Oct 132013

'Une Cadavre Exquis' cover (ill. Yoann, de Pins, unknown; (c) Dupuis)

I’m working on a longer scanlation, but couldn’t get it done this weekend. So as a fill-in, here’s the start of the Spirou comic jam Un cadavre exquis (“An Exquisite Corpse”) from 2010. Yoann & Vehlmann start it off…

'Une Cadavre Exquis' p. 1 (ill. Yoann & Vehlmann; (c) Dupuis)

‘Spirou ami, partout, toujours’ (‘Spirou: friend, wherever, forever!’) is a famous Spirou slogan.

An “exquisite corpse” is a game for creating art, invented by the Surrealists, where each contributor makes one part before handing it over to the next person. A comic jam is basically the same thing with a comic: the story is passed around from artist to artist, and the whole thing is made up as they go along. Sometimes each contributor is only allowed to see the last part, not the whole thing, but I don’t think that applied in this case.

Un cadavre exquis was the special bonus gift to Journal de Spirou subscribers in 2010, and is currently available as part of the Spirou Box. It consists of 66 strips by 79 different creators. I’ll be using it as a backup for when I don’t have a more substantial scanlation ready, so the rate of publication is going to be somewhat unpredictable.

  8 Responses to “Scanlation Sunday: Exquisite Corpse 1”


    […] So, it doesn’t look like the promised scanlation is going to be ready until the weekend. But so that you won’t have to go two whole weeks without a new Spirou comic in English, here’s another couple of installments of the Spirou comic jam An Exquisite Corpse: […]


    ‘using it as a backup’ does that mean you already finished all the strips, or are you working on it?


      No, I have them all scanned, but I translate them one by one as needed. They’re so short, though, that they’re pretty quick to do. It’s not like the 8-pager from last week; that one took several full days of work.

      The biggest hassle is that the format meant I had to scan each page in two parts, so I always have to stitch them together.


        I’d think getting a different font every time is a big trouble. You have to find them, and download them, and use them… Are the fonts each time (somewhat) similar to the original ones?


          They are as close as I can (be bothered to) make them. Episode 12 and 26 have a mix of retexted and original text, if you’d like to compare.

          Matching fonts can be a bit of work, but I have big a collection of “hand-texting” fonts where I can usually find something that fits, so speech balloons generally aren’t a big problem. Matching titles, on the other hand, can be very difficult, since the letterforms are often very unique and characteristic. The Exemplary Life of Jijé uses three different title fonts (two for the first page and one for the last), and while I think both versions of the retexted credits (“story and art”, “inks”) match the style of the handwritten creator names (“Yves Chaland” and the others) very well, I could never get the title itself (“The Exemplary Life of”) to look like the original, even though I searched for hours.

          I do consider using suitable fonts part of what distinguishes a well-produced scanlation from a mediocre one, as much as fitting the text properly into the speech balloons, blending edits seamlessly, avoiding typos and other mistakes, and cleaning up the scans so they don’t show “gutter shadow” or bleedthrough from the other side, among other common problems. Most of those tasks are more time-consuming than finding a good font.

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