'The Incal' Celebrates 40 Years with New Edition

The Incal 40th Anniversary Edition
Courtesy of Moebius/Humanoids
A paperback edition of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius' classic comic is available now from Humanoids.

2020 marks 40 years since comic book readers were first introduced to The Incal, the iconic comic from Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius. The title shaped imaginations and broke new ground in bringing European comics to international audiences, and Humanoids is marking the occasion with a new edition — and some impressive endorsements from contemporary comic creators.

The science fiction book, which centers on John Difool — a down-on-his-luck private investigator in a dystopian city on an alien planet who discovers a mysterious, all-powerful artifact called the Incal — has been named one of the 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels by Rolling Stone magazine, and likened to Blade Runner, Akira and The Matrix by the Los Angeles Review of Books.

“I love Moebius, but as a writer of comics, Moebius is one of the figures of such huge stature you have to think about even if you don't like him,” says Kieron Gillen (Die, Once & Future), one of the current generation of comic creators who’ve lent their support to the new edition. “He has influenced so many artists in how they conceive of space and of fantasy worlds, that you have to try to understand how Moebius works to write for them effectively.”

Mark Russell (Snagglepuss: Exist Stage Left, Second Coming) adds, “The Incal, and the work of Moebius in general, showed me that you can deal with deeply spiritual or intellectual subjects and still have giant spiders. That, in short, that serious art can still be fun. What Moebius does, and what I think what all great artists do, is to show you a window into his soul. No matter how simple the drawing, or how grand the spectacle on the page, you get the sense that it is but a tiny piece of the fully realized world he's created inside himself.”

Artist Nick Pitarra (Doom Patrol, The Manhattan Projects) didn’t just offer an endorsement — he also created artwork of The Incal’s Moebius and Jodorowsky as tribute.

“Moebius is as close as the comic industry has gotten to having our very own prophet,” Pitarra says. “Many things can be said about his mastery of sequential art and ability to wield a seemingly infinite imagination into comic book panels. His sense of timing and space is captivating, oftentimes breathtaking. His forms are fluid, honest, and beautiful."

Pitarra adds, “Jodorowsky, on the other hand, is one of a handful of writers that taught me that art and magic are one and the same. The practical visual artist in me considers the human eye to be a camera, perceiving the world around us, and crafting it down into our stories. Jodo, with his passion, spirituality, and refusal to conform (or be limited to one medium), continually punches me right in the eye. Moebius said, ‘… an artist encodes reality.’ It’s my favorite simplified definition of art. Jodo, at times, completely inverts that. He’s taught me that the human eye is every bit of a projector as it is a camera. That the stories we are crafting, whether they be on paper, film, or the life we are playing out daily, are reflections of an inner truth we are constantly discovering. And the only real way to do it is our own way."

The 40th anniversary edition of The Incal is available now. Read on below for a preview.