May 152013
 
Spirou & Fantasio (ill. Yoann)

This image doesn’t actually have anything to do with Spirou #54 (as far as I know); I just like it.
(From Yoann’s MySpace page)

This doesn’t strictly qualify as news, but over the last few months Yoann & Vehlmann have let slip some information about their next, as-yet-untitled album, Spirou #54. The script has been written, and Yoann is currently drawing it. According to the schedule, he will have started right after finishing “Groom Toujours!” (“Bellhop Forever!”), the short story for the 75th anniversary; in other words, probably in February. The album publication is expected in April 2014, which probably means it will run in the magazine either at the very end of 2013 or, more likely, early in 2014. (Spirou #53’s magazine run started two months before the official album publication.)

Yoann has described the tone of the next album as an “Indiana Jones adventure,” while Vehlmann calls it a mix between Indiana Jones and the movie Three Kings: “An archaeological adventure set against the background of a country at war.” Yoann elaborates further:

The next album is going to be great fun, but at the same time deal with a difficult topic: it happens in a country at war, like Libya, with a dictator who has just been overthrown, rebels everywhere, the UN is there … So there are some “hot” issues, but it’s also really funny!

In fact, Yoann explains that when he usually gets the script from Vehlmann, he takes notes as he’s reading, with questions, comments, suggested changes and so on, but this time he was just carried away, read it all the way through and couldn’t stop laughing.

Yoann's Spirou #54 character sketches (photo by Éric Guillaud)

Having read Vehlmann’s first draft, Yoann starts sketching designs for the characters. Sometimes, these character studies lead to new ideas that are incorporated into the final version of the script. Here he’s just starting work on Spirou #54.
(Photo by Éric Guillaud, from France3 Pays de la Loir)

Finally, a few more details have emerged unofficially, as leaks or rumors. (This should be considered SPOILERS for the next album, as well as for Spirou #53.) It’s said that Fantasio will be more like the crazy companion of the early adventures (before Franquin toned him down so he could be the straight man to Gaston’s craziness), and in particular that his inventions will play some role in the story. As foreshadowed at the end of Spirou #53, Tome & Janry’s mafia villain Don Vito Cortizone will appear, as will Martin, the eccentric little archaeologist from Yoann & Vehlmann’s one-shot Les géants pétrifiés (“The Petrified Giants”). The latter has never appeared in an in-continuity story (though he can be seen in this poster), so it will be interesting how he is introduced.

Sources for this update include:

 

  5 Responses to “Spirou #54 update”

  1.  

    Album 54 sounds cool! It sounds a bit like Kodo le tyran, which is my favourite among the Fournier albums. The theme of tyrantrs have been explored several times before. I welcome a political theme.

  2.  

    […] had already heard (e.g. here and here) that the story is going to take place in a Middle Eastern country on the brink of civil […]

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