I’ve written a lot about fatherhood, my son, and especially potty training lately. For today’s blog I’ll take a break from talking about parenthood and poop. I’m certain most of you folks come here to indulge in your love of science fiction and space magic, anyway. So in that vein I’m going to talk about a graphic novel I recently read that blew my mind with its insane blend of science fiction and space magic, with a lot more of the latter than the former.
THE INCAL by Jodorowsky and Moebius is a spectacular, brain-bending read and a visual masterpiece. I highly recommend it.
To call Alejandro Jodorowsky a visionary is an understatement. Whether or not you “get” what he’s trying to convey, there’s no denying his ideas are fantastic and original. The man has an imagination that is perfectly suited to the medium of comics; a sprawling mind with vast ideas and concepts that can find life in the hands of a talented artist. What he created with The Incal is an interstellar, intergalactic, interdimensional, and inner-space adventure that touches on the ideas of the self, the nature of society, the soul of mankind, and our future beyond the stars.
But maybe Jodorowsky’s out-there brain isn’t for you. Maybe his writing hasn’t withstood the test of time, as The Incal was originally published as a series of books in the 1980s. Maybe a sprawling inter-everything adventure isn’t your cup of tea. Even if you hold all these things against this style of book, there is no denying the sheer skill of its artist, Moebius (Jean Giraud).
If you’re not familiar with his work, you’ve probably heard his name if you’re a lover of comics. That was my situation going in to The Incal, knowing Moebius was a big deal but unfamiliar with his body of work. I was blown away by the skill of this master by Page 2. The insane level of detail in every page, no every panel impossibly enriched my love of the comics medium. Jodorowsky had sprawling ideas, but Moebius made them a reality. With Moebius’s artwork, there is no one scene in The Incal that is more beautiful than another. A small panel of the protagonist strolling down a decadent street is given the same attention as full-page revelations of space battles or cosmic entities. The level of skill Moebius possessed was inhuman. I’m glad his work was immortalized in this and many other books.
The Incal inspired me in ways I didn’t know I needed inspiration. Maybe it will do the same for you.