- Series: Moebius Library
- Hardcover: 360 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse Books (November 8, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1506702163
- ISBN-13: 978-1506702162
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 52 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Moebius Library: The World of Edena Hardcover – November 8, 2016
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About the Author
While French artist Jean Giraud was already a well-known comic artist with his hard-boiled western series Blueberry, he built an entire second career under the pen name Moebius beginning in 1963 with a series of short stories. In later years, Moebius would become world famous for his science-fiction, artistic, and erotic art. He is admired for his many collaborations with Alejandro Jodorowsky such as the wordless comics fantasy, Arzach.
In 1983 he co-founded the Aedena company and settled in Los Angeles. During his stay in the USA, he saw his most important works published by Marvel Comics. He also illustrated an episode of Silver Surfer by Stan Lee.
In addition to his large comics and illustration output, Moebius remained active in the film industry as well. In addition to providing preliminary designs for such films as Alien, Tron, The Abyss, Masters of the Universe, and The Fifth Element, Moebius provided concept art for El Topo director Alejandro Jodorowsky's never-realized adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune.
Moebius passed away in Paris on March 10, 2012, at the age of 73.
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I got the hardbound, which has an integral cover (i.e no dust cover): all the art is beautifully reproduced and there are a couple "extras" - short comments by Giraud that introduce the work and preface each chapter (note that these are mostly different comments from those he provided for previous publications.) A one-page biography of Giraud and a select bibliography end the volume.
Stel is a pilot and mechanic from an advanced civilization who is supposed to be travelling to a "Jalopy" show on a distant planet with his partner Atan. Affected by a mysterious force, Stel discovers that apparently he alone can activate an ancient technology that transports him, together with Atan, to the legendary planet Edena, a supernatural paradise. Disconnected from their artificial life support systems, the pair develop into man and woman, whose natural physiology and impulses dismay Atan, the female. There is a more mystic aspect to the situation, however, as in a significant dream Stel meets the mysterious psychopomp Master Burg and is attacked by an evil entity. Atan flees from Stel and the separated pair experience symbolic adventures in which they must deal with the artificial civilization that the evil entity has created. Submerged in a dream state by the entity, Stel struggles to be united with Atan, but can he succeed in reality?
I like this series a little better than the "Incal" series Giraud did with Alexandro Jodorowsky; the latter is pretty heavy-handed at times and the New-Age stuff seems trite. Nevertheless the Edena stories are solidly in the same general mold - nature is good, society is corrupt, citizens are sheep, etc. The dark ironies of Arzach and surreality of The Airtight Garage aren't much in evidence, but there is some pointed social satire. The artwork is great, Giraud at the height of his powers.
The Marvel/Epic collection is more comprehensive than this book which apparently only uses material from volumes one, five, seven, eight and nine and not even 100% of that. “Once Upon a Star” is followed by “The Aedena Cycle” (I assume at some point Moebius changed the name from Aedena to Edena) in the Marvel/Epic book but it’s not included here. If you actually want to get the stories from the Marvel/Epic collection be prepared to pay a lot because based on Ebay sales each volume is going to cost you more than the Amazon price of “The World of Edena”.
“The World of Edena” is a science fiction/fantasy story of two friends, Stel and Atan, who, in the midst of exploring space, come across a seemingly barren world, devoid of life except for a single pyramid surrounded by a very large encampment of alien lifeforms. I won’t spoil the story but they eventually end up on Edena which is a thinly veiled name alteration of Eden. I had never read the portion where they arrived on Edena and was pleased to find out that the ambiguously gendered Atan was actually a woman. It’s here that Moebius begins to express his beliefs in instinctotherapy which involved eating “raw foods”. Stel and Atan have been so conditioned by technology including bio-implants and molecularly synthesized food that eating raw foods and missing daily doses of “hormonodes” creates a jarring effect. For one thing Atan begins to become much more feminine and Stel notices but as one might expect this return to nature allows them to be truer versions of themselves.
I was drawn to Jean Giraud’s art and writing due to it’s simple, dreamlike quality, It reminds me of the style of fellow Frenchmen Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince although a little less surreal. I’m a sucker for back to nature stories and this is now one of my favorites. It has a little bit of the Robinson Crusoe feel. When last I left the story Stel, Atan and countless aliens were being whisked away by the pyramid and now 29 years later I get the rest of the story and I couldn’t have asked for a better continuation. Great collection from a great artist who sadly passed away at the much too young age of 73. Not sure if this would classify as an indictment of instinctotherapy.
So, if you look for clear motivations, plausibility, and consistency, you might have stopped at the wrong door. But, if you're willing to let this epic sweep you up and follow where it leads, you have an adventure ahead. And, for what it's worth, you might compare this to work by Druillet, another comic artist active at similar times. If you like Giraud's generally soft palette, gentle linework, and willingness to let the story build on its own, you might find a polar opposite in Druillet - opposite in every way except brilliance.
I think a collective sigh of relief can be had that the artist's catalogue is in good hands for future "Moebius Library" releases---which apparently there will be more in '17 and '18!!
Keep up the good work Dark Horse and I'll gladly buy each new release.