Mœbius & Jodorowsky’s Sci-Fi Masterpiece, The Incal, Brought to Life in a Tantalizing Animation

Last year we fea­tured art­work from the Dune movie that nev­er was, a col­lab­o­ra­tion between Ale­jan­dro Jodor­owsky, the mys­ti­cism-mind­ed Chilean direc­tor of such oft-described-as-mind-blow­ing pic­tures as El Topo and The Holy Moun­tain, and the artist Jean Giraud, bet­ter known as Mœbius, cre­ator of oft-described-as-mind-blow­ing comics as Arzach, Blue­ber­ry, and The Air­tight GarageIf ever a meet­ing of two cre­ative minds made more sense, I haven’t heard about it. Alas, Jodor­owsky and Mœbius’ work did­n’t lead to their own Dune movie, but it did­n’t mark the end of their artis­tic part­ner­ship, as any­one who’s read The Incal knows full well.

Telling a meta­phys­i­cal, satir­i­cal, space-oper­at­ic sto­ry in the form of com­ic books orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished through­out the 1980s (with sequel and pre­quel series to come over the fol­low­ing 25 years), The Incal on the page became the fullest real­iza­tion of Jodor­owsky and Mœbius’ com­bined vision.

Its suc­cess made it a log­i­cal can­di­date for film adap­ta­tion, and so direc­tor Pas­cal Blais brought togeth­er artists from Heavy Met­al mag­a­zine (in which Mœbius first pub­lished some of his best known work) to make it hap­pen. It result­ed in noth­ing more than a trail­er, but what a trail­er; you can watch a recent­ly revamped edi­tion of the one Blais and his col­lab­o­ra­tors put togeth­er in the 1980s at the top of the post.

Any Incal fan who watch­es this spruced-up trail­er will imme­di­ate­ly want noth­ing more in this life than to see a fea­ture-film ver­sion of dis­solute pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tor John DiFool, his con­crete seag­ull Deepo, and the tit­u­lar all-pow­er­ful crys­tal that sets the sto­ry in motion. And any­one not yet ini­ti­at­ed into the sci­ence-fic­tion “Jodoverse” for which The Incal forms the basis will want to plunge into the com­ic books at the ear­li­est oppor­tu­ni­ty. Per­haps Blais will one day ful­ly revive the project; until then, we’ll have to con­tent our­selves with Luc Besson’s The Fifth Ele­ment (with its Mœbius-devel­oped pro­duc­tion design, sim­i­lar enough to The Incal’s to have sparked a law­suit) and maybe, just maybe, a live-action adap­ta­tion from Dri­ve direc­tor Nicholas Wind­ing Refn.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Moe­bius’ Sto­ry­boards & Con­cept Art for Jodorowsky’s Dune

The Inscrutable Imag­i­na­tion of the Late Com­ic Artist Mœbius

Moe­bius Gives 18 Wis­dom-Filled Tips to Aspir­ing Artists (1996)

French Stu­dent Sets Inter­net on Fire with Ani­ma­tion Inspired by Moe­bius, Syd Mead & Hayao Miyaza­ki

Mœbius Illus­trates Paulo Coelho’s Inspi­ra­tional Nov­el The Alchemist (1998)

Mœbius Illus­trates Dante’s Par­adiso

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­maand the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future? Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (21)
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  • sebastian says:

    Incal ani­ma­tion wothout Jodor­owsky as direc­tor? Pfff! A crap.

  • Sergey says:

    The sound­track is so stock and gener­ic, i just cant stand this. Instafail.

  • Jaryd says:

    I’m hap­py that Jodor­owsky will get a pay­check, but as it was said in com­ments above, the whole pro­duc­tion looks hap­haz­ard. It’s pos­si­ble that it’s just the trail­er that’s bad; I’m still going to watch it regard­less.

  • shinitaru says:

    It’s not a real movie, this “trail­er” is all there will ever be

  • Ramone says:

    Col­in (or Dan) can you post a link to where the video orig­i­nal­ly appeared?

  • Kaity says:

    Um I’d back the hell out of that Kick­starter. HINT

  • Kaity says:

    Espe­cial­ly if they could bring Jodor­owsky on.

  • sandro says:

    …damn that s just bad.like poor, cheap and bad.
    If you dont have the tal­ent and the skills required…why approach Moe­bius’s art? This is not in your league, boy.

  • BR says:


    I agree, looks rushed and rather ama­teur. Reminds me of the ani­ma­tions in Jodor­osky’s Dune doc­u­men­tary.

  • junktrunk says:

    A Music Pro­duc­er by the Alias of “Bil­lain” shared it and got a fair­ly big response

  • Andre says:

    Look­ing for­wartd to see your work. What have you done that I can see?

  • Shane says:

    The orig­i­nal ’80’s ver­sion of the trail­er is INFINITELY bet­ter. No crap­py voice over. No weird enhanced pse­do-3d bull­shit. Just ’80’s “Heavy Met­al” esque ani­ma­tion glo­ry with a sound track that great­ly resem­bles the “Cos­mic Music” com­pla­tion of french dis­co that came out a few years ago. There is a VHS rip of the orig­i­nal edit of it on youtube. I high­ly rec­om­mend peo­ple check that out instead of this gener­ic shit.

    The oth­er cool part is it has a trail­er for “Arzach” as well as “Inter­nal Trans­fer”.

  • fabamatic says:

    Just read Before Incal, bad read, I don’t think Jodor­owsky is as good as most peo­ple think.

  • Alan Cosme Machado de Almeida says:

    I am from Brazil and your trail­er will give me force to cre­ate my own fan­ta­sy world. Thanks.

  • Fabian says:

    World is full of idiot haters now… I think they did an amaz­ing job here. Con­grat­u­la­tions!

  • cr8dv8 says:

    Ignore the douchebag hip­ster haters above, this was a fun lit­tle trail­er and well done.

  • François says:

    the voic­es are the wrong style, no humour no vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty too stan­dard. John Deefool is the anti hero “par excel­lence “. Same for the music far too block buster style, vul­gar, I would say. I would think Elec­tro would suit bet­ter.

    oth­er­wise the images are what they are, very faith­ful to the book, great!

  • McLovin says:

    I bet you’re mom told you you were spe­cial.

  • Tim White says:

    Great piece,Colin. Thanks for shar­ing

  • Chris says:

    Am I the only one who thinks this ani­ma­tion is cheap Car­toon Net­work qual­i­ty? It is hard­ly “tan­ta­liz­ing,” just a col­lec­tion of Incal pages with some dig­i­tal edit­ing tricks done to make it look “ani­mat­ed.”
    Come on Pas­cal Blais, you can do bet­ter than this.

  • Artist says:

    In case you want to find the source: https://vimeo.com/30821608

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