from Blueberry's Stardom, by Jean Giraud, 1994
Jean Giraud lives one of the most interesting double lives in comics history. Under his own name, he is the artist of the legendary 'Blueberry' western series, and under the pseudonym of Moebius, he is one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century. After having followed several art studies since a very young age, like at the School of Applied Arts in Paris, Giraud drew his first comics and illustrations for Far-West ('Frank et Jérémie'), Sitting-Bull, Fripounet et Marisette, Âmes Vaillantes and Coeurs Vaillants in the mid-1950s.
Juanita (Ames Vaillantes, 25/5/1958)
He served his military service in Algeria, where he collaborated on the army magazine '5/5 Forces Françaises'. Back in civil life, he learned the finer points of the comics profession from Jijé, whom he assisted on the episode 'La route de Coronado' of the western series 'Jerry Spring' in Spirou. For the advertising company of Benoît Gillain, Jijé's son, Giraud contributed to advertising comics Bonux-Boy and Total-Journal. He additionally worked with Jean-Claude Mézières on the collection 'L'Histoire des Civilisations' of Hachette in 1961-62.
Blueberry - Le Cheval de Fer (1970)
When Jean-Michel Charlier offered Jijé the scenario for a new western series, Jijé proposed Giraud as the artist and 'Blueberry' was born. The series' first episode 'Fort Navajo', premiered in Pilote magazine in 1963. 'Blueberry' soon became the highlight of European western comics, evolving from a classic adventure series into a hard-boiled action comic. It got several spin-offs throughout the years, such as 'La Jeunesse de Blueberry' and 'Marshall Blueberry'. Giraud didn't work on all these series, but, from 1991, he did take on scriptwriting 'Marshall Blueberry' (artwork William Vance and later Michel Rouge).
Blueberry - Nez Cassé (1980)
Since the late 1960s, Giraud had begun building up a parallel, more experimental oeuvre under the pseudonym Moebius. See our special page devoted to Moebius for an overview of Giraud's Moebius output. Under his own name, he kept on working on 'Blueberry' and its spin-offs, and created a new character with Charlier for a special 1976 issue of Pilote, 'Jim Cutlass'.
A one-shot at first, the strip was revived by Christian Rossi in 1987 and continued in À Suivre with art by Rossi and scripts by Giraud from 1990. Upon a disagreement with publisher Dargaud, Giraud continued 'Blueberry' in magazines like Super-As and Métal Hurlant from 1979. Giraud continued to write and draw 'Blueberry' until 2007. He drew the 18th installment in Vance and Van Hamme's 'XIII' series in 2007. It was a great loss when Jean Giraud, widely known as Moebius, passed away in Paris on the morning of 10 March 2012, at the age of 73.