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French comics artist Jean Giraud "Moebius" dies at 73

The legendary French artist died in Paris after a long battle with cancer.

Jean giraud 2012 10 03Enlarge
Jean Giraud on Feb. 9, 2008 in Poitners, Central France. (Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images)

Jean Giraud, one of France's leading comics artists, has died in Paris at the age of 73 after a long illness, according to the BBC.

Giraud drew for more than 50 years, under various names, but was best known as Moebius.

His work was popular in France, the US, where he worked with legendary comic book artist Stan Lee on "The Silver Surfer" and Japan where he worked with manga artists.

In France, he was best known for his gritty Wild West character Lieutenant Blueberry.

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Publishing house Dargaud confirmed his death on Saturday, saying the comic book world had lost "one of its greatest masters," reported Reuters.

Author Paulo Coelho wrote he had the "honour" to work with Giraud on an illustrated edition of his bestselling 1988 novel, The Alchemist.

The Hollywood Reporter described his most famous character, the Western anti-hero Blueberry, as a loner who traveled the West after the Civil War after being framed for a murder he did not commit. The character started out as a racist but came to oppose discrimination of all kinds.

He also worked on design concepts and storyboards for a number of top science fiction Hollywood films, including Alien, Tron, The Abyss and The Fifth Element.

The BBC said Giraud trained at art school and turned to comics after working as an illustrator in the advertising and fashion industries.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/120310/french-comics-artist-jean-giraud-moebius-dies-at-73