Today I was glancing through The New York Times pages and I read about Dan O’Bannon having passed away. He is normally associated with the sci-fi cinema as screenwriter. Movies with stories of his own, like Alien (1978) –written along with Roland Shusset– or literary adaptations like Total Recall (1990) –from a story by Philip K. Dick– have reached the rank of classics.
But O’Bannon is also important for having written a seminal comic: The Long Tomorrow (1977), masterly illustrated by the french artist Moebius –Jean Giraud’s alter-ego–. The story takes place in a distant future, and the protagonist is a detective, Pete Club, hired by a strange femme fatale and involved in a case full of aliens, mutants and mobs. I am sure that with these lines you have traced a link between this comic and a classic sci-fi movie. That’s it: Blade Runner, directed in 1981-1982 by Ridley Scott –the same who had been responsible for Alien three years before–. Scott was clear about the visual atmosphere of his film: it had to evoke necessarily the scenography developed by Moebius in The Long Tomorrow. Sadly, the illustrator’s name didn’t appear in the credits, but the correspondences are really striking:
The Long Tomorrow, first page. © 1977, Heavy Metal/Jean Giraud.
Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott. © 1982, The Ladd Company/Warner Bros.
And so on…