The French comics legend Moebius (Jean Giraud) was one of our most creative and talented cartoonists. His imagination and skill were awe-inspiring, and his influence is beyond measure. Unfortunately, many of his comics, particularly his solo work, have been unavailable in English for a long time. The folks at Dark Horse Comics have started to rectify this with a projected series of translated collections over the next handful of years. The first edition of The Moebius Library has arrived, and it's beautiful.
This was my first time reading Moebius' graphic novel cycle The World of Edena. It's an ambitious, mystical blend of science fiction and fantasy elements, with Moebius' own philosophy played out in allegory. The story focuses on two space-faring characters who crash-land on a mysterious planet at the start of their strange adventures. They come from a culture in which all food is non-organic, everyone gets numerous organ transplants, and things like body hair and gender are minimized with hormone drugs and bio-implants.
The World of Edena is sprawling and epic, with vast landscapes and vivid colors. Moebius' clear linework and visual storytelling talent makes everything easy to follow, though you'll want to pause sometimes to drink in the imaginative details he fills some panels with. I found the story's ending too abrupt, and I'm not as optimistic as Moebius is about the way the world works, but his sheer technical craft and otherworldly imagination will have me returning again and again to Edena.
I had the honor of being a groomsman in a close friend's wedding a few days ago. One of the things that I noticed over the course of the day was how every problem that manifested itself was dealt with swiftly and efficiently through cooperation. None of us in the wedding party had the attitude of "that's not my problem." Everyone worked together to find a solution to any issue that came up (and there were several), and the bride ended up describing the wedding as "beyond perfect".
I've often found myself drawn much more to collaboration than competition (which I think partly explains why I tend to get along better with women than men — women tend to have a less competitive mindset). Brian Eno once pointed out that our language for achievement and conversation tends to be based on competition, and even fighting and war ("I killed them", "it was a massacre", etc.). Eno suggested that if we thought of discussion and human interaction more in terms of collaboration, like it was more a dance than a boxing match, we might get things done more successfully. (This actually ties in with the movie Arrival, which I wrote about two weeks ago — it plays with the idea that the way we think is determined by the language we use.) I wonder if our language used more collaborative idioms than competitive ones, we might be better off...
My weekly comic Flesh Machine continues at michaelavolio.com, where the whole story (161 pages and counting!) can be read for free.
If you pass the comic along to your friends, you can tell them the premise is:
Lucy Olmos leaves her home planet for the first time during intergalactic war.
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Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next week!