The World of Edena by Moebius
Magic, science fiction, sexuality, friendship, love, dream dimension, social criticism, and biology come together wonderfully in the pages of this volume.
The World of Edena is a series of graphic novels by French artist Jean “Mœbius” Giraud. In 1983, Jean Giraud was commissioned to make a series of advertising images for the Citroën car manufacturer. Inspired by this experience, Moebius felt a desire to expand the original short story and enrich it. Unexpectedly, a whole new cycle of work came to life. The volume collects all the parts of the work, originally published over almost two decades, from the 1980s to the early 2000s, including the short stories connected to it.
The Citroën logo, inspired by Moebius the image of two spaceships, traveling in space.
The stories are strongly influenced by the teachings on quality of life from “Ios” alias Jean-Paul Appel-Guery, director of the Iso-zen group, and nutritionist Guy-Claude Burger, as much as Moebius’ wandering lifestyle: “The gardens of Edena” was drawn in Tokyo and Los Angeles and “The Goddess” started in France and finished in California.
In the early 80s, we witness a change in Moebius’s entire approach to life. Giraud joined the elusive Isozen group, directed by “Ios” alias Jean-Paul Appel Guery and soon moved with his family to Tahiti. After this experience, Moebius broadens his world view towards a cosmic and mystical concept at the same time.
In any case, in the words of Moebius himself, his involvement in the Iso-Zen group was not easy. Moebius and his family remained in the group for four or five years. They were asked to do difficult things, sometimes physically, sometimes morally. Some things were on the edge, and there was a limit that cannot be passed beyond human dignity.
Numerous themes and questions about dreams, nutrition, sexuality, biology, the human desire to live in a structured society, the return to nature are intertwined in the story.
The World of Edena tells the story of two intergalactic repairmen, Stel (pilot/mechanic) and Atan (navigator), trying to find a lost spaceship. Due to lack of fuel, they land on a desert planet, Ramadan, and cross it in an old Citroën car. They arrive in a refugee camp gathered around a mysterious pyramid of light. In the camp, they find individuals from all over the galaxy, who, like the two protagonists, were attracted to that place. Some have reached hundreds of thousands of years. In all this time, no one has ever managed to get close to the pyramid, repelled by a force field that surrounds it.
With these premises, the journey of the two to Edena begins.
Atan and Stel’s wanderings through sidereal space, immense forests, flat deserts, spaceships, and towering constructions are striking in their variety and beauty. Moebius offers the reader precise and recognizable references to then distort them in a geometric or dreamlike way. As with The Airtight Garage, written between 1976 and 1979, the characters have the ability to travel through parallel universes in order to create their own world, almost in a magical way.
The main characters slowly evolve by abandoning their artificial lifestyle to explore their true nature and finally immerse themselves in their own subconscious, in a sort of epic battle between good and evil.
Moebius throughout the story does not try to direct the reader towards an absolute interpretation. Rather, tools are offered to allow the reader to freely explore the dream world created by the author. The World of Edena not only introduces autobiographical elements into the story but explores for the first time a sentimental aspect in Moebius’ work, completely absent in his previous works. Love is in fact the driving element that drives Stel in his quest.
The hardcover deluxe edition of The World of Edena published by Dark Horse Books is 360 pages and includes 5 chapters: Upon a Star, Gardens of Edena, The Goddess, Stel, and Sra.
Matteo Damiani is an Italian photographer, author and motion designer. Matteo lived and worked for ten years in China. During his stay in China, he paid attention to social issues apparently of secondary importance, but which influenced heavily the Chinese domestic policies over the years.