Only a day after listing upcoming Spirou publications, the list is already out of date. Today, Cinebook announced their upcoming releases for the rest of the year, and on the schedule for August we find The Marsupilami Thieves (Les Voleurs du Marsupilami) by Franquin. They even put Spirou on the cover of their catalogue! Cinebook has previously kept to the Tome & Janry era, but as they write, for the occasion of the 75th anniversary:
In order to pay homage to this legendary hero in
English, we chose to publish one of the volumes by
genius author Franquin. This provides a good
opportunity to discover his very peculiar creature,
the Marsupilami, that Spirou and Fantasio have to
rescue from the clutches of thieves and exploiters.
So is this a one-off, or is Cinebook going to release more of the classic Franquin albums? That probably depends on how well this first attempt goes. Let’s hope Cinebook’s readers appreciate it!
It’s worth noting that in publishing The Marsupilami Thieves, Cinebook is skipping a number of early Franquin albums, in particular Il y a un sorcier à Champignac (“There’s a sorcerer in Champignac”) and Spirou et les héritiers (“Spirou and the heirs”), the latter of which leads directly into The Marsupilami Thieves. Cinebook skipped over a bunch of albums in the Tome & Janry run, but mainly ones that relied heavily on familiarity with previously established characters. That’s not true of the early Franquin albums (they’re the ones that establish many of these elements!), and Spirou et les héritiers in particular is one of the best Spirou stories ever made, full of action, comedy and adventure. So why not start there? Perhaps the company thought those albums were too dated for kids these days, what with the ancient racing cars and so forth?
Cinebook had previously indicated (in the back of Running Scared) that the upcoming Valley of the Exiles would be followed by Tome & Janry’s next album, Spirou in Moscow. I hope that’s still in the cards. If there’s anything to my speculation that other albums were skipped for being too dated, what does Cinebook make of that adventure’s Soviet setting?