The passing of Jean "Moebius" Giraud has left the comic book world without one of its greatest visionaries.

Jean Giraud, one of France's leading comic artists for the last 40 years, has died in Paris at the age of 73 after a long illness. According to an interview from earlier last year, his eyesight had been failing in recent years which had made working very difficult.

Giraud drew for more than 50 years, under various names, but was most widely known as Moebius. He was popular in the US and Japan, working with legend Stan Lee and manga artists. He also worked on design concepts and storyboards for a number of top science fiction films, including Alien, Tron, The Abyss and The Fifth Element.

His best known work in his native country was probably the Lieutenant Blueberry character but he also worked on the Silver Surfer with Stan Lee. Spider-Man creator Stan Lee said, “I wouldn’t even categorise him as a comic book artist – he is just a brilliant artist."

The visionary comic artist provided the concept art for far-out filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s seminal work El Topo, endorsed by Yoko Ono, John Lennon, and Andy Warhol. Jordorowsky said of him, “He is truly an explorer and a genius”.