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.) Continue reading »

May 102013
 

Today’s fanart is from a 2012 April Fools joke on the Finnish site Kvaak.fi. If Google Translate makes correct sense of it, the story was that the next one-shot would be made by an unknown Finnish duo, Areng & Leaudelaboue:

April Fools fanart (ill. "Areng & Leaudelaboue," apparently Anssi Rauhala)

Supposedly a panel from the upcoming one-shot ‘La Croix de Fer du Ramsès II’ (“The Iron Cross of Ramses II”) by Areng & Leaudelaboue

In reality, it seems, those names are an obscure Finnish pun, and it was really drawn by Anssi Rauhala. (Anyone who can actually read Finnish are more than welcome to correct any misunderstandings or add further detail.)

May 102013
 

Spirou 53: Dans les griffes de la Vipère /
I Hugormens Kløer

4/5 Stars

 

Dupuis (French), Cobolt (Danish), 46 pages

 “The Year of Spirou,” the 75th anniversary of the comic, has so far been packed full of unique events, major announcements and interesting publications. But few are as exciting as seeing the series itself in excellent health, with the release of a great new album.

And the new adventure, Dans les griffes de la Vipère (“In the Clutches of the Viper”), recently published in Danish as I Hugormens Kløer, is pretty great. Not flawless or about to rank with the highest classics, but easily the strongest of Yoann & Vehlmann’s contributions so far (including their out-of-continuity one-shot, Les géants pétrifiés; or “The Petrified Giants”), and arguably the best “real” Spirou adventure we’ve had for twenty years or more.

(This review contains SPOILERS for this and previous albums, though I’ve tried to keep them to a minimum.) Continue reading »

May 082013
 

Belgian Comic Strip Center (photo Daniel Fouss)

Among this year’s many Spirou exhibitions, it’s perhaps worth mentioning the one at the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels, “Spirou passed from hand to hand” (23 April – 6 October) if only because the website and catalog are available in English.

… Oh, and because it features a number of sketches for possible upcoming one-shots:

(Photos from Stripspeciaalzaak)

May 072013
 
Yoann (photo by Cecil McKinley, from BDZoom)

Yoann Chivard

BDZoom has a nice interview with Yoann (in French). He talks a bit about his working process and his philosophy with regards to the series. Well worth checking out (e.g. via Google Translate)! But if you don’t have the patience for that, I’d like to highlight some interesting figures: he mentions that under Tome & Janry, each adventure sold about 250 000 copies, while they’re now at around 80 000. (Presumably, this refers to European sales of the French edition.)

He also says that he and Vehlmann have been offered another 5-year contract to continue with Spirou (after their initial 3-year contract), and were just about to accept. I believe I’ve seen elsewhere that it’s now official, so we can look forward to several more Spirou albums by Yoann & Vehlmann over the next few years. Good news, I say!

May 042013
 

Spirou.Z issue #0 (ill. unknown)

For those of us who don’t have an iPad, we can at least get a taste of what Spirou.Z is about. Dupuis has put up part of the free sample issue #0 on their web site, although they warn that it doesn’t provide the full experience. (For one thing, it’s not available in English.) But you can see the “turbo media” motion comic format in action and see what you might find in one issue.