Apr 252013
 

Spirou 5 cover (ill. Cinebook, Franquin)

Only a day after listing upcoming Spirou publications, the list is already out of date.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?

  7 Responses to “Cinebook to publish Franquin album”

  1.  

    This album has been translated in English before by an Egmont subsidiary, although my impression is that the translation was a bit sloppy, and it wasn’t released outside India.

    Good thing if it could get a wider release.

    http://www.comicology.in/2007/12/euro-books-spirou-and-fantasio-2007.html

  2.  

    The poor English speakers! Until recently very little was published in English. Very strange! Spirou has been published in many European languages, but not in English. Spirou has even been translated to Icelandic, a language spoken by only 320.000 people, but until recently not in English, the dominant language in the world. It is difficult to believe that it is less profitable to publish in English than in a language spoken by less than 0.1 %.

  3.  

    […] This is the front page of a 1953 promotional leaflet for the Journal de Spirou, illustrated by Franquin. It sums up, in flashback, the adventures in Les chapeaux noirs (Spirou #3, “The Black Hats”), Il y a un sorcier à Champignac (Spirou #2, “There’s a Sorcerer in Champignac”), and particularly Spirou et les héritiers (Spirou #4, “Spirou and the Heirs”). The leaflet also featured an excerpt from the then-current Les voleurs du Marsupilami (Spirou #5, “The Marsupilami Thieves“). […]

  4.  

    […] show the confirmation that Cinebook is still planning to publish Spirou in Moscow, even though it got pushed back by The Marsupilami Thieves (scheduled for this […]

  5.  

    Not in their catalogue yet but Amazon reveals that ‘Gomer Goof’ will start coming out from Cinebook in July – “Gomer Goof Vol. 1: Mind The Goof!”

    Gomer Goof is, I think, the name Fantagraphics used when they published strips in one of their anthology magazines 30 or so years ago. His place of work changed to Funnygraphics and other cultural identifiers (Rugby) were Americanised.

    I hope Cinebook are slightly more true to the originals.

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