I came across this rather cryptic drawing on another blog. Apparently by Olivier Schwartz (although the style is a bit different than his usual, and I don’t recognize the signature) for Global Smurfs Day on 22. June, it hints vaguely at some upcoming… something.
The Smurfs, of course, have many links to Spirou. The comics were published in the same magazine, the Smurfs were co-created and written by Yvan Delporte (who also co-created Gaston and helped write the Spirou story Les Robinsons du rail), and Peyo and Franquin were good friends. In fact, Franquin helped come up with the name (Les Schtroumpfs in French) and their smurfing speech pattern. So therefore, it might be worth mentioning that this summer sees collections of the early Smurf stories in a number of languages.
In English, Papercutz recently released their Smurfs Anthology vol. 1 (192 pp.) which collects the stories from the first Smurfs albums, The Purple Smurfs (including The Flying Smurf and The Smurfnapper) and The Smurf King (including The Smurfony), along with the Johan and Peewit album in which they first appeared, The Smurfs and the Magic Flute. There are also some short articles and introductions, and the full-size hardcover book format is a definite upgrade from the mini-albums the publisher has previously put out. Volume 2 is scheduled for this November.
Purists should note that while this follows the original album releases of the Smurf series, it’s not the original order of the stories, which originally ran as mini-comics in Journal de Spirou, before being redrawn and shuffled around to fit the album format. Also, the first story was originally The Black Smurfs, but this edition uses Papercutz’ retitled and redrawn version that was made to avoid any implication of racism (the book includes an introduction discussing this change, with samples of the black version).
Meanwhile, Dupuis is preparing for the release of Les Schtroumpfs: L’Intégrale Tome 1 (1958–1966) (288 pp.) this week, the first volume (of four) in their collected edition of the series – or rather, the part they have the rights to. This book is longer than the Smurf Anthology, with more extra material (more than 60 pages), and with the stories in their original order. It will definitely include the mini-comic version of Les Schtroumpfs Noirs (The Black Smurfs), though unfortunately in rather shoddy-looking facsimile, but it’s not clear whether the album version will also be included, and if the other stories will also appear in mini-comic format. Also, the book does not include any of the Johan et Pirlout (Johan and Pewitt) albums where the Smurfs appeared, since these have already been collected in their own series.
Finally, Cobolt will be releasing a Danish edition of the same book as Smølferne: 1958–1966 in August, continuing the good job they’re doing of translating many of the best Dupuis releases and bringing them quickly to the Scandinavian market.