metal magazine. (Druillet’s art helped alot, but his stories were a bit more avant-gard and hard to follow)
Moebius was pretty prolific and also created art for Marvel comics and various films over his over half-century career. For me, his two most important works were the Arzach and The Airtight Garage art.
While I’m certainly saddened at his demise, I truly appreciate his contributions to the art and comic world. Here are just a few of his wonderful illustrations.
The Airtight Garage
Heavy Metal Moebius cover. I probably have this one packed away with my old HM issues
Poster for his ‘Multiple(s)’ exhibition. I think this is a good example of how his style incorporated Art Deco and Nouveau styles to brilliant effect
An evening with “Moebius” moderated by Animation Director John Musker was an exclusive special event held at the CTN animation eXpo Nov 20, 2010. For more information about this session visit: ctnanimationexpo.com/moebius/