A Tribute To H.R. GIGER


Dear H.R. Giger,

I’m sorry I never wrote to you while you were here. I’m sorry I never got to meet you or shake your hand. I’m sorry that I never got the chance to thank you.

Thank you for the Xenomorph Alien. The facehugger. The Space Jockey. I don’t know when I first saw 1979’s Alien, but it flattened me. Not only did it cement my love of science fiction and horror, its “10 Little Indians” formula brought me to the brink of panic over the inevitability of death. Nature is cruel in that life feeds on life; but at the same time, all life forms want to make more of itself, creating beauty from chaos. The Xenomorph embodies this contradiction. As a mythological creature, it’s a perfect symbol.

Thank you for dozens and dozens of bio mechanical life form paintings. I don’t have an art degree, so I can’t really go there with technique or craft. But I can tell you that each and every time I flip through Necronomicon, I see something new. There’s love in that book. There’s fear. There’s an operatic cry of desperation against the technologicalization¬†of mankind.

hr-giger1I don’t have any of your funky chairs. I don’t have a custom microphone stand. I’ve got a dog-eared book and a Tarot deck. But after all this time, it took you leaving to make me realize something:

You changed everything for nerds. Before Alien, it was a guy in a mask running around. Your design forced us to imagine further, to summon demons previously beyond the limits of human form. And since that creature, you can see its DNA everywhere in film, comics, and video games. A great deal of creature and tech design in science fiction can be argued to have been either loosely or subliminally inspired from you. You changed how we feared the unknown. I wish I could have told you that I sincerely consider your contributions to 1979’s Alien to be my favorite creature design and practical effects of all time. Without it, there’s no Stan Winston or Rob Bottin.

So HR Giger, I wish you good journey to the Great Beyond.

Thank you for sharing your dreams and nightmares with us all.


About Author

Dana Gustafson

Dana Gustafson loves his wife and children, who tolerate him during moments leading up to writing articles like these. He has an unhealthy infatuation, despite proper medication, with horror movies, Marvel comics, and Westerns. He wishes you well.