I won’t pretend to know a ton about the French artist Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius, but I’ll tell you what I do know. You might know Jean Giraud from his work on Blueberry, the Western comic that shot him to fame in Europe and beyond. Or you might not know him at all. That’s okay, you will now.
If the word “Moebius” sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the Mobius Strip discovered by August Ferdinand Mobius in 1858. It’s the infinite twisted tapeworm. It’s Jean Giraud’s most well-known pseudonym (among many others). And it’s a fitting metaphor for the artist. An unending loop that is both complete and infinite. If you’ve read any works by Moebius, this makes sense. You get the feeling you are only getting a small glimpse into something both parts complete and infinite. A paradox in the most perfect sense.
After working on Blueberry, Giraud used his pseudonym Moebius to work on sci-fi and fantasy projects. These were what excited him. They gave him a rest from one of the most popular ongoing comics in Europe, and let him explore something very different. That’s when he became a bit of cult icon.
Things You Might Know
His most well-known works as Moebius include the dialogue-less Arzach, the French book Métal hurlant that inspired the American Heavy Metal comics, and a masterpiece Silver Surfer comic with none other than Stan Lee as a writer. (Check them all out if you haven’t already. They are excellent examples of the medium.)
Unless you were a connoisseur of French comics, you probably didn’t know much else. A lot of his works were niche and Moebius never gained widespread fame in the American casual comic-reading community. But there are a couple covers you might want to check out.
DC and Marvel Covers of the 90s
After winning the 1989 Eisner award for Silver Surfer: Parable, Moebius began to delve into the American superhero mythology. In the 80s he drew two covers for DC: Hardware #49 and Static #45. If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of these comics before. And you definitely didn’t know Moebius drew a cover for them. The strange thing is that Static #45 has a 9.8 FMV of $325 and yet Hardware #49 doesn’t have enough data to register an FMV. If the Static issue is any indicator, it shows a big possibility in the untapped potential of Hardware.
For Marvel, Moebius illustrated the cover of Marvel Tales #253. It’s an anthology comic and has an FMV of, that’s right, Pending. There isn’t enough data and there aren’t any in the CGC registry. If you can pick up a nice newsstand edition of the book, it could be well worth the couple dollars investment.
The good news for these covers is not many people are looking for them and not many people know about them (Except for Static). Because of their C-list status, nobody is hunting for these issues in larger collections of let’s say Batman or Wolverine or whoever. If anything, I’d bet most of these comics have been sitting in dollar bins for years and years making the few 9.8s out there even rarer. A lot easier to find what nobody else is looking for.
Randomly, Moebius also drew three covers for Transmetropolitan issues #49, #50, and #51 in 2001-2002. More examples of books that aren’t actively sought out. They’re dollar bin books with no pending FMVs, no info in the CGC registry, and no recorded sales on GoCollect. The covers are definitely representative of Moebius’ classic style and could pick up value…if anyone realizes who drew them…
After a long battle with cancer Jean Giraud, the man, and Moebius the myth, passed away in 2012. Fortunately for comic lovers everywhere, his art was brought to some mainstream Marvel titles in 2018. I don’t know anything about the circumstances, but we’re fortunate to see some of his works on popular titles.
The Spiderman #800 variant leads the pack in terms of graded standard issue comics at $50 FMV for a 9.8. Iron Man #3, Fantastic Four #3, and Savage Avengers #1 all lack enough data for an FMV (despite Savage Avengers being a 1:100 variant.) These are the standard covers and yet again, we see almost nobody interested in them.
There are a couple of Moebius variants, however, that do demand some real coin. Spiderman #800 also came in a Virgin Variant and commands a 9.8 FMV of $120. But the real money is in Wolverine.
Return of Wolverine #2 calls for an astounding $575 9.8 FMV with a sale as recently as January. This is surely driven by the 1:500 ratio making it a very rare item.
But there is another, and that’s the Return of Wolverine #2 Sketch Cover. This one doesn’t make much sense because the current 9.8 FMV is $500, and yet this was printed in a 1:1000 ratio. Either the color edition is too steep or the sketch edition is too low, but something is a little wonky.
If there’s one thing you can take away from this article, it’s that Moebius’ covers are woefully underpriced (except for the latter two of course). This master’s work can be had at dollars in a community that hasn’t quite recognized his importance and genius. If you’d like to delve a little deeper into the comic medium, I would wholeheartedly recommend looking at Giraud’s work. And if you’re interested in making some low-risk investments, pick up a couple of these books for a few dollars and enjoy the work of a master.