Moebius – 40 Days Dans Le Desert Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on July 3rd, 2009

I was first introduced to legendary French comic artist Jean Giraud (or Moebius as he is more commonly known) a good many years ago when he did a guest illustration for Miyazaki Hayao’s manga Nausicaa, and I think I speak for many when I say Moebius’s work is something you don’t easily forget once you’ve seen it.  I’ve never followed his comics closely but I do know that he has been a great source of inspiration for many other brilliant artists like Miyazaki Hayao, Katsuhiro Otomo, Yukito Kishiro ( Gunnm, Battle Angel Alita) just to name a few.

Drawings shown here are images from the Japanese hard cover release of his comic “40 Days Dans Le Desert B”, though there are no dialogue balloons and in that respect resemble more of a picture book rather than a comic, just like Miyazaki Hayao’s early work “The Journey of Shuna“.

I am also not big enough of a fan to impart any useful information regarding the story, though there seems to be a central, recurring character and theme. Perhaps a Moebius fan can enlighten me/us ? That said, any prior knowledge of the story isn’t necessary to fully enjoy the collection of amazing work in this book.

You can get a copy of the book here.

Any Moebius fans out there ? What are some of his more well known/recommended comics ?


27 Responses to “Moebius – 40 Days Dans Le Desert Art Book Review”


I’ve seen Moebius’ work in things like Tron and such but I’ve never actually worked at his work. I have to say there are great similarities between Moebius and people like Miyazaki and Mamoru Nagano. If I ever stop paying for figures and artbooks, I’ll check this book out.


Some of his mayor works in comics are: L’incal, Le monde d’edena, Arzach, Blueberry. My Personal favorite and recomendation would be Le monde d’edena

“Moebius Redux” is a good documentary about Moebius, it deals with his works in comics both american and european, his work in movies and it contains interviews with: Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Dan O’Banion, HR Giger, Druilliet. You can find it in google video.

Miyazaki-Moebius talk video:

Moebius official site:

Pierre D.

Hi !
Moebius’ most renowned work would be The Incal, a SF french comic book written by Jodorowsky. That thing is considered as one of the brightest comics ever, along with Watchmen. You should definitively check that out.
Now this work you present here is much closer to Moebius’ personnal work and universe, developped in Airtight Garage or The Man from Ciguri (published at Les Humanoïdes associés in France) and some others. There’s many albums in that fashion, where just as in this one, you should not look too much for a strong narrative. If you want a good and solid story just check out The Incal, it’s just as beautiful.
Moebius also developed another ‘sort of’ universe ; Les mondes d’Edena, for a different publisher; I don’t know too much about those, except that there’s also a lot of ‘albums’ (=48 to 52 p. harcover comic books, the traditional french form).

But if you want my personnal fave, you should look at his work under his real name, Jean Giraud, he’s been illustrating a Western comic book for some 40 years now ; ‘Lieutenant Blueberry’ is just BY FAR the best Western series you will ever read. Best western ever = french stuff ? i know, that sounds ridiculous. But trust me and go check that out, Moebius’ style is less inventive then, because it takes place in the real world, but it’s such gorgeous artwork nonetheless…
I don’t know if it will be easy to find around you, but I know it’s been translated in english some years ago. If you can grab yourself a copy of “Ballad for a Coffin” just don’t hesitate, this is such good stuff !!!!

Thanks for the blog, love it !


Jean Giraud is an artist so good… No matter what the book, if there’s as much drawings as there are pages, I usually buy it. He’s one of the elite few up there with Terada and co. for me. The guys above have pretty much gave you enough titles of his work, they’re all very different as they range from space-fantasy to cowboy-thrillers.

If you would like to look for more Western artists that are of this aesthetic, check out Alex Toth, also an influence on Terada, I’m sure. If you don’t mind a little kink in the artwork, check out Milo Manara. Also, nice to know you’re also a fan of Kishiro’s work!

Also! Thanks for your reply on the Murata post! I’ll also be sending you a hi-res Shinkiro art I’ve found but forgotten to forward to you, if you don’t mind.

Bitter Lix

Woow never saw that album. Checked!


At first I thought the pic was drawn by you. lol

tragic comedy

i havent had the chance to read any of his books except the short story he did for the halo graphic novel, but his works are very inspiring and way ahead of their time when they were drawn.


The man is a genius, probably one of the most important illustrators ever, way ahead of the time. However he has no marketing skills whatsoever.


Eeeper – Haha, this is an artbook too ! Simply add it your wishlist. :]

David – Thank you so much for the links ! I’m definitely going to check them out !

Pierre D. – Clearly a fan, are we not ? :] Thanks for the heads up on “Ballad for a Coffin”, I’m going to hunt for it.

weigy – I’m definitely a fan of Kishiro – and I’m so excited James Cameron is making it into a film !

Bitter Lix – Certainly worth your money !

RyoBase – Haha, I wish I was half as talented !

tragic comedy – He did a Halo graphic novel ? Wow, thanks for letting us know !

toro – Haha, perhaps he is so well known that the work just sell themselves…

Jaime Llodra

Hi, I was impressed when I saw the review for 40 days Dans le Desert B. I would love to have this book.
Moebius is a great illustrator in addition to being a great comic book artist. He published many books about his illustrations
They are: Starwatcher, Venice Celeste, Made in L.A., Metallic Chronicles, Chaos, Fusions.
These books are all out of print, difficult to find and because of this expensive.
I agree with the other comments about Blueberry. It’s the best western ever. Great stories and art.
Moebius’ work has been published by Dark Horse and Epic comics in the US. Norma editorial published his books in Spain and Les humanoides Asociees and Aedena published his books in France.
Good luck!!!!!!



Jaime – Hello there and thanks so much for all the useful information ! :] You can contact me if you wish to get a copy of the book. cheers !

patricio Roco from chili

este si que es un artistazoo!! desde que vi el primer trabajo de moebius , quede sorprendido por las tematicas instrospectivas de su trabajo y su manera de aplicar el estilo grafico.sencillo y preciso.


I’ve had it for over a year. The french version. No need to translate, as there is no words in the story itself.
It’s a psychedelic trip on its own. Excellently drawn and it has served me as an inspiration. Each page is an artwork itself.

Pedro Morais

“40 days dans le désert B” was frist printed in 1999.
The french 3rd edition is available in moebius official website:

This is, in my opinion, one of his best works ever.

Later this year will be out a new Arzach story, now with text and dialogues!.
The first book is called “Tassili”.
In Moebius’ words “an heroic fantasy Blueberry”.
The main character of 40 days will be in it.


wow, beautiful book. moebius is an interesting artist. apparently in the late 60s he read that Robt Crumb drew all his work freehand, so he decided he could do the same thing, which he did. I think with the exception of Blueberry (last published in the US on Epic), most of his work is straight to ink.

Cobalt 60

This is one of my favorite Moebius book. It’s originally a personnal sketchbook made whithout pencil rought, directly drawn with a 0,1mm old Staedler rapidograph.


This artbook seems to be based around “the temptation of christ”, in which, after being baptised, jesus spent 40 days and nights in the desert, being tempted by demons, and after refusing the temptations, angels came and helped him.
You can see jesus (the main character), and the demons and angels in the artbook.


hey just wondering because this is japanese does it read from right to left or will it be in it’s original format


kai – It reads from left to right. :]


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