Jodorowsky’s Dune

imdb_logoJodorowsky’s Dune is a 2013 American-French documentary film directed by Frank Pavich. The film explores cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s unsuccessful attempt to adapt and film Frank Herbert‘s 1965 science fiction novel Dune in the mid-1970s.

In 1973, film producer Arthur P. Jacobs optioned the film rights to Dune but died before a film could be developed. The option was then taken over two years later by director Alejandro Jodorowsky, who proceeded to approach, among others, Virgin Records, with the prog rockgroups Tangerine DreamGong and Mike Oldfield before settling on Pink Floyd and Magma for some of the music; artists H. R. GigerChris Foss, and Jean Giraud for set and character design; Dan O’Bannon for special effects; and Salvador DalíOrson WellesGloria SwansonDavid CarradineMick JaggerAmanda Lear, and others for the cast.

Herbert traveled to Europe in 1976 to find that $2 million of the $9.5 million budget had already been spent in pre-production, and that Jodorowsky’s script would result in a 14-hour film (“It was the size of a phonebook”, Herbert later recalled). Jodorowsky took creative liberties with the source material, but Herbert said that he and Jodorowsky had an amicable relationship. The project ultimately stalled for financial reasons. The film rights lapsed in 1982, when they were purchased by Italian filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis, who eventually released the 1984 film Dune, directed by David Lynch.

Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky (born 17 February 1929) is a Chilean film and theatre director, screenwriter, playwright, actor, author, poet, musician, comic book writer and spiritual guru. Best known for his avant-garde films, he has been “venerated by cult cinema enthusiasts” for his work which “is filled with violently surreal images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation”.

Born to Jewish-Ukrainian parents in Chile, Jodorowsky experienced an unhappy and alienated childhood, and so immersed himself in reading and writing poetry. Dropping out of college, he became involved in theater and in particular mime, working as a clown before founding his own theater troupe, the Teatro Mimico, in 1947. Moving to Paris in the early 1950s, Jodorowsky studied mime under Étienne Decroux before turning to cinema, directing the short film Les têtes interverties in 1957. From 1960 he divided his time between Paris and Mexico City, in the former becoming a founding member of the anarchistic avant-garde Panic Movement of performance artists. In 1966 he created his first comic strip, Anibal 5, while in 1967 he directed his first feature film, the surrealist Fando y Lis, which caused a huge scandal in Mexico, eventually being banned.

His next film, the acid western El Topo (1970), became a hit on the midnight movie circuit in the United States, considered as the first-ever midnight cult film, garnering high praise from John Lennon, which led to Jodorowsky being provided with $1 million to finance his next film. The result was The Holy Mountain (1973), a surrealist exploration of western esotericism. Disagreements with the film’s distributor Allen Klein, however, led to both The Holy Mountainand El Topo failing to gain widespread distribution, although both became classics on the underground film circuit.

After an aborted attempt at filming Frank Herbert‘s novel Dune, Jodorowsky produced three more films, the family film Tusk (1980), the surrealist horror Santa Sangre (1989) and the failed blockbuster The Rainbow Thief (1990). Meanwhile, he has simultaneously written a series of science fiction comic books, most notably The Incal (1981–1989), which has been described as having a claim to be “the best comic book” ever written, and also The Technopriests and Metabarons. Accompanying this, he has also written books and regularly lectures on his own spiritual system, which he calls “psychomagic” and “psychoshamanism” and which borrows from his interests in alchemy, the tarotZen Buddhism and shamanism. His son, Cristóbal, has followed his teachings on psychoshamanism; this work is captured in the feature documentary Quantum Men, directed by Carlos Serrano Azcona.


  • The Incal
  • The Technporiests
  • Metabarons


From Wikipedia

Alejandro Jodorowsky
Utopiales 2011 Alejandro Jodorowsky 16.jpg
At the 2011 Utopiales International Science Fiction Festival in Nantes, Brittany, France.
Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky

(1929-02-17) 17 February 1929 (age 90)
Tocopilla, Chile
ResidenceParis, France
Other namesAlexandro, "Jodo"
OccupationFilm director, producer, screenwriter, actor, author, comics writer, and musician
Years active1948–present
Spouse(s)Pascale Montandon
WebsiteAlejandro Jodorowsky on Facebook

Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky (Spanish: [xoðoˈɾofski]; born 17 February 1929)[1][2][3] is a Chilean[4][5]-French filmmaker. Since 1948, Jodorowsky has worked as a novelist, screenwriter, a poet, a playwright, an essayist, a film and theater director and producer, an actor, a film editor, a comics writer, a musician and composer, a philosopher, a puppeteer, a mime, a psychologist and psychoanalyst, a draughtsman, a painter, a sculptor and a spiritual guru. Best known for his avant-garde films, he has been "venerated by cult cinema enthusiasts" for his work which "is filled with violently surreal images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation".[6]


Born to Jewish-Ukrainian parents in Chile, Jodorowsky experienced an unhappy and alienated childhood, and so immersed himself in reading and writing poetry. Dropping out of college, he became involved in theater and in particular mime, working as a clown before founding his own theater troupe, the Teatro Mimico, in 1947. Moving to Paris in the early 1950s, Jodorowsky studied mime under Étienne Decroux before turning to cinema, directing the short film Les têtes interverties in 1957. From 1960 he divided his time between Paris and Mexico City, in the former becoming a founding member of the anarchistic avant-garde Panic Movement of performance artists. In 1966 he created his first comic strip, Anibal 5, while in 1967 he directed his first feature film, the surrealist Fando y Lis, which caused a huge scandal in Mexico, eventually being banned.

His next film, the acid western El Topo (1970), became a hit on the midnight movie circuit in the United States, considered as the first-ever midnight cult film, and garnered high praise from John Lennon, who convinced former Beatles manager Allen Klein to provide Jodorowsky with $1 million to finance his next film. The result was The Holy Mountain (1973), a surrealist exploration of western esotericism. Disagreements with Klein, however, led to both The Holy Mountain and El Topo failing to gain widespread distribution, although both became classics on the underground film circuit.[6]

After an aborted attempt at filming Frank Herbert's 1965 science fiction novel Dune, Jodorowsky produced five more films: the family film Tusk (1980); the surrealist horror Santa Sangre (1989); the failed blockbuster The Rainbow Thief (1990); and the first two films in a planned five-film autobiographical series The Dance of Reality (2013) and Endless Poetry (2016). During the same period, he wrote a series of science fiction comic books, most notably The Incal (1980–1989), which has been described as having a claim to be "the best comic book" ever written,[7] and also The Technopriests and Metabarons. He has also written books and regularly lectures on his own spiritual system, which he calls "psychomagic" and "psychoshamanism" and which borrows from his interests in alchemy, the tarot, Zen Buddhism and shamanism.[8] His son Cristóbal has followed his teachings on psychoshamanism; this work is captured in the feature documentary Quantum Men, directed by Carlos Serrano Azcona.[9]

Early life and education

Jodorowsky was born in 1929 in the coastal town of Tocopilla, Chile, to parents who were Jewish immigrants from Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipro), Elisavetgrad (now Kropyvnytskyi) and other cities of the Russian Empire (now Ukraine). His father, Jaime Jodorowsky Groismann, was a merchant,[10] who was largely abusive to his wife Sara Felicidad Prullansky Arcavi, and at one time accused her of flirting with a customer. Angered, he subsequently beat and raped her, getting her pregnant, which led to the birth of Alejandro. Because of this brutal conception, Sara both hated her husband and disliked her son, telling him that "I cannot love you" and rarely showing him tenderness.[11] Alejandro also had an elder sister, Raquel Jodorowsky, but disliked her, for he believed that she was selfish, doing "everything to expel me from the family so that she could be the centre of attention."[12] Alongside his dislike for his family, he also held contempt for many of the local people, who viewed him as an outsider because of his status as the son of immigrants, and also for the American mining industrialists who worked locally and treated the Chilean people badly.[6] It was this treatment at the hands of Americans that led to his later condemnation of American imperialism and neo-colonialism in Latin America in several of his films. Nonetheless he liked his local area, and was greatly unhappy when he was forced to leave it aged nine years old, something for which he blamed his father.[13] His family subsequently moved to the city of Santiago, Chile.

He immersed himself in reading, and also began writing poetry, having his first poem published when he was sixteen years old, alongside associating with such Chilean poets as Nicanor Parra, Stella Díaz Varín and Enrique Lihn.[14] Becoming interested in the political ideology of anarchism, he began attending college, studying psychology and philosophy, but stayed for only two years. After dropping out, and having an interest in theatre and particularly mime, he took up employment as a clown in a circus and began a career as a theatre director.[6] Meanwhile, in 1947 he founded his own theatrical troupe, the Teatro Mimico,[14] which by 1952 had fifty members, and the following year he wrote his first play, El Minotaura (The Minotaur). Nonetheless, Jodorowsky felt that there was little for him left in Chile, and so that year he moved to Paris, France.[6]

It was while in Paris that Jodorowsky began studying mime with Étienne Decroux and joined the troupe of one of Decroux's students, Marcel Marceau. It was with Marceau's troupe that he went on a world tour, and wrote several routines for the group, including "The Cage" and "The Mask Maker". After this, he returned to theatre directing, working on the music hall comeback of Maurice Chevalier in Paris.[6] In 1957, Jodorowsky turned his hand to filmmaking, creating Les têtes interverties (The Severed Heads), a 20-minute adaptation of Thomas Mann's novella. It consisted almost entirely of mime, and told the surreal story of a head-swapping merchant who helps a young man find courtship success. Jodorowsky played the lead role. The director Jean Cocteau admired the film, and wrote an introduction for it. It was considered lost until a print of the film was discovered in 2006.

In 1960, Jodorowsky moved to Mexico, where he settled down in Mexico City. Nonetheless, he continued to return occasionally to France, on one occasion visiting the Surrealist artist André Breton, but he was disillusioned in that he felt Breton had become somewhat conservative in his old age.[6] Continuing his interest in surrealism, in 1962 he founded the Panic Movement along with Fernando Arrabal and Roland Topor. The movement aimed to go beyond the conventional surrealist ideas by embracing absurdism. Its members refused to take themselves seriously, while laughing at those critics who did.[6] In 1966 he produced his first comic strip, Anibal 5, which was related to the Panic Movement. The following year he created a new feature film, Fando y Lis,[14] loosely based on a play written by Fernando Arrabal, who was working with Jodorowsky on performance art at the time. Fando y Lis premiered at the 1968 Acapulco Film Festival, where it instigated a riot amongst those objecting to the film's content,[15] and subsequently it was banned in Mexico.[16]

It was in Mexico City that he encountered Ejo Takata (1928–1997), a Zen Buddhist monk who had studied at the Horyuji and Shofukuji monasteries in Japan before traveling to Mexico via the United States in 1967 to spread Zen. Jodorowsky became a disciple of Takata and offered his own house to be turned into a zendo. Subsequently, Takata attracted other disciples around him, who spent their time in meditation and the study of koans.[17] Eventually, Takata instructed Jodorowsky that he had to learn more about his feminine side, and so he went and befriended the English surrealist Leonora Carrington, who recently had moved to Mexico.[18]


El Topo and The Holy Mountain (1970–1974)

In 1970, Jodorowsky released the film El Topo, which sometimes is known in English as The Mole,[14] which he had both directed and starred in. An acid western, El Topo tells the story of a wandering Mexican bandit and gunslinger, El Topo (played by Jodorowsky), who is on a search for spiritual enlightenment, taking his young son along with him. Along the way, he violently confronts a number of other individuals, before finally being killed and being resurrected to live within a community of deformed people who are trapped inside a mountain cave. Describing the work, he stated that "I ask of film what most North Americans ask of psychedelic drugs. The difference being that when one creates a psychedelic film, he need not create a film that shows the visions of a person who has taken a pill; rather, he needs to manufacture the pill."[19] Knowing how Fando y Lis had caused such a scandal in Mexico, Jodorowsky decided not to release El Topo there,[16] instead focusing on its release in other countries across the world, including Mexico's northern neighbour, the United States. It was in New York City where the film would play as a "midnight movie" for several months at Ben Barenholtz's Elgin Theater. It attracted the attention of rock musician and countercultural figure John Lennon, who thought very highly of it, and convinced the president of The Beatles' company Apple Corps, Allen Klein, to distribute it in the United States.[20]

Klein agreed to give Jodorowsky $1 million to go toward creating his next film. The result was The Holy Mountain, released in 1973. It has been suggested that The Holy Mountain may have been inspired by René Daumal's Surrealist novel Mount Analogue. The Holy Mountain was another complex, multi-part story that featured a man credited as "The Thief" and equated with Jesus Christ, a mystical alchemist played by Jodorowsky, seven powerful business people representing seven of the planets (Venus and the six planets from Mars to Pluto), a religious training regimen of spiritual rebirth, and a quest to the top of a holy mountain for the secret of immortality. During the completion of The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky received spiritual training from Oscar Ichazo of the Arica School, who encouraged him to take LSD and guided him through the subsequent psychedelic experience.[21] Around the same time (2 November 1973), Jodorowsky participated in an isolation tank experiment conducted by John Lilly.[22]

Shortly thereafter, Allen Klein demanded that Jodorowsky create a film adaptation of Pauline Réage's classic novel of female masochism, Story of O. Klein had promised this adaptation to various investors. Jodorowsky, who had discovered feminism during the filming of The Holy Mountain, refused to make the film, going so far as to leave the country to escape directing duties. In retaliation, Allen Klein made El Topo and The Holy Mountain, to which he held the rights, completely unavailable to the public for more than 30 years. Jodorowsky frequently decried Klein's actions in interviews.[23][24]

Soon after the release of The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky gave a talk at the Teatro Julio Castillo, University of Mexico on the subject of koans (despite the fact that he initially had been booked on the condition that his talk would be about cinematography), at which Ejo Takata appeared. After the talk, Takata gave Jodorowsky his kyosaku, believing that his former student had mastered the art of understanding koans.[25]

Dune and Tusk (1975–1980)

In December 1974, a French consortium led by Jean-Paul Gibon purchased the film rights to Frank Herbert's epic 1965 science fiction novel Dune and asked Jodorowsky to direct a film version. Jodorowsky planned to cast the Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, in what would have been his only speaking role as a film actor, in the role of Emperor Shaddam IV. Dalí agreed when Jodorowsky offered to pay him a fee of $100,000 per minute of screen time.[26] He also planned to cast Orson Welles as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen; Welles only agreed when Jodorowsky offered to get his favourite gourmet chef to prepare his meals for him throughout the filming.[27] The book's protagonist, Paul Atreides, was to be played by Jodorowsky's son, Brontis Jodorowsky. The music would be composed by Pink Floyd and Magma.[26] Jodorowsky set up a pre-production unit in Paris consisting of Chris Foss, a British artist who designed covers for science fiction publications, Jean Giraud (Moebius), a French illustrator who created and also wrote and drew for Métal Hurlant magazine, and H. R. Giger.[26] Frank Herbert travelled to Europe in 1976 to find that $2 million of the $9.5 million budget had already been spent in pre-production, and that Jodorowsky's script would result in a 14-hour movie ("It was the size of a phonebook", Herbert later recalled).[28] Jodorowsky took creative liberties with the source material, but Herbert said that he and Jodorowsky had an amicable relationship. The production for the film collapsed when no film studio could be found willing to fund the movie to Jodorowsky's terms. The aborted production was chronicled in the documentary Jodorowsky's Dune. Subsequently, the rights for filming were sold to Dino de Laurentiis, who employed the American filmmaker David Lynch to direct, creating the film Dune in 1984. The documentary does not include any original film footage of what was to be Jodorowsky's Dune but does make extraordinary claims as to the influence this unmade film had on other actual science fiction films, such as Star Wars, Alien, Terminator, Flash Gordon, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

After the collapse of the Dune project, Jodorowsky completely changed course and, in 1980, premiered his children's fable Tusk, shot in India. Taken from Reginald Campbell's novel Poo Lorn of the Elephants, the film explores the soul-mate relationship between a young British woman living in India and a highly prized elephant. The film exhibited little of the director's outlandish visual style and was never given wide release.

Santa Sangre and The Rainbow Thief (1981–1990)

In 1982, Jodorowsky divorced his wife.[29]

In 1989, Jodorowsky completed the Mexican-Italian production Santa Sangre (Holy Blood). The film received limited theatrical distribution, putting Jodorowsky back on the cultural map despite its mixed critical reviews. Santa Sangre was a surrealistic slasher film with a plot like a mix of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho with Robert Wiene's "The Hands of Orlac". It featured a protagonist who, as a child, saw his mother lose both her arms, and as an adult let his own arms act as hers, and so was forced to commit murders at her whim. Several of Jodorowsky's sons were recruited as actors.

He followed in 1990 with a very different film, The Rainbow Thief. Though it gave Jodorowsky a chance to work with the "movie stars" Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif, the executive producer, Alexander Salkind, effectively curtailed most of Jodorowsky's artistic inclinations, threatening to fire him on the spot if anything in the script was changed (Salkind's wife, Berta Domínguez D., wrote the screenplay).

That same year (1990), Jodorowsky and his family returned to France to live.[30]

In 1995, Alejandro's son, Teo, died in an accident while his father was busy preparing for a trip to Mexico City to promote his new book. Upon arriving in Mexico City, he gave a lecture at the Julio Castillo Theatre where he once again met Ejo Takata, who at this time had moved into a poor suburb of the city where he had continued to teach meditation and Zen. Takata would die two years later, and Jodorowsky would never get to see his old friend again.[31]

Attempts to return to filmmaking (1990–2011)

Jodorowsky (age 77) in Sitges, Spain (2006).
Alejandro Jodorowsky (age 79) and Spanish writer Diego Moldes (age 31) in Paris (2008).

In 2000, Jodorowsky won the Jack Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF). Jodorowsky attended the festival and his films were shown, including El Topo and The Holy Mountain, which at the time had grey legal status. According to festival director Bryan Wendorf, it was an open question of whether CUFF would be allowed to show both films, or whether the police would show up and shut the festival down.[citation needed]

Until 2007, Fando y Lis and Santa Sangre were the only Jodorowsky works available on DVD. Neither El Topo nor The Holy Mountain were available on videocassette or DVD in the United States or the United Kingdom, due to ownership disputes with distributor Allen Klein. After settlement of the dispute in 2004, however, plans to re-release Jodorowsky's films were announced by ABKCO Films. On 19 January 2007, it was announced online that Anchor Bay would release a box set including El Topo, The Holy Mountain, and Fando y Lis on 1 May 2007. A limited edition of the set includes both the El Topo and The Holy Mountain soundtracks. And, in early February 2007, Tartan Video announced its 14 May 2007, release date for the UK PAL DVD editions of El Topo, The Holy Mountain, and the six-disc box set which, alongside the aforementioned feature films, includes the two soundtrack CDs, as well as separate DVD editions of Jodorowsky's 1968 debut feature Fando y Lis (with his 1957 short La cravate a.k.a. Les têtes interverties, included as an extra) and the 1994 feature-length documentary La constellation Jodorowsky. Notably, Fando y Lis and La cravate were digitally restored extensively and remastered in London during late 2006, thus providing the perfect complement to the quality restoration work undertaken on El Topo and The Holy Mountain in the States by Abkco, and ensuring that the presentation of Fando y Lis is a significant improvement over the 2001 Fantoma DVD edition. Prior to the availability of these legitimate releases, only inferior quality, optically censored, bootleg copies of both El Topo and The Holy Mountain have been circulated on the Internet and on DVD.[citation needed]

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Jodorowsky attempted to make a sequel to El Topo, called at different times The Sons of El Topo and Abel Cain, but could not find investors for the project.[citation needed]

In an interview with Premiere Magazine, Jodorowsky said he intended his next project to be a gangster film called King Shot. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper in November 2009, however, Jodorowsky revealed that he was unable to find the funds to make King Shot, and instead would be entering preparations on Sons of El Topo, for which he claimed to have signed a contract with "some Russian producers".[32]

In 2010, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City staged the first American cinema retrospective of Alejandro Jodorowsky entitled Blood into Gold: The Cinematic Alchemy of Alejandro Jodorowsky.[33][34] Jodorowsky would attend the retrospective and hold a master class on art as a way of transformation.[35] This retrospective would inspire the museum MOMA PS1 to present the exhibition Alejandro Jodorowsky: The Holy Mountain in 2011.[36]

The Dance of Reality and Endless Poetry (2011–present)

In August 2011, Alejandro arrived in a town in Chile where he grew up, also the setting of his autobiography The Dance of Reality, to promote an autobiographical film based upon his book.

On 31 October 2011, Halloween night, the Museum of Modern Art (New York City) honored Jodorowsky by showing The Holy Mountain. He attended and spoke about his work and life.[37] The next evening, he presented El Topo at the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center.[citation needed]

Alejandro has stated that after finishing The Dance of Reality he was preparing to shoot his long-gestating El Topo sequel, Abel Cain.[38][39] By January 2013, Alejandro finished filming on The Dance of Reality and entered into post-production. Alejandro's son and co-star in the film, Brontis, claimed the film was to be finished by March 2013, and that the film was "very different than the other films he made".[40] On 23 April, it was announced that the film would have its world premiere at the Filmfestival in Cannes.[41] coinciding with The Dance of Reality premiered alongside the documentary film Jodorowsky's Dune, which premiered in May 2013 at the Cannes Film Festival, creating a "Jodorowsky double bill".[42][43]

In 2015, Jodorowsky began a new film entitled Endless Poetry, the sequel to his last "auto-biopic", The Dance of Reality. His Paris-based production company, Satori Films, launched two successful crowdfunding campaigns to finance the film. The Indiegogo campaign has been left open indefinitely, receiving donations from fans and movie-goers in support of the independent production.[44] The Film was shot between June and August 2015, in the streets of Matucana in Santiago, Chile, where Jodorowsky lived for a period in his life.[45] The film portrays his young adulthood in Santiago, years during which he became a core member of the Chilean poetic avant-garde alongside artists such as like Hugo Marín, Gustavo Becerra, Enrique Lihn, Stella Díaz Varín, Nicanor Parra and others.[46][47] Jodorowsky's son, Adan Jodorowsky, plays him as an adult and Brontis Jodorowsky, plays as his father Jaime. Jeremias Herskovitz, from The Dance of Reality, portrays Jodorowsky as a teenager.[45] Pamela Flores plays as Sara (his mother) and Stella Díaz Varín (his girlfriend). Leandro Taub portrays Jodorowsky's best friend the poet and novelist Enrique Lihn[48]. The film premiered in the Directors' Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival on 14 May 2016.[49] Variety's review was overwhelmingly positive, calling it "... the most accessible movie he has ever made, and it may also be the best."[50]

During an interview at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, Jodorowsky announced his plans to finally make The Son of El Topo as soon as financial backing is obtained.[51]

Other work

Jodorowsky is a weekly contributor of "good news" to the nightly "author newsreport" of his friend, Fernando Sánchez-Dragó in Telemadrid.[52]

He also released a 12" vinyl with the Original Soundtrack of Zarathustra (Discos Tizoc, Mexico, 1970)

He has cited the filmmaker Federico Fellini as his primary cinematic influence;[53] other artistic influences included George Gurdjieff, Antonin Artaud,[54] and Luis Buñuel.[55] He has been described as an influence on such figures as Marilyn Manson,[56] David Lynch,[57] Nicolas Winding Refn, Jan Kounen, Dennis Hopper, and Kanye West.[58]


@media all and (max-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .mobile-float-reset{float:none!important;width:100%!important}}.mw-parser-output .stack-container{box-sizing:border-box}.mw-parser-output .stack-clear-left{float:left;clear:left}.mw-parser-output .stack-clear-right{float:right;clear:right}.mw-parser-output .stack-left{float:left}.mw-parser-output .stack-right{float:right}.mw-parser-output .stack-object{margin:1px;overflow:hidden}
Jodorowsky (age 79) at the 2008 Japan Expo in Paris.

Jodorowsky started his comic career in Mexico with the creation of Anibal 5 series in mid-1966 with illustrations by Manuel Moro. He also drew his own comic strip in the weekly series Fabulas pánicas that appeared in the Mexican newspaper, El Heraldo de México. He also wrote original stories for at least two or three other comic books in Mexico during those days: Los insoportables Borbolla was one of them. After his fourth film, Tusk, he started The Incal, with Jean Giraud (Mœbius). This graphic novel has its roots deep in the tarot and its symbols, e.g., the protagonist of The Incal, John Difool, is linked to the Fool card. The Incal (which would branch off into a prequel and sequel) forms the first in a sequence of several science fiction comic book series, all set in the same space opera Jodoverse (or "Metabarons Universe") published by Humanoids Publishing.[citation needed]

Comic books set in this milieu are Incal (trilogy: Before the Incal/ Incal/ Final Incal), Metabarons (trilogy: Castaka/ The Caste of the Metabarons/ Weapons of the Metabaron), and The Technopriests and also a RPG adaptation, The Metabarons Roleplaying Game. Many ideas and concepts derived from Jodorowsky's planned adaptation of Dune (which he would have only loosely based upon Frank Herbert's original novel) are featured in this universe.[citation needed]

Mœbius and Jodorowsky sued Luc Besson, director of The Fifth Element, claiming that the 1997 film borrowed graphic and story elements from The Incal, but they lost their case.[59] The suit was plagued by ambiguity since Mœbius had willingly participated in the creation of the film, having been hired by Besson as a contributing artist, but had done so without gaining the approval of Incal co-creator Jodorowsky, whose services Besson did not call upon. For more than a decade, Jodorowsky pressured his publisher Les Humanoïdes Associés to sue Luc Besson for plagiarism, but the publisher refused, fearing the inevitability of the final outcome. In a 2002 interview with the Danish comic book magazine Strip!, Jodorowsky stated that he considered it an honour that somebody stole his ideas.[citation needed]

Other comics by Jodorowsky include the Western Bouncer illustrated by Francois Boucq, Juan Solo (Son of the Gun), and Le Lama blanc (The White Lama), the later were illustrated by Georges Bess.[citation needed]

Le Cœur couronné (The Crowned Heart, translated into English as The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart), a racy satire on religion set in contemporary times, won Jodorowsky and his collaborator, Jean Giraud, the 2001 Haxtur Award for Best Long Strip. He is currently working on a new graphic novel for the U.S. market.[citation needed]

Jodorowsky's comic book work also appears in Taboo volume 4 (ed. Stephen R. Bissette), which features an interview with the director, designs for his version of Frank Herbert's Dune, comic storyboards for El Topo, and a collaboration with Moebius with the illustrated Eyes of the Cat.[citation needed]

Jodorowsky collaborated with Milo Manara in Borgia (2006), a graphic novel about the history of the House of Borgia.[citation needed]


Jodorowsky spent almost a decade reconstructing the original form of the Tarot de Marseille.[37] From this work he moved into more therapeutic work in three areas: psychomagic, psychogenealogy and initiatic massage. Psychomagic aims to heal psychological wounds suffered in life. This therapy is based on the belief that the performance of certain acts can directly act upon the unconscious mind, releasing it from a series of traumas, some of which practitioners of the therapy believe are passed down from generation to generation. Psychogenealogy includes the studying of the patient's personality and family tree in order to best address their specific sources. It is similar, in its phenomenological approach to genealogy, to the Constellations pioneered by Bert Hellinger.

Jodorowsky has several books on his therapeutic methods, including Psicomagia: La trampa sagrada (Psychomagic: The Sacred Trap) and his autobiography, La danza de la realidad (The Dance of Reality), which he was filming as a feature-length film in March 2012. To date he has published more than 23 novels and philosophical treatises, along with dozens of articles and interviews. His books are widely read in Spanish and French, but are for the most part unknown to English-speaking audiences.

Throughout his career, Jodorowsky has gained a reputation as a philosopher and scholar who presents the teachings of religion, psychology, and spiritual masters, by molding them into imaginative endeavors. All of his enterprises integrate an artistic approach. Currently, Jodorowsky dedicates much of his time to lecturing about his work.

For a quarter of a century, Jodorowsky held classes and lectures for free, in cafés and universities all over the city of Paris. Typically, such courses or talks would begin on Wednesday evenings as tarot divination lessons, and would culminate in an hour long conference, also free, where at times hundreds of attendees would be treated to live demonstrations of a psychological "arbre généalogique" ("tree of genealogy") involving volunteers from the audience. In these conferences, Jodorowsky would pave the way to building a strong base of students of his philosophy, which deals with understanding the unconscious as the "over-self", composed of many generations of family relatives, living or deceased, acting on the psyche, well into adult lives, and causing compulsions. Of all his work, Jodorowsky considers these activities to be the most important of his life. Though such activities only take place in the insular world of Parisian cafés, he has devoted thousands of hours of his life to teaching and helping people "become more conscious," as he puts it.

Since 2011 these talks have dwindled to once a month and take place at the "Librairie Les Cent Ciels" in Paris.

Personal life

Jodorowsky's first wife was the actress Valérie Trumblay. He is currently married to the artist and costume designer Pascale Montandon.[60]

He has four sons: Brontis Jodorowsky, an actor (he worked with his father in El Topo, The Dance of Reality and Endless Poetry); Teo (died of overdose in 1995, at the age of 24; he played a role in Santa Sangre);[61] Cristóbal, a psychoshaman and an actor (interpreter in Santa Sangre and the main character in the shamanic documentary Quantum Men); and Adan Jodorowsky, the youngest, a musician known by his stage name of Adanowsky. He also has a daughter, Eugenia, and he is the grandfather of the fashion model Alma Jodorowsky.[62][63]

On his religious views, Jodorowsky has called himself an "atheist mystic".[64]

He does not drink or smoke,[65] and has stated that he does not eat red meat and poultry because he "does not like corpses", basing his diet on vegetables, fruits, grains and occasionally marine products.[66]

In 2005, Jodorowsky officiated at the wedding of Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese.[14]

Fans included musicians Peter Gabriel, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López of The Mars Volta,[67] Brann Dailor of Mastodon,[68] Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore (of the pop-duo Empire of the Sun).[14] Wes Borland, guitarist of Limp Bizkit, said that the film Holy Mountain was a big influence on him, especially as a visual artist, and that the concept album Lotus Island of his band Black Light Burns was a tribute to it.[69]

Jodorowsky was interviewed by Daniel Pinchbeck for the Franco-German television show Durch die Nacht mit ... on the TV station Arte, in a very personal discussion, spending a night together in France, continuing the interview in different locations such as a park and a hotel.[70]

Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn thanks Alejandro Jodorowsky in the ending titles of his 2011 film Drive[71] and dedicated to Jodorowsky his 2013 Thai crime thriller, Only God Forgives.[72] Jodorowsky also appeared in the documentary My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, directed by Refn's wife Liv, giving the couple a tarot reading.[73]

Argentinean actor Leandro Taub thanks Alejandro Jodorowsky in his book 'La Mente Oculta', book in which Jodorowsky wrote the prologue. [74][75]

Criticism and controversy

In regard to the making of El Topo, Jodorowsky stated in the early 1970s:

When I wanted to do the rape scene, I explained to [Mara Lorenzio] that I was going to hit her and rape her. There was no emotional relationship between us, because I had put a clause in all the women's contracts stating that they would not make love with the director. We had never talked to each other. I knew nothing about her. We went to the desert with two other people: the photographer and a technician. No one else. I said, 'I'm not going to rehearse. There will be only one take because it will be impossible to repeat. Roll the cameras only when I signal you to.' Then I told her, 'Pain does not hurt. Hit me.' And she hit me. I said, 'Harder.' And she started to hit me very hard, hard enough to break a rib...I ached for a week. After she had hit me long enough and hard enough to tire her, I said, 'Now it's my turn. Roll the cameras.' And I really...I really...I really raped her. And she screamed ... Then she told me that she had been raped before. You see, for me the character is frigid until El Topo rapes her. And she has an orgasm. That's why I show a stone phallus in that scene ... which spouts water. She has an orgasm. She accepts the male sex. And that's what happened to Mara in reality. She really had that problem. Fantastic scene. A very, very strong scene.[76]

In the documentary Jodorowsky's Dune, Jodorowsky states:

It's different. It was my Dune. When you make a picture, you must not respect the novel. It's like you get married, no? You go with the wife, white, the woman is white. You take the woman, if you respect the woman, you will never have child. You need to open the costume and to... to rape the bride. And then you will have your picture. I was raping Frank Herbert, raping, like this! But with love, with love.[77]

When these comments came to light, as a response to the ensuing backlash, Alejandro Jodorowsky made a thorough statement[78] on his Facebook account on June 26, 2017, in response to the question: Did you rape an actress during the filming of El Topo?

The following excerpts are from said statement:

Where did [the people claiming that I raped Mara Lorenzio on the set of El Topo in front of the camera] find reports of this alleged incident that would have happened in 1969?

It's very possible that they read some of the interviews I did in the United States or England back then. I produced El Topo independently. When I told the Mexican film industry that I was going to travel to New York to sell El Topo, they made fun of me. "You're crazy, only Emilio Fernandez ('El Indio') has ever managed to release a movie there and that's why there is a statue of him. No Mexican film has ever crossed the cactus wall." In the North American cinematographic environment of the time, Mexican cinema was despised. Hollywood dominated everything.

I had to break through using the only tool I had: shock through scandalous statements. This is how I did it: I dressed up as the mystical bandit character [the titular El Topo], I introduced myself in the interviews with a beard, a mane and a black leather suit, and I said things that purposefully shocked the interviewers. "I am an anti-feminist, I hate women. I hate cats. I've eaten human meat tacos with Diego Rivera. El Topo is a film where things really happened: that scene of rape is a real rape! I killed the animals (that in reality I had purchased dead from a local zoo) with a fork I sharpened myself!" These aggressive, meant to be humorous declarations conquered the era's young public who were against the establishment and affected by the Vietnam war. This is how I managed to get El Topo to be noticed and seen, and, thanks to the openly proclaimed admiration of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, my film became a cult classic. Half a century has passed and it continues to be screened and discussed.

Jodorowsky also offered details in that same statement on the filming of the so-called "rape scene":

Filming a scene like this is not achieved with just a cameraman, two actors and an expanse of sand. Cinema is the most costly art because a large number of technicians and artists are required to execute it. First of all, you needed a group of workers to clean a hundred square meters of desert with rakes because of dangerous snakes and spiders that were hidden in the sand. They remained for the duration of the filming, at the ready, to intervene if necessary. There was also a group of makeup artists, hairdressers and dressmakers in charge of costumes.

[In the movie,] El Topo rips apart the woman's dress in a take that lasts 10 seconds.

It is followed by another take of El Topo [doing the same], but from a different angle. Filming stopped for half an hour or so for the technicians to change the reflectors. That is to say that in order to shoot an action sequence that does not even last more than three minutes, several hours were needed. And it wasn't just a single cameraman, but two cameras, each with one operator and four assistants. A total of 10 camera people. Added to this were crewmen placing rails where the camera slid, handling the counterweights of a crane, holding silver reflector cards so that each face is well-lit. There was also the assistant director, the group of set decorators, other actors, etc. A big crowd that the audience does not see. In addition, there were people holding the individual umbrellas protecting the actors from the sun, others that delivered water and food, etc.

How could I have possibly assaulted the actress in front of such a large assembly of people?   

At the slightest hint of any actual violence, a group of men and women would have thrown themselves at me and immobilized me. The actress would have also been defending herself, howling, scratching. And I, vile satyr, would have ended up persecuted, tried and imprisoned.

As a result of these statements, Jodorowsky has been criticised.[79][80] Matt Brown of Screen Anarchy wrote that "it's easier to wall off a certain type of criminality behind the buffer of time—sure, Alejandro Jodorowsky is on the record in his book on the making of the film as having raped Mara Lorenzo while making El Topo—though he later denied it—but nowadays he's just that hilarious old kook from Jodorowsky's Dune!"[80] Emily Asher-Perrin of called Jodorowsky "an artist who condones rape as a means to an end for the purpose of creating art. A man who seems to believe that rape is something that women 'need' if they can't accept male sexual power on their own".[79] Sady Doyle of Elle wrote that Jodorowsky "has been teasing the idea of an unsimulated rape scene in his cult classic film El Topo for decades ... though he's elsewhere described the unsimulated sex in that scene as consensual", and went on to state that the quote "has not endangered his status as an avant-garde icon".[81]


Year Film Director Writer Other Actor Role Language Notes
1957 La cravate Yes Yes Yes Himself French Short film
1968 Fando y Lis Yes Yes Puppeteer Spanish
1970 El Topo Yes Yes Yes Yes El Topo Spanish Composer, costume and production designer
1973 The Holy Mountain Yes Yes Yes Yes The Alchemist English
Producer, composer,
costume and production designer
1980 Tusk Yes Yes English
1989 Santa Sangre Yes Yes English
1990 The Rainbow Thief Yes English
1991 Jonathan Ross Presents for One Week Only Himself English Documentary, TV show
1994 The Jodorowsky Constellation Yes Himself English
2002 Cherif Yes Prophet Chillean
2003 No Big Deal Yes Pablo, le père French
2006 Musikanten Yes Ludwig van Beethoven Italian
2007 Nothing Is as It Seems Yes Unnamed character Italian
2011 The Island Yes Jodo Bulgarian
2013 Jodorowsky's Dune Yes Himself English
2013 The Dance of Reality Yes Yes Yes Yes Old Alejandro Spanish Producer
2013 Ritual: A Psychomagic Story Yes Fernando Italian
2015 My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn Himself Documentary
2016 Endless Poetry Yes Yes Yes Old Alejandro Spanish[45]


Selected bibliography of Comics, Novels and Non-fiction writings.[82] [83]

Standalone Comics

Fabulas Panicas (The Panic Fables) (1967-1970) comic strip published in El Heraldo de México.
The Eyes of the Cat (1978)
The Jealous God (1984)
The Magical Twins (1987)
Anibal 5 (1990)
Diosamente (1992)
Moonface (1992)
Angel Claws (1994)
Juan Solo (aka Son of the Gun) (1995)
Madwoman of the Sacred Heart (1998)
The Shadow's Treasure (1999)
Bouncer (2001)
The White Lama (2004)
Borgia (2004)
Screaming Planet (2006)
Royal Blood (2010)
Showman Killer (2010)
Pietrolino (2013)
The Son of El Topo (2016)

Jodoverse Comics

Jodorowsky has authored a sprawling sci-fi fictional universe, beginning with the Incal, illustrated by Moebius/ Jean Giraud, which is rooted with their designs and concepts created for the Dune project.

The Incal (1981-1988)
Before the Incal (1988-1995)
The Technopriests (1998)
Megalex (1999)
After the Incal (2000) (incomplete)
The Metabarons (2000)
Final Incal (2008-2014) (reworked version of After the Incal)
Weapons of the Metabaron (2011)
Metabarons Genesis: Castaka (2014)
The Metabaron (2016-2018)


Psychomagic (1995)
The Dance of Reality (2001)
The Way of Tarot (co-authored with Marianne Costa, 2004)
The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky (2005)
The Manual of Psychomagic (2009)
Metageneaology (co-authored with Marianne Costa, 2012)
pascALEjandro: Alchemical Androgynous (an art book of pieces in collaboration with wife Pascale Montandon, 2017)


Jodorowsky has written many novels in Spanish, but few thus far are translated into English:

Where the Bird Sings Best (1992)
Albina and the Dog Men (1999)
The Son of Black Thursday (1999)


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Further reading

  • Cobb, Ben (2007). Anarchy and Alchemy: The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky (Persistence of Vision 6), ed. Louise Brealey, pref. Alan Jones, int. Stephen Barber. London, April 2007 / New York, August 2007, Creation Books.
  • Coillard, Jean-Paul (2009), De la cage au grand écran. Entretiens avec Alejandro Jodorowsky, Paris. K-Inite Editions.
  • Chignoli, Andrea (2009), Zoom back, Camera! El cine de Alejandro Jodorowsky, Santiago de Chile, Uqbar Editores.
  • Dominguez Aragones, Edmundo (1980). Tres extraordinarios: Luis Spota, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Emilio "Indio" Fernández; Mexicali, Mexico DF, Juan Pablos Editor. P. 109-146.
  • Gonzalez, Házael (2011), Alejandro Jodorowsky: Danzando con la realidad, Palma de Mallorca, Dolmen Editorial.
  • Larouche, Michel (1985). Alexandre Jodorowsky, cinéaste panique, París, ça cinéma, Albatros.
  • Moldes, Diego (2012). Alejandro Jodorowsky, Madrid, Col. Signo e Imagen / Cineastas, Ediciones Cátedra. Prologue by Alejandro Jodorowsky. ISBN 978-84-376-3041-0
  • Monteleone, Massimo (1993). La Talpa e la Fenice. Il cinema di Alejandro Jodorowsky, Bologna, Granata Press.
  • Neustadt, Robert (May 1997). "Alejandro Jodorowsky: Reiterating Chaos, Rattling the Cage of Representation". Chasqui. 26 (1): 56–74. JSTOR 29741325.

External links

The Metabarons
Album cover of Path of the Warrior.
Publication information
PublisherLes Humanoïdes Associés (French)
Arboris B.V. (Dutch)
'Norma Editorial, S.A. (Spanish)
DC Comics (English)
Humanoids (English)
Publication date1992–2003
Main character(s)Othon von Salza
Aghnar von Salza
Creative team
Written byAlejandro Jodorowsky
Artist(s)Juan Giménez
Das Pastoras

The Metabarons or The Saga of The Meta-Barons is a science fiction comic series relating the history of a dynasty of perfect warriors known as the Metabarons. The Metabarons series was written by creator Alejandro Jodorowsky and illustrated by Argentinian artist Juan Giménez. The series, published by Humanoïdes Associés, is complete, the last volume having been released at the end of 2003.

The first appearance of a Metabaron (chronologically the last of the Metabarons) was May 1981 in the Incal comic book series. This was followed by a series of prequels that concerned this character's origin, presented as the narration of the android Tonto to the android Lothar, of his masters' achievements. The series takes place over the course of several generations, and chronicles the life of each of the five Metabarons. The stories depict a space opera reminiscent of Greek tragedy, and heavily influenced by Frank Herbert's Dune novels. Jodorowsky had been in the early stages of making a Dune film in 1973.



Every Metabaron is mutilated by his father in his youth so that his endurance to pain is tested, and receives a powerful mechanical body part as a replacement for the destroyed limb. In each generation, the son and heir must eventually face his father in a battle to the death. These battles have taken many forms, from hand-to-hand combat to space duels, and the succession is only achieved once the son succeeds in killing his father.


The Bushitaka is the strict code of honor followed by the Metabarons; named after the Japanese bushido. It demands that the practitioners dedicate themselves to victory in all things at any cost, wherein the only alternative to victory is death, and even forsake their own family members in the pursuit of total victory.

Metabaronic weaponry

Each Metabaron draws upon an array of advanced weaponry. These include cybernetically-implanted lasers, nanotech nuclear warheads implanted in the body, swords which can disintegrate in bursts of flame, and advanced spaceships. Many of the Metabarons also exhibit powerful psychic abilities.

The dynasty

Family Tree of the Metabarons.


On the occasion of his son-in-law Othon's succession to the title of Metabaron (intended to be resolved by mortal combat but forestalled by his use of guile to seal victory), Baron Berard of Castaka tells of his caste's lineage leading up to the present. On the remote planet Ahour-The-Dwarf, a long-forgotten schism had drawn its inhabitants into an interminable civil war between two castes -- the Amakuras and the Castakas -- who adhere to respective versions of a once-shared warrior code, known by the Amakuras as Bushikara and by the Castakas as Bushitaka. One day, the Castakas' queen Oriela was abducted by the Amakura king Divadal, taunting her king Omezo by publicly raping her and taking her hostage. Omezo, employing guile over the established codes of combat, overwhelmed the Amakuras, but not before Divadal released a bioweapon that rendered every man on the planet sterile.

Oriela, having been shielded from the weapon, gave birth to Divadal's son, Dayal -- the last fertile male on the planet, spared in contravention of the bushitaka due to necessity -- then committed ritual suicide eight days later, leaving him only a bite on his shoulder as a memento. Once of age, Dayal became a breeding-stud to all the Castaka women, but once his offspring came of age themselves, Omezo gave up concealing his disgust at his half-Amakura "stepson" and banished him. His mentor General Pakko matched him with his daughter Antigrea, whom he had conceived just before the assault on the Amakuras, and despite initial antipathy they fell in love. Antigrea bore Dayal twin daughters, Myrtha and Narda, but Dayal's disappointment at lacking a male heir drove him to withdraw to the wilderness, hunting wild game, while Antigrea and Pakko raised the twins in the martial arts.

Some years later, the Technopriests elected to build their new space station in Ahour's system. While they saw the planet as no inherent threat, their concern that an enemy might use it as a bridgehead led them to lobby the ageing Omezo to install planetary defences on-world. When he declined, they infected him with a virus in hopes his heir (Dayal) might be more accommodating. The dying Omezo abhored having Dayal succeed him and ordered the murder of him and his family, but Pakko bought time for them to reunite at Dayal's remote bunker. The Technos, witnessing the failure of their machinations, destroyed the whole planet, leaving the bunker adrift as an asteroid. There, Dayal finally acknowledged his warrior daughters and completed their training.

The family hijacked a Techno convoy and leveraged its booty and their lethal martial skills to claim leadership of the pirate asteroid of Thor-Thougah, from which they wage a bloody and profitable offensive against the Technos. Eventually, the Technos catch the pirates in an ambush and Antigrea is mortally wounded. Seeking a burial site, they land on the planet Marmola, but find its marble composition impossible to dig. They are ambushed by bandits who seek the planet's hidden treasure, a secret guarded by the giant eagle-like Gangez, and use Antigrea's remains as bait to capture him. Loosing their bonds they overwhelm the bandits, and pledge themselves to the now-dying Gangez who by eating her has become Antigrea's sepulchre. Gangez leads them to the planet's only fertile valley, where they bury him, and his spirit leads them to the planet's treasure: a subterranean reservoir of epiphyte, a substance that defies gravity. Summoning the Techno robots he cast into space on their first raid, Dayal develops the valley into a city for his caste.

Dayal takes ship back to Thor-Thougah with his daughters, seeking sires for them. En route, it emerges that Narda's brain and Myrtha's ovaries have sustained tumours that will rapidly kill them both. With their consent, Dayal has the robots graft Narda's lower body to Myrtha's upper body. Upon arrival in Thor-Thougah, the resulting being confronts the sole survivor of the Technos' assault on the asteroid. He agrees to impregnate her followed by a fight to the death, but when bested he takes his own life, asking to be remembered by his unborn progeny.

Berard concludes his tale by revealing that he is the child of that union, and he welcomed Othon (a fugitive pirate) seeing in him a trace of his own father. Othon is now ready to receive the mark of the Metabarons (the absorbed spirit of Gangez, worn as a mark on the chest) from his father-in-law.

Main Series

The main saga of the Metabarons begins on Marmola, on which Berard's tribe export huge blocks of marble. The existence of the epiphyte has been kept secret by the Castakas for many generations, until its revelation to save the life of Othon von Salza, the son-in-law of Baron Berard. Soon after the revelation of the epiphyte, the planet's orbit becomes a battlefield, with the treacherous Imperial Black Endoguard as the victors. At the end of the war, Othon and his son Bari are the only survivors of the Castaka tribe. The Imperial couple, rulers of the known galaxy, are astonished by the achievement of Othon and reward him; and Othon shows them where the epiphyte was hidden in exchange for a percentage of the new market for anti-G Technology, a new planet to which their palace would be transferred, and a gift for his son intended to restore the joy lost with his crippled legs. The emperor gives him a horse, an extinct species revived by genetic manipulation; but pirates steal the horse. Othon kills them in retaliation, but accidentally kills his son, and is castrated by an attacker. Othon thereafter invests a large part of his fortune in the development of the first 'metabaronic' weapons and begins the tradition of cybernetic implants; and later becomes a mercenary of extraordinary skill and power. By the destruction of 100,000 pirate vessels, he and his descendants receive the title of Metabaron, and the Imperial couple promise a gift. Later, a woman named Honorata offers that she can bear Othon a child if he places a drop of his blood in her uterus. With this done, two of Othon's servants try to commit suicide, taking the pregnant Honorata with them; but Othon injects a potion of epiphyte into Honorata. This deprives his son, Aghnar von Salza, of weight; wherefore Othon lets Honorata train Aghnar by herself. When Aghnar is seven years old, he defeats a machine set against him by his father; whereupon Othon continues his training. Honorata then confesses she was ordered to give birth to a hermaphrodite instead of a son, by the priestesses of Shabda-Oud. For her disobedience, the Shabda-Oud attempt her destruction. Othon, to assure his son's ability to avenge her, orders Aghnar to fight him to the death, and Aghnar seizes the title of Metabaron for himself.

The sole human in a hostile world, Aghnar befriends a single primatoid, and becomes its tribe's messiah. He then seizes a Shabda-Oud cetacyborg battleship with which to carry out his vengeance; but is distracted by the Cetacyborg's crew's original objective: to capture Princess Oda, to use her for the sisterhood's breeding experiments. After a telepathic confrontation with the sisterhood, Oda suffers debilitating injuries; whereupon Honorata, kept alive by her own mental powers, transfers her own soul to Oda, who thereafter bears Aghnar a son. Disgusted by his incest, Aghnar attempts to kill his son, whom Oda/Honorata gives a cybernetic head to replace his own, for which he is called Steelhead. Steelhead later kills his parents. At his claim to the title of Metabaron, the Princess Doña Vicenta argues that his offspring must be unworthy of the title. Therefore, Steelhead assumes the disembodied head of Zaran Krleza, the last poet in the galaxy. United in body and head (but somehow maintaining individual personas), Steelhead and Zaran become Melmoth, which declares Doña Vicenta as the object of his affections, and resurrects her father, along with a rare, titanic tree (both destroyed by Steelhead himself). Doña Vicente consents to the match; but the clone of her father attempts to take her by force, whereupon Vicenta gives him her eyes. Mollified, he permits Melmoth and Doña Vicenta to marry; but Melmoth discovers that Tonto, his robotic servant, has replaced her eyes by cybernetic sensors, and shuns her. Eventually, he reverts to the form and character of Steelhead, and takes care of his bride. When unable to preserve both of Vicenta's twin children alive, Steelhead removes the male twin's brain and implant it in the female child, and trains the androgynous Aghora would be trained as a warrior, who eventually faces his/her father in single combat to become Metabaron. To conceive an heir, he/she extracts the male cells from his/her own brain and implants them in his/her womb, thereby creating a male clone: later the Nameless Metabaron who reigns in Incal.

In the last chapter of the saga (Sans-Nom, le dernier Méta-Baron), Lothar, the faithful android to whom Tonto is relating the Metabaronic lore in the frame narration, is identified as Steelhead himself, kept alive by his conversion to a robotic existence. Recovering his personality, but not his full memories, after a brief confrontation in which he gives Nameless the iconic scarring in his eyebrow, he allies himself with a vampiric creature to enact his vengeance upon his descendant. Ultimately, he repents; whereupon Nameless has himself sterilized, and remains in self-pity until the Spirit of the Castaka family, embodied by the mark on his chest, prompts Nameless to become a force for good, protecting life whenever he can. With this new mission, the Metabaron becomes the unstoppable mercenary featured in the Incal.



The series has been published in French as follows:

La Caste des Méta-Barons

  1. Othon le Trisaïeul - (Othon the Great-Great-Grandfather) (1992)
  2. Honorata la Trisaïeule - (Honorata the Great-Great-Grandmother) (1993)
  3. Aghnar le Bisaïeul - (Aghnar the Great-Grandfather) (1995)
  4. Oda la Bisaïeule - (Oda the Great-Grandmother) (1997)
  5. Tête-D'Acier l'Aïeul - (Steelhead the Grandfather) (1998)
  6. Doña Vicenta Gabriela de Rokha l'Aïeule - (Doña Vicenta Gabriela de Rokha the Grandmother) (1999)
  7. Aghora le Père-Mère - (Aghora the Father-Mother) (2002)
  8. Sans Nom, le Dernier des Métabarons - (Nameless, the Last of the Metabarons) (2003)

A special volume, containing interviews with Jodorowsky and Giménez as well as sketches, unseen art, and a short story concerning one of the Metabaron's ancestors, called La Maison des Ancêtres (The House of the Ancestors) was released in 2000.


This is a prequel to the original series. The artwork is by Das Pastoras because Juan Giménez is too busy with other projects.

  1. Dayal, le Premier Ancêtre - (Dayal, the First Ancestor) (2007)
  2. Les Jumelles Rivales - (The Rival Twins) (2013)

Les Armes du Meta-Baron

Another spin-off by Travis Charest and Zoran Janjetov.

  1. Les Armes du Meta-Baron - (Weapons of the Metabaron) (2008)


Spin-off by Jerry Frissen, Valentin Secher and Niko Henrichon.

  1. Wilhelm-100 le Techno-Amiral - (Wilhelm, The Techno-Admiral) (2015)
  2. Khonrad l'Anti-Baron - (Khonrad, The Anti-Baron) (2016)
  3. Orne-8 le techno-cardinal - (Orne-8, the Techno-Cardinal) (2016)
  4. Simak le transhumain - (Simak, the Transhuman) (2017)
  5. Rina la meta-gardienne - (Rina, the Meta-Guardianess) (2017)
  6. Sans-Nom le techno-baron - (No-Name, the Techno-Baron) (2018)


The Saga of The Meta-Barons

All the main French albums were reprinted in English in their original version by Humanoids. These include:

  1. Othon & Honorata (136 pages, 2004, .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}ISBN 1-4012-0362-0)
  2. Aghnar & Oda (136 pages, 2004, ISBN 1-4012-0381-7)
  3. Steelhead & Doña Vicenta (136 pages, 2005, ISBN 1-4012-0642-5)
  4. Aghora & The Last Metabaron (128 pages, 2010, ISBN 1-59465-001-2)

Humanoids Publishing released 17 issues, published in 2000-2001. All were collected into censored trade paperbacks, with a fifth volume containing 4 short stories.

  1. Path of the Warrior (collects #1-5, 152 pages, 2001, ISBN 1-930652-47-X)
  2. Blood and Steel (collects #6-10, 136 pages, 2003, ISBN 1-930652-24-0)
  3. Poet and Killer (collects #11-14, 112 pages, 2002, ISBN 1-930652-23-2)
  4. Immaculate Conception (collects #15-17, 80 pages, 2003, ISBN 1-930652-93-3)
  5. Alpha/Omega (One-shot; collects The Crest of Castaka, The Last Metabaron, Incal: The Lost Pages, and a reworked version of Incal: The Lost Pages), 48 pages, 2002, ISBN 1-930652-41-0)


  1. Metabarons Genesis: Castaka (112 pages, 2014, EAN 9781594650536)

Weapons of the Metabaron

  1. Weapons of the Metabaron (64 pages, 2011, EAN 9781594650369)

The Metabaron

  1. Wilhelm, The Techno-Admiral (54 pages, 2016, EAN 9781594658075)
  2. Khonrad, The Anti-Baron (56 pages, 2016, EAN 9781594653391)
  3. Orne-8, The Techno-Cardinal (56 pages, 2017, EAN 9781594654725)
  4. Simak, The Transhuman (56 pages, 2017, EAN 9781594657764)
  5. Rina, The Meta-Guardianess (55 pages, 2018)
  6. No-Name, The Techno-Baron (55 pages, 2018)
The Incal
The Incal 2014 hardcover trade collection.jpg
2014 hardcover trade collection of The Incal
Main charactersJohn DiFool
Creative team
WritersAlejandro Jodorowsky
ArtistsJean Giraud, Zoran Janjetov, José Ladrönn
ColouristsYves Chaland
Original publication
Published inLes Humanoïdes Associés
Date of publication1980–2014
PublisherEpic Comics, Les Humanoïdes Associés
Followed byBefore the Incal (1988–1995)
After the Incal (2000)
Final Incal (2008–2014)

The Incal (/ˈɪŋkəl/; French: L'Incal) is a French graphic novel series written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and originally illustrated by Jean Giraud. The Incal, with first pages originally released as Une aventure de John Difool ("A John Difool Adventure") in Métal hurlant and published by Les Humanoïdes Associés,[1] introduced Jodorowsky's "Jodoverse" (or "Metabarons Universe"[2]), a fictional universe in which his science fiction comics take place.[3] It is an epic space opera blending fantastical intergalactic voyage, science, technology, political intrigues, conspiracies, messianism, mysticism, poetry, debauchery, love stories, and satire.[1][4]The Incal includes and expands the concepts and artwork from the abandoned film project Dune directed by Jodorowsky and designed by Giraud from the early 1970s.[1][2][5][6][7][8]

Originally published in installments between 1980 and 1988 in the French magazine Métal Hurlant, and followed by Before the Incal (1988–1995, with Zoran Janjetov), After the Incal (2000, with Jean Giraud), and Final Incal (2008–2014, with José Ladrönn)[9][10] has been described as a contender for "the best comic book" in the medium's history.[11] From it came spin-off series Metabarons, The Technopriests, and Mégalex.


The Incal

The story is set in the dystopian capital city of an insignificant planet in a human-dominated galactic empire, wherein the Bergs, aliens who resemble featherless birds and reside in a neighboring galaxy, make up another power block. It starts in medias res with DiFool tossed off by a masked group from the Suicide Alley down to the great acid lake, luckily saved by a police cruiser. During the questioning he denies that he received the Light Incal, a crystal of enormous and infinite powers (it guides and protects those who believe in it[12]),[13] from a dying Berg. The Incal is then sought by many factions: the Bergs; the corrupt government of the great pit-city; the rebel group Amok (led by Tanatah); and the Church of Industrial Saints, commonly referred to as the Techno-Technos or the Technopriests, a sinister technocratic cult which worships the Dark Incal. Animah (an allusion to anima), the keeper of the Light Incal, seeks it as well. During the journey DiFool and Deepo are joined by Animah, The Metabaron, Sunmoon, Tanatah (sister of Animah) and Kill Wolfhead, with a task of saving the universe from the forces of the Dark Incal, and the Technopriests manufacture and launch into outer space the sun-eating Dark Egg. As the darkness is overcome, DiFool is brought before Orh, the fatherlike divinity, who tells him he must remember what he witnessed. As DiFool falls away, he finds himself where he was at the beginning, falling down the shaft.[12][3][4][7][14]

Before the Incal

The story is a considerably more straightforward noir tale of boundless urban corruption with the relative absence of spiritualistic elements, which dips deeper into exploring the urban fabric of the world of The Incal. The story follows young DiFool living in demimonde. He soon finds that his prostitute mother devoted herself to growing amorine, a drug that restores the ability to love. His father, Olivier DiFool, breaks the law in wearing a fake halo that is the mark of an aristo. Justice is harsh for such transgressions of class — a legal clause "allows the condemned man to choose between a tablet at the morgue-wall, where he'll sleep away his thirty-year-and-one-day term", or "remodeling", which means having his entire memory wiped. His father chooses remodeling. DiFool soon begins to investigate the mystery of disappearance of the children of prostitutes, something he shouldn't find out.[7]

Final Incal

The story from the unfinished After the Incal was rewritten to provide a separate narrative for this volume.[9] The story starts after The Incal climax, in which John DiFool encountered a flowing-bearded divine being named Orh, witnessing a universe-shaking event, hurtling towards certain death in the acid lake. DiFool forgets about the cosmic encounter, and recovers his memory as the universe faces a threat of a metallic virus.[7] The Prezident was cloned in a metallic body, equipped with both chemical and brutal weapons, but also an altered mind — operating under the influence of the "destroyer of all living things", the Bentacodon (equivalent to The Incal's Black Egg). He unleashes a destructive organic virus called the Biophage 13-X with the purpose of forcing the population to abandon their natural bodies in favor of robotic ones.[14] The only way to counteract is to reunite John DiFool with his true love, Luz de Garra (from Before the Incal), and the Elohim (a force of goodness) makes four John DiFools from different realities to encounter each other on a quest to find her. The egos of the allegedly evolved guru DiFool and the super-evolved "angelic" DiFool are ridiculed, and the least enlightened DiFool, the ugliest and most craven, is selected to save the universe. In the end, the cosmic humanity manages to become one collective consciousness, as true love saves it from turning into a collection of unfeeling metallic beings.[8][14][15][16]

Main characters

  • John DiFool, protagonist: a Class R licensed private investigator and occasional bodyguard. DiFool is reluctant to assume the role of hero, and suffers mood swings, self-doubt, and temper tantrums. He has a fondness for cigars, "ouisky", and "homeosluts" (gynoid prostitutes). He is an everyman character, both unusually damning and praising of the human condition, kindly, sacrificing and selfish, likely to run away.[15] His story is presented in "Before the Incal": he is the son of a prostitute, and started as a PI while investigating on the children of the red ring prostitutes.
  • Deepo, DiFool's loyal and good-hearted "concrete seagull"; generally smarter and more resourceful than John himself. Early in the story, the Light Incal gives him the power of speech.
  • Animah and Tanatah, two sisters charged with guarding the Light and Dark Incals, respectively, whereof Tanatah hired the Metabaron to kill John DiFool and obtain the Light Incal. Animah, mother of Sunmoon, who originally safeguarded the Light Incal, has psychic powers. Tanatah is also the head of the rebel group called the Amok.
  • The Metabaron, the greatest bounty hunter, mercenary, and fighter ace in the known universe, and the adopted father of Sunmoon; originally sent to kill John DiFool by Tanatah. The Metabaron returned John in a frozen state without killing him, knowing that Tanatah would betray him.
  • Sunmoon or Solune (French words soleil and lune[17]), the adopted child of the Metabaron and the biological child of Animah and John DiFool. Like Animah, Sunmoon has immense psychic powers, and was the chosen host of the power known as the Incal and become the dual-gendered leader of the universe.[17][18]
  • Kill Wolfhead, an anthropomorphic wolf mercenary in Tanatah's employ. Kill holds a grudge against DiFool, who pierced his ear with a bullet near the beginning of the story. He is featured as faithful, loyal, impulsive and aggressive.[17]


.mw-parser-output .quotebox{background-color:#F9F9F9;border:1px solid #aaa;box-sizing:border-box;padding:10px;font-size:88%;max-width:100%}.mw-parser-output .quotebox.floatleft{margin:0.5em 1.4em 0.8em 0}.mw-parser-output .quotebox.floatright{margin:0.5em 0 0.8em 1.4em}.mw-parser-output .quotebox.centered{margin:0.5em auto 0.8em auto}.mw-parser-output .quotebox.floatleft p,.mw-parser-output .quotebox.floatright p{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .quotebox-title{background-color:#F9F9F9;text-align:center;font-size:larger;font-weight:bold}.mw-parser-output .quotebox-quote.quoted:before{font-family:"Times New Roman",serif;font-weight:bold;font-size:large;color:gray;content:" “ ";vertical-align:-45%;line-height:0}.mw-parser-output .quotebox-quote.quoted:after{font-family:"Times New Roman",serif;font-weight:bold;font-size:large;color:gray;content:" ” ";line-height:0}.mw-parser-output .quotebox .left-aligned{text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .quotebox .right-aligned{text-align:right}.mw-parser-output .quotebox .center-aligned{text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .quotebox cite{display:block;font-style:normal}@media screen and (max-width:360px){.mw-parser-output .quotebox{min-width:100%;margin:0 0 0.8em!important;float:none!important}}
"I dreamed I was flying in intergalactic space. A cosmic being formed by two superimposed pyramids, one black, the other white, was calling me. I moved toward it and found myself submerged in the center. We exploded. And that’s how my subconscious mind introduced me to “El Incal”."

— Jodorowsky on the Incal.[7]

The center of the concept is DiFool's fantastic spiritual journey (or initiation[12]) on a cosmic scale, which he is reluctant to accept; he constantly wishes to return to his own ignorant reality of simple hedonistic pleasures. It is an allegory for the sins repeating, the futility of complacency and the necessity for individual transformation.[3] As the story progresses he keeps changing, becoming more heroic, even physically more handsome.[10][18][19] The original six installments begin and end by DiFool falling from the bridge; he descends, ascends and later re-descends in "closed" circularity.[20][12]

The universe is split into two galaxies, a human (with 22,000 planets), and a Berg (featherless birdlike aliens), and the story is set on four planets in the human galaxy: Ter21, Techno-Gea, Aquaend, and the Golden Planet.[1]

On the planet Ter21 there are two social classes: the fortunate (common and aristocrats), who reside at the top, and the others (including the mutants led by Gorgo the Foul, who represent the poor living in misery, on the fringes of society, minorities of all kinds[10]), who live down in the pits. At the top, it's a near-panopticonical dystopia with standard TV program (with the same presenter Diavaloo) depicting filmed violence for public consumption, and indoctrination. Seemingly no one works anymore, and all life is mediated through the TriD (TV), even people's dreams.[21] People are addicted to "love drug" amorine, while the president is engaged in repeated body transplants.[7] The masculine role is ridiculed by mass-produced holographic prostitutes.[22] The technopriests represent the most damning, avaricious human drives.[15]

John DiFool is based upon The Fool from tarot with his name being a pun upon "John, the Fool".[17][23] Animah's name is based on the Jungian concept of the anima, the feminine part of every male's psyche, as well in Latin "anima" means "psyche".[17] The series has no taboos, an attitude towards sex, violence and general social stigmas that may be avoided in more conventional comics.[4] They include Black-and-white dualism[14] or the conflict between good and evil,[15]mystical symbolism, archetypes, metaphysics, tarot and other influences.[24][6] In the story there's often a conflict between life or nature and dead technology (even uniformity and diversity[15]), as "glasses enable you to see, that's technology. But happiness is not that, it's not your glasses. It's what you are able to see. If you have wonderful glasses but don't know how to see what's in front of you, then that technological tool is useless". The series also showcase religion, economy, politics and warfare, all mixed together.[10]

The Final Incal is kind of a call for revolt to organize life in a different way, because as individuals people are mortal, but as humanity itself they are immortal. To learn that others exist, to live together and give, that there is continuity only as part of humanity as a whole.[10] It demonstrates that "love is the ultimate purifier; a force that can cleanse, renew and revitalize".[16]


The series capture worlds with cityscapes, huge spacecrafts and lands populated by technopriests, rubbish-dwelling mutants, doppelgängers, giant jellyfish, chiming forests of gems and jostling, old gurus floating on crystals, an underground rat army, flying leeches, "necro-panzers", a selfish humanity among others.[25][23][26] Some touches are borrowed directly from Dune: the Emperoress, a "perfect androgyne", or Aquend, a planet composed entirely of water which is Arrakis's seeming opposite, and a "mentrek" who betrayed his former master.[7]

Jean Giraud's (also known as Moebius) artwork and Yves Chaland's colouring from The Incal were well praised. Jodorowsky initially didn't have a script, but recounted and mimed the ideas to Moebius who sketched the scenario, recorded their conversation on tape, and they jointly altered the plot.[5]Jon Evans considered resemblance to the De Stijl school of art inspired by artists like Piet Mondrian and Vilmos Huszár.[4]

Moebius refused to do Before the Incal, thus Jodorowsky found Zoran Janjetov. Although Janjetov had his own style, he was influenced by Moebius and imitated him. Finally, Moebius decided to do After the Incal, but beside his illness at the time he had a different style, and Jodorowsky was not satisfied by the overall work.[10] He depicted the nightmare of the tech-world with a more abundant sense of optimism, something peppered with light and hope throughout.[27]

José Ladrönn's rendition of the worlds that Moebius originally designed in the rewritten sequel Final Incal is much darker, grittier; the streets are emptier, less colorful, more muted. He exceled at drawing, but as if he has studied not only Moebius but also the movies that Moebius influenced, directly or indirectly (like Blade Runner).[8][15][27]

Publication history

The Incal was published in three volumes by Epic Comics (a division of Marvel Comics) as a part of their Epic Graphic Novels line, in translations by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier, in 1988.[25] Later between 2001 and 2002 was republished a series of The Incal and Before the Incal in a twelve issue limited series, with the former in two parts Orphan of the City Shaft and John DiFool, Class "R" Detective between 2002 and 2003, while the first in two parts The Epic Conspiracy and The Epic Journey softcover trade format by Humanoids Publishing. The Humanoids Publishing initial version (of both The Incal and Before the Incal) was recolored in a more modern style and had the nudity censored. Jodorowsky did not like the change of the series to seduce young audience.[28]

In December 2010, Humanoids released a limited edition oversized hardcover edition of The Incal, with only 750 copies printed. It was sold out and soon the series was out of print in the United States.[23] In 2011 more hardcovers were released by Humanoids Publishing in the USA and Self Made Hero in the UK. Smaller than the oversized hardcover edition they resemble it in that they restore the original colouring and remove the censorship.[26] In 2012 Humanoids Publishing released 9.4 x 12.6" limited deluxe edition of Before the Incal with a foreword by José Ladrönn, artist on the upcoming Final Incal. Between January 2013 and 2014, they released a sold out 12 x 16" limited coffee table edition of The Incal six volumes.

In 2014 the Humanoids Publishing released 7.9 x 10.8" hardcover trade collection of The Incal, and its sequels After the Incal and Final Incal in one complete collection simply called Final Incal, as a 9.5 x 12.5" deluxe slipcase hardcover, as well limited and numbered edition 12 x 16" coffee table format.[9] In 2015 they released a 7.9 x 10.8" hardcover trade edition, but without After the Incal.[29] In 2014 all the four volumes were digitally released by the Humanoids Publishing.

It was translated from French in more than eleven languages, selling millions of copies.


The Incal

Note: For particulars on the English language editions of this series, please refer to the main article.
  1. L'Incal Noir ("The Black Incal") (1981)
  2. L'Incal Lumière ("The Luminous Incal") (1982)
  3. Ce qui est en bas ("What Lies Beneath") (1984)
  4. Ce qui est en haut ("What is Above") (1985)
  5. La cinquième essence – Galaxie qui Songe ("The Fifth Essence – The Dreaming Galaxy") (1988)
  6. La cinquième essence – La planète Difool ("The Fifth Essence – Planet DiFool") (1988)

Before the Incal

  1. Adieu le père ("Farewell, father") (1988)
  2. Détective privé de "Classe R ("Class "R" Detective") (1990)
  3. Croot! (1991)
  4. Anarchopsychotiques ("Psycho Anarchist") (1992)
  5. Ouisky, SPV et homéoputes ("Vhisky, SPV and Homeo-Whores") (1993)
  6. Suicide Allée ("Suicide Alley") (1995)
A prequel series to the first Incal series, published after it.

After the Incal

  1. Le nouveau rêve ("The New Dream") (2000)

Final Incal

  1. Les Quatre John Difool ("The Four John DiFools") (2008)
  2. Louz de Garra ("Luz De Garra") (2011)
  3. Gorgo Le Sale ("Gorgo the Foul") (2014)

Reception and legacy

Rolling Stone magazine in "The 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels" list placed the original volume as #30, calling it "one of the great comics team-ups".[30] Patrick Hess from Nothing But Comics placed it as fourth out of seventy best comics list, as "there are very few comics ever created in the history of the medium that are this imaginative, this thoughtful, this heartfelt or this good".[3]

Mark Millar called it "quite simply one of the most perfect comics ever conceived and probably the most beautiful piece of graphic literature ever drawn".[23]

Anthony Paletta from Los Angeles Review of Books considered that "The Incal isn’t only a parade of thrilling grotesqueries: it also has a spiritual core that ... reflects Jodorowsky’s abiding idiosyncratic Buddhism", while "Moebius’s work is simply some of the most beautiful not merely in his catalog, but in the comics world at large". He noted that the "echoes of The Incal can also be found in the work of Hayao Miyazaki, Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, the decaying futurity of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, The Matrix, and even depictions of Coruscant in the Star Wars prequel films.[7]

Daniel Kalder from The Comics Journal noted that the drawing by Moebius in After the Incal was of lesser ability, he considered "Moebius was and always will be The Man but he was not the man for this story: Ladrönn was. And so while After the Incal is certainly an intriguing footnote, a glimpse of a path not taken, Final Incal is the real deal".[8]

Hugh Armitage from Digital Spy noted that Moebius's After the Incal "delivers some typically breathtaking scenery, but his characters take on a cartoonish, Sergio Aragonés-like style that is both atypical for the artist and at odds with the dark story. [Valérie] Beltran's colours leave the images looking flat and uninteresting", and praised the Ladrönn's artwork in Final Incal.[15]

Legal issues

The publishers sued Luc Besson, director of The Fifth Element (1997), claiming that the film borrowed graphic and story elements from The Incal, but lost their case.[2][26][31] In an interview given to Chilean newspaper The Clinic, Jodorowsky claimed that neither he nor Moebius actually sued Besson, but instead that the lawsuit was filed by the editor of the comic series. He further claimed that the case was lost because Moebius "betrayed them" by working directly with Besson on the production of the film.[32] In a 2002 interview with the Danish comic book magazine Strip!, Jodorowsky considered it an honour that somebody stole his ideas.[2]


In the 1980s the Canadian animation director Pascal Blais created a short trailer for The Incal (i.e. Dark Incal), but the movie was never made. In 2011 and 2016, his studio made updated versions of the original trailer.[33][34]

In 2013, in an interview by France Inter it was announced that Nicolas Winding Refn is working as a director on a live-action movie adaptation of The Incal,[35] but it appeared to have been a rumor that Winding Refn dismissed in 2016.[36]


  1. ^ a b c d Zan 2014, p. 1085.
  2. ^ a b c d Reffner 2015, p. 389.
  3. ^ a b c d Patrick Hess (October 17, 2014). "The Incal Is The Greatest Comic That You Probably Haven't Read". Retrieved October 25, cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  4. ^ a b c d Jon Evans. "Series Review - The Incal". Backwards Compatible. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Neustadt 2012, p. 86.
  6. ^ a b Daniel Kalder (January 25, 2011). "Alejandro Jodorowsky's dance on the edge of meaning". The Guardian. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Anthony Paletta (August 26, 2013). "A Change of Path: Alejandro Jodorowsky's "The Incal"". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d Daniel Kalder (September 17, 2014). "Reviews: Final Incal". The Comics Journal. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Caleb Goellner (January 2, 2014). "Humanoids To Bring 'After the Incal' And 'Final Incal' To The US In 2014". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Final Incal - An interview with Alexandro Jodorowsky". Humanoids Publishing. May 24, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  11. ^ Parkin, Lance (2001). The Pocket Essential: Alan Moore. The Pocket Essentials. p. 7. ISBN 9781903047705.
  12. ^ a b c d Screech 2005, p. 184.
  13. ^ Neustadt 2012, p. 83.
  14. ^ a b c d Jesse Scheckner (July 9, 2014). "Final Incal". Florida Geek Scene. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Hugh Armitage (July 1, 2014). "Final Incal review: Ladrönn shines in Jodorowsky's satisfying sequel". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  16. ^ a b Alex Mansfield (October 26, 2014). "Final Incal". All-Comic. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e Zan 2014, p. 1086.
  18. ^ a b Scott Cederlund (January 11, 2011). "Finding some truth in The Incal". Wednesday's Haul. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  19. ^ Daniel Kalder (May 7, 2016). "The Most Beautiful Illusion". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  20. ^ Neustadt 2012, p. 87.
  21. ^ Zan 2014, p. 1087.
  22. ^ Neustadt 2012, p. 19.
  23. ^ a b c d Laura Hudson (July 1, 2011). "Behold, the Glory That is 'The Incal' by Moebius [Preview]". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  24. ^ Screech 2005, p. 190.
  25. ^ a b Rothschild 1995, p. 169.
  26. ^ a b c James Smart (October 11, 2011). "The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky, illustrated by Moebius - review". The Guardian. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  27. ^ a b Matthew Meylikhov (June 18, 2014). "Final Incal: a Book So Beautiful it Barely Needs its Legendary Writer [Review]". Multiversity Comics. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  28. ^ Joe Mcculloch (August 24, 2011). ""I Feel Myself Like a Genius and a Sacred Whore": A Few Questions for Alejandro Jodorowsky". The Comics Journal. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  29. ^ "Spotlight: Final Incal - Hardcover Trade". Humanoids Publishing. February 20, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  30. ^ "Drawn Out: The 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels". Rolling Stone. May 5, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  31. ^ "Moebius perd son procès contre Besson". (in French). 2004-05-28. Archived from the original on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2007-01-20.
  32. ^ "Jodorowsky y el estreno de "La danza de la realidad" en Chile: "Si renunciaran todos los jurados del Fondart, iría"". (in Spanish). 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
  33. ^ Laura Hudson (November 4, 2011). "Stunning New Version of 'The Incal' Animated Trailer Must Be Watched [Video]". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  34. ^ Mike Mazzanti (August 2, 2016). "Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius' 'The Incal' Gets Animated Tribute Trailer". The Film Stage. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  35. ^ Eva Bettan (May 23, 2013). "Nicolas Winding Refn : la violence comme affaire esthétique". France Inter. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  36. ^ "Nicolas Winding Refn Says He's Not Adapting 'The Incal' After All". IWatchStuff. Anticlown Media. June 24, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
The Technopriests
Publication information
FormatLimited series
Publication dateApril 1998 – September 2006
No. of issues8
Creative team
Written byAlejandro Jodorowsky
Artist(s)Zoran Janjetov
Colorist(s)Fred Beltran

The Technopriests is an eight-issue comic book limited series created by writer Alejandro Jodorowsky, artist Zoran Janjetov, and colorist Fred Beltran.


The Technopriests follows three plots: The first follows Albino, as Supreme Technopriest, as he leads 500,000 young technopriests to the promised galaxy and the obstacles that they encounter along the way. During this time Albino also narrates, in the form of dictating his memoirs, the other two plots: his rise to the position of Supreme Technopriest and the experiences of his family during that same time period.


Albino is an old man, recording his memories in the spaceship where he navigates through space with his pet Tinigrifi, leading 500,000 young technopriests to the promised galaxy. His story begins when a spaceship of pirates attack on the sacred asteroid where Panepha, a young virgin destined to become oracle of the Imperial Palace, lived. The pirates rape Panepha and she gives birth to three children: Almagro, Albino and Onyx. Onyx is rejected by her mother, who creates and leads the Great Kamenvert Factory. But Albino doesn't like making cheese, he wants to be a videogame creator. With some reluctance, his mother sends him to Don Mossimo, the director of a technopriest training school. There he begins his journey to become Supreme Technopriest and start a new society, where human relationships will be valued more highly than scientific advances.


The future Supreme Technopriest and the narrator of the series.
Albino's lifelong companion and co-narrator.
Former priestess and mother of Almagro, Albino, and Onyx.
Albino's older brother and the most-favored child of Panepha.
Albino's younger sister and the least-favored child of Panepha.


The Technopriests was originally released in 8 issues:

  • The Technopriests #1: Techno Pre-School
  • The Technopriests #2: Nohope Penitentiary School
  • The Technopriests #3: Planeta Games
  • The Technopriests #4: Halkattraz
  • The Technopriests #5: The Sect of the Techno-Bishops
  • The Technopriests #6: The Secrets of the Techno-Vatican
  • The Technopriests #7: The Perfect Game
  • The Technopriests #8: The Promised Galaxy

See also


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