Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"Father, I am afraid to approach the Paternum..."
"Silence, my child! You are weak and unenlightened, but the Paternum cares equally for all his offspring."
"The communication has begun, Father, but we continue to experience the same interference problem."
"No matter. Continue transcription. Please form a circle around the matrix, sirs. Then remain totally silent."
"Father! Look! The screen is filled with the interference again. I... I am losing the signal! It is as if there is a more powerful force which..."
"This is impossible! Nothing can block the communication between our Father-Mother-God and us, his children!"
"I will try broadening the spectrum..."
You do that, son. Because if there is one thing I have learnt reading Moebius over the years, both his own stories (pretty much all currently out of print like THE AIRTIGHT GARAGE which is verrrrry frustrating) and those penned with the likes of Alejandro Jodorowsky (THE INCAL / MADWOMAN OF THE SACRED HEART) it is that, to paraphrase the late Douglas Adams, Moebius can do six impossible things before his morning café et croissant...
It has a fascinating genus, this material, beginning life as an exclusive promotional work for Citroën, simply entitled THE STAR about two seemingly genderless interstellar castaways, Stel and Atan, who drive around on their rather barren new home in an old Citroën. Eventually they find a pyramid which transports them to a veritable Garden of Eden elsewhere in the Universe.
It was a bit of a lightweight throwaway story, frankly, but it clearly stuck with Moebius, who decided to embark upon a sequel. Once he started he felt extremely inspired and quickly plotted out an epic storyline, which he realised was going to have be an extended series of books to do it justice. Hence this gargantuan tome which collects all six (well, five and a bit parts) together in English for the very first time.
If you like the quasi-mystical malarkey going on in THE INCAL, you will love this, as it is undoubtedly the most philosophically inquisitive Moebius ever got in his own stories, covering pretty much all aspects of humanity, the structures of society, set against the backdrop of a so-called advanced civilisations and of course, the ever-enduring battle between omnipresent forces of good and evil.
Interestingly for all that, the stories themselves don't feel remotely heavy-going, quite the opposite actually, as the more complex elements merely sit in the background of the extremely entertaining, and perilous, adventures of Stel and Atan. That is certainly due to the art style as well, which is as stripped down and pure ligne claire as Moebius ever got, with relatively sparse backgrounds devoid of the bonkers embellishments that populate the INCAL material. To my mind this is an exquisite triumph which serves proves Moebius is an equally talented writer as he is artist.