Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Moebius' Airtight Garage issue 1

The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius
by Moebius
Issue 1, July 1993
Epic Comics

The English translation of The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelious (Le Garage Hermétique de Jerry Cornelius) first appeared in the September, 1977 issue of Heavy Metal, as a prequel of sorts titled 'Major Fatal'. 

The series proper launched in the October,1977 issue and ran till the April,1980 issue.

No other comic serialized in the pages of Heavy Metal was as widely touted as 'Garage'. Its almost-plot, meandering nature, and stunning visuals made it a favorite for the segment of the HM readership with ready access to pot........which I did not have. So maybe that's why I always found 'Garage' to be somewhat underwhelming. 

My lack of enthusiasm probably also derived from the fact that the HM editors insisted on publishing 'Garage' in the same way as it originally appeared in Metal Hurlant in 1976 - 1979: as tiny (sometimes just two pages) installments. By releasing it in such truncated fashion, the editors guaranteed that the series' already disjointed, free-form presentation was even more fragmented.

After appearing in HM, the series was reprinted as a graphic novel, Moebius 3: The Airtight Garage in 1987 by Marvel's Epic Comics imprint. Copies of that graphic novel in good condition have asking prices of $83............

In July 1993, Epic released 'Garage' as a four-issue, colored comic book. Along with the comic proper, Moebius also contributed some additional, one-page illustrations that were placed at the end of each issue. 

These older Epic comic book issues can be obtained for reasonable prices.

Some changes were made to the story appearing in the Epic series; the references to 'Jerry Cornelius' all were changed to 'Lewis Carnelian', apparently to avoid risking a lawsuit with Michael Moorcock.

Being able to read the entire 'Garage' series in these four comics definitely helps. The plot remains only partially coherent, which is maybe for the best, but when seen in its entirety, it makes much more sense than it did when first serialized in Heavy Metal or Metal Hurlant

I'm going to be posting all four issues of the 1993 comic books here at the PorPor Books Blog. 

Moebius's artwork is very impressive in its meticulous detail.However, one drawback to the comic is that the dimensions of the original artwork are drastically shrunk to meet the page size and formatting of the American comic book, giving the art and lettering a cramped, tiny appearance. 

As well, the decision to color the comic version of 'Garage' using a flat, early-90s comic book palette - and a large team of five (!) Colorists -  tends to detract from the clarity of Moebius's pencil work........
In any event, here is the first of the four installments of 'Airtight Garage'.

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