When I was ten I got a poster of the alien from Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic of the same name. It would be years until I got to see the movie, but there was something about the unique design that grabbed my attention.
I shared a room with my brother back then and he didn’t take well to the giant poster going up on the back of our bedroom door. He complained to my mother and the poster had to go. But the memory of that strange elongated eyeless skull remained with me. HR Giger was the man responsible for the alien, as well as contributing to the look of the entire movie, from the space jockey and his derelict ship to the face-huggers. His iconic designs have been replicated, stolen and parodied by generations of artists and film-makers ever since.
And of course it didn’t end there. James Cameron’s Aliens was released when I was at college. Me and my friend, Gordon Fraser, bunked off lessons to go and see it as soon as it came out. It blew our young minds out of our ears. So it was no surprise that some of my comic art portfolio of that time would include a few Giger inspired pieces.
It was announced today that Giger, aged 74, died after falling down stairs at his Zurich home. He leaves behind a compelling, yet disturbing creative legacy, and I’m sure the creature that he helped create will continue to haunt young minds for a long time to come.