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French Comics Icon Moebius Dead at 73

Jean Giraud, one of France's leading comics artists, has died in Paris at the age of 73.

The French comics icon, painter and fantasy illustrator Jean Giraud is dead at 73, according a report by the BBC and other news outlets in Europe.

Giraud drew for more than 50 years, under various names, but was most widely known as Moebius, the pen name he began using in the 1960s. According to the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex, this year marked the 55th anniversary of his first published work.

Last year’s release of Tron: Legacy was a reminder of Giraud’s work and influence among filmmakers; he was responsible for design elements in 1982′s Tron, The Fifth Element, The Abyss and Ridley Scott’s Alien.

In 2010, the Fondation Cartier Pour L’Art Contemporain in Paris staged a lavish five-month exhibit of the artist’s work that included small humble sketches and majestic wall-sized pieces. The exhibition nodded to the some of the characters that he returned to again and again, among them the unspeaking Arzak, who glides above the peaks and canyons of distant worlds, and Michael “Blueberry” Donovan, the peripatetic American Civil War vet who first roamed a Leone-like Old West in 1963.

ImageThe original Tron

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Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.