"Today is an incredibly sad day for fans of comic books, concept art, and downright anything science fiction," writes Cyriaque Lamar at io9. "Artist Jean 'Moebius' Giraud, who provided some of the most stunning scifi and fantasy art ever to grace a page, has succumbed to illness at the age of 74…. In addition to providing concept art for such films as Alien, Tron, The Abyss, Masters of the Universe, The Fifth Element, and Willow (which was awesome albeit unused), the artist provided concept art for El Topo director Alejandro Jodorowsky's never-realized Dune adaptation, which was to star Mick Jagger and boast a soundtrack by Pink Floyd. Jodorowsky was a frequent comic collaborator with Moebius. Together they worked on the must-read, gloriously nutbar space opera The Incal (which was chock full of evil space eggs and virtuous giant jellyfish) and the screwball divine pregnancy tale The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart." Along with a sampling of his work, Lamar points us to the BBC documentary In Search of Moebius, a tumblr dedicated to his work, quenched consciousness, and Geoff Boucher's extensive interview with Moebius for the Los Angeles Times last April: "As filmmaker Ridley Scott said last year of the Moebius influence on contemporary sci-fi film: 'You see it everywhere, it runs through so much you can't get away from it."
Lamar: "Between Giraud today and Ralph McQuarrie last week, the world of science fiction design has lost two of its greatest visionaries."
"As well as being published in top French magazines, he worked with Japanese manga artists and co-produced an adventure of US comic-book superhero The Silver Surfer with Stan Lee," reports the AFP, adding that "in 2010 France's Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art staged a major retrospective of his work."
"His art was bursting with imagination, and had so much detail that it felt like he could tell a whole story in a single panel," writes Breki Tomasson. "His style had a huge influence on the sci-fi world, and greatly influenced specific creators, such as Katsuya Terada and Ridley Scott. Hayao Miyazaki and Moebius deeply admired each others work, and developed a close friendship as a result. Miyazaki has said that Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was heavily inspired by Moebius." And he points us to another gallery.
For further exploration, there is, of course, the official site.
Updates, 3/12: "As Gir, the co-creator of Blueberry, one of France's most popular strips, his brushwork was detailed and realistic," writes Steve Holland for the Guardian. "[A]s Moebius, he used intricate, visually arresting penwork to explore the subconscious in his creations Arzach, Le Garage Hermétique (The Airtight Garage) and L'Incal (The Incal)…. He was seen as a figurehead linking bandes dessinées with modernism and nouveau réalisme. As the co-creator of Métal Hurlant magazine, he took comics to an older, more literate audience."
And but does it float posts a spectacular gallery.
Update, 3/19: "There's an undeniable familiarity to his work now, its combination of detailed, realistic industrial design and the unearthly fantastic feels like it has been the standard since the 1980s — which in many ways it has — and it makes it hard to comprehend that Moebius pioneered this style and approach back in the early 1970s. That's years — and frequently decades — before some of the leading lights in comics, video games, anime, manga and big budget Hollywood movies would catch up with him." At Tor.com, Tim Maughan traces the history of that influence.