[Art] of DUNE 02 - Moebius!
Giraud changes everything.
Over the next week or so, we’re hosting a series of posts, events, and conversations celebrating all things DUNE, from the books to the art to the films. Join us in honoring one of the greatest worlds ever imagined.
And a reminder- this Sunday, November 7, at 4pm Eastern, we’ll be watching Villenueve’s DUNE (2021) as the next installment of our [Worlds Worth Watching] feature. Details here.
When Jodorowsky needed someone to create the visuals for his DUNE, he went straight to the master. What Moebius did next stands alone, a reimagining of this world that’s like nothing seen before or since.
So just like we did with Schoenherr, we thought it would be cool for the 3W3M team to share their thoughts on a few Moebius pieces (and storyboards!), and talk about what makes them sing.
Mike Del Mundo: Love the juxtaposition of the Regal look of the overall costume with the barbaric furry green arm wraps. Not to mention all the signature Moebius tech that drape the overall look. So many curves! So much great details of how the leggings are worn on the leg like that simple button that folds over to give almost an inverted pant leg.
MiKe Huddleston: I generally love anything that falls out of Moebius' hands and these designs are no exception. I believe this is his concept for Duke Leto, which is a ferocious take on the character. I'm not sure what sort of character Leto was in Jodorowsky's film, but this doesn't look like a Duke who would willingly walk into a trap. Lots of wonderful details in this costume, I would LOVE to see all of these concepts brought to life by a professional costume designer.
Jonathan Hickman: There was a brief period of time when everyone was drawing boots like this. I’m getting you guys some of these for Christmas.
MDM: Looking at this, makes me want to do storyboards. The visuals are so clear I can see it happening in real time.
MH: Jodorowsky got an incredible deal when he hired Moebius. Brilliant visualist, designer, and a fantastic nuts and bolts storyteller. It looks like the Harkonnen's are crucifying someone in these shots. The 1,2,3 drama of a closeup of character's faces, a shot of the group standing in the shadow of this "X" cross, and then their POV of a dramatic upshot of the character being tortured is perfect. Someone publish this stuff damnit!
JH: For some reason the first time I watched Jodorowsky’s Dune it blew right past me that a bunch of this stuff got eaten by Incal (probably because there’s no portion of that documentary which isn’t over the top and ridiculous and I was worn out by the time I got to the Incal bits). I went back and looked at Incal after we watched Jodo’s Dune and so much of this kind of shape progression and color theory ended up in there one-for-one. Which, you know, is why you never throw anything away, I guess.
MH: From what I can find online, this is Moebius' concept for Baron Harkonnen, which if Jodorowsky had his way would have been played by Orson Welles... which seeing this would have been fascinating to say the least. Moebius portrays the Baron as a terrible infant. This is more about the Baron's insatiable appetites and gluttony and doesn't do anything to indicate the scheming, intelligent menace of that character. I think Lynch's Baron contained some of this idea, the childlike nature of the Baron, whereas Villeneuve's eschewed this idea entirely and gave us a scheming space Col. Kurtz.
JH: “It’s good,” Orson Welles said, “I agree that he must be nude, but the Baron also must shine. He must be viscous. Bring oil. Apply it immediately.”
MDM: Again, amazing storyboards. The simplicity of line and speed. Just gushing over the quick strokes of marker or is that brush. Either way I’m totally in.
MH: These are beautiful and publishable. Someone, come on, put this book out.
MDM: My favortie part of this design is the tech. Is that a futuristic instrument behind the short dude? I see a bag pipe too, I think. Just really cool.
MH: I believe this is Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck. Moebius is in full Flash Gordon mode with Duncan's bright red outfit, codpiece and swashbuckler boots. Funny to think of this as your stealthy advance man sent to infiltrate a desert society of indigenous fighters- maybe don't wear your bright red tights Duncan! Some of these visuals make me really wonder what Jodorowsky's movie would have been... I'm not sure it would have made a good movie, but the visuals would have been an outlandish fever dream.
JH: I think it would have been more Flash Gordon than anything else. Which is a thing that should exist.
MDM: These storyboards are to die for. Just the colors alone. Can we just make an animatic of these to experience what could’ve been?
MH: I agree with Mike, these colors are beautiful. The fact that Moebius was fast on top of all his other skills is just humbling
MDM: Love the idea of this dudes get up as pointy spikes and blades draping the costume as if any sort of jab movement from any angle will lead to a puncture wound. The blade mohawk is an awesome touch too. My favorite part of this design though, is that cape. I’ve never seen a cape designed that way with the two sides sticking up behind the shoulder pads. Just cool to see something different and is his cape also a blade?
MH: The Harkonnen. There is at least one photo of this completed costume and it's just like this drawing: menacing and weird. Moebius is going for some strong silhouettes with the head spike and squared off cape shoulders. The menace is obvious in this character, every joint is a spike or a claw. The suit is a fun mix of textures- a padded torso, ribbed arms, leather head, loose fabric pants, framed by hard metal boots and metal mohawk. Also, there is a S&M feel to the mask design that seems to have infiltrated Lynch's general concept of the Harkonnens.
JH: I’ve changed my mind. These are the Christmas boots you are looking for.
I think it was '99 when I went to Angouleme. One of the two big exhibits was a Giraud/Moebius exhibit that was just out of this world. The other artists being feted was Crumb. The entrance was made to look like you were walking through an old mining tunnel, with Blueberry original art in small pockets. And then you came around a corner and saw young Moebius looking Little Prince like at his desk, running across a moonlit desert. Not a drawing or a painting, but a sculptural representation. Further in among allllllll the art by this one human was a wall of his Dune art, something I hadn't known existed until that point. When I discovered he and Jodorowski had collaborated on an attempt to film Dune, I almost wept. Thankfully there was the Moebius porn wing nearby to take my mind off it: each set of art was placed on a wall behind black leather stitched together just loose enough that you could peer through the gap and the laces and focus on the por-- art.
I will never forget that exhibit or that festival.
I absolutely love that Gurney Halleck! And what does everyone think of the news that Taika Waititi is going to be adapting "The Incal"? I have faith but I keep trying to mix Moebius with his previous visual styles and I'm having troubles seeing it.