Comics / Spotlight

Synesthesia, David Bowie, and Mœbius


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By Hervé St-Louis
Jan 12, 2016 - 20:26

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Synesthesia is a condition where one sense perceives the information and experience of another. David Bowie’s death this week caused synesthesia in me. I am confused about his music and Jean Giraud’s comic book work. French cartoonist Jean Giraud, better known as Mœbius died just a few years ago. He was a contemporary of the late David Bowie. I do not know if I should say that Mœbius is the David Bowie of comics or if David Bowie is the Mœbius of music. Help me! I have synesthesia.

What else should one listen to when reading a comic created by Mœbius. His sinews and textures twist so much that even in an empty page representing a desert, straight lines look more like curves than clear horizons? Watching Bowie perform or one of his music videos is like watching a Mœbius comic page translated into reality. The melody too expands our horizons.

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But good form dictates that one honours and celebrates the just passed, not the Montparnasse remnants. Bowie told stories with his albums. He had recurring characters in his work, similar to long time cartoonists working on comics for years. Major Tom was only retired in Bowie’s last week latest release, Blackstar. Bowie told stories like Mœbius. Meaning did not always matter. Only impressions count. This kind of expression is what one finds in Mœbius’s drawings. Only the feeling counts. Logic out the door.

Yeah, Bowie and Mœbius were the same guy. They changed their craft and made others copy them. But their singularity was unmatched and self-recreating. How many Bowies are they? How many Mœbiuses? My senses are confused. I have synesthesia.

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Last Updated: Feb 14, 2017 - 7:39

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