Jean Giraud, the artist best known as Moebius, died the other day. He was 73.
I only met Giraud once, at a gallery opening for a show of his art, but he impressed me greatly. We had a brief chat about spirituality and how much easier it is to write a story with a positive message than one with a negative one. He was serious, open, without affectation.
At the same opening, I was present when Gardner Dozois, then editor of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, told Giraud he'd love to commission some magazine covers from him. "Unfortunately, we pay in peanut shells and stale popcorn," he said. But Giraud assured Gardner that he'd be willing to work below his usual pay level because he wanted to break into the book cover market.
Alas, though he tried mightily, Gardner couldn't get the art department to go along. The art was too colorful, too inventive, too distinctive. It didn't look like everything else. I had a novel serialization coming up in Asimov's at that time, so there's a slight chance that in an alternate universe I have a Moebius cover in my past. And an even greater one that Gardner that used the cover as a lure to get something spectacular from Gene Wolfe or Ursula K. Le Guin. The man is cunning.
Now Moebius has left the building. Travel well, Monsieur Giraud. May the world you find yourself in be as bright and inventive and involving as the ones you invented for us.
And on a lighter note . . .
I come up with easy money-making ideas all the time. Unfortunately, I'm not a money-maker. So I might as well pass this one on to you:
You know those ugly jackets that emergency response personnel wear a crime scenes with POLICE or FBI or MORGUE or whatever in block letters on the back? I bet one of those labeled PERP would sell really well.
Better than the one labeled VIC, anyway.
Above: Star Watcher. Note the book titled Tshai by "J.V." Also the little man by her foot. I have a serigraph of this hanging in my living room. It doesn't grow old.